Top 50 solo Malayalam film songs of K. S. Chithra
K. S. Chithra – the most celebrated female voice of Malayalam cinema. She has mesmerized Malayali music lovers with her sweet voice for more than 4 decades since early 1980s. Though she has sung several duets with celebrated singers like K. J. Yesudas, M. G. Sreekumar and Venugopal, I feel that her career best songs are solo tracks. A singer always expresses himself/herself at its best when he/she sings solos, and Chithra is not an exception. Also read: Chithra’s top 100 chartbuster hits.
She won Kerala state awards for best playback singer for a record of 16 times (including multiple songs same year), and all those songs are solos. I have not mentioned all those award winning songs in the list, because Chithra owns a huge collection of hit solo songs which are still loved by her fans. Arivin Nilave from Raja Shilpi, Ennu Varum Nee from Kannaki, Mauliyil Mayilpeeli Charthi from Nandanam, Paadi from Aaram Thampuraan, Kudajadriyil Kudi Kollum from Neela Kadamb, Maarikoodinnullil from Kaalapani etc are a few such very popular Chithra songs without winning major awards.
Here is my list of top 50 solo Malayalam film songs of Chithra.
1. Arivin Nilave from Rajashilpi (1992) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup, Music Composer: Raveendran
Let us start the list with very popular Chithra solo, Arivin Nilave, featuring Mohanlal and Bhanupriya. Bhanupriya appears as a beautiful dancer in front of Mohanlal who plays a sage in the movie. She tries to impress him with her beautiful moves. Clearly the movie is a retelling of the story of Lord Shiva, Sati and her incarnation Parvathy, with a few modifications. Ambilikala Choodum is yet another popular Chithra solo from the film.
2. Ariyathe Ennile Ennil Nee from Oru Katha Oru Nunakatha (1986) – Lyricist: M. D. Rajendran, Music Composer: Johnson
The song was filmed on Pavithra, a less-known actress, where she is seen singing the song to a group of friends, Nedumudi Venu, Shaari and Mammootty. Mammootty is seen rendering a few lines in the opening of the song, and I believe it to be Johnson’s voice. No doubt it’s one of the finest songs of Chithra’s career.
3. Chandana Mukile from Vellinakshatram (2004) – Lyricist: S Ramesan Nair, Music Composer: M. Jayachandran
Meenakshi tries to seduce Prithviraj through this song. She looks like a lady ghost ‘Yakshi’ (demigoddess) in this chartbuster song.
4. Ennu Varum Nee from Kannaki (2001) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Kaithapram Vishwanathan Nambudiri
“Oro Vaakilum Oro Nokkilum Artham Thonniya Nimisham” – Intense romantic lines penned by Vishwanathan Nambudiri, was well expressed on screen by Nandita Das and well rendered by Chithra. No more words! Definitely it’s one of the finest and intense love songs of Chithra in the new millennium.
5. Enthinaay Nin from Mizhi Randilum (2003) – Lyricist: Vayalar Sarath Chandra Varma, Music Composer: Raveendran
The song was filmed as a dance sequence on Kavya Madhavan who plays double role in the movie. The song cherishes the marriage dreams of a girl.
6. Etho Vaarmukilin from Pookalam Varavayi (1991) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Ouseppachan
This lullaby is the hot favourite of kids of 1990s, and it’s one of the best Malayalam lullabies ever. The song was filmed on Baby Shamli, Rekha and Jayaram. Rekha plays the role of a mother with lost child, while Shamli plays the child of estranged parents, while the movie shows how a deep bonding forms between the two.
7. Hey Krishna from Kizhakkunarum Pakshi (1991) – Lyricist: K. Jayakumar, Music Composer: Raveendran
Actress Rekha was enjoying career peak in the early 1990s, and Kizhakkunarum Pakshi was one of her memorable roles. Her screen chemistry with Mohanlal was well received too. She plays a professional singer in the film, and is seen recording a song in the video of this particular song. The song was tuned based on Charukesi raga.
8. Indraneelimayolum from Vaishali (1988) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup, Music Composer: Bombay Ravi
Vaishali is one of the milestone movies in the career of Chithra. All the songs are memorable and regarded as evergreen classics. Indraneelimayolum filmed on Suparna Anand and Sanjay Mitra (who later married and separated) is widely regarded as one among the most sizzling songs of Malayalam screen ever. ONV Kurup earned his single national award for penning lyrics of Vaishali.
