Mahabharat (1988 TV series)
Mahabharat is an Indian Hindi-language epic television series based on the ancient Sanskrit epic of the same name. The original airing consisted of a total of ninety-four episodes and were broadcast from 2 October 1988 to 24 June 1990 on Doordarshan. It was produced by B. R. Chopra and directed by his son, Ravi Chopra. The music was composed by Raj Kamal. The script was written by Pandit Narendra Sharma and the Hindi/Urdu poet Rahi Masoom Raza, based on the original story by Vyasa. Costumes for the series were provided by Maganlal Dresswala. Basic source used was Mahabharata BORI Edition (Critical Edition).
|Created by||B.R. Chopra and Ravi Chopra|
|Based on||Mahabharata by Vyasa|
|Written by||Pandit Narendra Sharma |
Rahi Masoom Raza
|Screenplay by||Rahi Masoom Raza|
|Directed by||B. R. Chopra|
|Creative director||Yashwant Mahilwar|
Arjun (Firoz Khan)
|Narrated by||Harish Bhimani|
|Country of origin||India|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||94|
|Executive producer||D.H. Vengurlekar|
|Producer||B. R. Chopra|
|Running time||40-45 minutes|
|Production company||B.R. Films|
|Original network||DD National|
|Original release||2 October 1988 –|
15 July 1990
|Followed by||Mahabharat Katha|
Each episode is 40–46 minutes long and begins with a title song that consisted of lyrical content and two verses from the Bhagavad Gita. The title song was sung and the verses rendered by singer Mahendra Kapoor. The title song is followed by a narration by Indian voice-artist Harish Bhimani as a personification of Time, detailing the current circumstances and highlighting the spiritual significance of the content of the episode. It is the most successful Mahabharata series ever produced for television.
Mahabharat Katha, another part of the serial was aired on 1997 which covers all the untold stories about Karna's marriage with Padmavati, Arjuna's marriage with Chitrāngadā and Ulupi, and stories about Ghatotkacha, Barbarika, Virshaketu, Babruvahana, Conspiracies of Viprachitti, Ashwamedha Yajna and aftermath of the War, which are not covered in the original series.
The show begins with Emperor Bharata giving more importance to 'Capacity' over 'Birth'. The latter shows the birth of Bheeshma and his oath, birth of Pandu, Dhritarashtra and Vidur and birth of Pandavas and Kauravas. The story then focuses on the childhood of Lord Krishna. Kunti Gives Birth to Karna , the son of God surya and Her , But Leaves him in a basket where a charioter adopts him and he is always been called a son of Charioter , but Duryodhan the Eldest Kaurva , elder brother of Dushasana , 100 Kaurva's and All five pandav's leaving Yudhishthira,and Karna Became Best - Friends , where duryodhan love karna more than his life.
Elsewhere, Dronacharya teaches Pandavas and Kauravas and asks to defeat Drupad as Guru Dakshina. Pandavas do so and give half of his kingdom to Drona. For revenge, Drupad obtains Dhrishthadhyumna and Draupadi. Dhritarashtra makes Yudhishthir the crown prince of Hastinapur. Shakuni (the maternal uncle of the Kauravas) and Duryodhan hatch a plan to burn Pandavas and Kunti alive, but they survive and go into incognito. Duryodhan is made crown prince of Hastinapur.
Arjuna wins Draupadi in her swayamvara but later shows her marriage with all five Pandavas. Later, Yudhishthir is made the king of Indraprastha and Pandavas conduct Rajsuya Yagna where Draupadi insults Duryodhana. Latter shows Duryodhana's revenge by trying to disrobe her in the Court By Dushasana and sending Pandavas along with Draupadi for an exile of 12 years and 1 year of anonymity. Duryodhana argues that the Pandavas violated the condition of anonymity in their last year of exile, therefore they must spend another 12 years in exile followed by another year of exile in anonymity. This conflict begins to sow the seed for the Mahabharata War.
Krishna tries to make peace between both parties. Indra in the disguise of a Brahmin took Karna's armor and earrings. Krishna tries to convince Karna but fails. Kunti begs Karna for Arjuna and rest Pandavas life. Kunti's sorrow on the corpse of Karna reveals Karna's true identity of being the eldest Pandava.
