Bapu when conferred with the "Viswa Vikhyata Darsaka Maharshi" award in 2014
Sattiraju Lakshminarayana

(1933-12-15)15 December 1933
Died31 August 2014(2014-08-31) (aged 80)
Alma materUniversity of Madras
AwardsPadma Shri (2013)

Sattiraju Lakshminarayana (15 December 1933 – 31 August 2014), known professionally as Bapu, was an Indian film director, painter, illustrator, cartoonist, screenwriter, music artist, and designer known for his works in Telugu cinema, and Hindi cinema.[1] In 2013, he was awarded the Padma Shri, for his contribution to Indian art and cinema.[2] He has garnered two National Honors, two National Film Awards, seven state Nandi Awards, two Filmfare Awards South, a Raghupathi Venkaiah Award, and a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South.

Bapu's directorial venture Sakshi (1967) was showcased at Tashkent International film festival in 1968.[3] Seeta Kalyanam (1976) was screened at the BFI London Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, San Reno and Denver International Film Festivals in 1978, and is part of the course at the British Film Institute.[4] Tyagayya (1981) and Pelli Pustakam (1991) were premiered at the Indian Panorama of the International Film Festival of India.[5] Bapu's 2011 film, Sri Rama Rajyam, had a special screening at International Film Festival of India on 28 November 2011.[6]

In 1996, he appeared in the Doordarshan Documentary Eminent Cartoonists of India, and was awarded Lifetime Achievement from Indian Institute of Cartoonists in 2001. He gained international recognition through his art works viz., Bapu Bomma, The Navarasas, and the Indian Dances etc., which were held at the National Film Theatre, London, in 1978 and at the innumerable Telugu Conferences in the United States.[7] He has worked as a graphic artist for J Walter Thomson, Efficient Publicities and F. D. Stewarts, Chennai.[8]

In 1964, he was a delegate at the UNESCO sponsored seminar in Bangalore on Children's Books. The same year, he gave demonstrations for the training course programme on book illustrations and cover designs sponsored by UNESCO in Chennai. In the 1960s he has served as art Consultant for Ford Foundation sponsored The Southern Language Book Trust. He has designed and illustrated several books for leading publishers in South India out of which, five received Government Awards. He has also done the same for innumerable works drawn from Puranas and folklore.[8]

Early life and background

Bapu was born on 15 December 1933,[9] in Narsapuram, in present-day West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, India to Sattiraju Venugopala Rao and Suryakantam. He has worked as a political cartoonist for the newspaper Andhra Patrika in 1945. He holds B.Com (1953) and BL (1955) from University of Madras.[8]


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Bapu's paintings focus on Hindu mythological characters, and he has painted the Hindu epic Ramayana as a pictorial story. His character portrayals, such as Shiva, Bhima, Duryodhana, look distinctly male with wide chests, large jaws and large biceps; while Krishna and Rama are more feminine in build.

His paintings have decorated the cover pages of many magazines in India and Abroad. Telugu Naadi Magazine published from US for Telugu audience have published Bapu's great paintings. Bapu also later served on their advisory board to guide and have an outstanding content for the magazine that catered to Telugu people.

Association with Ramana

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Bapu & Ramana gari statue on the banks of River Godavari during Pushkaram.

Bapu's family was staying in Madras and in 1942, when the Japanese bombed Madras, there was a panic exodus and Bapu's family moved to Narasapuram and stayed there till 1945, when the Second World War ended. Bapu studied in Taylor High School, Narasapuram during these years.

Mullapudi Venkataramana's father, who was working as a Sub-Registrar was posted at Narasapuram during the years 1942-45 and so, Venkataramana also studied in Taylor high School, Narasapram, during those years. They were classmates during those three years and that is how their association started. They continued schooling at Kesari High School, Madras. Ramana's first short story 'Amma Maata Vinakapote' was published in 1945 in 'Bala', a children's magazine published by Radio Annayya (Nyayapathi Raghava Rao), he was 14 then. Bapu illustrated the story. That was the beginning of their career as a writer-producer -illustrator- filmmaker duo".

Started as an illustrator-story writer team and then turning into a film-director-writer duo, they have contributed immensely to the enrichment of Telugu cultural ethos through literature and cinema. When one mentions Bapu, then one is bound to mention Ramana's name too and vice versa. The most notable achievement in his movie making is his success in capturing the nativity of Telugu people and translating it great on-screen visuals.

Ventures like Sampoorna Ramayanam, Ramanjaneya Yuddham and Seeta Kalyanam have been the milestones of Telugu cinema, while historical films like Thyagayya, Bhakta Kannappa and Shreenatha kavisarvabhouma have been hugely successful. Bapu-Ramana combination has created movie magic on the large screen with some of the path breaking films in Telugu cinema and are ever remembered for films like Radha kalyanam, Velugu needalu, Bharyabhartalu, Bhogimanta, Mutyala Muggu, 'Sakshi, Mr. Pellam', Pelli Pustakam. The duo directed Mana Voori Pandavulu (1978) which won the Filmfare Award for Best Film - Telugu.