9. Indupushpam from Vaishali (1988) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup, Music Composer: Bombay Ravi
The song bagged both state awards and national awards for Chithra. The song was filmed on Geetha and Suparna Anand who played screen mother and daughter for Vaishali, though they have only a small age gap of 7 years in real life. “Theduvathethoru Devapadam” is yet another popular solo of Chithra from the film.
10. Kaatte Nee Veesaruthippol from Kattu Vannu Vilichappol (2000) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup & Thirunalloor Karunakaran, Music Composer: M. G. Radhakrishnan
An old traditional song originally written by Thirunalloor Karunakaran and reused for the movie, it was filmed on Chippy and Krishnakumar. This particular song was also filmed on the splendid beauty of backwaters and houseboats of Kerala. The movie is long forgotten, but not its songs.
11. Kalabham Tharaam from Vadakkumnathan (2006) – Lyricist: Gireesh Puthenchery, Music Composer: Raveendran
One of the finest songs of Chithra’s career, the song gave her the prestigious Filmfare awards. The song became immensely popular long before film’s release. I once heard that the first version of the song pictured was not used for the song. Even the composer and filmmakers didn’t expect the overwhelming response of the song months before film’s release, and to meet with viewers’ expectations, the song was reshot. I am not sure if the rumour is true. But when the song hit musical charts, everyone believed it to be a devotional song dedicated to Lord Krishna. When it came out, it became a romantic duet filmed on Vineeth and Kavya Madhavan, who earlier shared screen space for Perumazhakalam. The filmy version was a duet version, while the most popular solo version of Chithra was not used for the movie.
12. Kannaadikkayyil from Pavam Pavam Rajakumaran (1990) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Johnson
This soft solo was filmed on Rekha and Sreenivasan. The movie directed by Kamal was a box office hit, and had a surprising climax with a positive twist.
13. Kannaam Thumpee from Kakkothikkavile Appooppan Thaadikal (1988) – Lyricist: Bichu Thirumala, Music Composer: Ouseppachan
Nostalgic song for kids of 1980s, the song was filmed on Kaveri and Raasi, who played younger versions of Ambika and Revathi in the movie. The highlight of the song is “Milkweed” or Appoppan Thadi, every kid’s favourite of all time.
14. Kannil Nin Meyyil from Innale (1991) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Perumbavoor G. Raveendranath
This evergreen song was filmed on Shobana, Jayaram and Sridevi. Mist adds extra beauty to this song, just as the mystery behind Shobana’s true identity in the film.
15. Karukavayal Kuruvi from Dhruvam (1993) – Lyricist: Shibu Chakravarthy, Music Composer: S. P. Venkatesh
Evergreen song, Karukavayal Kuruvi was filmed on Mammootty and Gautam. The song shows a sequence of events, soon after they got engaged.
16. Kudajadriyil Kudi Kollum from Neela Kadamb (1985) – Lyricist: K. Jayakumar, Music Composer: Raveendran
It’s so sad that this movie with this ever green devotional song is yet to hit theatres, but also feel happy that at least the song got released. Hope this film would get released in theatres someday. As a singer, Chithra at her best, and my humble tribute to its composer for this mystic and unique tune!
17. Maarikoodinnullil from Kaalapani (1996) – Lyricist: Gireesh Puthenchery, Music Composer: Ilaiyaraaja
The composer also rendered his voice for a few lines in the song, just before second Antara. Yet I would prefer to list it as a solo track of Chithra, filmed on Tabu. The song is all about waiting, after the lead pair got parted soon after wedding ceremony. Tabu learns about the return of her husband, and she is happily singing.
18. Manjal Prasadavum from Nakhashathangal (1986) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup, Music Composer: Bombay Ravi
Nakhashathangal is popular both for its script as well as evergreen songs recorded in the voices of Chithra, Yesudas and Jayachandran. This particular song filmed on Monisha and Vineeth won Chithra her first ever National awards for best playback singer, and also second state award. Monisha received National award for best actress, the youngest winner at the age of 15 one year after movie release. It was Monisha’s debut film in her very short yet glorious film journey.
