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Happy Birthday: Raja Harischandra, Indian Films

A passion to 'make images moving' gave birth to the Indian film industry, the world's largest film industry with over 1,000 films made in various languages. A photographer, who saw an English film on the life of Jesus Christ in Mumbai, was motivated to make movies on Indian epic heroes. But mere aspiration was not enough for him to create a motion picture as the road to make a film had difficulties at every step. Yet, he created what he wanted to and laid the foundation stone to billion-dollar Indian industry. It is none other than Dadasaheb Phalke aka Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, who made the first silent film on this very day (May 3), 100 years ago.

Dadasaheb Phalke produced and directed Raja Harishchandra. The film revolves around the story of mythological King Harishchandra, a King who never uttered a lie in his entire life. He was the ruler of Ayodhya. He ruled his Kingdom wisely. It throws light on the nobles and righteousness of the ruler and his vow to tell nothing but truth. His struggles and sacrifices on his path form the crux of the story. The story was penned by the director with the support of Ranchhodbai Udayram. Phalke had chosen Marathi stage actors to play the lead roles. It has to be noted that male actors had enacted the roles of female, as casting woman in those times was unimaginable. Continue reading the story in the slideshow...

A Still From Raja Harishchandra

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