25 comments on “Lalitha in Or Iravu (1951)

  1. I have been enjoying reading your site and listening to all the oldies. Lalitha (the actress, not me!) acted in the movie Devdas as the courtesan, so if you ever find that DVD, I am sure you will find her dances there. I saw the movie once somewhere, but it was a very bad print, so I did not finish viewing it. Thanks for the great job you are doing. It is very rare to find someone, not of Indian origin, who enjoys listening and watching the Tamil movies of yesteryears.

  2. Lalitha, thank you for all the kind words!

    So (the other) Lalitha was in Devdas, too? That’s yet another reason I should see that sometime.

  3. am a great fan of travancore sisters.i often writes about them.Ragi Akkan is my favt.Lala Akkan and Pappi Akkan too my favort.Ihv collections of their rare photos and films.

  4. Manujkrishnan, thanks for writing in; I’m always happy to hear from other big fans of the Travancore Sisters! I’d love to see some of your writing about them sometime, if it is in English. I’d also love to hear more about the rare photos and films (and to see some of these, of course, if that is possible).

  5. Dear Richard,
    a happy news 4 u.am organising a Photo Exibition of Travacore- Sisters @ my home town in December,2010(with regard to d 39th Death Anvisery of Ragini).u r welcome for d same.i wud like 2 spare some time with u..also pls do call to my no.09495712895,if u finds some time 4 that.
    I have a good collection of Rakki’s films (both her dance and acted).

  6. Manujkrishnan, many thanks for the invitation! I know you’ve written in before, a while back, but I’m not sure if you know that I actually live in Queens, NY, US? (Thus I never have had a chance to be anywhere near the Travancore Sisters’ home – but I have seen the Hindu temple in Queens where Padmini first opened up her dance school. :) You might also know, though, that I have been dreaming of taking a trip to Kerala for various reasons, and if I have any means to do so whatsoever, December of next year seems like a very good time to do so. In fact, I seriously explored a plan that a NY/NJ-residing Indian friend of mine devised to get me to Kerala last winter, and we decided it was impossible because I was mostly (now pretty much fully) unemployed and very low on funds, to say the lest… But we/I said, maybe next year. And I will do everything I can to make that possible…

    It is interesting that December is the 39th Death Anniversary of Ragini I didn’t know that… I was just thinking about Ragini’s death the other day, after I found and posted that Travancore Sisters Family Tree, because it had hit me that she died tragically young. (I had read that she died “midlife,” but that could be 50s too – I didn’t know she was only 39!) Thus she’s in a very sad club that includes Madhubala, Geeta Bali, Meena Kumari… I had been trying to research Ragini’s life a little, and I was starting to pick up tidbits – such as her marriage to a member of a famous aristocratic(?) family… But it is very hard to get information about Ragini.

    Since you know quite a bit about her, I would welcome any info that you’d like to send in. I was planning on doing a post fairly soon about Ragini’s life (or what I could find out about it).

    In fact, I was researching Ragini when I discovered that March 21 was Shobana’s birthday. (I didn’t really know that, just happened upon the info, exactly on March 21!)

    I might send you a personal e-mail about this…

    And thanks for the phone number. You are the second person who sent me a phone number to call about info re. our favorite dancers. (The other was a relative of Sai in Sai Subbulaxmi.) I must admit, I am not a good phone person and not used to calling India and not sure if I can do it on my only present phone, a cheap cell phone. But aforesaid friend has been calling India regularly through Skype and he says I should set that up, so maybe if/when I do that, I will follow through. And I will call if I find myself moving any closer to making the Kerala trip a reality…

  7. By the way, Manujkrishnan, if you are reading this… Could you confirm if this is Ragini’s 39th death anniversary or 34th? Other sources seem to indicate it is her 34th death anniversary and she died at the age of 39. That is sad. It would be sadder if it is her 39th death anniversary and she died at the age of 34!

