Tanikella Bharani is an Indian actor, theatre artist, screenwriter, film director, playwright, and poet. He mainly works in Telugu and Tamil films. In 2022, he was honoured with Sahitya Puraskar from Lok Nayak Foundation held at Kala Bharathi Auditorium, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
Tanikella Bharani was born on Wednesday, 14 July 1954 (age 68 years; as of 2022) in Secunderabad, Hyderabad (now Telangana). His zodiac sign is Cancer. His family hails from Jagannadhapuram village in Andhra Pradesh. He did his schooling at a railway school in Hyderabad. He then did his graduation in commerce from Railway Degree College, Secunderabad, Telangana. Later, he did a diploma in drama from Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Tanikella belongs to a Telugu Brahmin Hindu family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is T. V. S. Srithanikella Ramalingeswara Rao, and his mother’s name is Lakshmi Narasamma. His father used to donate rice, pulse, and other food items to needy people during natural calamities in their village. Tanikella has three elder brothers and three younger brothers.
Wife & Children
On 30 November 1988, he got married to Durga Bhavani, and the couple has a son named Teja Tanikella, and a daughter named Bhavani Tanikella. His son, Teja, works as an actor.
The Telugu language poet and orator Diwakarla Venkatavadhani and Telugu writer Viswanatha Satyanarayana were his grand uncles. The renowned Telugu poet duo Tirupati Venkata Kavulu were his great-grand-uncles.
8-3-678/6, Soundarya Lahari, Pragathi Nagar, Yousufguda, Hyderabad – 500 045, Telangana State, India.
While he was in college, he wrote a play titled ‘Adde Kompa.’ The play was liked by the audience, and he won the first prize for the play. In the mid-70s, he met the acquaintance of the Telugu actor Rallapalli. With his assistance, Tanikella started writing stage scenes and dialogues for plays. Later, on the advice of Rallapalli, he shifted to Chennai. He then played the role of a 70-year-old man in a theatre play titled ‘Mugimpi Lai Katha’ which was written by Rallapalli. He came into the limelight with the theatre play. Later, when Rallapalli was in a need of playwright for his theatre company ‘Sri Murali Kalanilayam,’ he asked Tanikella to work for him as a playwright. He agree to it and worked as a playwright for 10 plays for the theatre company. One of his plays ‘Gograhanam,’ won the Sahitya Akademi Award. Apart from writing plays, he has also performed in many theatre plays. Some of his popular plays are Jambu Dweepam, Chal Chal Gurram, Naalugo Kothi, Kokkorokko, and Gaardhabhaandam. He has also worked in many Telugu playlets including Gaardhabhanda, Grahanam Pattina Ratri, Sani Grahalu, Goyyi, Panjaram Lo Elaka, and Hulakki.
He then started working as a dialogue writer for Doordarshan TV shows. In 1985, he made his debut as a writer with the 1985 Telugu film ‘Kanchu Kavacham.’
In the same year, he worked as a writer in the Telugu films like ‘Aalapana,’ ‘Pralayam,’ and ‘Ladies Tailor.’ In the late 1980s, he worked as a writer in the Telugu films ‘Lawyer Suhasini’ (1986), ‘Varasudochadu’ (1987), ‘Maharshi’ (1988), ‘Chinnari Sneham’ (1988), and ‘Siva’ (1989). Some of his popular Telugu films as a writer from the 90s era are ‘Nari Nari Naduma Murari’ (1990), ‘One By Two’ (1991), ‘Aadarsam’ (1993), ‘Lingababu Love Story’ (1995), and ‘Pattukondi Chuddam’ (1999).
In 1985, Tanikella made his debut as an actor in the Telugu film ‘Ladies Tailor,’ in which he played the role of a police. After almost two years, he appeared in his second Telugu film ‘Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi Recording Dance Troupe.’ In 1989, he acted in three Telugu films ‘Siva,’ ‘Swarakalpana,’ and ‘Chettu Kinda Pleader.’ In the 1990s, he appeared in many popular Telugu films like ‘Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu’ (1991), ‘Money Money’ (1994), ‘Big Boss’ (1995), ‘Pellichesukundam’ (1997), and ‘Samudram’ (1999).
In the year 2001, he acted in more than 10 Telugu films including ‘Ammo Bomma,’ ‘Jaabili,’ ‘Family Circus,’ ‘Nuvvu Nenu,’ and ‘Snehamante Idera.’ In 2002, he acted in 17 Telugu films, and in 2003, he appeared in 14 Telugu films. Tanikella then appeared in many more Telugu films including ‘Oka Pellam Muddu Rendo Pellam Vaddu’ (2004), ‘Political Rowdy’ (2005), ‘Chirutha’ (2007), ‘Rakta Charitra’ (2010), and ‘Dhada’ (2011). Some of his other popular Telugu films are ‘Ramayya Vasthavayya’ (2013), ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’ (2015), ‘Nela Ticket’ (2018), ‘Saaho’ (2019), and ‘Acharya’ (2022).
