Saptapadi (1981 film)

Saptapadi (transl. Seven steps) is a 1981 Indian Telugu-language drama film written and directed by K. Viswanath.[1] The film garnered the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.[2][3] The film is not only about the seven steps that one takes to become a part of the institution of marriage and a ritualistic exercise that completes the act of shedding the bachelorhood and entering a more stable state but talks about an individual's journey breaking away from the shackles from the conservatism to finding a path of understanding, encompassing and enlightenment. The film was premiered at the International Film Festival of India, and the AISFM film festival.[4] It was later remade in Hindi as Jaag Utha Insan in 1984, also directed by K Viswanath.[5] The film won four Nandi Awards.

Saptapadi poster.jpg
Theatrical Release poster
Directed byK. Viswanath
Written byK. Viswanath
Jandhyala (dialogues)
Produced byBhimavarapu Buchhireddy
StarringJ.V. Somayajulu
Allu Rama Lingaiah
P. Ravi Shankar
Sabita Bhamidipati
Dubbing Janaki
Girish Pradhan
Edited byG. G. Krishna Rao
Music byK. V. Mahadevan
Jyothy Art Creations
Release date
  • 26 June 1981 (1981-06-26)


Saptapadi deals with the transformation of an individual so devoted to (mired in) the concept of rituals, that it takes an act of God (will be discussed shortly) for him to realize the true spirit behind the rituals and true meaning of the prayers. Yajulu is a man of great conviction. According to him rules and customs, that have been passed down generations thus standing the test of the time, are there for a reason and hence are immutable; traditions are trademarks of culture and customs, its signature. He does not mind losing his daughter for his principles.

He is well into his twilight years which give him even more reason to not mend his ways. In his footsteps follows his Gaurinadha (grandchild from his son), gearing up to be head of a priest at the local temple. Yajulu's will prevails over Hema's (grandchild from his daughter) wish and Gauri and Hema end up being married. However, Hema is secretly in love with a flutist, who is not of her caste. The brilliance of Viswanath comes full fore at this point, when on the first night, Gauri witnesses Durga Devi in Hema, and walks out of the room completely shaken up. Gaurinadha, being an ardent devotee of the Devi, realizes that his wife is in love with another man, hence she is like a mother to him, nothing more, nothing less. This act of God triggers Yajulu's thought process to seriously question, for the first time in his life, the validity of his position on matters that involve caste, creed and religion, justifying the steps that Yajulu takes one a time, from the first one in trying to understand Hema's real interests till the last one when he sees her off with her love interest on the boat.

The crux of the whole film is contained in a beautiful conversation that happens between the characters played by Allu Rama Lingaiah and J.V. Somayajulu.



All music is composed by K. V. Mahadevan.

1."Akhilandeswari Chamundeswari"VeturiP. Susheela, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
2."Ayigiri Nandini"Adi SankaracharyaS. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
3."Bhamane Satyabhamane"VeturiS. Janaki 
4."Govullu Tellana"VeturiS. Janaki, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
5."Marugelara O Raghava"ThyagarajaS. Janaki 
6."Nemaliki Nerpina Nadakalivi"VeturiS. Janaki 
7."Om Jatavedase" (Sri Durga Suktam) S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki 
8."Vrepalliya Eda Jhalluna"VeturiP. Susheela, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
9."Ye Kulamu Needante"VeturiS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki 


Year Nominee / work Award Result
1981 K. Viswanath
B. Bucchireddy
Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration Won
1981 K. Viswanath Nandi Award for Best Screenplay Writer Won[6]
1981 G. G. Krishna rao Nandi Award for Best Editor Won
1981 Kasthuri Nandi Award for Best Cinematographer Won
1981 S. Janaki Nandi Award for Best Female Playback Singer Won
1981 Bucchireddy Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu Won


  1. ^ "సప్తపది: వర్ణాంతర వివాహానికి వినూత్న విచారం" (PDF). Zamin Ryot. 10 July 1981. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  2. ^ "1701vip黄金城集团|首页-welcome".
  3. ^ Articles : Movie Retrospect : Retrospect : Saptapadi (1981)
  4. ^ The films of K. Viswanath — AISFM Blog
  5. ^ "Articles : Movie Retrospect : Retrospect : Saptapadi (1981)". Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  6. ^ "నంది అవార్డు విజేతల పరంపర (1964–2008)" [A series of Nandi Award Winners (1964–2008)] (PDF). Information & Public Relations of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 21 August 2020.(in Telugu)

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