Before Mahabharata War, Shri Krishna enlightens Arjuna about the "Bhagavad Gita" and showed his Virata Swaroopa to Arjuna. The latter shows the deaths of Bheeshma, Drona, Karna, Abhimanyu, Shalya, Shakuni, Jayadrata, Ghatotkacha, 100 Kauravas, 5 sons of Draupadi and many other warriors in the war leading to the victory of Pandavas over Kauravas. Gandhari holds Krishna responsible for her son's death and curses that his family will also get destroyed. The show ends with Yudhishthir's Rajyabhishek and Bhishma's death.
- Nitish Bharadwaj as Purna Purushottam Vasudev Bhagwan Shri Krishna, Eighth Avatar of Lord Vishnu / Devaki-Vasudev's eighth son/ Foster son of Nand and Yashoda / Balaram and Subhadra's brother / Pandavas' cousin / Radha's Divine Lover ; husband of Rukmini, Satyabhama and other 6 rani/Lord Rama in the song sabso Uchi prem sagaai.
- Kewal Shah as Adolescent Krishna.
- Mukesh Khanna as Gangaputra Devavrata Bhishma, Shantanu-Ganga's eighth son / eighth Vasu / Satyavati's step-son/ Elder Half-Brother of Chitrangada and Vichitravirya/ Paternal Uncle of Dhritrashtra, Pandu, and Vidur / Paternal Grand-Uncle of the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
- Gajendra Chauhan as Chakravarti Samrat Daharmraj Yudhishthir, first Pandav / son of Kunti and Yama / Elder Cousin Brother of Duryodhana / eldest son of Kuru Clan / King of Indraprastha and later Hastinapura / husband of Draupadi and Devika / father of Prativindhya and Yaudheya.
- Sonu as Young Yudhishthir.
- Praveen Kumar as Kuntiputra Vakodar Bhim, second Pandav / son of Kunti and Vayu / Yuvraaj(crown Prince) of Indraprastha / Younger Cosuin Brother of Duryodhana / husband of Draupadi, Walandhara and Hidimba / father of Ghatotkacha, Sutasoma and Sarvaga.
- Mallik as Young Bhim.
- Arjun aka Firoz Khan as Gandhivdhari Kaunteya Arjuna, third Pandava , Younger Cousin Brother of Duryodhana / son of Kunti and Indra/ Real husband of Draupadi, Uloopi, Chitrangada and Subhadra / brother-in-law of Balaram-Krishna / father of Abhimanyu, Babruvahana, Iravan and Shrutakarna.Brother of Karna
- Ankur Javeri as Young Arjun.
- Sameer Chitre as Madreya Nakul, fourth Pandav, son of Madri and Ashwini Kumara / husband of Draupadi and Karenumati / Younger Cousin Brother of Duryodhana / father of Shatanika and Niramitra.
- Sanjeev Chitre as Madreya Sahadeva, fifth Pandav, son of Madri and Ashwini Kumara /husband of Draupadi and Vijaya / Youngest Cousin Brother of Duryodhana / father of Shrutasena and Suhotra.
- Roopa Ganguly as Chakravativartin Samagni Yagyaseni Draupadi, Common wife of Pandavas (Arjun's Real Wife) / also called as Panchali / Yagyaseni / younger daughter of Drupad/ Princess of Panchala / sister of Dhrishtadhyumna and Shikhandi / mother of Upapandavas.
- Puneet Issar as Yuvraj Duryodhan, eldest son of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra / Karna's Best Friend / Elder brother of 99 Kauravas / Elder Cousin Brother of all Pandav leaving Yudhishthir / husband of Bhanumati / father of Lakshmankumara and Lakshmanaa.
- Amit Shukla as young Duryodhan.
- Pankaj Dheer as hero of the epic Karna, son of Kunti and Surya / Adhiratha-Radha's foster son / King of Anga / Duryodhana's Best Friend / Husband of Vrushali and Supriya / father of Vrishasena, Chitrasena, Satyasena, Sushena, Shatrunjaya, Dvipata, Banasena, Prasena and Vrishaketu.
- Harendra Paintal as Young Karna.
- Vinod Kapoor as Dushasan, the Second son of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra / Duryodhan's younger brother.
- Kaushal Shah as Young Dushasan.
- Gufi Paintal as Shakuni, Gandhari's brother / later King of Gandhara / maternal uncle of Duryodhan and his 99 brothers.
