Tollywood actress Nayanthara’s relationship with actor Prabhudeva grabbed many headlines. The actress has converted from Christianity to Hinduism to marry Prabhudeva.
Nayanthara was born in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, to Malayali Orthodox Christian parents Kurian Kodiyattu and Omana Kurian who hail from the aristocratic Kodiyatt family from Tiruvalla, Kerala.
Nayanthara was born and brought up as a Syrian Christian. On 7 August 2011, she converted to Hinduism at the Arya Samaj Temple in Chennai. She has gone through Shuddhi Karma, a procedure involving a Vedic purification and a Homam where Nayanthara chanted the hymns from Veda and Gayatri Mantra under the guidance of the priest. After the purification ceremony, a Certificate of Conversion to Hinduism was issued to her and her stage name, Nayanthara, became her official name. She also visited a number of holy places, including Haridwar and Rishikesh in May 2014.
Prabhudeva also divorced his wife Latha to marry Nayanthara but people did not like his decision. In 2010, Latha filed a petition at the family court, seeking directions against Deva from living in a relationship with Nayanthara and requesting a reunion with him. Furthermore, she threatened to go on hunger strike if Prabhu Deva married Nayanthara, while several women’s organisations conducted protests against Nayanthara for bringing disrepute to the Tamil culture, burning an effigy of her. In 2012, Nayanthara confirmed that she had ended her relationship with Deva.
Nayanthara is currently in a relationship with director Vignesh Shivan, with whom she worked in Naanum Rowdy Thaan which became official when they walked in together at an awards show in Singapore.
She made her acting debut with 2003 Malayalam film Manassinakkare and in Telugu with Lakshmi. Since then she acted in several films like Tulasi, Dubai Seenu, Greeku Veerudu, Anaamika and more. Her role of Lord Sita in Sri Rama Rajyam has earned her Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress and Nandi Award for Best Actress. Nayantara has been declared as the ‘Most Desirable Woman of Chennai’ in a poll conducted by a leading daily.