Sonar Kella

Sonar Kella (Bengali: সোনার কেল্লা), also Shonar Kella is a 1971 mystery novel[1] by Bengali writer and filmmaker Satyajit Ray.[2] In 1974, Ray directed a film adaption of the book, also named Sonar Kella, starring Soumitra Chatterjee, Santosh Dutta, Siddartha Chatterjee and Kushal Chakraborty.[2] The movie was released in the United States as The Golden Fortress.

Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress)
Sonar Kella book front cover.jpg
First edition
AuthorSatyajit Ray
Cover artistSatyajit Ray
GenreDetective fiction
PublisherAnanda Publishers
Publication date
Media typePrint
Preceded byGangtokey Gondogol 
Followed byBaksho Rahashya 
Sonar Kella
Sonar Kella poster.jpg
DVD cover art
Directed bySatyajit Ray
Produced byGovernment of West Bengal
Written bySatyajit Ray
StarringSoumitra Chatterjee,
Santosh Dutta,
Siddartha Chatterjee,
Kushal Chakraborty
Music byFeluda Theme by Satyajit Ray
Release date
27 December 1974
BudgetRs 7 lakhs
Box officeRs 13 lakhs


The film begins with a school-boy Mukul Dhar (played by Kushal Chakraborty), who is said to be able to remember events of his previous life, and soon receives media attention. Dr. Hemanga Hajra (Sailen Mukherjee), a parapsychologist, offers his help, believing it might help him in his own research. Mukul always remains sombre and paints peacocks, forts and scenes of battle at midnight; he mentions that he lived in the Golden Fortress [Sonar Kella] and that their house had many gems. Dr. Hajra decides to take Mukul on a trip to Rajasthan, famous for forts,historical importance and desert landscape. Two seasoned fraudsters, Amiyanath Burman and Mandar Bose, plan to kidnap Mukul to capture the treasure. Their first attempt at the kidnapping fails when they pick up another boy, also named Mukul (Santanu Bagchi), from the same neighborhood. Alarmed by this, Mukul's father engages Feluda (Soumitra Chatterjee), a private investigator, to protect his son. Feluda leaves for Rajasthan along with Topshe or Tapesh(Siddartha Chatterjee), following Dr Hajra. On their way, they meet Lalmohan Ganguly, a.k.a. Jatayu (Santosh Dutta), a popular thriller-writer.

Meanwhile, Burman and Bose kidnap Mukul and push off Dr. Hajra off a cliff at the Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur. Burman impersonates as Dr. Hajra and Mandar Bose as a globe-trotter. Dr. Hajra survives the fall and begins to pursue them. Feluda arrives in Jodhpur Circuit House and meets Burman, thinking him to be Dr. Hajra. Feluda begins to suspect Mandar Bose based on his clothes and his accent. Feluda even suspects "Dr. Hajra's" conduct as he appears lackadaisical in his research. Mukul keeps saying he is followed by a "bad man". Burman hypnotizes Mukul, who says that the Golden Fortress is in Jaisalmer. Dr. Hajra reaches the same conclusion by learning about the history of the Fort of Jaisalmer from a police inspector. Feluda learns that the Jaisalmer fort is made of yellow limestone, giving it a golden glow. Mandar Bose tells Feluda that Burman has already left with Mukul for Barmer. Feluda suspects foul play but cannot be sure. By chance, his eye falls upon the card of Dr Hajra; an idea flashes in his mind and he rushes to check the register of the circuit house and finds that it is signed as 'Hazra' not 'Hajra'. He is now sure about the man masquerading as Dr Hajra, and leaves for Jaisalmer by car. Mandar Bose strands Feluda, Topshe, and Jatayu on the highway. Feluda takes a camel caravan to the nearest train station, from which he takes the next train to Jaisalmer. At night, In the train, Mandar Bose tries to stab Feluda, who anticipated the attack and almost nabbed him; eventually, Mandar Bose falls out of the train. The three reach Jaisalmer along with Dr. Hajra. They rush to the fort, where they find Burman and Mukul searching for the treasure. Feluda confronts and captures Burman, telling him that there never was any treasure. They find that Mukul is cured, and return to Kolkata.


Cast in the filmEdit


  • Satyajit Ray - Director, Screenplay, Music Score (composer)
  • Soumendu Roy - Cinematography
  • Dulal Dutta - Editor
  • Mangesh Deshai - Sound Mixing Engineer (Re recording)
  • J.D Irani - Dubbing Sound Recordist
  • Anil Talukdar - Guide Track Sound recordist
  • Ashoke Bose - Production Designer
  • Debayan Roy - Production Basic


National Film Awards for Best Screenplay & Best Direction (1974)

Best Film, Direction and Screenplay, Government of West Bengal, 1974

Best Feature Film for Children and Young Adults, Tehran, 1975

National Award for Best Cinematography (1974)

National Award for Best Child Artist (1974)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Pinaki Roy (1 January 2008). The Manichean Investigators: A Postcolonial and Cultural Rereading of the Sherlock Holmes and Byomkesh Bakshi Stories. Sarup & Sons. pp. 111–. ISBN 978-81-7625-849-4. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b Andrew Robinson (17 March 1992). Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye. University of California Press. pp. 359–. ISBN 978-0-520-06946-6. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  3. ^ The Golden Fortress (1974) - IMDb, retrieved 23 September 2019

External linksEdit