You can view this website in English (ITRANS), Sanskrit, Telugu, or mixed scripts.

Home What's new? Downloading DISCLAIMER
Support Surasa! Help us meet our web-hosting expenses.
Click here to learn why needs your support.
Website hits since Aug 6, 2005:
Found broken links? Tell us

Most of this website's content can be downloaded. Just right-click on "rm" or "mp3" link and select "save target as" on the menu.


AlochanaamR^itaM Man's Quest and Hinduism Brahmajnana, Yoga and Dharma are the three essentialities of Hinduism; wherever it travels, these three must spread. Shankara's philosophy may compel the homage of the intellectual, Sankhya attract the admiration of the analytical mind, Buddha capture the rationalist in search of a less material synthesis than the modern scientist's continual Annam Brahma [Matter is Supreme], but these are only grandiose intellectualities. The world at large does not live by the pure intellect...

A goal of life, a practice of perfection and a rational, yet binding law of conduct, - these are man's continual quest, and in none of these demands is modern Science able to satisfy humanity. In reply to all such wants Science can only cry, Society and again Society and always Society. But the nature of man knows that Society is not the whole of life. Yajnavalkya's universal dictum stands: a man loves and serves Society for the sake of the Self and not for the sake of Society.

What Science could not provide, India offers
: Brahman for the eternal goal, Yoga for the means of perfection, dharma (swabhava-niyatam karma) for the rational yet binding law of conduct. Therefore, because it has something by which humanity can be satisfied and on which it can found itself, the victory of the Indian mind is assured.

- Sri Aurobindo (Excerpts from The Psychology of Yoga, from his notebook of 1911).

sa.ngItaM karNATaka hindusthaani lalita (telugu)
telugu purANAlu pravachanAlu sAhityaM toli velugulu
Miscellaneous Articles telugu Recipes sa.nskR^itaM digvijayii bhaarata (blog) padya kaumudi (blog)

toli telugu velugulu - The Earliest Recorded Telugu Song and Drama (audio)

Sri Desiraju Hanumantha Rao garu is generously contributing his priceless collection of some of the very first gramophone recordings of telugu songs and dramas ever made. The rest of this page contains material and comments provided by him. Please check this page regularly, as a lot more will be added.
- Sai Susarla.

Sri D.H.Rao's comments:
These are the earliest possible gramophone recordings. Please bear with the pin noise, grating, hiss etc., since these records are unavailable, that easily. And we request the listeners proficient in digitally cleaning them, to make efforts in uplifting their audio from pin grate, hiss etc., and spare us a copy to re-post it here, as our facilities to make a clean copy are too meagre.


Krishna liilalu - The famous play of Vemuri Gaggayya. 1920-30
Ballari Raghava (1880-1946) - bhakta prahlAda - Drama
Tanguturi Surya Kumari
Songs by very Senior Stage Artists
Banda Kanakalingesvara Rao
Earliest cinema playback song of Bezawada Rajaratnam
paaNDava udyoga vijayaalu - Stage Play by Tirupati Venkata Kavulu (1870s - 1920s)
pratAparudrIyam: Stage Play by Vedam Venkataraaya Sastri [1853-1929]

Back to Sai's lalita gItAlu page

Krishna liilalu - The famous play of Vemuri Gaggayya. 1920-30

Year: 1920-30
Notes: You will listen to the voice/songs of Senior Sriranjani in this play which is otherwise unavailable. Gaggayya's voice itself is so. The casting is announced by AIR.
Select rm Select mp3 Title
kR^iShNa liilalu - 1 of 8
kR^iShNa liilalu - 2 of 8
kR^iShNa liilalu - 3 of 8
kR^iShNa liilalu - 4 of 8
kR^iShNa liilalu - 5 of 8
kR^iShNa liilalu - 6 of 8
kR^iShNa liilalu - 7 of 8
kR^iShNa liilalu - 8 of 8

Ballari Raghava (1880-1946) - bhakta prahlAda - Drama

Select rm Select mp3 Title
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 1 of 10
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 2 of 10
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 3 of 10
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 4 of 10
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 5 of 10
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 6 of 10
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 7 of 10
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 8 of 10
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 9 of 10
bhakta prahlAda nATakam: Part 10 of 10

Tanguturi Surya Kumari

Notes: 'V. Nagaiah amongst men, and T. Surya Kumari amongst women, can be termed the first singing stars of the silver screen to enjoy a special stature, pull and a voice that suited the new medium'... VAK Ranga Rao
Select rm Select mp3 Title Author
krishna rArAdA ATalADi pOrAdA ?
gopaaluDe muddu gopaaluDe ?
raa raa biraana raaraa naa maaraa ?
muralii muralii mohana muralii ?
govardhana giri dhaarii raavo ?
jEjElayyA johaaru krishna ?