He made his Tamil debut with ‘Veetla Visheshanga’ (1994) in which he played the role of inspector.
He has acted in many Tamil films including ‘Mazhai’ (2005), ‘Bheemaa’ (2008), ‘Nootrenbadhu’ (2011), ‘Kalavaram’ (2014), and ‘Thozha’ (2016).
Tanikella has also acted in a few Hindi films. His debut Bollywood film is ‘Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega’ (2001) in which he played the role of Dakshina Murthy.
He has also appeared in a few Hindi versions of the Telugu films ‘Rakht Charitra’ (2010), ‘Rakht Charitra 2’ (2010), and ‘Saaho’ (2019).
In 2012, he directed the Telugu film ‘Mithunam’ starring S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and Lakshmi. He has also directed a few Telugu short films.
Tanikella has also dubbed a few Telugu and Tamil films like ‘Bhamane Satyabhamane’ (Tamil; 1996), ‘Donga Dongadi’ (Telugu; 2004), ‘Aparichitudu’ (Tamil; 2005), ‘Himsinche Raju 23rd Pulikesi’ (Tamil; 2006), and ‘PS-1’ (Telugu; 2022).
Tanikella has composed songs for various devotional albums like ‘Nalona Sivudu Galadu’ (2005), ‘Shabhash Ra Shankara’ (2014), and ‘Naa Manasu Kothi Ra Rama’ (2017).
He has penned down the Telugu books Parikini, Nakshatra Darsanam, Maathralu, and Endaro Mahanubavulu.
He has also written a few spiritual books like Aata Gadaraa Siva, Sabhashuraa Sankara, and Shabbash Ra Shankara.
He has also sung many spiritual songs like “Enta Mosagadivayya Siva” (2005), “Nalona Sividu Galadu” (2005), “108 Shiva Tatvaalu” (2012), and “Votu Veyyakandi Naku” (2019).
Controversial Lyrics of a Devotional Song
In 2021, one of his songs’ lyrics receive huge criticism. The lyrics of his song were “Gappal goddaru gadde kodukulu .. nuvvundanga levantaru .. unnavo levo chevula jeppipora shabbashra Shankara” which means “Gappal is the son of a donkey Don’t wake up when you are! Zepipora of the ears whether you are or not Shabbash Ra Shankara.” Tanikella received huge criticism for his song. Later, he uploaded an apology video on his Facebook account. In his video, he said,
I am not against anyone .. The video was released unconditionally apologizing. For the last few days I have been posting on Facebook saying ‘Shabash Ra Shankara ..’ However .. unfortunately some of the comments were known to have hurt some minds .. hurt. I do not want to give an explanation for it anymore. Because whatever is said is like covering up .. I join hands and apologize unconditionally. Also deleted that post .. I have no objection if all rationalists .. humanitarians miss the honor. Also no one has the right or the power to hurt any man. I want to apologize once again for the mistake .. Hello everyone.”
- 2000: Best Villain for Samudhram
- 2002: Best Character Actor for Nuvvu Nenu
- 2013: Nandi Award for Best Dialogue Writer for Mithunam
- 2013: Special Jury Award for Best Director– Mithunam
- Sri Pada Subhramanya Sastry Literary Award for Polamuru
- Bhanumathi Award for Hyderabad
- Sri Vanamamalai Varadacharyulu Literary Award for Adilabad
- Fellowship Jawahar Bharathi for Kavali
- Allu Ramalingayyiah National Award for Hyderabad
- Akkineni Swarna Kankanam for Hyderabad
- Nagabhairava Koteswara Rao literary Award for Nellore
- Sangam Academy award for completing 25 years in Telugu Cinema
- Tenth Mumbai International Film Festival Award (2008)
- International Film Festival Award for Sira-The Ink (short film)
- Lok Nayak Foundation Sahitya Puraskar (2022)
- Tanikella is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. Since his childhood, he used to visit nearby temples to perform Harikatha.
- He did his spiritual teaching under his guru Sri Sannidhanam Taraka Brahmasastri.
- Since childhood, he used to sing bhajans and prayers.
- He has organised the spiritual event ‘Ata Kadara Shiva’ in various countries such as Dubai, Kuwait, and USA. Later, he presented the literary program called Sahiti Panchamritham in the USA.
- He is well-versed in various languages like Tamil, Telugu, English, and Hindi.
- He supports the BJP, and in one of his spiritual events, he praised the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi for supporting Hindus in India.
- Tanikella is well versed in one of the Hindu Puranas ‘Bhagavata Purana.’
- In his leisure time, he loves to read books and spend time in peaceful places.