A Small Hillock full of boulders over-looking the Ligislative Assembly Buildings, the All India Radio and Office of the Inspector General of police facing Fateh Maidan and at the junction of orads leading to the Andhra Pradesh Government Secretariat, Ameerpet, Beshirbagh and Nampally, almost at the nerve centre of Hyderabad has been transformed into a magnificent Tagore Theatre constructed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for creating a cultural upsurge in the fields of dance, drama and music in the twin cities and in Andhra Pradesh. An imposing structure in modern architecture with lofty stairs leading to the marbled foyer has two copper wire designs on either side in the front elevation one representing music and Dance and the other Drama is Ravindra Bharathi, the drama of the citizens of the twin cities of Hyderabad and secunderabad crysta lised in stone, mortor and mabble. It is the first theatre constructed in India commemorate the centenary celebrations of the Indian poet or International Reputation Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
Under the guidance of a theatre constitution Advisory Commitee,the P.W.D of the Government of Andhra Pradesh executed the design prepared by Sri M,Fayazuddin,the state of about Rs 16.4 lakhs,out of which the Government of Indaia contributed 2 1/2 lakhs.The plinth erea of the building is 2,295 sq.Yards.
The foundation stone was laid by Dr.B.Gopala Reddy on 23 rd March,1960 in a area of about 3 acres land and the actual construction was started in August 1960 and the theatre was declared open on 11 th May,1961 by Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishan the then Vice-President of India
This is the first Tagore Theatre in India to be ready for the inauguration of Tagore Centenary Celebrations when 3 of Tagore's plays were produced by the three Universities in Andhra pradesh Viz.The Andhra University,Osmania University and Sri Venkatesware University.
Ravindra Bharathi has also been provided with two water coolers for the benefit of the visiting public.
The stage of Ravindra Bharathi is being equipped with a false proscenium and double sided wings with both translatory and rotatory movement,unit sets and painted curtains for modern and conventional play.Counter Weight Flys for quick change of scenes are also being contemplated.
Air conditional plant was installed in the place of old A.C. plant which went out of order with a cost of Rs 13.75 lakhs in the year 1979.
The stage measures 105 ft, wide 48 ft, deep and 48 ft hight and is equipped with necessary stage lighting and sound reinforcement system. There are 2 large sizes green room with 4 cubicles in each.
The auditorium has a seating capacity for 1004 (768 seats in the main auditorium and 336 seats in the balcony) with cushioned seats.
The theatre is allotted to private parties on a nominal charge of rent. The Government of Andhra Pradesh in cultural Affairs Department has been arranging the programmes as Government pragrammes and the theatre will be given free of rent and on the basis of the programmes remuneration will be paid by the Government.
A noteworthy feature of Ravindra Bharathi is the size of stage, which measures 105’ side ,48 ‘ deep and 38 hight and is provided with solar spots,baby sports, two imported follow sopts, cyclorama to and bottom lights, front or house lights, acting area floods and batten lights in 108 circuits connected to 24 dimmers. The stage has a proscenium opening 37’ * 18’ with 42/30 wooden floor as acting and dancing area. The theatre is equipped with a sound reinforcement system providing twelve chanels for microphones with loud speakers distributed over the entire auditorium.
The Ravindra Bharathi originally was Government organization and was later made an autonomous body in 1963.At present Ravindra Bharathi is under the administrative control of the cultural affairs Department. Government of Andhra Pradesh has appointed secretary to look after the affairs of Ravindra Bharathi in month 1996.
In recent years the cultural activity in the twin cities has picked up and there is a heavy demand. At present there is a program every day at times two or more a day in this prestigious theatre. The common public is given an opportunity to enjoy the programmes in Ravindra Bharathi arranged by Department of culture free of cost.