Poster of Vidathu Karuppu
|Written by||Indra Soundar Rajan|
(Ragasiyam, Vidāthu Karuppu, Edhuvum Nadakkum)
C. J. Bhaskar
(Sorna Reghai, Iyanthira Paravai)
|Theme music composer||Rehaan|
|Country of origin||India|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||204|
Geetha B. Kailasam
(Ragasiyam, Vidathu Karuppu)
(Sorna Regai, Iyanthira Paravai)
|Running time||23-30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Min Bimbangal|
|Original network||Sun TV|
retelecast Raj TV
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)|
|Original release||15 November 1997 –|
22 December 2001
Marmadesam (English: Land of Mystery) was a 1997-2001 Tamil mystery anthology television series telecasted between 1995 and 1998 on Sun TV and then on Raj TV between 1997 and 2001 lasting 5 seasons. It has been re-telecasted on Vasanth TV since 3 August 2015, Monday through Friday at 7:30 PM.
The show revolved around mystery surrounding supernatural occurrences, it was based on a series of books written by Indra Soundar Rajan and directed by Naga and C. J. Bhaskar; the series was produced by B. Kailasam and Geetha B. Kailasam under Kavithalaya Productions. Marmadesam received acclaim becoming one of the most popular television shows of all time.
- 1 Premise
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Production
- 5 Broadcast
- 6 Reception
- 7 Home media
- 8 Remake
- 9 Further reading
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The television series consisted of 5 stand-alone stories dealing with supernatural and mystery occurrences. While the stories are purely fictitious, they explore to some extent the beliefs and real-life traditions of Tamilnadu. While Ragasiyam was set in both village and city, Vidathu Karupu had a complete village setting. Sorna Regai had a complete city setting. Iyandira Paravai had both village and city setting and Edhuvum Nadakkum was set in a forest.
The seasons are named:
- Ragasiyam (Tamil: ரகசியம்) (English: The Secret) (fantasy thriller) (Director: Naga) .. Explores the legend of the mysterious healing powers of Nava-bhashana lingam. 75 Episodes.
- Vidāthu Karuppu (Tamil: விடாது கருப்பு) (English: Karuppu Never Spares) (psychological thriller) (Director: Naga).. Explores the legend of the Hindu village deity Karuppu Sami. 79 Episodes.
- Sorna Reghai (Tamil: சொர்ண ரேகை) (English: Golden palmlines) (crime thriller) (Director: C.J.Bhaskar) .. Explores the field of palmistry. 20 Episodes.
- Iyanthira Paravai (Tamil: இயந்திர பறவை) (English: The Mechanical Bird) (crime thriller) (Director: C.J.Bhaskar).. Explores the art of Varmakalai. 34 Episodes.
- Edhuvum Nadakkum (Tamil: எதுவும் நடக்கும்) (English: Anything can happen) (fantasy horror) (Director: Naga)..Explores the legend of Kalpaka-vriksham and environment as a living entity. 33 Episodes(the story is not complete as it was abandoned mid-way.)
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The plot opens with a small fictional village named Chitharpatti, where a temple of Chitheswarar (also pronounced as Sitheshwarar) attracts a large number of devotees thanks to its legend as well as its purported power to heal any known or unknown disease. An ashram adjacent to the temple, headed by Oomaisaamy (Charuhasan) is also a popular name, as it cures literally any physically or mentally ill patient.
The temple is closed from 6 pm every evening until 6 am the following morning, it is believed that Siddhars enter the temple past its closure for the day, and perform their rituals and prayers and leave before dawn, and anyone who disturbs the prayers of the Siddhars is done away with by the guardian of the temple, Kaalabhairavar, who is believed to guard the temple during the night in the form of a dog. This belief attracts a number of rationalists to the temple, who want to try and solve the mystery. One such rationalist, a journalist names Srikanth (Indra Soundar Rajan), hides in the temple when it is being closed for the day, in an attempt to find out what really happens in the temple in the dark. However, as if the villagers' fear is made true, Srikanth is killed by a dog while he is inside the temple. Hence, the entire village is convinced that the temple of Chitheshwarar is actually a den of heavenly Siddhas who pray during the night, leaving ordinary people to pray during the day.
