Sivaji Ganesan as Lord Muruga
Padmini as Valli
T. R. Mahalingam as Narada
E. R. Sahadevan king as Nambi Raja
C. K. Saraswathi as Nambi Raja's wife
J. P. Chandra Babu as Valli's brother
Helen as a dancer
Ragini as Valli's friend
Master Vijayakumar as Lord Muruga (child)
Lakshmi as Valli (child)
The original story was based on a folk tale which describes the romance between Lord Muruga and Valli, a tribal girl. Initially exhibited as stage plays, the story was developed into a silent film titled Valli Thirumanam in 1921. It was followed by another silent release, Sri Subramanyam in 1930. N. D. Sarpotdhar remade the film the same year for the "Aryan Film Company" and named it as Subramaniam. Another version titled Valli Kalyanam released the same year where Sundar Rao Nadkarni enacted the lead role.
The first talkie version of the story was produced by Samikannu Vincent in 1933. Named Valli Thirumanam, the film was shot in Calcutta and directed by P. V. Rao. T. P. Rajalakshmi played the role of Valli in the which ultimately became a box-office success. For the next ten years, no movies were made based on the story until A. V. Meiyappan produced Sri Valli in 1945 that had T. R. Mahalingam and Kumari Rukmini playing Lord Muruga and Valli respectively. The film was instrumental in making AVM a successful production company. Sixteen years later, a colour film based on the same story was produced by Narasu Studios. It had Sivaji Ganesan and Padmini as the lead pair. T. R. Mahalingam who played Muruga in the previous version was given the role of Narada in this film.
Goddess Valli had her heart and soul dedicated to Lord Subramanya and would always pray with fervent devotion and love, to be with Him. The Lord was moved by the highest form of love expressed by the mountain princess, and so He planned to appease Her in person by creating the perfect situation after an enactment of His lila.
The mountain chief planned to develop a field for growing millet, and assigned Valli to take charge of protecting the field from birds and animals who might devour the crops. Lord Murugan saw this as an opportunity to meet the Goddess, and therefore He assumed the form of a handsome tribal hunter and appeared before her, as if he had lost his way on chasing a deer during hunting. Valli did not recognize the stranger and promptly asked him to leave the place. The Hunter was about to leave and at that moment the chief was returning to the place bringing honey and fruits for Valli. The God, in order to avoid being caught, turned himself into a tree. After the chief and his followers left the place, the God changed back into the hunter form and proposed his love to Valli.
The princess who had only the Mountain God in her heart, was infuriated at the proposal and lashed out at the hunter. (This form of Lord Muruga called the 'Veduvan Kolam' can be seen at the Lord Palaniapaar temple at Belukurichi). The chief and his followers were again returning to the place, so the hunter changed himself into an old man, without being noticed by Valli. The chief, on seeing the old man, requested him to stay with Valli till they returned from the hunt.
The old man was hungry and asked Valli for food, and she gave Him a mixture of the millet flour and honey, but it made him thirsty and He asked for water. She provided water from a nearby stream and the Lord jokingly remarked that she had satisfied his thirst and she could quench his thirst for a companion. The Goddess was angered again and started to leave the place. The Lord requested assistance from His brother, Lord Ganesha to appear as a wild elephant at that time. On seeing the wild elephant, Valli was scared and ran back to the old man, pleading with Him to save Her from the elephant. Lord Muruga proposed to save Her only if She agreed to marry Him. In the heat of the moment, she agrees and the Lord reveals His true form. It was then Valli realised that it was her beloved Lord, who was with her all the time.After the millet harvest was over, the chief with his daughter and entourage returned to their native land. The Lord, again returned for His devotee and The Divine Couple enjoyed their time away from Valli's family. Nambi Raja on being alerted about Valli's absence, flew into rage and went in search of Her. When they finally found The Lord along with Valli, the chief and followers shot arrows at Him, but they all failed to even touch the Lord and instead, the chief and his sons fell lifeless. Goddess Valli was disheartened to see the lifeless bodies of her kith and kin, and requested the Lord to bring them back to life. Lord Murugan instructed Her to revive them Herself and by Her mere touch everyone was brought back to life. The chief Nambi Raja and his tribesmen realised that it was their God of Mountains, in the form of the old man and prayed to Him. Lord Muruga took his true form and blessed the tribesmen, and the chief conducted the marriage of his daughter and the Lord.
The film was directed by T. R. Ramanna, while Thanjai Ramaiah Das wrote the screenplay and lyrics. The musical score was provided by G. Ramanathan, with songs recorded T. M. Soundararajan, T. R. Mahalingam, Sirkazhi Govindarajan, P. Susheela, Jikki, A. G. Rathnamala, A. P. Komala and J. P. Chandrababu. Actor Vijayakumar made his debut through the film playing the younger role of Lord Muruga an Lakshmi to make her debut through the film playing the younger role of Valli. This movie was shot in Geva Color and dubbed in Telugu as Sri Valli Kalyanam in year 1962.
This album contains 20 songs composed by G. Ramanathan, written by Thanjai N. Ramaiah Dass. Singer are T. R. Mahalingam & J. P. Chandrababu. Playback singers are T. M. Soundararajan, Seerkazhi Govindarajan, P. Suseela, Jikki, A. P. Komala & A. G. Rathnamala.
In its review of the film, Kumudam filled a whole page with only two words: "Om Muruga".
A 2011 review by Randor Guy of The Hindu noted, "Despite the popular lead pair, tuneful music and dances by Helen ... this colour version was a disappointment."