- Girija Shankar as Dhritrashtra, Vichitravirya's son from Ambika(eldest) / later king of Hastinapur / father of Kauravas
- Renuka Israni as Gandhari, wife of Dhritrashtra / Queen of Hastinapur / mother of Kauravas / princess of Gandhara / Younger sister of Shakuni
- Nazneen as Kunti, Pandu's first wife/mother of Karna, Yudhisthira, Bhim and Arjun / daughter of Shoorsen / Vasudev's sister / Yadava princess / foster daughter of Kuntibhoj
- Virendra Razdan as Vidur, the Mahaa Mantri of Hastinapur / son of Ambika's head maid, Parishrami / Fathered by Vyasa /half-brother to the kings Dhritarashtra and Pandu of Hastinapura and also the uncle of Pandavas and Kauravas
- Surendra Pal as Dronacharya, Kauravas and Pandavas' guru / Ashwatthama's father
- Pradeep Rawat as Ashwatthama, son of Dronacharya
- Ayush Shah as Young Ashwatthama
- Harish Bhimani as Samay / narrator
- Sagar Salunkhe as Balram, Krishna's elder brother
- Chetan Hansraj as adolescent Balram
- Aloka Mukherjee as Subhadra, Arjuna's fourth wife/ Abhimanyu's mother / Vasudev's and Rohini's daughter / Krishna-Balaram's younger sister / Yadava Princess
- Raj Babbar as Bharat, Paternal Ancestor of the Kauravas and Pandavas / son of King Dushyanta and Shakuntala
- Ashalata Wabgaonkar as Shakuntala, Bharata's mother / King Dushyanta's wife
- Rishabh Shukla as Shantanu, descendant of King Bharata/ Husband of Ganga and Satyavati/ Father of Bhishma, Chitrangada, and Vichitravirya/ Paternal Grandfather of Dhritarashtra and Pandu/ Paternal Great-Grandfather of the Kauravas and the Pandavas
- Kiran Juneja as Ganga, Shantanu's first wife / Bhishma's mother / the holy river of Hindus.
- Debashree Roy as Satyavati, King Shantanu's second wife / Vyasa, Chitrangada, and Vichitravirya's mother / Bhishma's step-mother/ Paternal Grandmother of Dhritarashtra, Pandu, and Vidur/ Paternal Great-Grandmother of the Kauravas and the Pandavas
- Rajesh Vivek as Maharishi Ved Vyas, son of sage Parashara and Satyavati/ father of Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura/ partial incarnation of Lord Vishnu/ author of Mahabharata
- Sudesh Berry as Vichitravirya, Shantanu-Satyavati's second son after Chitrangada, Bhisma's step brother / husband of Ambika and Ambalika / father of Dhritarashtra and Pandu/ Paternal Grandfather of the Kauravas and the Pandavas
- Jahnavi as Amba, the first princess of Kashi/ will be Shikhandi in the next life
- Meena Chakrabarty as Ambika, second princess of Kashi / Vichitravirya's first queen/ Mother of Dhritarashtra/ Paternal Grandmother of the Kauravas
- Menaka Babbar as Ambalika, third princess of Kashi / Vichitravirya's second queen/ Mother of Pandu/ Paternal Grandmother of the Pandavas
- Tarakesh Chauhan as Pandu, Vichitravirya's son from Ambalika (the youngest wife) / King of Hastinapur / Husband of Kunti and Madri/ Father of Pandavas
- Roma Manek as Madri, Pandu's second wife / Madra princess / mother of Nakul and Sahadev
- Dharmesh Tiwari as Kripacharya, family Teacher / brother of Kripi/ Ashwatthama's maternal uncle
- Asha Singh as Kripi, sister of Kripacharya, wife of Dronacharya and mother of Ashwathama
- Kamlesh Maan as Devi Sulabha, Vidur's wife
- Lalit Mohan Tiwari as Sanjaya, Dhritarashtra's advisor and also his charioteer
- Kapil Kumar as Shalya, Madri's elder brother/ King of Madra
- Shahla Khan as Hidimbā, Hidimb's sister, Bheem's wife, Kunti's daughter-in-law and Ghatotkach's mother