Srikanth's friend, Mani Sundaram (Ramji) is the young son of the temple's chief priest, he is a rationalist, who does not believe in myths and rituals. Instead, he chooses to rationalize his beliefs, and hence often ends up at odds with his father with regard to the temple's mysteries and rituals. One by one, four people are killed inside the temple, including a police inspector who is there to investigate the mystery. At this juncture, Dr. KR (Delhi Ganesh)—once a great psychiatrist, but now mentally retarded—strays into the village, and is admitted to Oomaisaamy's ashram by Mani. Prasad (Prithviraj), Dr. KR's son, comes in search of him, and ends up being a guest to Mani and his sister Lalitha (Vasuki); as Mani and Prasad try to reveal the temple's mystery even more, they come to know that Dr. KR is actually acting as a retard, and he too is trying to do the same, but Dr. KR has personal intentions, he had been regarded as one of the best psychiatrists of India, and an Indian Central Minister admits his mentally retarded son to his hospital for treatment. But Dr. KR is unable to cure the Minister's son even after giving his best for the patient. Enraged by this, the Minister ridicules Dr. KR and moves his son away to Oomaisaamy's ashram after hearing other people speak so highly about it. Dr. KR feels insulted and decides to find out how Oomaisaamy is able to cure patients so effortlessly in his ashram. To achieve this, he makes everyone believe he is retarded, and lands up in Oomaisaamy's ashram. What Dr. KR does not know, is that he was unable to cure the Minister's son not because of his incompetency, but because of a sinister scheme laid out by his junior, Dr. Vishwaram (Mohan V. Ram).
As Dr. KR acts as a retard and tries to uncover Chitharpatti's mystery, he stumbles upon a greater truth about what might be going on inside the temple during the dark. Dr. KR and Mani then decide to work together to find out the truth. Mani finds out that there are actually one or more persons entering the temple at night through a secret entrance to the temple, and exiting at dawn. In an attempt to find out what they are actually doing inside the temple, Mani hides in the temple one night, he finds out that the two men enter the temple with trained dogs searching for Navabhashana lingams, of which, he learns, they have six already and are trying to locate the remaining three. Mani finds out that these dogs were the ones that killed the four, and it was just the work of thugs and not God, as the villagers believe. Also, the two men seem to get instructions from someone inside the village, who knows and is capitalizing on the superstitious nature of the villagers.
Meanwhile, Prasad fall in love with lalitha(Vasuki), (sister of Sundaram) and they decide to marry. Mani is found hiding by these men, and a chase ensues where Mani, fighting for his life, kills the dogs, and forces the two men to leave the temple as stealthily as they arrived, and set the ball rolling for a police probe. Vaithiyar (Kavithalaya Krishnan), Mani's best friend in the village, turns out to be the man behind these killings inside the temple; as he is about to get caught, he escapes with the lingams he had already stolen, and sets off to Chennai with an accomplice. However, on the way, the accomplice is killed by a truck, which also chases Vaithiyar, but only manages to send him into a coma; the box containing the lingams is lost in the van Vaithiyar was driving, and finds its way to Chennai.
The rest of the story is a nail-biting chase for these lingams. In various stages of the plot, the significance of these lingams, values of ancient Hindu scriptures are brought out, which makes the viewer intrigued until the last scene.
The novel version of this season is ரகசியமாக ஒரு ரகசியம்.
The second season was titled Vidaathu Karuppu. Vidathu Karuppu was the most successful of the Marmadesam series; the story examines the psychological underpinnings of the concept of split personalities even while exploring in detail the rural cult of Karuppu Sami prevalent in the southern part of Tamil Nadu. Starring C. T. Rajakantham, Chetan, Devadarshini, Meenakumari, Vijaya Sarathy, Master Lokesh, Mohan V. Ram, Poovilangu Mohan, Ponvannan, Sureshwar, Kausalya, Muthusubramanian and Sivakavitha, the series was a huge commercial success and triggered imitations and supernatural thrillers by other television directors .
