Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

May 10, 2018, 16:00 IST
  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha was born Namitha Mukesh Vankawala on May 10th, 1981, in Surat, Gujarat. She was crowned Miss Surat in 1998, after which she ended up as the fourth runner-up in the Miss India pageant, which was won by Bollywood actress Celina Jaitley. In order to capitalise on the publicity she garnered for her participation in the pageant, Namitha moved to Mumbai, where she would appear in several TV commercials for many leading brands. Pics/Namitha's official Instagram account

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha was unable to break into the Bollywood film industry despite receiving several ad offers and enrolled in an English Literature course after which she decided to return home to Surat. Fate had something in store for the future South sensation. She accepted an offer to audition for a role in Sreenu Vaitla's coming-of-age Telugu romantic drama Sontham in 2002, which marked her debut in Tollywood. Namitha played the love interest of two characters in a love triangle in the film

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha followed that up by starring in the big-budget actioner Gemini the same year opposite Telugu superstar Venkatesh in Gemini, which was a remake of the Tamil film of the same name, starring Vikram. Her portrayal of a Marwari girl named Manisha Natwarlal won critical acclaim. The film was directed by Saran, who was once an assistant to legendary auteur K Balachander

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    While working in the film Gemini, Namitha was given the stage name Bhairavi, but reverted back to her original name afterwards. In 2003, she was the female lead in the Telugu films Oka Raju Oka Rani, which starred Ravi Teja and Oka Radha Iddaru Krishnula Pelli, in which she shared the screen with choreographer-actor-filmmaker Prabhu Deva and Srikanth

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha gained fame in the mid-2000s in the Tamil film industry also known as Kollywood, when she went on to star in several successful commercial action films and comedy dramas including Siddique's Engal Anna (2004), Aai (2005), Chanakya (2005) and Aanai (2005)

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    During this time, Namitha's mature look and tall frame prompted filmmakers to cast her opposite ageing actors such as Vijayakanth, Sathyaraj, Arjun, Parthiban, Sundar C and Sarathkumar. Her other notable Tamil outings included, Englishkaran (2005), Chanakya (2005), Bambara Kannaley (2005) and Kovai Brothers (2006) among other films. She also worked in the Telugu films Aithe Enti (2004) and Nayakudu (2005)

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha's first and only Bollywood outing was the 2006 film Love Ke Chakkar Mein. It starred Rishi Kapoor, Akshat Bhatia, Satish Shah, and Shoma Anand. Akshat also marked his Bollywood debut with the film. Directed by B.H. Tharun Kumar, the comedy initially had Parmita Katkar, Miss India Asia Pacific 2003 as a cast member

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Following her Bollywood debut, Namitha worked in the Tamil films Pachchak Kuthira (2006), Thagapansamy (2006), Nee Venunda Chellam (2006) and entered Kannada filmdom with Neelakanta (2006). She received an opportunity to work with Kollywood heavyweights Vijay and Ajith Kumar in the films Azhagiya Tamil Magan (2007), the music for which was composed by A.R. Rahman, and Billa respectively, both 2007 releases. The latter was a remake of the 2006 Shah Rukh Khan starrer Don and would again be remade in Telugu in 2009, with the actress reprising her role opposite 'Baahubali' Prabhas

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    It was during this time in her career that Namitha became established as a popular actress in Tamil Nadu, thanks to her glamourous roles in several Kollywood films. Her fans built a temple in her honour at the height of her popularity in 2008, near Coimbatore. She became the second such actress after Kushboo Sunder to have a place of worship erected in her name

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha's screen credits in 2007 and 2008 include the Tamil films Vyapari, Naan Avanillai, Sandai, Pandi, the Kannada film Indra and her debut English venture Kamasutra Nights, which was originally titled Maya. By 2009, she experienced a decline in popularity, as several of her films were unsuccessful at the box-office and filmmakers began to distance themselves from casting heroins in outright glamourous roles and were reluctant in casting in opposite younger actors

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha was now doing smaller roles and making guest appearances in many films. The 2009 film Jaganmohini, in which she played the titular role, a big budget production, was a critical and commercial failure. In 2010, she became embroiled in a dispute with Thiru, the director of Azhagana Ponnuthan, who criticised her lack of cooperation for the film's failure

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Several of her Tamil projects experienced production delays during the early 2010s, after which she focused on Kannada and Malayalam films. Her ventures during this period include the Tamil films Guru Sishyan (2010), Ilaignan (2011), Ilamai Oonjal (2016), the Malayalam films Black Stallion (2010), Puli Murugan (2016), the Kannada films Hoo (2010), Namitha I Love You (2011), Benki Birugali (2013), and the Telugu film Simha (2010)

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    In 2010, a fan attempted to kidnap Namitha in Trichy, Tamil Nadu. She tied the knot with aspiring film actor-producer Veerendra Chowdary in Tirupati on November 24th 2017

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha was chosen as the "most beautiful person" in India by a Japanese media station in 2012 and in June of the same year, she and Tamil actor Bharat were part of a campaign that promotes safe driving

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha was one of the celeb contestants on the first season of the reality TV show Bigg Boss Tamil, which was hosted by legendary actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan. The show aired from June 25th to September 30th and the participants lived in a lavish house set constructed at EVP theme park, Chennai

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha courted controversy during her stint on Bigg Boss Tamil over several disputes she had with fellow contestant and actress Oviya, who viewers felt was mistreated by the former. She was criticised for her harsh behaviour towards Oviya on the show and was evicted on day 28

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    During an interview in 2008, Namitha revealed that she was thrilled when she came to know that fans had immortalised her by building a temple in her name. She promised to work extra hard on her off-screen image and the way she would conduct herself

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha describes her nuptials with Veerendra Chowdary as a "love-come-arranged marriage." After entering holy matrimony with Veerendra, she shared the happy news on YouTube through a special video post

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  • Namitha: The South siren who has a temple built in her honour

    Namitha revealed during an earlier interview that husband Veerendra Chowdary proposed to her during a dinner outing. She is set to make her comeback to Tamil cinema with the upcoming horror film Pottu, in which she plays a character who practices black magic

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About The Gallery

South star Namitha, popular for starring in several Tamil and Telugu films in the 2000s enjoyed a cult-like fan-following from audiences across Tamil Nadu. A temple was built in her honour by admirers during the height of her popularity. She has even appeared on the inaugural season of the reality TV show Bigg Boss Tamil and is set to make her comeback on the big screen. On her birthday, we take a look at the actress in pictures

 

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