- Razak Khan as Ghatotkach, Son of Bheem and Hidimbi
- Mayur Verma (Master Mayur) as Abhimanyu, Son of Arjun and Subhadra/ Husband of Uttara/ Father of Parikshit
- Varsha Usgaonkar as Uttara, Abhimanyu's wife / Matsya princess/ Mother of Parikshit
- Dinesh Anand as Vikarna, Son of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra / Duyodhan's younger brother
- Paramjeet Chima as Dashraj, Satyavati's father
- Om Katare as Adhiratha, Charioteer / Karna's foster father
- Saroj Sharma as Radha, Adhiratha's wife / Karna's foster mother
- Ramlal Gupta as Ugrasen, King of Mathura, Surasena / father of Kansa and Devaki
- Goga Kapoor as Kansa, son of Ugrasen / elder brother of Devaki/ Maternal uncle of Lord Krishna and Balaram
- Vishnu Sharma as Vasudev, son of Shoorsen / brother of Kunti / prince of Vrishni tribe / father of Balaram, Krishna, and Subhadra/ Maternal Uncle of the Pandavas
- Kshama Raj as Rohini, Vasudev's elder wife/mother of Balaram
- Sheela Sharma as Devaki, Vasudev's younger wife / younger sister of Kansa / daughter of Ugrasena / mother of Krishna and Subhadra
- Rasik Dave as Nand Raj, Chief of Gokul / foster father of Krishna
- Manju Vyas as Yashoda, Nand's wife / foster mother of Krishna
- Channa Ruparel as Maharani Rukmini, Krishna's chief wife
- Parijat as Devi Radha, Krishna's consort
- Sumeet Raghavan as adolescent Sudama
- Ajay Sinha as Akroor, Vrishni Chief
- Bashir Khan as Satyaki, General
- Ashok Banthia as Senapati Kritvarma
- Pradeep Sharma as Panchalaraj Drupad, Draupadi's father / King of Panchala
- Arun Bakshi as Yuvraaj Dhrishtadyumna, Draupadi's elder brother / Prince of Panchala
- Paintal as Shikhandi, Drupad's elder son / Adult Sudama
- Ashok Sharma as Virata, King of Matsya
- Chandni Sharma as Sudeshna, Queen of Matsya
- Sameer Rajda as Uttar, crown prince of Matsya
- Sharat Saxena as Kichak, Army General of Matsya
- Deep Dhillon as Jayadratha, Dussala's husband, Kauravas' brother-in-law, King of Sindhu
- Vikrant Mathur as Subala, Shakuni's and Gandhari's Father, King of Gandhara
- Shivendra Mahal as Bhagwan Parshuram / Lord Shiva
- Satish Kaul as Devraj Indra
- Gopi Krishna as Chitrasena
- Rakesh Bidua as Kashya, King Of Kashi
- Rana Jung Bahadur as Jarasandh, King of Magadha, father-in-law of Kans
- Karunakar Pathak as Shishupala, King of Chedi, a maternal cousin of Krishna and Balaram
- Pawan Shukla as Shalva Kumar, Prince of Salwa/ Princess Amba's lover
- Prem Sagar as Rishi Kanva
- Pankaj Berry as Rishi Kindama, a sage who cursed Pandu
- Mini Singh as Rishi Kindama's wife
- Vikas Prasad as Ekalavya
- Randhir Singh as Hidimb / Putana
- Sabrina as Putana (cameo)
- Dara Singh as Hanuman (cameo)
- Raj Kishore as Rajpurohit of Panchal Kingdom (cameo)
- Dinesh Kaushik as Rukmi
- Sooraj Thapar as Rukma(Brother of Rukmi and Rukmini)
- Bashir Khan as Rishi Parashar (father of Maharishi Vyas)/Senapati of Hastinapura
Episode 1 – Introduction of Kuru Family, Raja Bharat and Raja Shantanu
Episode 2 – Ganga Kills Her Sons
Episode 3 – Bhishma is Grown-up
Episode 4 – Bhishma Pratigya & Iccha Mrityu Vardaan
Episode 5 – Amba, Ambika and Ambalika's Introduction
Episode 6 – Birth of Pandu, Dhritarashtra and Vidur
Episode 7 – Karna's Birth-story, Dhritarashtra-Gandhari and Pandu-Kunti Get married
Episode 8 – Madri is gifted to Pandu, Pandu is resting and Sage Kindama's curse on Pandu
Episode 9 – Dhritarashtra is king, Pandu's sanyas and Pandavas are born.