Each episode was made of two parts—the first ten minutes of each 30-minute episode was set in the year 1970; the second part of each episode was set in 1995 and related to the events shown in the first part. While the first part revolved around the events of the Anaimudi Alampriyar household as seen through the eyes of the young Rajendran (played by Master Lokesh), the second part was mainly concerned with the customs, beliefs and traditions of the village and events unfolding in the Anaimudi Alampriyar household as seen through the eyes of the sceptical medical student Reena (Devadarshini) and her superstitious Chief Doctor, Nanda (Mohan V. Ram). The story begins with Reena's arrival in the village in the company of her colleague and best friend, Ratna, daughter of the village headman, Anaimudi Alampriyar, who seeks sanction from her village's guardian deity Karuppu Sami to marry her lover Aravind.
In Ratna's village, Reena and her boss learn about the cult of Karuppu Sami, the guardian deity and how Karuppu Sami punishes people who transgress his rules. While Reena's Chief believes it, due to him getting hold of some mysterious notebook with weird stuff and a sword which draws blood, everytime it is taken out, Reena is skeptical about it. Eventually, they witness some mysterious and gruesome deaths. Simultaneously, the story of the Anaimudi Naicker's mother, the evil moneylender Pechi who indulges in usury is told in flashback through the eyes of Naicker's son and Ratna's older brother, the extremely soft and timid Rajendran who is obsessed with legends of Karuppu Sami. Pechi murders one of her opponents and is eventually killed herself, the first in a string of mysterious deaths attributed to Karuppu Sami. A few days later, strange events and sightings take place in the Anaimudi Naicker household, prompting Anaimudi Naicker's family to conclude that the house is haunted by Pechi's ghost and move out.
Among the mysterious death(believed to be done by Karuppu Sami), is the hunt for some gold. Happened to be gold not only of Aanamudiyar, but also the whole village; every single one in the village had been looking for it, though some of the women try to avoid it extremely(thought that the gold is cursed due to the warth gained by Pechi). Aanamudiyar and Ratna's Uncle, Brahmman are the two people in the whole village putting in the greatest effort to find the gold. Believing Pechi had hidden the gold and jewels in four golden pots and hid it in the village, they near it but miss them; each time one of the pots is found, it is always empty. Taking it as a challenge and to win over Karuppu Sami, to prove to the villagers that no such deity is around, Reena starts to uncover it too.
Reena, anxious to know the identity of Karuppu Sami, investigates the murders and discovers that the haunting was a sham perpetuated by the village schoolteacher (played by Poovilangu Mohan) who held a grudge against the Alampriyar's family and orchestrated the haunting to drive them out of the house, but the schoolteacher vehemently denies that he had anything to do with the mysterious murders. Reena, then suspects the priest of the Karuppu Sami shrine in the village who frequently enters a state of trance during which he is possessed by Karuppu Sami and pronounces judgement, but Reena discovers that though the priest is genuinely possessed by the spirit of Karuppu Sami on occasion, he was not the killer. In her investigations, Reena is assisted by Rajendran who acts as her guide. Rajendran gradually falls in love with Reena.
Eventually, Rajendran proposes to Reena who rebuffs him questioning his masculinity. Shamed, Rajendran rapes Reena and absconds. Who the actual karuppu is revealed later.
The novel version of this season is Vittu Vidu Karuppa.
It is a crime story based on palmistry, story revolves between honest police, criminal and Astrologer. all are need find bandit gold Anwar, an honest police officer searches for the escaped criminal Muni ratham. In the end, muni rathnam was shot dead by Anwar, but the gold box went missing.
It is a crime story based on the Varma kalai, which is using to kill the people. The culprit also using the Boomerang to kill the people and it will knock the varma point of the human body to kill the people; the lady doctor who identify the murder which was done by Varma Kalai and she informed Anwar about it.