  8. dear Richard,u r right….Rakki died @39 and its her 34th Anversery.May I know,r u a Malayali?u know am so young but have a craze 4 thsese sisters from by school days.I think i can help u out with information(s) about Rakki.Indeed ,i hv done some research on her life too.But its always better to move towards Mylappore in Madras to gather much more information about her(as these sisters lived opposite to MLV’s house thereby).U know Raki’s daughter lives in Texas.Rakki was very brilliant ,lovable,caring and Managing person.u know she had done many male roles in dance performances(legendry dance in Ezhai Pedumpaadu).And what else she had a love marriage to an aristocrat in Travanvore.
    Its true that she met with a tragic end.She was infected by Breast Cancer.U know she did her Last movie with I.VI.Shashi(Aalinganam-1976)
    What else Richu?
    C i wuld like to know more on u…ur family ur job…etc(if u r ready to share)

    ok then bye .

  9. Nobody is still born to replace Lalita….great dedication to the Tamil film world by the 3 sisters indeed.

  10. I saw the movie “Digambara Swamikar” with MN.Nambiar in title role.Both Laltha and Padmini has done a dance….maapilai paar….

  11. Hi, Manu. I’d be happy to hear more about this film or a lead to anywhere I could find a clip from it… I can’t seem to find the film or dance in any searches (not after a brief try anyway)…

  12. Manu, today I just stumbled on an article about that very movie, quite by accident… It was during a search, and I wasn’t looking for Padmini or Lalitha; I was actually looking for something by Kumari Kamala/Kamala Lakshman, who is also in this film… It didn’t turn up in conscious searches before, because the spelling was different. Anyway, the article is in The Hindu:


  13. dear Richard,
    s..u r right..Kamala has also performed in this movie.also i hv vcd of Jnanasoundary ith me.There is a court dance of both Laltha and Padmii in this film.it is termed as aramanai nadanam…..
    thing is that there is no song in this dance….just music and Lalli and Pappi dance on it…..

  14. Richard,
    VCD of Ponkathir,Aatam Bomb,Vivaahitha ,Nair Pidicha Pulivaal,Putiya Aakasham Bhoomi ect have been released.Try to get Aadhi Raat Ke Baad,Kalpana,Chakravarthi Thirumagan

  15. Manu, thanks for continuing to supply so many film titles!

    I have seen Adhi Raat Ke Baad and did a couple of posts connected to it… I haven’t had a chance to watch all of Kalpana (I assume you mean 1960 film here :) , but I have seen all the many songs many times and have had long discussions with some people about some of them.

    Anyway, you will probably be reading this comment on Padmini’s birthday – hope you are watching some good movies or dances to celebrate! :)

  16. Richard,
    C i had fell in love with u .Really u r miles and miles far from me.But both of us have craze 4 Travancore Sisters.C, try to watch PONNI.All the Sisters like Lalitha,Padmini,Ragini,Sukumaari and Ambika is there in that movie.Ragini had palyed d role of Naaradha in a dance sequence along with all others except that of Sukumary.Sukumary did the childhood of Lalitha(again a dance step).
    Bye the way try to get a fex Simhala Movies of Travancore Sisters.I think u had heard that both Sukumary and Ragini did appear in dance sequences of Director SS.Rajan’s Simhala movies.And there r still great fans of these sisters in Cylone.

  17. Some other movies by Travancore Sisters(either acted or danced):

    1.Aada Vantha Deivam

    2.Aai Phirse Bahar

    3.Amar Deep – 1958


    4.Deva Manohari

    5.Ellam Inbamayam – 1955

    6.Ezhai Padum Paadu

    7.Irumanam Kalanthal Thirumanam…

    8.Kalpana – 1960

    9.Kalyanam Panniyum Bhrammachaary…

    10.Kalyanikku Kalyanam


    12.Kaveri – 1955

    13.Kodeeswaran – 1955

    14.Manamagan Thevai

    15.Mangaiyar Thilagam

    16.Mangalya Bhagyam

    17.Manthiri Kumari

    18.Mr. X (1957)

