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Mughal-e-Azam - 1960

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Mughal-e-Azam, a timeless masterpiece of Indian cinema, graced the silver screen in 1960, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide. Directed by K. Asif, this magnum opus set in the majestic era of the Mughal Empire weaves a tale of love, conflict, and rebellion that continues to captivate generations.

Set against the backdrop of the 16th century, Mughal-e-Azam transports viewers to a world of luxury, grandeur, and intricate court politics. The film revolves around the forbidden love affair between Salim, the rebellious prince, and Anarkali, a court dancer of unmatched beauty and grace. As their love defies societal norms and confronts the powerful Emperor Akbar, Mughal-e-Azam becomes a poignant exploration of the timeless themes of love, sacrifice, and the clash between personal desires and societal obligations.

What sets Mughal-e-Azam apart is not just its compelling storyline, but also its breathtaking visuals and mesmerizing musical compositions. The film boasts lavish sets, intricate costumes, and stunning cinematography that bring the rich tapestry of the Mughal era to life. The melodious soundtrack composed by Naushad, featuring timeless classics like Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya and Mohe Panghat Pe, adds an enchanting layer of emotion to the narrative, leaving an everlasting impact on the audience's hearts.

With stellar performances by a talented ensemble cast, including Dilip Kumar, Prithviraj Kapoor, and Madhubala, Mughal-e-Azam stands as a shining example of cinematic excellence. Its grandeur, emotional depth, and powerful storytelling have ensured its place as a cinematic gem that continues to resonate with audiences even after six decades. Mughal-e-Azam remains a testament to the artistic brilliance and enduring legacy of Indian cinema.


Table of Contents


Movie Name


Directed by

K. Asif

Screenplay by

Aman, Kamal Amrohi, K. Asif, Wajahat Mirza, and Ehsan Rizvi

Produced by

K. Asif


Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, and Durga Khote


R. D. Mathur

Edited by


Music by


Based on

Anārkalī by Imtiaz Ali Taj

Production Company

Sterling Investment Corporation

Release Date

5 August 1960


3 Hours 17 Minutes




Hindi and Urdu


₹1.5 Crore (approx.)


Emperor Akbar, who lacks a male heir, makes a journey to a sanctuary to pray for his wife, Jodhabai to deliver a son. Later, a maid informs the Emperor about the birth of his son. Akbar, overjoyed that his prayers have been answered, gives the woman his ring and guarantees to fulfil any wish she may have.

Prince Salim, the son, develops into a spoilt, carefree, and self-serving adult. In order to instill courage and discipline in him, his father sends him out to war. After fourteen years, Salim returns as a valiant soldier and falls in love with court dancer Nadira, now known as Anarkali, which is Urdu for pomegranate blossom.

The relationship is discovered by the jealous Bahar, a higher-ranking dancer who wants the prince to fall in love with her to become queen one day. Unable to earn Salim's affection, she reveals his forbidden relationship with Anarkali.  Salim begs his father to allow him to marry Anarkali, but he refuses and imprisons her. Anarkali refuses to deny Salim, as demanded by Akbar, despite the treatment she receives.

Salim protests and gathers an army in order to battle Akbar and free Anarkali. Salim is sentenced to death by his father after being defeated in combat, but is assured that the punishment will be lifted if Anarkali, who is currently in hiding, is handed up to die.

Anarkali sacrifices herself in order to preserve the prince's life, and she is sentenced to death by being imprisoned within a wall while still alive. Before her punishment is carried out, she begs to spend some time with Salim as his fictional wife. Her request is approved since she agreed to drug Salim so he wouldn't interfere with her entombment.

Akbar is reminded that he still owes Anarkali's mother a favour because she informed him of Salim's birth. Anarkali's mother begs for the life of her daughter. A change of heart occurs in the emperor, but despite his desire to free Anarkali, he is unable to do so out of loyalty to his nation. Therefore, he arranges for her undetectable escape into exile with her mother, but he states that they must live in silence and Salim must never be made aware that Anarkali is still alive.


Mughal-e-Azam was released in 150 cinemas across the country on August 5, 1960, setting a record for the widest distribution of a Bollywood film. The movie’s distribution charge was ₹300,000-400,000 (about US$63,000-84,000 in 1960) per area. Asif firmly said that he would sell his movie to distributors for at least ₹700,000 each territory. Asif and the producers were shocked when the movie was actually sold for ₹1.7 million (US$356,000) per territory. As a result, it established the record for the biggest distribution fee paid to a Bollywood movie at the time.

Mughal-e-Azam had its world premiere in Mumbai's then-new 1,100-seat Maratha Mandir cinema. A 40-foot (12 m) cutout of Prithviraj Kapoor was placed outside the theatre, and the lobby had been adorned to resemble a Mughal palace, reflecting the theme of the movie.

The Sheesh Mahal set was brought from the studio to the theatre so that attendees could see it in all its beauty. Royal invites in the form of scrolls, written in Urdu and designed to resemble the Akbarnama, the official chronicle of the reign of Akbar, were sent out to guests.

Large crowds and numerous media outlets attended the premiere, and many in the film business were in attendance as well, however, Dilip Kumar stayed away because of his disagreement with Asif. A dressed elephant carrying the movie's reels rode in to the premiere theatre to the sounds of bugles and shehnai.


Mughal-e-Azam-Reviews-Image.tring.jpgMughal-e-Azam, the 1960 Bollywood masterpiece directed by K. Asif, stands as a true gem in the history of Indian cinema. This opulent saga of love, power, and rebellion captivates viewers with its grandeur, compelling storytelling, and memorable performances.