The CB-CID police officer / inspector Anwar (poovilangu Mohan) stating to find the culprit with the help of News Tv9 Channel Reporter Charu Latha, who also got aware about the murder before it will happen; the Aasaan (varma kalai Teacher) running a Varma Kalai School, generation by generation at the Aandavar vanam and he lives with his Wife and two sons Kasi (Chetan) and Valari (Gowtham Sundararajan). The Aandavar vanam shows some unbelievable Mysteries also it has some hidden facts on behalf of the Varma Kalai; the whole Murder is targeted to the persons who are very close to S.V.S (Ravikumar) and Kumarasammy (Subalekha Sudhakar) in order to create shadow war between them.
Unknowingly the TV reporter revel the Shadow war between the S.V.S and Kumarasammy and the Kumarasammy is trying to hide the war between them. Kumarassammy and M.P Ponnampalam have some illegal business connecting regarding with the Information City. Meanwhile, the Kumarassammy daughter was killed by the culprit who object the information city project and S.V.S trying to calm down the kumarasammy and he saying that he will not kill the kumarasammys' daughter; the TV9 Reporter also trying to find out the mysteries on the Aandavar Vanam and consequently she was chased by the Aasan and his sons. Therefore, the reporter suspect the Aasan and told about it to the Anwar and Kumarasammy, the both are neglect her statement. Due to the funeral rites of kumarasamy daughter, the TV9 reporter Charu telecast the all evidences collected by her and those evidences are showing about the shadow war between the S.V.S and Kumarasammy and Aandavar vanam. Afterward she was dismissed by Kumarasammy (TV9 Chairmen) and she joined with new channel.
However, S.V.S killed by the culprit, the Aasan and Kumarasammy came to the spot and they were arrested by police under the doubt, also M.P Ponnampalam (venu arvind) try to give bail to them and it was rejected by Anwar. Meanwhile, both of them were released by Court and the Charu was suspect the Anwar, too. Finally Anwer found the culprit, why he murder the people, culprits' scope and reveals the Aandevar vanams' Mysteries to charu too. Meanwhile, the right hand of culprit was killed by Aasan using Varma Kalai along with a boomerang to save the Varma Kalai.
Edhuvum Nadakkum (Anything can happen)
'Edhuvum Nadakkum' which explores the legend of Kalpa vriksham and environment as a living entity. Thanumalayakkudi is a small tribal settlement (fictional) in a jungle in the interior of South India. Strict inter-clan codes and beliefs bind the members of the tribe, they do not accept money in exchange for their produce of chiefly honey and fruits; they are ready to barter them. In this tribal settlement, there exists a myth that the Kalpavriksham, the celestial tree that can grant any wish and desire of the person standing underneath it, is situated somewhere in the forest. Strangers to the area who go in search of this tree are lost in the forest. To this forest come Sivagurunathan, a divisional forest officer and his brother Natarajan, a wildlife filmmaker and a visiting lecturer of the film and TV institute. Witnesses to the miracles and mysteries of the forest, they are lost in the jungle in pursuit of the Kalpavriksham, it is believed that they are killed in the pursuit of this sacred tree. Siddharth, a student of Natarajan and an aspiring filmmaker, comes to the settlement along with Varsha a sound recordist to make a film on the forest and its wildlife; as the duo learn about the mysteries of the place, they smell something fishy in the alleged deaths of Sivagurunathan and Natarajan. This serial was stopped by the makers for unknown reasons; the plot does not continue. The secret is untold.
There seems to be talks to revisit this season since it's left unfinished as per an interview (in 2019) by the director Naga.
The novel version of this season is Vaanathu Manithargal. An interesting fact is that the novel was published much later after this series ended; because of that we can say that this novel is based on Edhuvum Nadakkum series. However the novel's story is slightly different (like characters, sub-plot endings) to that of the one telecasted.