Songs by very Senior Stage Artists

Select rm Select mp3 Title Artist
manojavam maaruta tulya vegam S.P. Lakshmana Swamy
murali gaana lola Parupalli Satyanarayana
madhusudanaa he maadhavaa Rentachintala Satyanarayana
gopaala baala krishnaa Rentachintala Satyanarayana
edii gati naakuu rangaa Kapilavai Ramanatha Sastry

Banda Kanakalingesvara Rao

Notes: The most famous actor for his Sri Krishna roles, earlier to iilapaaTa Raghuramaiah. When Banda finished his scene in drama, audience used to call him back onto stage to sing this gutti vankai kuuroi baavaa... as they used to demand iilapaaTa from Raghuramaih.
Select rm Select mp3 Title
gutti vankai kuuroi baavaa
daasigaa nunDuTakaina taganaa

Earliest cinema playback song of Bezawada Rajaratnam

Notes: The first playback song was sung by Ogirala for YV Rao in maLLii peLLi film, and the next known song was rendered by Bezawada Rajaratnam, being a singing star and disc-dancer of the day, for dancer Samrajyam in Bhakta Pothana, namely the jaavali - idi manchi samyamu raaraa : VAK Ranga Rao.
Select rm Select mp3 Title film Artist
idi manchi samayamu raaraa Bhakta Pothana: 1942 Bezawada Rajaratnam

paaNDava udyoga vijayaalu - Stage Play by Tirupati Venkata Kavulu (1870s - 1920s)

Year: 1910-1920
Notes: This is the most famous stage play before the advent of electronic media, and there is no village in Andhra without seeing it. Many village actors used to learn the song/verses and used to sing for themselves, even before the coming of AIR. This play is performed throughout a complete night, and last scenes used to come at about 4 am in morning. AIR Hyderabad used to broadcast a program namely rangasthalam, wherein this abridged, rather available records or tapes, are consolidated and presented to listeners.

In this the first part maya sabha is not written by Tirupati Venkata Kavulu, but by one pandit from Peda Avutapalli, namely Sri Venkata Ratnam. Even then it is coupled with the main play for the usage of words and samaasaa-s in Duryodhana's dialog. Even today maya sabha is used as a piece for monoacting competitions of performances.

The next one is maayaa juudam of Shakuni-Dharmaraja. These records are the earliest known recordings of this play, perhaps during first or second decades of 1900. We have included a sampler file of the records available, by which listeners can estimate its age. Next follows eelapaaTa Raghuraamaiah's era. In this Ghantasala is also there trying his level best to maintain his shruti with Raghuramaih. This is from a film Kurukshetra. Next we will post other parts of stage artists, as some time is needed to cleanse the records at this end.

sandhi vachanamulu - are of Pandava-s to Hastina thru Krishna. Though these records do not fall under oldies, they are to be incorported here as per story. Further, the style of singing of Abburi Kamala, inherited from Abburi Vara Prasada Rao, the most famous actor for Krishna's role, is extingquished with these records. Breaking the tradition of following Marathi baaNi-s, Abburi estbalished his own style that reigned supreme up to 40s, but later went into oblivion, as none could sing that sophisticatedly.

Ever heard of 'celliyo cellako...' 'jenDaapai kapi raaju...' sung by almost all goDla kaaDa buddoDlu... while washing their buffalows? These are those songs in their true tone. With these the inimitable style of Raghuramaih and maraTha baaNi-s have ceased to exist.

BTW, the text of most of the rAyabAram padyAlu sung in these recordings are available on this webpage.

Select rm Select mp3 Title Artist
sample of mAyA jUdam original LP recording P. Suribabu and other artists unknown to us
maya sabha Achanta Venkata Ratnam Naidu
mAyA jUdam P. Suribabu and other artists unknown to us
adigO dvAraka kriShNa: iilapATa Raghuramayya; arjuna: kAntA Rao, ghaNTasAla; duryodhana: mAdhavapeddi, rAjanAla
pAnDavula sandhi vachanAlu Abburi Kamala
rAyabAram iilapATa raghurAmayya

pratAparudrIyam: Stage Play by Vedam Venkataraaya Sastri [1853-1929]

Year: ?
Notes: Previously performed by Mukkamala Krishna Murthy, Jupudi Yajna Narayana, ex MLC Guntur et al.
Later Performed during 1970s by Natya Sangham Hyd, under the direction of Padma Bhushan [late] A R Krishna.

Later by Desiraju Hanumanta Rao.
Hundreds of stage performances are given in modern theatre concept using constructivist portable stage design.
This play is a sort of its own for the earliest known Telugu play for mixed Musalman-Hindu spoken languages.

AIR broadcast it with many theatre personalities included as a venture when period plays/costume plays are on downturn in AP. Late Manapragada narasimha Murthy - the famous folk singer rendered the playback song 'elli naato gadde ekki unTadii...' for caakali peri gaaDu in this radio play.

This play, though nobody knows that such a play exists in Telugu, has seen its own golden days and was an outranking play of yore - esp. for the roles of Yugandhar and caakali peri gaaDu + king Prataapa Rudrudu.

If anyone is interested in staging this, they may pl contact dhrao for stage design etc.

Select rm Select mp3 Title
pratAparudriiyam nATakam: Part 1 of 4
pratAparudriiyam nATakam: Part 2 of 4
pratAparudriiyam nATakam: Part 3 of 4
pratAparudriiyam nATakam: Part 4 of 4

- Desiraju Hanumantha Rao

- Sarada and Sai Susarla (