    19.Mujrim – 1958

    20.Nalla Theerpu


    22.Neelavukku Neranje Manasu…


    24.Parthiban Kanavu – 1960

    25.Payal (1957)

    26.Qaidi (1957)

    27.Sitamgar (1958)

    28.Thookku Thooki

    29.Uthama puthiran – 1958


    31.Veerapandiya Kattabomman

    32.Velu thambi Dalava



    35.Rajthilak(hindi version of Vanchi Kotai Vaalibhan)

    36.Raja Rajan


    38.Bilwamangal(Tamil version of Chilamboli)

    39.Shabarimala Sree Dharmashastha(Raagini as Mahishi and Padmini as a guest in a dance sequence)


    Richard,Iam not sure with all the above titles.Also whether u know about a site for Raagini in web?If not there is such a site (hope its 4 Travancore Siters).But not so active.For any other details pls feel free to share .

  18. Manu, thanks for the amazing list, and for the nice words about my Travancore Sisters fandom. For a couple of years, it was difficult for me to get much information about which movies they’d been in, etc. You are filling in a lot of gaps for me.

    I’ve seen some of the movies on that list (and have talked about some of them here over the years). Of course, for me to see a movie and fully understand it, I’m going to need subtitles, which generally means I’ll have to find it on DVD. This is much easier re. the Hindi films than the Tamil or Malayalam ones. (Though I’ve seen some of the Tamil films online without subtitles and enjoyed them anyway.) And I have gotten much more practiced at searching out dances from many of them (actually, your list might be a big help with that too).

    Oh, but it would be great if I could ALL of the movies on your list!

    I could say more, but there is so much… I think I’ll have to leave off for now and get back to this another time…

  19. Dear Manu and Richard,

    I happen to stumble upon this blogs when I was searching data on the Travancore sisters. Like you guys, I’m also a great fan of these great artists. I have also had the good fortune to meet all 3 of them in person at our home when I was a little boy. They had come to Malaysia to perform. I still remember very clearly. I am also in the process of collecting as many DVDs and VCDs of films by them. Would like to keep in touch with you guys.



  20. Viju,Hope u r a good friend for me.Am in India and a great fan of Travancore Sisters as u refered.I have nearly 50 VCD.DVDs of Lalli-Pappi and Rakki.And c iam organising a Photoexibition of these sisters on 16/12/2010 at Vailopilli Hall ,Trichur,Kerala with regard to the 34th Death Anivesary of Ragini.
    And if u could send me any picks of them u have ,wud help me a lot.U can get back to me for any of their details.I vl help u as far as i can.and if u want pls contact me at my yahoo id…i may even give u my mobile number.

  21. Hi Manu, Was not in station for the past few days and hence was not able to reply to this post. Could you pls give me me your email id? Mine is viju_gopa@yahoo.com. Hoping to hear from you soon.

  22. Something special About Lalitha:
    Bimsingh’s Senthaamarayi(Tamil) was Lalitha’s very last movie.She acted in this movie without remuneration.She went for her her own marriage with Adv.Shivashankaran with d make -up of this movie.Padmini ,Ragini and Sukumari has also acted in this movie.I think Shivaji was d hero.VCDs are available…I Think!
    SOURCES:Adv.Shivashankaran(Lalith’s Husband)
    Mrs.Parvathi(Lalith’s younger daughter)

  23. Dear Friends,

    Sincere thanx for all your supports and prayers that you have extended for Rare Moments (16th Dec,2011)-a rare photo exhibition of Travancore Sisters .

    Happy to inform you that this year I plan to conduct it on a larger mode .I invite all your valuable suggestions on the same.This year it will be more focusing on Lalitha& Ragini(infact the programme will be titled as Decemberil Kozhinja Nishagandhi)

    Like that of last year,this time too the raised fund will be extended to Pain &Paliative Care Unit in Trichur serving Cancer Patients).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s