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You are here: My Nasik Hall of Fame Dadasaheb Phalke - Father of Indian Cinema

Dadasaheb Phalke - Father of Indian Cinema

Dadasaheb Phalke

It is said that only two things entertain India Cricket and Movies! All of us know that Sachin is the 'God of Cricket' but do you know who the Father of Indian Cinema' is? He is Dadasaheb Phalke. And Nasik is the place where this great personality was born.

Govind Dhundiraj Phalke was born on 30th April 1870 in Trimbakeshwar, a town near Nasik city. Son of a Sanskrit scholar, G D Phalke studied and passed out from Sir J J School of Arts in Mumbai from 1885 to 1890. He then went to Kala Bhaven (Baroda) and studied engineering, sculpture, painting, drawing and photography.

Phalke started his carrier as a photographer in Godhra but when his wife and child succumbed to the bubonic plague, he finally had to leave this business. He was then employed as a draftsman with Archeological Survey of India. However, he couldn't cope with the job constraints and soon turned to the business of printing, where he specialized with lithography and oleograph working for painter Raja Ravi Varma. Later, Phalke started a printing press of his own and made a trip to Germany to check the latest technology for printing then.

As the business of printing head into a wall of disputes with his partners, G D Phalke then moved into moving pictures. This idea came to him after he had watched a silent film titled, The Life of Christ. The idea of moving pictures inspired him so much that he decided to make a movie himself. Phalke's dream finally came true when he made his first silent film, in 1912, called Raja Harishchandra. With this movie began a revolution and an era was born, the Indian film industry! The credit for the first Indian feature film was attributed to G D Phalke and he therefore, came to be known as Dada Saheb Phalke, the Father of Indian Cinema. He soon was very successful in making many silent films in the areas of documentaries, educational and comics.

In partnership with five businessmen, Dada Saheb Phalke, formed a company called as Hindustan films. The company did well in the start, but he later faced some financial constraints. After this, silent films soon fell victim to sound films. In 1937, Dada Saheb Phalke produced his last film Gangavataran and then retired to his hometown, Nasik. He died on 16th February 1944.

The Indian Government, in 1969, instituted the Dada Saheb Phalke award in his honor, which is the most prestigious award given in Indian Cinema. Phalke Smarak, a monument and park was setup in Nasik as a tribute to this great icon and is one of the most visited tourist places of Nasik.