Hindi cinema

Bapu is known for his classic movies in Indian cinema, Bapu has directed Hindi films such as Hum Paanch, Bezubaan, Woh Saat Din, Mohabbat, Pyari Behna, Mera Dharam, Diljalaa, Prem Pratigyaa and Paramaatma.


Bapu had suffered heart attacks many times throughout his career. He was admitted into a hospital at Chennai in mid August 2014. He suffered from a cardiac arrest on 31 August 2014, and died later on the same day.[10]

He was given a state funeral by the Government of Tamil Nadu.[11]

Awards and honours

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Padma Shree Award to Shri S. Lakshminarayana (Bapu), at an Investiture Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 05, 2013
Civilian honours
National honours
National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Nandi Awards
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (director)
Other Honours


  1. Sakshi (1967)
  2. Bangaaru Pichika (1968)
  3. Buddhimantudu (1969)
  4. Inti Gowravam (1970)
  5. Balaraju Katha (1970)
  6. Sampoorna Ramayanamu (1972)
  7. Andala Ramudu (1973)
  8. Sri Ramanjaneya Yuddham (1975)
  9. Mutyala Muggu (1975)
  10. Sita Kalyanam (1976)
  11. Sri Rajeswari Vilas Coffee Club (1976)
  12. Bhakta Kannappa (1976)
  13. Sneham (1977)
  14. Mana Voori Pandavulu (1978)
  15. Gorantha Deepam (1978)
  16. Toorpu Velle Railu (1979)
  17. Vamsa Vruksham (1980)
  18. Rajadhi Raju (1980)
  19. Pandanti Jeevitam (1980)
  20. Kaliyuga Ravanaasurudu (1980)
  21. Hum Paanch* (1980)
  22. Tyagayya (1981)
  23. Radha Kalyanam (1981)
  24. Bezubaan* (1982)
  25. Krishnaavataram (1982)
  26. Pelleedu Pillalu (1982)
  27. Neethi Devan Mayakkam (1982)
  28. Edi Dharmam Edi Nyayam? (1982)
  29. Mantri Gari Viyyankudu (1983)
  30. Woh Saat Din* (1983)
  31. Seethamma Pelli (1984)
  32. Mohabbat* (1985)
  33. Pyari Behna* (1985)
  34. Bullet (1985)
  35. Jackie (1985)
  36. Kalyana Tamboolam (1986)
  37. Mera Dharam* (1986)
  38. Diljalaa* (1987)
  39. Prem Pratigyaa* (1989)
  40. Pelli Pustakam (1991)
  41. Mr. Pellam (1993)
  42. Srinatha Kavi Sarvabhowmudu (1993)
  43. Pelli Koduku (1994)
  44. Paramaatma* (1994)
  45. Rambantu (1995)
  46. Xtra (2004) (as music director)
  47. Radha Gopalam (2005)
  48. Sundarakanda (2008)
  49. Sri Rama Rajyam (2011)

Those marked as * are Hindi films


  1. Ramayanam, co-written with Ramana. This book was published in Telugu, English and French languages.[12]
  2. Maha Bharatam, co-written with Ramana[12]
  3. Bapu Ramaneeyam, co-written with Ramana[12]
  4. Koti Kommachi, along co-written Ramana[12]
  5. (Im)Koti Kommachi, co-written with Ramana[12]
  6. Kosaru Kommachi, Bapu Ramaneeyam along with Ramana[12]
  7. Bapu Cartoonulu -1[12]
  8. Bapu Cartoonulu -2[12]
  9. Bommalu Geeyandi[12]
  10. Budugu, co-written with Ramana[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Balakrishna to act in Bapu's mythological film – Oneindia Entertainment". 29 September 2010. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  3. ^ Mullapudi leaves behind enduring legacy, The Hindu, 5 March 2011; retrieved 25 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Preview: Epic comes full circle". The Hindu. 12 November 2011. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Directorate of Film Festival" (PDF). 26 May 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Sri Rama Rajyam at IFFI". Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), Deccan Chronicle (27 November 2011).
  7. ^ Bapu art works, Nutan Prasad, secretary – Ravindra Bharathi cultural center, Hyderabad
  8. ^ a b c Shivpprasadh, S. (21 February 2013). "Portrait of an artist". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013 – via
  9. ^ a b "About Bapu". Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-25.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link).
  10. ^ "Celebrities mourn death of Telugu filmmaker Bapu". India Today. 1 September 2014.
  11. ^ Rahul, N. (1 September 2014). "State funeral for Bapu on Tuesday". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 October 2023 – via
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Bapu | (Navodaya Book House)". Retrieved 4 June 2017.