Kadhal Kottai

Kadhal Kottai (transl. The Castle of Love) is a 1996 Indian Tamil-language Indian romance film directed by Agathiyan, in which Ajith Kumar and Devayani play lead roles, apart from Heera Rajgopal, Thalaivasal Vijay, and Karan who played important roles.[2]

Kadhal Kottai
Kaadhal Kottai poster.jpg
Directed byAgathiyan
Produced bySivashakthi Pandian
Written byAgathiyan
StarringAjith Kumar
Heera Rajgopal
Music byDeva
CinematographyThangar Bachan
Edited byLancy-Mohan
Distributed bySivashakthi Movie Makers
Release date
  • 12 July 1996 (1996-07-12)
Running time
167 minutes

The film was a major commercial success at the box office and also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil, the National Film Award for Best Direction as well as the National Film Award for Best Screenplay for Agathiyan.[3] It garnered positive critical acclaim upon release in July 1996, and was subsequently remade into several Indian regional languages. It was dubbed into Telugu as Prema Lekha.

The film met positive reviews and declared blockbuster running over 270 days becoming silver jubilee film.[4]


Kamali (Devayani) lives with her sister, Malliga (Sabitha Anand) and brother-in-law, Shekar (Rajeev) in Kotagiri, and is searching for a job and lives with high hopes of getting married soon. While visiting Madras, her purse is stolen and she fears she has lost her academic credentials. Suriya (Ajith Kumar) who is an orphan and care-free man, works in Jaipur finds the purse and sends it back to her, and a love develops through letters and phone calls. They agree to love each other without meeting, as she sews and sends a gift pack containing a lotus embroided woollen sweater for him to wear when they meet in real. As Suriya shifts to Madras for work and stays with Siva (Karan). Kamali too moves for Madras to find a job for her and stays with her friend Jensi (Indhu). Suriya is attracted and smitten by his boss Neya (Heera Rajagopal). Her repeated attempts in gaining his love and affections fails as he staunch on his love for Kamali. In the meantime, unintentionally they both run over upon each other without knowing who they really were resulting in negative perception and misunderstanding. Refusing a Job offer which would move Kamali to Singapore, making it difficult for her to find Suriya she moves back to her home in despair. Unable to withstand the advances of Neya, Suriya quits the job gets sheltered by Paneer (Thalaivasal Vijay), who arranges him an autorickshaw to engaged as driver. Jeeva (Raja), a wealthy businessman expresses his interest in marrying Kamali to Shekar, but Kamali excuses herself to consider her as prospective bride when she meets Jeeva in private and shares her unflinching love for Suriya, who even allows her to meet him for one last time. Shekar, who initially dissuades Kamali's love finally gives in and allows her to Madras half-heartedly. Upon arriving in Madras, which is experiencing severe monsoon, Kamali finds that Jensi and other hostel mates were out of station. Pinning hopes, she boards the Suriya's autorickshaw, driven by him without knowing it him traces and searches for him desperately, wherever he lived. At the end of the day, both gets refreshed at his place, while he dons her gifted sweater covered by his uniform. As Kamali plans to head home, depressed, Suriya assists her to board Nilgiri Express. As the train departs, in a turn of events, Suriya removes his shirt wherein Kamali notices it was her gifted sweater and finally unite, as Paneer and Jensi watches the pair and rejoices.



The basic theme of the film was inspired from "Puranaanooru" literature on the relationship between King Kopperum Chozhan and poet Pisirandhaiyar, though they never met but they developed a strong relationship until their deaths. Agathiyan confirmed this in his interviews.[5] Agathiyan initially wanted to make his directorial debut with this subject since no producer were willing to produce the film, he made few films and earned his breakthrough with Vaanmathi.[5] Post its success, he chose Ajith, actor from that film to play the leading role with Sivasakthi Pandian agreeing to produce the film.[5]

Agathiyan had asked Devayani to change her glamorous on screen image for the film, and Devayani duly agreed with the film becoming the start of several other similar roles for her.[5][6] The film was initially titled as Nila Odi Vaa before it was named as Kadhal Kottai.[7]


The music was composed by Deva and lyrics written by Agathiyan and Ponniyin Selvan.[8]

Kadhal Kottai
Soundtrack album by
Released12 July 1996
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Sa Re Ga Ma
Nic Audio
Sony Music
Star Music
Deva chronology
Gopala Gopala
Kadhal Kottai
Kalloori Vaasal
1."Kaalamellam Kadhal"AgathiyanP. Unnikrishnan, K. S. Chithra5:05
2."Kavalai Padathey"AgathiyanDeva4:26
3."Mottu Mottu Malaradha"AgathiyanSwarnalatha4:54
4."Nalam Nalamariya Aval" (Version 1)AgathiyanS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Anuradha Sriram4:48
5."Nalam Nalamariya Aval" (Version 2)AgathiyanKrishnaraj, Anuradha Sriram4:49
6."Sivappu Lolakku"Ponniyin SelvanS. P. Balasubrahmanyam5:23
7."Vellarikka"AgathiyanDeva, Krishnaraj4:23
Total length:33:48
Prema Lekha
Soundtrack album by
Released31 December 1996
GenreFeature film soundtrack
Deva chronology
Gopala Gopala
Prema Lekha
Kalloori Vaasal

All tracks are written by Bhuvana Chandra.

