Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Khili khili chaandni chhaayi bahaar hai

Posted on: October 21, 2022

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

5208 Post No. : 17193

Today’s song is from a Hindi film made in Madras with South actors, a Debutante lady Director and an M.D. pair. The film was “Chandirani”-1953, simultaneously made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.

The year was 1948. A developing and fast growing southern film studio was making an ambitious Tamil film on a very big scale. The producer Director was very ambitious and he wanted his film to be All India famous. The only way to make it happen was to make this film in Hindi too, so that the All India market can be captured. His thought was final and thus began the historical thrust of south made Hindi films into the Hindi market of all India with S.S.Vasan’s giant film venture ” Chandralekha” in Tamil and Hindi languages. The film had taken 5 years to be made.

The film’s 603 prints were sent all over India and its release was synchronised for 9th April 1948. In the south it was released in 44 cities and towns. The success of this south film in Hindi inspired other south filmmakers and it started a flow of south made Hindi films during the period 1949 to 1960. This was a period when maximum Hindi films from south were shown all over India. My rough estimate is, these must be around over 100 films – multilingual, remakes and dubbed ones, all included. After Chandralekha, in 1949 to 1954 itself the following are some of the south made Hindi films – Nishan-49, Mangala-50, Bahar-51, Ek tha Raja-51, Sansar-51, Krishna kanhaiya-52, Mr. Sampat-52, Patal Bhairavi-52, Rani-52, Shamsheer-53, Chandirani, 53, Ladki-53, Bahut din hue-54, Manohar-54 etc etc.

The point is first it was Calcutta which made Hindi films and later it was Madras which was after grabbing the All India Hindi market. In this process, almost all major artistes of south acted in Hindi films, like N.T.Rama Rao, A.Nageshwar Rao, M.G.Ramchandran, Sivaji ganeshan, Gemini ganeshan, Savitri, Rajkumari, Pandharibai, Bhanumathi, Pushpavalli, S.V.Ranga Rao, Relangi etc. etc. Calcutta stopped making Hindi films from the 60’s, whereas the south onslaught continued till about the 80’s. Nowadays, ofcourse, films are remade at Mumbai, based on Hit southern films, but still some dubbed films keep coming to the Hindi belt. Dubbing is the cheapest way to market southern films in other languages.

Today’s film Chandirani-1953 was also one of the trilingual films made in the south. It was made by Bharani productions, floated by Bhanumathi and her husband P.S.Ramkrishna Rao. The company was started in 1947 with the film Ratnamala and after 10 films, ended in 1964 with the film Vivah Bandhanam. Film Chandirani was the Debut film for Bhanumathi as a Director. Later on she directed yet another Hindi film Itni Jaldi kya hai–86. She acted in 8 Hindi films – Nishan-49, Mangala-50, Rani-52, Shamsheer-53, Chandirani-53, Hamen bhi jeene do-62, Nai Roshani-67 and Itni jaldi kya hai-86. She sang 12 songs in 4 Hindi films.

Bhanumathi did a double role in this film. She wrote the story and husband Ramkrishna scripted the film. Music was by C. R. Subburaman originally, but after recording just one song, he died suddenly. His 2 assistants, M.S.Vishwanathan and Ram Murthy managed the balance songs. With this film this pair-Vishwanathan and Ram Murthy started working as a pair of composers and played havoc in the southern film industry, by giving hit music to 90% of their films. The story of the film Chandirani-53 was…..

King Veerasimha was attracted to a court dancer during his birthday celebrations. She delivers twin girls after their union. The Senani, (major) Prachandudu, who also likes her, kills the dancer and imprisons the King. The minister saves one of the twins and sends her to the forest. Knowing this, Prachandudu kills him and takes charge of the kingdom. The other twin stays in the kingdom. Champarani in the kingdom, and Chandirani in the forest, grow up as two different personalities. The son of the minister Kishore and Champarani love each other. Mukund is the son of Prachandudu. Kishore goes to the forest and learns about Chandirani, and that she loves him. With the help of Mukund, Chandirani enters the fort and meets her father. She learns about the love between Champarani and Kishore. Meanwhile, Prachandudu arrests Kishore. Chandirani attacks the kingdom with the help of the people. During the conflict, Chandirani sacrifices her life to eliminate Prachandudu, before dying she unites Champarani and Kishore.

Here is a short Bio of the extraordinary artiste P.Bhanumathi. P. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna was born on 7 September 1925 (7 September 1925 – 24 December 2005) in Doddavaram village of Prakasam district, near Ongole, Andhra Pradesh. She was the third child to Saraswatamma and Bommaraju Venkata Subbaiah. She grew up watching her father perform in various stage shows. Her father, Venkata Subbayya, was a lover of classical music and trained her in music from an early age. Bhanumathi entered the film industry in 1939, and acted in over 100 films in Telugu and Tamil. She was also called Ashtavadhani by the film industry people as she was a writer, actor, director, producer, singer, music director, editor and studio owner. She also had a good knowledge of astrology and philosophy. She is regarded as the first female super star of Telugu cinema.

