Evocative and eloquent, this masterfully crafted musical traces the trials and triumphs in the life of a renowned vocalist, who is an expert in traditional Indian Carnatic music. whose reputation is tarnished when his most devoted student turns out to be the daughter of a sex worker. How will his future unfold? Who will turn out to be the heir to his great musical lineage?
This exquisitely crafted musical revolves around 'Sankarabharanam' Sankara Sastri, a man of great integrity, who is also a very popular Carnatic music singer. He is immersed in sangeeta rasaamruta (Nectar of Music) with his nirantara saadhana (uninterrupted practice).
People come in huge numbers to listen to his voice and consider him a great man. He has mastered the raga Sankarabharanam and hence is eponymous with the same. Tulasi, (Manju Bhargavi) is a sex worker's daughter who has great interest in music and dance. She is also an admirer of Sastri and learns music from him when he used to teach his own daughter along the riverside. But her mother wants her to join her profession to earn money.
One day a rich client of her mother's rapes Tulasi. He insults Sastri saying that now that he is done with Tulasi, she could go and flirt with Sastri all she wanted. Enraged by the disgrace towards Sastri, her guru, she kills the client. Sastri tries to save her by consulting his lawyer brother (Allu Ramalingaiah), who wins the case in Tulasi's favour and her mother is sent to jail.
Then Sastri brings her to his home where other people insult him, as Tulasi is a murderer and daughter of a prostitute, while Sastri is a devout Brahmin. Tulasi moves out of his house as she does not want him to be insulted because of her but hopes to show her gratitude towards him.
Ten years have passed, pop music is now popular in India and Sastri loses his classical music audience. He now lives in a small house with his grown up daughter. When Tulasi comes to know of Sastri's plight she tries to help him financially but gives the money through someone else. Tulasi inherits all of her mother's property and utilizes all of it to help him.
She also asks her son to go to Sastri's home and learn classical music from him. After managing to get an entry to Sastri's home, he starts learning Carnatic music from the maestro. Chandra Mohan, a dilettante, falls in love with Sastri's daughter. Although Sastri rejects the alliance at first, he later agrees after learning of the man's interest in classical music. Tulasi then arranges for a concert on the day of Sastri's daughter's wedding, where Sastri finds his lost audience return to hear his voice.
Sastri sings at the concert and halfway through it suffers a heart attack and finds his new disciple, Tulasi's son, take over the concert from him. As he watches him with pride, he also sees Tulasi and finds out that the boy is indeed, Tulasi's son. After the performance, he symbolically anoints the boy as heir to his music. Tulasi comes to her guru and falls down at his feet. The film ends with death of both Sastri and Tulasi on the stage.
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