Telugu Track-List
1."Nee Pilupe Prema Geetham"P. Unnikrishnan, K. S. Chithra5:07
2."Digulu Padakuraa Sahodaraa"Vandemataram Srinivas4:28
3."Pattu Pattu Paruvaala Pattu"Swarnalatha4:55
4."Chinnadaana Osi Chinna Daana" (Version 1)R. Krishanraj, Bhuvana Chandra4:26
5."Priyaa Ninu Chuda Lekaa" (Version 2)S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Anuradha Sriram4:49
6."Ye Rupe Lolaku Kuli Kenu"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam5:25
Total length:29:10


Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan appreciated the film by giving 52 marks and mentioned that the basic plot was a novel idea which had been given a good shape and life by the filmmaker.[9][10]


The film was released as a novel in 2010 under the same name.[11]


Year Film Title Language Director
1998 Yaare Neenu Cheluve Kannada D.Rajendra babu
1999 Sirf Tum Hindi Agathiyan
1998 Hothat Brishti Bengali Basu Chatterjee


National Film Awards - 1996
Filmfare Awards South - 1996
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards - 1996
Cinema Express Awards - 1996


Kadhal Kottai is considered a cult film and a landmark in Tamil cinema diverging from traditional romantic films of the time.[13][3] This film has been included in the book written by Dhananjayan.G "Pride of Tamil cinema 1931-2013" which covers films that have earned national and international recognition. The author wrote "Kadhal Kottai is a trendsetting film which breathed new life into Tamil cinema and paved the way for revival of love themes in a big way."[14] According to The Times of India the film hits the top list of romantic films made in Tamil cinema.[15][16] The film also hit the list of top romantic films of Tamil magazines Ananda Vikatan and Dinamani.[17][18] The film is considered one of the blockbuster films in the career of Ajith Kumar.[19][20]

S. R. Ashok Kumar of The Hindu asked Tamil directors to list their all-time favourite Tamil films, veteran director K. Balachander named Kadhal Kottai in his list.[21] Suseenthiran also mentions his favourite film as Kadhal Kottai.[22]

In the recently released movie Master, There is a scene, where vijay narrates the story of kadhal kottai movie, to Malavika Mohan, who asked the reason for Vijay's depression and his drug addiction. That scene was widely received by the audience


  1. ^ Dhananjayan 2014, p. 356.
  2. ^ "Kadhal Kottai". cinesouth. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Dhananjayan, G. (3 November 2014). PRIDE OF TAMIL CINEMA: 1931 TO 2013: Tamil Films that have earned National and International Recognition. Blue Ocean Publishers. p. 358.
  4. ^ "'Kadhal Kottai' to 'Viswasam': Five blockbuster box office hits of Thala Ajith". The Times of India. 6 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Dhananjayan, G. (3 November 2014). PRIDE OF TAMIL CINEMA: 1931 TO 2013: Tamil Films that have earned National and International Recognition. Blue Ocean Publishers. p. 357.
  6. ^ "Five years... and still sitting pretty". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 30 August 2008.
  7. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/fr/2005/05/27/stories/2005052700010401.htm
  8. ^ "Kadhal Kottai - All Songs - Download or Listen Free - Saavn". 12 July 1996. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  9. ^ http://www.ajithfans.com/media/media-news/2010/02/11/blast-from-the-past-kadhal-kottai-review-by-ananda-vikatan/
  10. ^ "காதல் கோட்டை : சினிமா விமர்சனம்". vikatan (in Tamil). Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  11. ^ http://www.starajith.com/2332-thala-ajith-kumar-devayani-agathiyan-kadhal-kottai-book-novel
  12. ^ "1996 State Awards". Dinakaran. Archived from the original on 22 May 2008.
  13. ^ "Ajith's Top 10 movies". specials.rediff.com. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  14. ^ Dhananjayan, G. (3 November 2014). PRIDE OF TAMIL CINEMA: 1931 TO 2013: Tamil Films that have earned National and International Recognition. Blue Ocean Publishers. p. 356.
  15. ^ "'Kadhal Kottai' to 'Minnale': Five Tamil movies that set an example of true love". The Times of India. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Kollywood's top 15 romantic films". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  17. ^ "காதலிக்கிறவர்கள் இந்தப்படங்களைப் பார்த்தே ஆகவேண்டும்" [Lovers should watch this movie definitely]. Vikatan (in Tamil). Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  18. ^ "தமிழ் ரசிகர்களின் மனதை அள்ளிய காதல் படங்கள்!". Dinamani. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  19. ^ "'Kadhal Kottai' to 'Viswasam': Five blockbuster box office hits of Thala Ajith". The Times of India. 6 March 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  20. ^ "The Rise of Ajith Kumar: From Aasai to Yennai Arindhaal - NDTV Movies". NDTVMovies.com. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Filmmakers' favourites - The Hindu". 11 October 2014. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  22. ^ Kumar, Pradeep (27 July 2019). "How 'Kadhalukku Mariyadhai' won director Susienthiran over". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 8 April 2020.

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