Episode 10 – Kansa is king and Akashwani about Krishna
Episode 11 – Birth of Balarama and Krishna
Episode 12 – Krishna Janma (birth of Krishna) celebrations and Pootna's Death
Episode 13 – Krishna Brahmand Darshan and Krishna gets caught while stealing Makhan
Episode 14 – Maiya Mori Mai nahi makhan khayo and Kaliya Nag Tandav
Episode 15 – Radha and Gopikas, protest against Mathura, Devakasur and Trulambasur Vadh
Episode 16 – Kansa invites Krishna to Mathura
Episode 17 – Kansa Vadh
Episode 18 – Pandu's Death
Episode 19 – Satyavati, Ambika and Ambalika take sanyas with Rishi Vyas
Episode 20 – Duryodhan Poisons Bhim and Bhim gets strength of 1000 Elephants
Episode 21 – Sudama's chivda story, and Drona arrives at Hastinapur
Episode 22 – Shastra Pooja, Drona insults Karna and Arjuna's test
Episode 23 – Ekalavya, Karna's education.
Episode 24 – All the Princes have grown up, and they exhibit their skills in Rangbhoomi, Karna challenges Arjuna and Duryodhana gives Anga Desh to Karna.Entry of Karna and the 105 brothers.
Episode 25 – Drona's guru Dakshina to capture Dhrupad
Episode 26 – Krishna gets Sudarshana chakra from Parshuram, defeats Jarasandh and orders building Dwaraka
Episode 27 – Yudhishthira is crowned as Prince. Rukmini is Being Forced to Marry Shishupal
Episode 28 – Krishna Rescues Rukmini
Episode 29 – Karna's advice.Lakshagraha is built-in Varnavata by Purochan
Episode 30 – Karna and Shakuni's quarell.Tunneling in Varnavat Begins.
Episode 31 – Escape from Lakshagraha
Episode 32 – Karna and Duryodhana goes to Dhritarasthra.Hidimb Vadh and Bhima's marriage with demoness Hidimba
Episode 33 – Bheema kills Bakasura
Episode 34 – Dristadhyumna & Draupadi Birth and Draupadi Swayamvar
Episode 35 – Arjuna wins Draupadi and later she became the wife of the 5 Pandavas
Episode 36 – Pandavas Leave from Panchal Kingdom to Hastinapur
Episode 37 – Bhishma and Drona's advice to Dhritarashtra.
Episode 38 – Pandav Get Khandavprastha
Episode 39 – Coronation of Yudhirsthir, Khandavprastha Becomes Indraprastha
Episode 40 – Arjuna abducts Subhadra
Episode 41 – Discussion in the court.
Episode 42 – Jarasandha Vadh, Rajsuya Yagnya begins, Shishupala's story
Episode 43 – Karna's advice to Duryodhana.Rajsuya Yagya, Shishupala Vadh.
Episode 44 – Vyas predicts war, Draupadi laughs at Duryodhan
Episode 45 – Pandavas go to Hastinapur to gamble
Episode 46 – Yudhishthir loses Everything in the gamble
Episode 47 – Vastraharan of Draupadi
Episode 48 – Re-match of Dyut
Episode 49 – Karna recounts his curses.Bhishma defeats Parshurama.
Episode 50 – Vanvas Begins
Episode 51 – Gandharvas catch Duryodhan
Episode 52 – Karna conquers the entire world.Pandavas fear Karna,refused the invitation of Duryodhana.
Episode 53 – Krishna's story of one grain of rice, Bheema meets Ghatotkacha and Hanuman.Arjuna gets Pashupata weapon.
Episode 54 – Arjuna gets curse of impotency from Urvashi, Abhimanyu as a kid, Jayadrath's head is shaved
Episode 55 – Karna talks to Bhishma.Story of Poisoned Water and Yaksha's Questions to Yudhishthira, Abhimanyu is Grown-up.
Episode 56 – Karna talks to Drona.Exile in Matsya Desh.
Episode 57 – Karna's curse by Parshurama,Draupadi as Maid Sairandhri rejects Keechaka
Episode 58 – Keechaka Vadh by Bheema
Episode 59 – Kaurav Attack Matsya Desh
Episode 60 – Viraat war and clothes for Uttara's dolls
Episode 61 – Abhimanyu's marriage and Pandavs decide to send a Doot to Hastinapur
Episode 62 – Dhritarashtra does not agree and sends Sanjay
Episode 63 – Duryodhana gets Narayani Sena from Krishna, Krishna agrees to become charioteer of Arjuna
Episode 64 – Krishna Goes to Hastinapur as Shanti Doot
Episode 65 – Karna's Kawach and Kundala is taken by Indra.
