R. Nagarathnamma
Nagarathnamma receiving the Padma Shri Award from President Pratibha Patil in 2012
Died6 October 2012
OccupationTheatre personality
Years activesince 1938
Childrentwo daughters and a son
AwardsPadma Shri
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Kannada Rajyotsava Prashasti
Tagore Ratna Award
Gubbi Veeranna Award
WebsiteOfficial web site

R. Nagarathnamma (1926–2012) was an Indian theatre personality and the founder of Stree Nataka Mandali, an all-women theatre group based in Bengaluru. A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award,[1] she was honored by the Government of India, in 2012, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.[2]


Nagarathnamma was born in 1926[3] in a family with moderate financial means, in Mysore,[4] in the South Indian state of Karnataka.[5] She started working in professional theatre at the age of 12,[6] working with such troupes as Sri Chamundeshwari Nataka Sabha, Gubbi Company run by Gubbi Veeranna, Mitra Mandali of Hirannaiah and HLN Simha.[5] Later, in 1958, Nagarathnamma established Stree Nataka Mandali,[4] reported to be the first all-women theatre troupe from Karnataka[5][6] where she performed as an actor and was the director of their plays.[3]

Nagarathnamma is known for her depiction of male characters, especially mythological ones.[7] She is credited with notable performances as Kamsa, Krishna, Ravana, Duryodhana and Bheema.[4][5][6] She has travelled in many other states in India with her troupe and Krishna Garudi is stated to be one of her major plays.[5] She has also acted in 15 Kannada and Tamil films,[6] Kamanabillu, Parasangada Gendethimma and Rosapoo Ravikkaikari being some of the notable ones.[5]

Nagarathnamma died on 6 October 2012,[4] at the age of 87,[citation needed] after a brief period of illness.[6]

Awards and recognitions

Nagarathnamma was a recipient of many awards such as Tagore Ratna Award[4] and Gubbi Veeranna Award.[6] She has been honored by the Government of Karnataka with their second highest civilian award of Rajyotsava Prashasti.[6] She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1992.[1][6] In 2012, the Government of India included her in the Republic Day honours list for the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.[2][4] She is also conferred Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Ratna in 2012 as special awards to commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.

See also


  1. ^ a b "SNA". Sangeet Natak Akademi. 2014. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b Ananda Lal (2004). The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195644463.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Indian Express". Indian Express. 8 October 2012. Archived from the original on 1 December 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "The Hindu". The Hindu. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "India Glitz". 8 October 2012. Archived from the original on 25 June 2022. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Daily Pioneer". Daily Pioneer. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2014.

Further reading