P. Adinarayana Rao

Penupatruni Adinarayana Rao (21 August 1915 – 19 August 1991) was an Indian music director, film producer, lyricist and play writer. He co-founded "Aswini Pictures" with Akkineni Nageswara Rao and produced some movies in Telugu and Tamil. Later, he produced several blockbuster Telugu films under his own production house, Anjali Pictures, named after his actress wife, Anjali Devi. He also composed and produced music for several Tamil and Hindi films.

P. Adinarayana Rao
Birth namePenupatruni Adinarayana Rao
Born(1915-08-21)21 August 1915
Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
Died19 August 1991(1991-08-19) (aged 76)
Occupation(s)Music director
Years active1951–1991
Spouse(s)Anjali devi (m.1948; until his death in 1991)

According to the music critic V. A. K. Rangarao,

"Adinarayana Rao is credited for introducing Hindustani music in contemporary flavour and simplified orchestration, and thereby impressing both laymen audience as well cognoscenti. It is this music that survives him enthralling all the music lovers".[1]

Memorable music compositions from Rao are: "Rajasekhara Neepai Moju Theera Leduraa" in the film Anarkali released in 1955,[2] "Piluvakuraa Alugakuraa" in the film Suvarna Sundari released in 1957,[3] "Telugu Veera Levaraa Deeksha Booni Sagara" and "Vastaadu Naraju" in the film Alluri Seetarama Raju released in 1974[4] and all songs including "Ghana Ghana Sundara" in Bhakta Tukaram, released in 1973.[5] One of his most popular compositions in Hayi hayiga Amani Saage (Telugu), Kuhu Kuhu bole Koyaliya(Hindi), Thesulavuthe (Tamil).

Music directors such as Satyam, T. V. Raju and Laxmikant–Pyarelal worked under him as assistant directors.[6][7]


Adinarayana Rao was born in 1915 in Kakinada of East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh to Penupatruni Krishnayya Gowd and Penupatruni Anasuya.[8][9] He completed his matriculation in Kakinada.

He started his film career as a child artiste at the age of six, under Rajarajeswari Naatya Mandali's baton playing the roles of mythological characters such as "Narada" and "Savitri". Later, he studied classical music under Patrayani Sitaramsastry in Saluru. By age of 12, he played many musical instruments and had shown his talent in both music as a composer, and on stage as a playwright.[10]


He was well known in Kakinada theatre circle, with plays like Black Market, Vasanta Sena and Veedhi Gaayakulu, with which he still continued after entering the film industry and was affectionately given a nickname "Abbayi Garu". The play Street Singers written by him was admired, and his wife Anjali Devi received a gold medal and a citation from Sir Arthur Hope, then governor of the Madras Presidency in 1943.[11] He fine-tuned his skills to become a well known artiste while working under the 'Burmah Shell Amateurs Troupe', through the famous 'Young Mens Happy Club', which produced stalwarts from the Telugu film industry like Relangi, S. V. Ranga Rao, Gandikota Jagannatham and Anjali Devi. Here he met his future wife Anjali Devi.


He and S. V. Ranga Rao made their debut into the film industry with the film Varudhini in 1946. Adinarayana Rao wrote lyrics and composed music for two songs in that film. He wrote lyrics and composed music for two more films.[citation needed] He got a break with the film Gollabhama (1947) directed by C. Pullaiah, in which his wife Anjali Devi made her debut. He was the music director for the film Palletoori Pilla in 1950. He married Anjali Devi in 1948, and they had two sons.[12] His granddaughter Saila Rao is also an actress.

He was so generous to promote his assistant Dholak Satyam as Co Music Director for film Bhakta Kannappa. His authenticity,profound knowledge in conducting music for interludes & back ground score with numerous instruments based on pure Hindustani classical music ragas fetched him status of distinctive musician who achieved the feat of using most instruments in Telugu film Industry.

During the 1980s, he mainly composed music and wrote lyrics under Padmalaya Studios for the actor Krishna until the former's death in 1991.

Aswini PicturesEdit

Adinarayana Rao founded "Aswini Pictures", together with Akkineni Nageswara Rao and makeup artist K. Gopala Rao, to produce movies like "Maayalamaari" in 1951 in Telugu, "Mayakkaari" in Tamil, and "Annadhata" in 1954, for which he wrote lyrics and composed music.

Anjali PicturesEdit

He started a production house 'Anjali Pictures' in 1951, using the name of his wife after parting ways with Aswini Pictures. He produced some of the blockbusters in the film industry like Paradesi in 1952 in Telugu, which was directed by L. V. Prasad, Poongottai in Tamil, Anarkali in 1955, Suvarna Sundari in 1957 and Bhakta Tukaram in 1973. In all these movies, his wife Anjali Devi acted as the lead heroine. Most of the movies he produced had Akkineni Nageswara Rao as a lead actor.

He also produced movies in Hindi such as Phoolon Ki Sej in 1964 and Suvarna Sundari, for which he wrote the script (1957).[13]



Music directorEdit



Adinarayana Rao AwardEdit

Anjali Devi launched the Adinarayana Rao Award (using her husband's name) beginning in 2011. Noted playback singer P. Susheela was the first recipient of the award.[17]


  1. ^ V.A.K. Rangarao credits Adinrayana Rao for introducing Hindustani music
  2. ^ Raja sekharaa
  3. ^ Piluvakuraa Alugakuraa
  4. ^ Vasthaadu naa raju and Telugu veera levaraa
  5. ^ Ghana Ghana Sundara
  6. ^ Totakura Venkata Raju (a.k.a. T V Raju), Satyam and Lakshmikant-Pyarelal duo (Phoolonki Sej) worked as his assistants
  7. ^ Satyam was working for Adinarayana Rao Archived 10 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ music director Sree Penupatruni Krishnayya (music director Adinarayana Rao's father) Archived 10 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Adinarayana Rao (1915–1991)
  10. ^ Adinarayana Rao Personal Details
  11. ^ Smt Anjali Profile – Anjali Devi received a Gold Medal and a Citation in 1943 from Sir Arthur Hope, Governor, in appreciation of the play 'Street Singers', written by Adinarayana Rao
  12. ^ Smt Anjali Profile
  13. ^ Anjali Pictures Production Company Filmography
  14. ^ "నంది అవార్డు విజేతల పరంపర (1964–2008)" [A series of Nandi Award Winners (1964–2008)] (PDF) (in Telugu). Information & Public Relations of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  15. ^ P.Adinarayana Rao won the Best Music Director
  16. ^ Adi Narayana Rao received the award for best music (nationwide), an honor given by the Bombay Journalist Association. It was the first time a south Indian received that award
  17. ^ Anjali Devi, 84, announced an award in the name of her husband and late composer Adinarayana Rao, marking the 20th anniversary of his death

External linksEdit