Episode 66 – Karna's identity is disclosed.Krishna requests Karna.
Episode 67 – Kunti meets Karna.Karna swears for Duryodhana.
Episode 68 – Sanjaya gets Divya Drishti, Ulluk goes to Pandavas.
Episode 69 – Duryodhana tricks Shalya to join Kauravas
Episode 70 – Karna's oath.Shikhandi's Story.
Episode 71 – Karna meets Krishna.Rules of war laid.
Episode 72 – Kurukshetra War begins and Arjun Drops His weapons, Geeta Saar begins
Episode 73 – Geeta Saar continues
Episode 74 – Geeta Saar continues and Krishna shows his Maha-avtaar
Episode 75 – Yudhishthira gets blessings, Yuyutsu changes side and war begins, Abhimanyu faces Bhishma
Episode 76 – Uttar dies, Arjuna faces Bhishma and day 2 begins
Episode 77 – Bhishma is unstoppable, 3rd day is over, 4th day begins, Bhima is surrounded, 10 Kauravas are killed, Krishna takes out his Sudarshan
Episode 78 – 9th Day is over and 16 Kauravs are dead, Bhishma tells Arjuna how to take him out of the war
Episode 79 – Karna meets Bhishma;Bhishma lies on the bed of arrows
Episode 80 – Karna meets Kunti and promises her.Karna announces his entry in the battle. Day 11, Drona tries to capture Yudhishthir but is unsuccessful, Shantanu comes to Bhishma.
Episode 81 – Karna,Duryodhana,Dushashana requests Susharma.Chakra Vyuh Planned.
Episode 82 – Abhimanyu Vadh
Episode 83 – Arjuna Vows to Kill Jayadrath and Story About Jayadratha's Curse
Episode 85 – Karna battles with Bhima and spares him. Dhritarashtra condemns Karna.Bhima kills 40 Kauravas.Bhima kills Vikarna.
Episode 86 – Karna kills Ghatotakacha and destroys 2.5 akshounis.
Episode 87 – Virat and Drupad are killed, Drona Dies. Karna makes Arjuna weaponless and spares him.Arrogance of Arjuna was shattered and he remained quiet throughout the day
Episode 88 – Dushasana dies and Karna fights with Arjun, Krishna puts the Rath in the land so that Arjun is saved.Karna once again spares his life because of sunset.
Episode 89 – Karna meets Kunti.Karna meets Gandhari.Karna's curse, Karna-Arjuna final battle.Karna is killed while lifting the chariot.
Episode 90 – Shakuni Dies,Shalya dies, Duryodhan learns about Karna's truth, Yudhishthir curses All womankind, Gandhari curses Krishna & Yaduvansh, Duryodhan becomes iron bodied.Bhishma,Ashwathamma,Shakuni,Duryodhana,Shalya and all the Pandavas pay respect to Karna.
Episode 91 – Samaya pays respect to Karna.Balaram arrives, Bhim-Duryodhan Gada Yudh, Duryodhan fatally wounded, Balaram decides to kill Bhim
Episode 92 – Duryodhan Dies, Ashwatthama, Kripa and Kritvarma remain, Ashwathamas kill the sons of Pandavas (Uppandavas) and Drishtadyumna, Ashwathama tries to kill Uttara's unborn son, Krishna curses Ashwatthama, Parikshit is Born
Episode 93 – Dhritarashtra-Vidur discussion about dharma, Pandavas arrive at Hastinapur, Dhritarashtra Tries to kill Bhim
Episode 94 – Dhritarashtra and Gandhari ready for Vanaprastha. Yudhisthir Becomes King of Hastinapur, Bhishma leaves his body.
According to production team member Kishore Malhotra, the total cost of producing the series was ₹9 crore (US$1.3 million). Casting for the series began in 1986 and shooting started off in mid-1988. Show was shot mostly at Mumbai's Film City, and the grand battle of Kurukshetra was shot in Rajasthan, with thousands of extras to fill the screen.
The series was initially submitted to the channel for 104 episodes which was later shortened to 94 episodes.