- Prithviraj as Prasad
- Delhi Ganesh as psychologist and Prasad's father Dr. K. R.
- Vasuki Anand as Lalitha, daughter of Siddharpatti temple priest and fiancee of Prasad
- Ramji as Mani Sundaram, son of Siddharpatti temple priest
- Charuhasan as the mute Siddhar (Oomaisami)
- Kavithalaya Krishnan as "Vaidyan" Ramarathinam
- Sadhasivam as the Siddharpatti temple priest
- Poovilangu Mohan as CB-CID officer Rudrapathi.
- R. N. Krishna Prasad as Guovindarajan .G
- R. N. Sudarshan as Rungarajan .G
- Mohan Raman as Dr. Vishwaram
- Indra Soundar Rajan as writer Srikanth
- TKS Chandran as Vairava Chettiyaar
- NaliniKanth as Annamalai
- Mohanapriya as Amsavalli
- Subhalekha Sudhakar as Agniraasu
- Ramachandran as constable Manickam
- Nimmi as Devi
- Ajay Rathnam as CB-CID officer Raghu succeeding the suspended Rudrapathi.
- Idichapuli Selvaraj as Grocery shop owner Perumal Chetty
- Benjamin as worker in Perumal Chetty's Grocery shop
- Mayilsamy as Santhana Krishnan who works at K.R. Hospital
- Mounika as assistant doctor who works at K.R. Hospital
- Cheenu Mohan as parcel service driver
- Ashok as Lawrence
- Marthandan as Anthony
- Vidaadhu Karuppu
- Chetan as Rajendran
- Devadarshini as Reena [Rathna's friend]
- Master Lokesh as the young Rajendran.
- C. T. Rajakantham as Pechi Nachiyar (Pechi Kizhavi) [Rathna's Grandmother]
- K. K. Soundar as Kuthiraikaara Paranthaaman
- Sadhasivam as Aanaimudi Aalampiriyar (Pechi's elder son)
- Ramachandran as Kattaiyan (Pechi's younger son)
- Poovilangu Mohan as schoolmaster Varadharajan / Kasi
- Shobana as Valli Nachiyar [Rathna's mother]
- Sivakavitha as Sivagami [Bramman's wife / Aanaimudi's younger sister]
- Ponvannan as Bramman (Anaimudi's brother-in-law)
- Meenakumari as Rathna (Rajendran's younger sister)
- Mohan Raman as Dr. Nandha
- Vijayasarathy as Aravind [Rathna's boyfriend]
- Sureshwar as Shanmugham (Schoolmaster Varadharajan's son)
- Kausalya as Lakshmi [Rathna's younger sister / Shanmugam's wife]
- Kavi as Selli [Rajendran's fiancee]
- Vijay Anand as Gopal
- Ajay Rathnam as Karuppusami (in Title Song)
- Mahima Devi as Rasathi (Kuthiraikaara Paranthaman's daughter)
- Benjamin as Mottai
- Maarthandan as Oomaiyan (Ashokan)
- Udhaya Raj as Mittai Mani
- Vichu Viswanath
- Sorna Reghai
- Poovilangu Mohan as police inspector Anwar
- Delhi Ganesh as astrologer and Anwar's foster-father Chakravarthy
- Vishwa as Thirunaavukarasu
- Bhargavi Mani as Thirunavukarasu's lover Meenakshi
- R.Sundaramoorthy as Meenakshi's father
- Thalaivasal Vijay as Munirathinam
- Suresh Chakravarthy as Bhaskar Das
- Vaasan as Ravi
- Cheenu Mohan as Bhaskar Das's brother
- O.A.K. Sundar as smuggler
- Ramachandran as Palani
- Mahima Devi as Manga (Munirathinam's lover)
- Bharathi as Kamala, Anwar's sister
- Iyanthira Paravai
- Poovilangu Mohan as police inspector Anwar
- Ravikumar as S.V.S (Industrialist and horse owner)
- Subhalekha Sudhakar as Kumaarasamy Tv9 Channel Owner
- Venu Arvind as MP Ponnambalam
- Chetan as Kasinathan the Foster son of Aasaan
- Gowtham Sundararajan as Valarinathan, son of Aasaan
- SivaShree as child Parvathy (Anwar's sister's daughter)
- Vijayasarathy as Tv9 Channel Cameraman Balu
- Sri Priya Mahalakshmi as Doctor Vidhya
- Revathi Sankaran as Servant in Anwar's house
- Rajasekhar as GK
- Vincent Roy
- Raji as Charulatha
- Madurai Rajamani as vidhya's father
- Nithya Ravindran as vidhya's mother
- Edhuvum Nadakkum
- Sureshwar as Naadi Muthu
- Mohan Vaidya as Nataraj (a) Natti
- Poovilangu Mohan as Moopar
- Devadarshini as Varsha
- Ponvannan as forest officer Sadasivam.