19. Mathi Mounam Veene from Prem Poojari (1999) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup, Music Composer: Uttam Singh
The song was filmed on Shalini and Kunchakko Boban, who made a great pair on Malayalam screen in the second half of 1990s. Music was composed by Uttam Singh, music composer and arranger of Bollywood, best known for the work of ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’, ’ Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ etc.
20. Mauliyil Mayilpeeli Charthi from Nandanam (2002) – Lyricist: Gireesh Puthenchery, Music Composer: Raveendran
This song dedicated to Lord Krishna is mostly seen as a devotional song than a filmy song and everyone’s favourite. This song was filmed in a happy mood on Navya. The sad song, Karmukil Varnante Chundil sung by Chithra also became equally popular, alongside a bunch of Yesudas’ songs.
21. Maunasarovaram from Savidham (1992) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Johnson
Chithra received state awards for best playback singer for this song. Maathu is seen recording a song in this song sequence, and Nedumudi Venu and Shanti Krishna also appear in the song.
22. Neelanjana Poovin from Paithrukam (1993) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: S. P. Venkatesh
This particular song was originally recorded in the voice of Bombay Jayshree (of ‘Vaseegara’ fame) and filmed on Geetha. Later Chithra’s version was recorded and released as cassette, but never used for the film. But this version became more popular. S. P. Venkatesh won Filmfare Award for Best Music Director – Malayalam for its music tracks.
23. Njaattuvela Kiliye from Mithunam (1993) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup, Music Composer: M. G. Radhakrishnan
Nature’s beauty at its best, this beautiful song was filmed on Urvasi. I wonder where such beautiful Malayalam songs have gone, which stay close to nature and Malayalis’ lives. It was a common trend those days when lead actress appears on screen wearing Davani (skirt and blouse or half-sari), singing and dancing happily & sharing her dreams, in the backdrop of village beauty & nature’s charm, paddy fields, ponds etc. At many times it used to be the introductory scene of the female lead, with Chithra’s voice. Definitely that trend of 1990s has gone.
24. Olichirikkaan from Aaranyakam (1988) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup, Music Composer: Raghunath Seth
This particular song is the hot favourite of kids of 1980s. Actress who appears in this song, Saleema was earlier seen in Nakhakshatangal.
25. Oru Janmamaam Ushasandhyayaay from Sundarikkaakka (1991) – Lyricist: Kaithapram & Pradeep Ashtamichira, Music Composer: Johnson
The song is all about the search for an unknown lover. Rekha plays a beauty queen in the movie with a lot of admirers, while she is in search of a special person who secretly loves her.
26. Othiri Othiri Swapnangal from Pranaya Varnangal (1998) – Lyricist: Gireesh Puthenchery, Music Composer: Vidyasagar
The movie is still popular for its colourful songs and campus lives. This song appears in the opening credits and was filmed on Divya Unni, who plays parallel lead in the film aside Manju Warrier.
27. Paadi from Aaram Thampuraan (1997) – Lyricist: Gireesh Puthenchery, Music Composer: Raveendran
Aaram Thampuraan is widely regarded as one of the finest works of Raveendran as a composer, and this Chithra solo filmed on Manju Warrier, based on Darbar raga holds a special beauty.
28. Pala Poove from Njan Gandharvan (1991) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Johnson
Definitely one of the finest songs of Chithra ever, the song was filmed on Suparna Anand and Nitish Bharadwaj. The song was based on Madhuradhwani raga. This song alongside Kannil Nin Meyyil from Innale gave state awards to Chithra for the year 1990.
29. Panchavarna from Sallapam (1996) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Johnson
Sallapam established Manju Warrier as a lead actress, and this particular solo filmed on her was the most popular track of the album. Since then Chithra became the perfect choice of Manju’s brief first innings in Malayalam cinema.
30. Parvanendu Mukhi from Parinayam (1994) – Lyricist: Yusufali Kechery, Music Composer: Bombay Ravi
This highly acclaimed women-centric film based on old Kerala traditions had Mohini playing the central character of an upper caste girl. The song depicts customs related to puberty of a teenager girl in a Brahmin family.
