Kadhal Kottai
Kadhal Kottai.jpg
Directed byAgathiyan
Written byAgathiyan
Produced bySivashakthi Pandian
StarringAjith Kumar
CinematographyThangar Bachan
Edited byLancy–Mohan
Music byDeva
Release date
  • 12 July 1996 (1996-07-12)
Running time
167 minutes

Kadhal Kottai (transl. The Castle of Love) is a 1996 Indian Tamil-language romance film directed by Agathiyan. It stars Ajith Kumar and Devayani, with Heera, Thalaivasal Vijay, and Karan in supporting roles.

The film was a major commercial success at the box office and also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil, the National Film Award for Best Direction as well as the National Film Award for Best Screenplay for Agathiyan. It garnered positive critical acclaim upon release on 12 July 1996 and ran for over 270 days, becoming a silver-jubilee film.[1] The film was remade in Kannada as Yaare Neenu Cheluve, in Hindi as Sirf Tum, and in Bengali as Hothat Brishti.


Kamali, a graduate, lives with her sister Malliga and brother-in-law Shekar in Kotagiri, and is searching for a job. While visiting Madras, her purse is stolen and she fears she has lost her academic credentials. Suriya, an orphaned, carefree man who works in Jaipur, finds the purse and sends it back to her, and a love develops through letters. They agree to love each other without meeting, as she sews and sends a gift pack containing a lotus embroidered woollen sweater for him to wear when they meet for real. Suriya is soon transferred to Madras and stays with Siva, his new colleague. Kamali too comes to Madras to find a job and stays with her friend Jensi. Neya, Suriya's new boss, is immediately smitten by him, but her repeated attempts in gaining his love and affections fails as he is staunch about his love for Kamali. In the meantime, Suriya and Kamali run over upon each other without knowing who they really were, resulting in negative perception and misunderstanding. Refusing a job offer which would move her to Singapore, making it difficult for her to find Suriya, Kamali moves back to her home in despair.

Unable to withstand the advances of Neya, Suriya quits his job and gets sheltered by his friend Paneer, an auto rickshaw driver, who arranges him an auto rickshaw to drive for a living. Jeeva, a wealthy businessman, expresses his interest in marrying Kamali to Shekar, but Kamali excuses herself to consider her as prospective bride when she meets Jeeva in private and shares her unflinching love for Suriya, who even allows her to meet him for one last time. Shekar, who initially dissuades Kamali's love finally gives in and allows her to go to Madras half-heartedly. Upon arriving in Madras, which is experiencing severe monsoon, Kamali finds out that Jensi and the other hostel mates are not in town. Pinning hopes, she boards the Suriya's auto rickshaw, without knowing that it is him, and searches for him desperately. At the end of the day, both of them get refreshed at his place, where he dons the sweater gifted by her, covering it with his uniform. As Kamali plans to head home, depressed, Suriya helps her to board the Nilgiri Express. As the train departs, Suriya removes his shirt after tea spills over it. Kamali notices the sweater, deboards the train and the pair finally unite, as Paneer and Jensi look on and rejoice.



The basic theme of the film was inspired from Purananuru literature on the relationship between King Kopperum Chozhan and poet Pisirandhaiyar, though they never met but they developed a strong relationship until their deaths.[2] Agathiyan initially wanted to make his directorial debut with this subject since no producer were willing to produce the film, he made few films and earned his breakthrough with Vaanmathi. Post its success, he chose Ajith, the actor from that film to play the leading role with Sivasakthi Pandian agreeing to produce the film.[3]

Agathiyan had asked Devayani to change her glamorous on screen image for the film, and Devayani duly agreed with the film becoming the start of several other similar roles for her.[3][4] The film was initially titled Nila Nila Odi Vaa before it was renamed Kadhal Kottai.[5] Raja was initially reluctant to act, but joined the cast at the director's insistence.[6]


The music was composed by Deva and lyrics written by Agathiyan and Ponniyin Selvan.[7]

1."Kaalamellam Kadhal"AgathiyanP. Unnikrishnan, K. S. Chithra5:05
2."Kavalai Padathey"AgathiyanDeva4:26
3."Mottu Mottu Malaradha"AgathiyanSwarnalatha4:54
4."Nalam Nalamariya Aval" (Version 1)AgathiyanS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Anuradha Sriram4:48
5."Nalam Nalamariya Aval" (Version 2)AgathiyanKrishnaraj, Anuradha Sriram4:49
6."Sivappu Lolakku"Ponniyin SelvanS. P. Balasubrahmanyam5:23
7."Vellarikka"AgathiyanDeva, Krishnaraj4:23
Total length:33:48

All tracks are written by Bhuvana Chandra.

