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Amrapali - 1966

Based on the life of Amrapali aka Ambapali, the nagarvadhu (royal courtesan) of the republic of Vaishali in ancient India, Lekh Tandon, in 1966 directed the movie “Amrapali” starring Vyjayanthimala and Sunil Dutt in lead roles. Amrapali’s story has been mentioned in the old Pali texts and also in the Buddhist traditions.

One of the remarkable features of the film is the superb costumes designed by the great costume designer of Indian cinema Banu Athaiya. Dwarka Divecha was the cinematographer of the film who took great pains in picturing the dramatic war scenes for the film. The film also put forwards a strong anti-war sentiment toward the end.

The film was not a commercial success, but it was selected as the Indian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 39th Academy Awards though it was rejected later. Shankar-Jaikishan scored music for the film. "Neel Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein" and "Jao Re Jogi" and "Tumhen Yaad Karte Karte" are some of the hit songs from the film all rendered by Lata Mangeshkar.