- Vijayasarathy as Siddharth student of the wildlife filmmaker Natarajan
- Ramachandran as Irusan
- Samuthirakani as a tribal (Episode 1)
- TKS Chandiran as one of the vaanathu manidhargal
- Sadasivam as one of the vaanathu manidhargal
- Benjamin as Forester Govindan
Naga, who earlier worked as cinematographer for serials directed by K. Balachander made his directorial debut with this series. Naga cited it was Balachander's son Kailasam who wanted him to direct when he initially assumed that he was roped in to handle cinematography.
Makers adapted the book Ragasiyamai Oru Ragasiyam written by Indira for their first season Ragasiyam. Since the content was not enough for more than 26 episodes, Naga wrote additional 26 episodes with him writing urban part adding lorry as a main character. For the characters, Naga casted many popular actors in different characters which according to him, "made the audience more aware of each character's presence in the show". Delhi Ganesh who usually portrayed a cook in films appeared as high profile psychiatrist while Subalekha Sudhakar who usually portrayed sacrificing brother was roped in to play a village gangster.
For Vidathu Karuppu, Naga adapted Indira's other book Vittu Vidu Karuppa which according to writer Indira was germinated from a real-life event where the dreaded gangster who was feared by everyone had the fear and respect for deity Karuppana Samy. Naga casted different actors for Vidathu Karuppu since "the audience has to decipher everyone's character based on their background story." Chetan was casted as Rajendran based on his "features and soft-spoken nature". Devadarshini was chosen to play important character after Naga saw her anchoring in an television show.
Naga revealed that "each actor's first half of the face (from the forehead to the nose) or the second half (from the nose to the chin) would match that of the actor who would play their parent's role". For that Sureshwar was chosen to play Poovilangu Mohan's son to match his height.
Ranjanai Krishnakumar of Firstpost praised Vidathu Karuppu that it "has aged remarkably well, never once making me cringe so far; the mystery is just as riveting as I remember it. The foreboding is a delight to discover. For those of us who know the ending, re-watching the show makes the clues obvious".
The digital rights of the show was initially with Rajshri Tamil channel. In 2019, Kavithalayaa announced that all the seasons of Marmadesam will be released in their own Youtube channel. The show became available on Kavithalayaa's own Youtube channel from August 2019.
The first part of the serial, Ragasiyam, was released on DVD as a 5-disc region-free set in 2011 by Swathi Soft Solutions, Chennai.
The first series of Marmadesam, Ragasiyam, was remade in Hindi and was on air from 30 October 2017 to 30 April 2018 on Star Bharat under the name Kaal Bhairav Rahasya with significant changes in the storyline and starring Chhavi Pandey, Rahul Sharma and Sargun Kaur and was shot in Bhopal.
- Making of Marmadesam - An Interview with Director Naaga
- Marmadesam - Vidaathu Karuppu - யாரும் அறியா திகில் ரகசியங்கள்...
- கிட்ஸை மனசில் வெச்சுதான் 'விடாது கருப்பு’ எடுத்தோம்..! - நாகா
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