31. Pathu Veluppinu Muttathu Nikkana from Venkalam (1993) – Lyricist: P. Bhaskaran, Music Composer: Raveendran
The song shows the marriage ceremony of Murali and Urvasi and following events. K. P. A. C. Lalitha and Manoj K. Jayan also appear in the song. The movie briefly sketches the life of sculptors who work on brass.
32. Pinneyum Pinneyum from Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu (1997) – Lyricist: Gireesh Puthenchery, Music Composer: Vidyasagar
1997 was a great year for Vidyasagar, who gave some good songs to Manju Warrier. He was one of the early composers of new music who introduced modern electronic music to Malayalam music lovers (There are a very few exceptions like Mohan Sitara and Ouseppachan, though not in full swing.), and later many composers followed his path. This particular song had two solo versions in the voices of Chithra and Yesudas, filmed on Jayaram and Manju.
33. Ponmeghame Shalabhangale from Sopanam (1994) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: S. P. Venkatesh
The song is fully lighted with lamps and lovely filmed on Chippy. It appears more as a Kerala traditional song filmed in a temple and old Tharavadu. Symbols of traditionally rich Kerala swings, Kerala lamps, interior of Kerala home etc appear in the song as characters. Chithra earned state award for the songs – Ponmeghame from Sopanam, Rajahamsame from Rajasilpi and Sangeetame from Ghazal for the year 1993.
34. Ponnariyan Paadam from Rakthasakshikal Sindabad (1998) – Lyricist: Gireesh Puthenchery, Music Composer: M. G. Radhakrishnan
The song was filmed on Ranjitha, who shares her dreams through its lyrics. Mohanlal and Sukanya also appear in the song. I think songs of 1990s have a special feel, closely linked to the farming culture and traditional values. Now this distinct Kerala culture is fading from Malayalam movies, with the advance of technology. Orchestra has also changed very much.
35. Poomaaname from Nirakkoottu (1985) – Lyricist: Poovachal Khader, Music Composer: Shyam
The lovely song filmed on Mammootty and Sumalatha was an instant hit, and still popular among reality singing competitions on television. The song bagged her first ever playback singer award of her career alongside the songs, Ore Swaram from Ente Kaanakkuyil, Poomaaname from Nirakkoottu and Aayiram Kannumaay from Nokketha Dhoorathu Kannum Nattu. She went on to win 15 more awards, highest among female singers and also created a unique record of winning state awards consecutively for 11 years during the period, 1985-1995.
36. Poomkanavin Naanayangal from Churam (1997) – Lyricist: Dr. Rajeev, Music Composer: Johnson
The song was filmed on Divya Unni. Though the movie fared only average at box office, this Chithra solo was well appreciated.
37. Pudamurikkalyanam from Chilamb (1987) – Lyricist: Bharathan, Music Composer: Ouseppachan
The song, all about marriage dreams was filmed on Shobana. In the 1980s, Shobhana frequently worked with actor Rehman, and Chilamb is one such. The duo also worked together in many movies, aside Mammootty long back in the 1980s.
38. Pularkaala Sundara from Oru Maymaasa Pulariyil (1987) – Lyricist: P. Bhaskaran, Music Composer: Raveendran
This song filmed on Shaari is always counted among the top 10 songs of Chithra songs ever, and one of the best Malayalam songs of dreams at wee hours. The song also bagged her state awards.
39. Puthumazayayi from Akashaganga (1999) – Lyricist: S. Ramesan Nair, Music Composer: Berny-Ignatious
The song was filmed on Mayuri who played a departed soul in the movie. This haunting song of Chithra had a new version in the sequel of the horror comedy released 2 decades later in 2019. But I love the original version.
40. Puzhayorathu Poothoni from Adharvam (1989) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup, Music Composer: Ilaiyaraaja
This sizzling track was filmed on Silk Smitha, who is seen dancing in this song in traditional attire. A group of friends on a trip also appears in the song filming. Mammootty appears as a yogi in the song, in a very few shots.
41. Rajahamsame from Chamayan (1992) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Johnson
One of the most popular songs of Chithra ever, this particular song is the hot favourite for aspiring singers for different singing competitions and reality shows. In fact a housewife Chandralekha also shot to instant fame after a recording of this song went viral over net. Original song was filmed on Sithara who appears as a stage actress, performing this song on stage. Manoj K. Jayan plays Sithara’s lover in this particular song. Chithra earned a state award for its rendition, alongside the songs of Ponmeghame of Sopanam and Sangeethame of Ghazal.
