Firoz Rozindar

Chitradurga: Bhavani Manju, a businessman and resident of Chitradurga city, clearly remembers the days when the film Nagarahavu was released in two cinemas here in 1972.

Mr. Manju who was then 15, claims to have seen the film not less than a dozen times. “The movie ran for nearly two years in Chitradurga. There are innumerable people who have seen the film nearly 30 times,” he said.

The reasons for such a craze was the fact that the movie was shot extensively in Chitradurga, and starred Vishnuvardhan.

The people of Chitradurga have shared a special bond with Mr. Vishnuvardhan, who died of a massive heart attack in Mysore on Wednesday, ever since he spent nearly four months in the district shooting for Nagarahavu.

The film directed by Puttanna Kanagal, was based on the novel written by Ta.Ra.Su., who was also from the district.

Mr. Vishnuvardhan shot to fame in the Kannada film industry with his power-packed performance as an angry young man in the film.

“The character of Ramachari gave him the credit of being a distinct actor. The people went crazy seeing him on screen,” said B.L. Venu, a noted writer who wrote dialogues for nine of Mr. Vishnuvardhan’s films. “The song, Kannada nadina veera ramaniya, which was shot in the Chitradurga fort, gave a new life to the legend called Onake Obavva who was believed to have died fighting the soldiers of Hyder Ali,” he said. Mr. Venu said the people of Chitradurga would never forget this shining star of the Kannada film industry.

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