Yatrik (1952)

The details are provided by Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh
This was one film which showed important places of worship, sacred to Hindus and I remember my parents taking my grandparents and many other aged, old members of the family to this film to make a filmi ‘Yatra’ of sacred places which they were wanting but could not visit.

This movie was based on the travelogue of P K Sanyal when he went on a search for Truth in the Himalayas. The screenlplay,  story and dialogues were done by he himself.  Two versions,  one Bengali and one Hindi were made. The Bengali version had Arundhati devi,  making her film debut as Rani-a widow on a pilgrimage, whereas in the Hindi version it was Abhi Bhattacharya, as Bramhachari ji from Haridwar, making the pilgrimage.  He sees Setubandh, Dwarka, Ajanta and Konark. Now he is on a tour of Himalayas, Badrinatn, Kedarnath,  Amarnath, Manasarovar, Dev prayag and Hrishikesh.

In his travel, he meets several characters, like a band of Terrorists from Midanapore, Aghornath, Radha rani and her mother etc. He has an argument with Aghornath, because being a prostitutes, Radha Rani is denied entry to temples by him.

Later,he is lost in Himalayas and a mysterious Bheel girl Rani  appears and guides him to safety and disappears. The scenes of Himalayas and and the background singing of Punkaj Mullick are etched on my mind.

In this film,Pankaj babu sings “Astyutarasyam dishi devtatma…..” in a chorus.This is written by Kalidas in the praise of Himalayas, and appears in the begining part of his drama “Kumarsambhavam’. It is simply divine. With the background of kedarnath, Pankaj babu again sings a stuti or a stotra of lord Shankar,”Hey chandrachud madanantak shoolpani…” another gem. Then there are some more Shiv stotras, Aratis and other devotional songs.

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