Set during the Mughal era, the film revolves around the forbidden romance between Prince Salim (Dilip Kumar) and the enchanting court dancer Anarkali (Madhubala). The plot delves deep into the complexities of their love, exploring the clash between personal desires and societal norms. As the Emperor Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor) clashes with his son's disobedience, the film unfolds as a riveting tale of love that defies all odds.

One of the defining aspects of Mughal-e-Azam is its sheer visual richness. The sets, costumes, and cinematography transport viewers to the lavish court of the Mughal Empire, immersing them in a world of luxury and elegance. The attention to detail is remarkable, with exquisite palaces, ornate costumes, and breathtakingly beautiful choreography.

The performances in Mughal-e-Azam are nothing short of extraordinary. Dilip Kumar delivers a powerful portrayal of Prince Salim, perfectly capturing the conflicting emotions of love and duty. Madhubala shines as Anarkali, her graceful presence and magnetic screen presence leaving an indelible impression. Prithviraj Kapoor's commanding performance as Emperor Akbar adds depth and gravitas to the film.

The music of Mughal-e-Azam is another highlight, with the legendary composer Naushad creating a timeless soundtrack. The songs, including the iconic Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya and Teri Mehfil Mein, are masterpieces that evoke a range of emotions, enhancing the narrative's impact.

Mughal-e-Azam's enduring legacy lies not only in its technical brilliance but also in its exploration of themes that transcend time. The film delves into the complexities of love, sacrifice, and the struggle between personal desires and societal expectations. It serves as a reminder that true love knows no boundaries and can withstand the test of time.



Character Analysis







Mohe Panghat Pe

Lata Mangeshkar


Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya

Lata Mangeshkar


Mohabbat Ki Jhooti

Lata Mangeshkar


Humen Kash Tumse Mohabbat

Lata Mangeshkar


Bekas Pe Karam Keejeye

Lata Mangeshkar


Teri Mehfil Mein

Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum


Ye Dil Ki Lagi

Lata Mangeshkar


Ae Ishq Yeh Sab Duniyawale

Lata Mangeshkar


Khuda Nigehbaan

Lata Mangeshkar


Ae Mohabbat Zindabad

Mohammed Rafi


Prem Jogan Ban Ke

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan


Shubh Din Aayo Raj Dulara

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan

Behind the Scenes

Mughal-e-Azam-Behind-the-Scenes-Image.tring.jpgBehind the scenes of Mughal-e-Azam lies a tale of dedication, perseverance, and meticulous attention to detail. Directed by K. Asif, this cinematic masterpiece demanded immense efforts from its cast and crew to bring the grandeur of the Mughal era to life on the silver screen.

The journey of Mughal-e-Azam spanned an astonishing 16 years, making it one of the most ambitious projects in Indian cinema. From its inception, the film faced numerous challenges, including financial constraints, logistical hurdles, and the need for extensive research to authentically recreate the historical setting.

Despite the obstacles faced during production, the passion and commitment of the entire team resulted in a cinematic masterpiece that continues to be celebrated to this day.


The 1960 Indian movie Mughal-e-Azam was not without its share of controversies, as the film tackled sensitive themes and faced objections from certain groups. Directed by K. Asif, this cinematic masterpiece became the subject of debates and disputes that added to its aura of intrigue.

One of the primary controversies surrounding Mughal-e-Azam was its portrayal of the relationship between Prince Salim and Anarkali. The forbidden love story challenged societal norms and raised eyebrows due to its depiction of a romance between a prince and a court dancer. The movie also miscalculated in several of the historical details, portraying false incidents.

Box Office Collection

An estimated 100,000 people reportedly gathered outside the Maratha Mandir the day before ticket sales for the movie began. The tickets, which were the most costly for a Bollywood film at the time and are now regarded as collector's goods, were actually dockets with text, images, and information about the movie. Instead of the standard price of ₹1.5 (US$0.31), they sold for ₹100 (approximately US$21 in 1960). 

Major chaos occurred during bookings, to the point where police assistance was needed. It was said that people would line up for four to five days and would be fed from home by family members. The Maratha Mandir then suspended reservations for three weeks.

Mughal-e-Azam was a huge commercial success, grossing ₹4 million (US$839,000) in its first week. The film beat Mother India (1957) to become the highest-grossing Bollywood film, a record it held until Sholay (1975) surpassed its net earnings. Mughal-e-Azam made ₹110 million ($23.11 million) in gross income.







8th National Film Awards

Best Feature Film in Hindi

K. Asif


8th Filmfare Awards

Best Film

K. Asif


8th Filmfare Awards

Best Director

K. Asif


8th Filmfare Awards

Best Actress



8th Filmfare Awards

Best Music Director



8th Filmfare Awards

Best Lyricist

Shakeel Badayuni (Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya)


8th Filmfare Awards

Best Playback Singer

Lata Mangeshkar (Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya)


8th Filmfare Awards

Best Dialogue

Aman, Wajahat Mirza, Kamal Amrohi, and Ehsan Rizvi


8th Filmfare Awards

Best Cinematography (B/W)

R. D. Mathur


Interesting Facts


Mughal-e-Azam is a cinematic masterpiece that continues to mesmerize audiences decades after its release. Its grandeur, compelling storyline, breathtaking visuals, and powerful performances make it an unforgettable experience. This timeless classic will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Indian cinema lovers and stands as a testament to the artistry and brilliance of Bollywood's golden era.

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