1."Nee Pilupe Prema Geetham"P. Unnikrishnan, K. S. Chithra5:07
2."Digulu Padakuraa Sahodaraa"Vandemataram Srinivas4:28
3."Pattu Pattu Paruvaala Pattu"Swarnalatha4:55
4."Chinnadaana Osi Chinna Daana" (Version 1)R. Krishanraj, Bhuvana Chandra4:26
5."Priyaa Ninu Chuda Lekaa" (Version 2)S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Anuradha Sriram4:49
6."Ye Rupe Lolaku Kuli Kenu"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam5:25
Total length:29:10


The Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan appreciated the film by giving 52 marks, mentioning that the basic plot was a novel idea which had been given a good shape and life by the filmmaker.[8] K. N. Vijiyin of New Straits Times wrote, "I had expected the usual story of college boy meeting girl with both parents objecting to their relationship. So I was pleasantly surprised when [Kaadhal Kottai] turned out to be a totally different experience."[9] R. P. R. of Kalki also favourably reviewed the film, though they felt certain distracting moments such as Heera's revealing outfits, the dream sequence, auto stunt and fight sequences could have been avoided.[10]


National Film Awards – 1996[11]
Filmfare Awards South – 1996
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards – 1996
Cinema Express Awards – 1996


Year Film Language Ref.
1998 Yaare Neenu Cheluve Kannada [14]
1999 Sirf Tum Hindi [15]
1998 Hothat Brishti Bengali [16]


Kadhal Kottai is considered a cult film and a landmark in Tamil cinema diverging from traditional romantic films of the time.[17][13] This film has been included in the book Pride of Tamil Cinema written by G. Dhananjayan, which covers films between 1931 and 2013 that have earned national and international recognition. Dhananjayan wrote, "Kadhal Kottai is a trendsetting film which breathed new life into Tamil cinema and paved the way for revival of love themes in a big way".[18] According to The Times of India the film hits the top list of romantic films made in Tamil cinema.[19][20] The film also hit the list of top romantic films of Tamil magazines Ananda Vikatan and Dinamani.[21][22] The film is considered one of the blockbuster films in the career of Ajith Kumar.[23] The film was released as a novel in 2010 under the same name.[24] In the 2021 film Master, a reference is made about the film when Vijay talks to Malavika Mohanan.[25]


  1. ^ "'Kadhal Kottai' to 'Viswasam': Five blockbuster box office hits of Thala Ajith". The Times of India. 6 March 2020. Archived from the original on 15 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  2. ^ Darshan, Navein (14 July 2020). "Director Agathiyan: Kadhal Kottai was originally supposed to be a tragedy". Cinema Express. Archived from the original on 25 October 2021. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b Dhananjayan 2014, p. 357.
  4. ^ Swaminathan, Chitra (30 August 2008). "Five years... and still sitting pretty". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  5. ^ "As always". The Hindu. 27 May 2005. Archived from the original on 30 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  6. ^ S, Srivatsan (6 November 2019). "From 'Kadalora Kavithaigal' to 'Adithya Varma': Tamil cinema's quintessential 'soft-spoken hero' Raja returns after a 20-year exile". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 7 November 2019. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  7. ^ "காதல் கோட்டை (1996)". Raaga.com (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  8. ^ "காதல் கோட்டை : சினிமா விமர்சனம்". Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 28 July 1996. Archived from the original on 17 August 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  9. ^ Vijiyin, K. N. (5 August 1996). "Love story with a difference". New Straits Times. p. 5. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  10. ^ ஆர்.பி.ஆர். (4 August 1996). "காதல் கோட்டை". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 1. Archived from the original on 17 August 2022. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  11. ^ "44th National Film Festival" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 June 2022. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  12. ^ "1996 Cinema State Awards". Dinakaran. Archived from the original on 3 February 1999. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  13. ^ a b Dhananjayan 2014, p. 358.
  14. ^ Srinivasa, Srikanth (3 May 1998). "Yaare Neenu Cheluve". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  15. ^ Taliculam, Sharmila (11 June 1999). "Love in absentia". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 5 May 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  16. ^ "All you need to know about Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed who sparked controversy in India". The Free Press Journal. 29 May 2019. Archived from the original on 25 October 2021. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Ajith's Top 10 movies". Rediff.com. 10 December 2007. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  18. ^ Dhananjayan 2014, p. 356.
  19. ^ "'Kadhal Kottai' to 'Minnale': Five Tamil movies that set an example of true love". The Times of India. 11 February 2020. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Kollywood's top 15 romantic films". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 28 August 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  21. ^ "காதலிக்கிறவர்கள் இந்தப்படங்களைப் பார்த்தே ஆகவேண்டும்" [Lovers should watch this film definitely]. Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 13 February 2016. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  22. ^ எழில் (13 February 2021). "தமிழ் ரசிகர்களின் மனதை அள்ளிய காதல் படங்கள்!". Dinamani (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  23. ^ "The Rise of Ajith Kumar: From Aasai to Yennai Arindhaal". NDTV. 4 August 2015. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Ajith's Kadhal Kottai released as novel". BizHat Film News. 27 November 2010. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  25. ^ ""Kaadhal Kottai" Director Replied To "Master" Scene !!". Chennaiyin Adaiyalam. 25 March 2021. Retrieved 25 March 2021. ((cite web)): Check |archive-url= value (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)