She made her debut in Telugu cinema in 1939 as Kalindi (a 13 years old girl who is forced to marry an old man and ended her life by committing suicide) in Vara Vikrayam (Telugu), directed by C. Pullayya. She acted in Malathi Madhavam, Dharma Patni and Bhaktimala. Her first popular film was Krishna Prema. In 1953, she made her directorial debut with Chandirani (made simultaneously in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi). Her last film was made in 1998, entitled Pelli Kanuka. She got the National Award for the film and also for performances in movies Anthasthulu and Palnati Yudham (1964) she received National Awards (Rashtrapati Award). She is the last recipient of Rashtrapati Award.

Due to her rift with Aluri Chakrapani, she left her role in Missamma and Miss Mary movie (Initially Bhanumathi was shot for some scenes in the movie before being replaced by Savitri ) but after the release of the movie she watched and commented that “she lost a wonderful role but industry gained a talented actress like savitri” which showed her sportiveness and encouragement towards new actors. Due to clash with Aluri Chakrapani, she produced a satirical movie on him titled Chakrapani which was a huge hit and became a classic in Tollywood for this movie she also worked as music director.

Apart from being a fine actress, she was also a talented musician. She was adept in both Carnatic and Hindustani music. She gave voice to her songs despite it being the norm to use playback singers for actors. Some of her songs are still popular in Telugu; and in Tamil. She also provided music to a lot of her films.

During her later years, she served on various movie related organizations. She was a Member of the State Film Awards Committee for two years. She was also a Visiting Professor at the Film Institute for one year. She was a Member of Children Film Society for 5 years, from 1965 to 1970. In India, she was the first and the only woman to have owned a film studio and the first woman to have directed a movie simultaneously in three languages. She is first south Indian actress to receive Padma Awards

Bhanumathi was also a talented writer with a number of short stories to her credit. Her autobiography Nalo Nenu was published in Telugu and later, released in English as Musings. Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Academy awarded her as the best short story writer for her popular short stories “Attagari Kathalu”. She was a Member of Lalit Kala Academy for 5 years, and Sahitya Academy, Andhra Pradesh for 10 years. She served as Director and Principal of the Tamil Nadu Government Music College.

She was an eminent social worker who was closely associated with a number of Social Service Organizations. She was the founder member and treasurer of the Madras branch of Altrusa International Inc., Chicago for a lifetime starting from 1963. She was a life member of the ‘Red Cross Society’. She established an educational institution named as “Dr. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna Matriculation School” at Saligramam, Chennai providing free education to the poor.

During the shooting of the film Krishna Prema (1943), she met P. S. Ramakrishna Rao (1918–1986), an assistant director for that film. He was a film producer, director and editor of Telugu and Tamil Films. The couple married on 8 August 1943 and have one son, Bharani. Later they launched a popular production company, Bharani Pictures, in their son’s name. She died at the age of 80 years in Chennai,on 24-12-2005.

In Hindi, she acted in 8 films,directed 2 films and sang 12 songs in 4 films. ( Based and adapted from wiki, nett4you and my notes ).

Here is today’s song, sung by Bhanumathi. Though she has tried hard to master the Hindi pronunciation and diction, still one can make out that she is not a Hindi speaking singer. However, compared to her other songs in this film, I found this was a much better one.

Song- Khili khili Chaandni chhaayi bahaar hai (Chandirani)(1953) Singer- P.Bhanumathi, Lyricist- Vishwamitra Adil, MDs- C.R.Subburaman and M.S.Vishwanathan


khili khili chaandni
chhaayi bahaar hai
dil ki haar hai dil ka lagaana
khili khili chaandni
chhaayi bahaar hai
dil ki haar hai dil ka lagaana
khili khili chaandni

baadal ki oat se chanda jo taake
jiyara kaanpe hoye ghabrake
tan man khoya naina milaake
tan man khoya naina milaake
lut gaya mere dil ka khazaana
khili khili chaandni chhaayi bahaar hai
dil ki haar hai dil ka lagaana
khili khili chaandni

jhilmil jhilmil chamke jo taare
dil ki duniya pi ko pukaare
dhoondhe jaise naiyya kinaare
dhoondhe jaise naiya kinaare
ban gayi meri kahaani fasaana
khili khili chaandni
chhaayi bahaar hai
dil ki haar hai dil ka lagaana
khili khili chaandni
chhaayi bahaar hai

4 Responses to "Khili khili chaandni chhaayi bahaar hai"

Thanks Sir for the information, especially about Bhanumati madam….




Arun Sir,
Beautiful writeup on multi talented actress P Bhanumati. I saw telugu movie Batasaari (1961) as a six years boy with my parents and from then on I like to hear the song O Batasaari again and again. Childhood memories….


As long as I was in Hyderabad, upto 1965, I used to see many Telugu and Kannada films. Once I left Hyderabad, I had no chance. Being born and brought up in Hyderabad, I had no problem of languages.

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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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