42. Sasikala Chaarthiya from Devaragam (1996) – Lyricist: M. D. Rajendran, Music Composer: M. M. Keeravani
The movie is all about beautiful and extremely melodious tunes composed by Keeravani, Sridevi’s beauty face and Chithra’s voice. The song was filmed on Sridevi who celebrates auspicious Karthika festival with lighted lamps and dance steps, and the song also includes the intro scene of Aravind Swamy’s character, who watches his heroine for the first time. Chithra bagged state awards for best female playback.
43. Shyama Megame Ne from Adhipan (1989) – Lyricist: Chunakkara Ramankutty, Music Composer: Shyam
It’s definitely one of the career best songs of Chithra, worth hearing a thousand times. Purely based on Carnatic music, extremely talented Chithra took the song to a new level when she sang it with ease. The song was filmed on Parvathy, and Mohanlal also appears in the song. Needless to say only an expert can sing this song perfectly and hit the right notes without flaws. Hats off to Chithra, she is definitely a master!!
44. Swarakanyakamaar from Santhwanam (1991) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Mohan Sithara
The movie included just two solo tracks. The second song, Unni Vavavo recorded in the voices of both Chithra and Yesudas as solo versions was more popular than this sad song. However my choice for best song of the album goes to Swarakanyakamaar, where Rekha appears as a performer with Veena. This particular song, alongside Thaaram Vaalkannadi from Keli gave state award to Chithra for the year 1991.
45. Thanka Thoni from Mazhavil Kaavadi (1989) – Lyricist: Kaithapram Damodaran, Music Composer: Johnson
The song filmed on Urvasi and Jayaram was a huge chartbuster when got released three decades back. This particular song, alongside Kalari Vilakk from Oru Vadakkan Veeeragaatha earned Chithra her state awards.
46. Thumpayum Thulasiyum from Megham (1999) – Lyricist: Gireesh Puthenchery, Music Composer: Ouseppachan
One of the finest Malayalam songs based on the theme of natural beauty and greenery of God’s own country, the song featured Bollywood actress Priya Gill in her very first Malayalam film. All the songs of the romantic movie were extremely popular, though the film badly flopped at box office.
47. Thumpi Nin Moham from Neelagiri (1991) – Lyricist: P. K. Gopi , Music Composer: M. M. Keeravani
The movie starring Mammootty and Madhoo was a box office flop. But the songs became extremely popular. In this particular song, Mammootty plays violin and Madhoo sings for her birthday party. M. M. Keeravani was credited as Maragathamani for its compositions. Kilipaadumetho/Karukayaamam is yet another popular song from the album, recorded both in the voices of Yesudas and Chithra. The movie included one Sujatha-Yesudas duet, Manju Veena Pultharayil, which was not used for the movie.
48. Vaarmukile Vaanil from Mazha (2000) – Lyricist: Yusufali Kecheri, Music Composer: Ravindran
The song filmed on Samyukta Menon, Biju Menon and Lal was one of the top songs of year 2000. The song also shares some glimpses of lost dreams and lost love. The song was filmed on the splendid beauty of backwaters and houseboats, and its lyrics are so amazing.
49. Vaathil Pazhuthiloode from Idanazhiyiloru Kaalocha (1987) – Lyricist: O. N. V. Kurup, Music Composer: V. Dakshinamoorthy
My most favourite Malayalam song ever, Vaathil Pazhuthiloode is very close to my heart, may be the ‘Sandhya’ factor creating the magic. Though it’s best known as an evergreen classic of Yesudas, the song was recorded in Chithra’s version too. Karthika sings the opening lines (Mukda) to Vineeth during the climax scene of the film; only these few lines appear in Chithra’s voice throughout in the movie. The movie also marked the comeback of V. Dakshinamoorthy as a composer after a few years.
50. Varuvaanillaarumee from Manichitrathaazhu (1993) – Lyricist: Madhu Muttam, Music Composer: M. G. Radhakrishnan
This song is the perfect pick to end this list of best Chithra solos. This poetry version was filmed on Sobhana, who bagged state and National film awards for best actress for her performance in dual roles. The song provides a few glimpses of her past life.