Padayappa is an engineer who returns to his village from Chennai to attend his sister's wedding. His sister is engaged to their maternal uncle's son Suryaprakash. During his stay, he comes across Vasundhara, and falls in love with her. However, shyness and fear of Neelambari, her landlady, prevents Vasundhara from initially expressing her feelings. In addition, Neelambari is Suryaprakash's spoiled sister, who is madly in love with Padayappa.
Unexpectedly, Padayappa's father's foster brother demands a share in the family property. Padayappa's father, the chieftain of the village, refuses to divide the property and instead gives the entire property to his foster brother. This forces Padayappa's family to leave their home. Unable to bear this shock, Padayappa's father dies. Suryaprakash then cancels his wedding with Padayappa's sister and marries the daughter of Padayappa's father's foster brother, who now owns the property of Padayappa's father.
Meanwhile, Padayappa discovers that a hill on his property is solid granite, which allows him to start a granite business, from which he becomes rich. He uses the money to help the poor in his village, and provide them jobs. As his business flourishes, his family is able to once again settle down. Padayappa assumes his father's position as the village chieftain, and his sister gets married to one of the engineers who work in his company. When Neelambari learns about Padayappa's love for Vasundhara, she becomes jealous of her, and her parents beg Padayappa's widowed mother to allow Neelambari to marry Padayappa. However, to everyone's surprise, Padayappa's mother embarrasses Padayappa's maternal uncle in front of the entire village when she agrees to a marriage proposal made by Vasundhara's mother, her brother's servant. Unable to bear the humiliation, Padayappa's maternal uncle commits suicide. When Neelambari tries to kill Vasundhara by letting a bull loose on her, Padayappa saves her, after which the two marry. After the wedding, Neelambari locks herself in a room in Suryaprakash's house, thinking only about Padayappa for 18 years. In between, Padayappa finds his father's foster brother in trouble and was pulled out by a financier, from whom he had borrowed money on interest keeping the family house, and helps his father's foster brother, who is suffering financially. As a result, Padayappa's father's foster brother becomes indebted to him and seeks Padayappa's pardon for his misdeeds. Padayappa forgives him.
Neelambari plans her revenge on Padayappa, now a father of two daughters. Suryaprakash also has a son, Chandraprakash aka Chandru, who studies at the same college as Padayappa's elder daughter, Anitha. Neelambari advises Chandru to make Anitha fall in love with him. At the same time, Padayappa plans to get Anitha married to his sister's son. Neelambari, having made Chandru pretend to fall in love with Anitha, plans to humiliate Padayappa by making Anitha say that she does not wish to marry a groom of her parents' choice and that she is in love with someone else. At the marriage ceremony, after Anitha does what Neelambari told her to do, Padayappa makes an oath to unite Anitha with her lover by the next Muhurta day, or commit suicide. Padayappa discovers that Chandru really did fall in love with Anitha even though he was only initially pretending to do so on Neelambari's advise. When Padayappa takes Chandru and Anitha to the temple to get married, Neelambari and Suryaprakash give chase to stop them. Suryaprakash gets killed in a car accident during the chase.
Armed with a gun, Neelambari reaches the temple where Chandru and Anitha are married. In anger, she tries to kill Padayappa. However, Padayappa saves her life when he prevents a bull from attacking her, while at the same time dodging the bullets she fires at him. Rather than live with the humiliation of knowing she was unsuccessful in avenging her father's death, as well as having her life saved by her enemy, Neelambari commits suicide, promising to take revenge on Padayappa in her next birth. Padayappa prays for her soul to be at peace and eventually attain salvation.
Movie Name - Padayappa
Cast - Sivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth, Ramya Krishnan, Soundarya and others
Music by - A. R. Rahman
Directed by - K. S. Ravikumar
Produced by - K. Sathya Narayana
M. V. Krishna Rao
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