15,000 people applied to play different roles in the Mahabharat TV series. The casting team led by Gufi Paintal shortlisted them and called around 1,500 for video screen tests Almost all actors in the series were newcomers, barring Raj Babbar who played King Bharat and Debashree Roy who played Satyavati.Pankaj Dheer was chosen to play the role of the central character of the epic,Karna.Character of Karna and Krishna were to be played Hindus only to avoid the Hindu protests made by their followers.Nitish Bhardwaja was chosen by B.R. Chopra, Ravi Chopra, Pandit Narendra Sharma and Rahi Masoom Raza, to play the central role of Krishna, at the age of 23. Initially, he was chosen for playing Vidur. But Virendra Razdan was cast for it as B.R. Chopra considered Bharadwaj young to play the role. Then Bharadwaj was offered to play Nakul and Sahadev, but he rejected and wanted to play Karna. Days later, he was called and finalized to play Krishna. Firoz Khan was chosen to portray the character of Arjuna (which he later adopted as his screen name, to not become confused with a more popular actor of the same name) despite being rejected in auditions. Asian games gold medalist Praveen Kumar was selected to portray Bhima after Chopra was looking for someone "who could look the robust historical character". Around six actors were shortlisted for the role of Draupadi, including Juhi Chawla, who opted out of the show as she had bagged a film. Ramya Krishnan and Roopa Ganguly were the final names, and at last Roopa Ganguly was chosen, as her Hindi was good. Govinda and Chunky Pandey were signed for the role of Abhimanyu, but they opted out when they bagged films. Later, Master Mayur played the role. Mukesh Khanna who wished to play Karna was initially offered the role of Duryodhan. But he was signed for Dhronacharya.Role of Arjuna was not selected by anyone and most of them lined up for the audition of the role of Karna.Then the script-writer decided to go off the source and remove the negativity in the character and increase the screen presence of Arjuna in the epic.Firoze Khan was called again for the audition and he was selected.Initially,Khan was reluctant but then Chopra promised him that nowonwards nobody will see Pandavas as a dark character.Character of Yuddhistira was also not chosen by anyone and the negativity in the character was removed by the script-writer,then Gajendra Chauhan was signed for Yuddhistira. When Vijayendra Ghadge dropped his role of Bhisma, Khanna got the role of Bhishma.Khanna after getting rejected in the auditions for the role of Karna,only he showed interest to play the role of Arjuna but later Firoze Khan was finalized for this role.  Puneet Issar was offered to play the role of Bheem but was cast as Duryodhan on his wish. The casting director of the show, Gufi Paintal had cast himself in the role of Shakuni.
Mahabharat's music was composed by Raj Kamal and lyrics were penned by Pandit Narendra Sharma. Some songs were taken from works of devotional writers like Surdas, Raskhan etc. Apart from main songs there are also several short verses decoding summary of each episode. All those verse were sung by Mahendra Kapoor.All music is composed by Raj Kamal.
|1.||"Ath Shree Mahabharat Katha (Opening Theme)"||Mahendra Kapoor||04:12|
|2.||"Bharat Ki Yeh Kahaani (Ending Theme)"||Mahendra Kapoor||05:21|
|3.||"Beet Gaye Din Par Din Beet Gaye"||Raj Kamal||05:23|
|4.||"Govind Gokul Aayo"||Raj Kamal||04:49|
|5.||"Jagiye Brijraj Kunwar"||Anuradha Paudwal||04:10|
|6.||"Main Naahin Maakhan Khaayo"||Nitin Mukesh||05:20|
|7.||"Background 1(Bhishma)"||Nitin Mukesh||04:00|
|8.||"Background 2(Bhishma)(Sad)"||Suresh Wadkar||05:42|
|9.||"Background 3(Shakuni and Duryodhana)"||Kavita Krishnamurthy||04:16|
|10.||"Background 4(Arjuna)"||Raj Kamal and Kavita Krishnamurthy||00:28|
|11.||"Background 5(Krishna)"||Sadhana Sargam||04:51|
|12.||"Background 6(Krishna-2)"||Raj Kamal||07:01|
|13.||"Background 7(Krishna-3)"||Sadhana Sargam||04:30|
|14.||"Background 8(Karna)"||Anuradha Paudwal||05:20|
|15.||"Background 9(Karna)(sad)"||Raj Kamal||05:17|
|16.||"Background 10(Karna and Kunti)"||Sadhana Sargam||04:51|
|17.||"Background 11(Karna)(BG-4)"||Sadhana Sargam||04:04|
|18.||"Background 12(Karna-Arjun)"||Sadhana Sargam||03:27|
|19.||"Sabso oonchi prem sagai"||Raj Kamal||05:44|
|20.||"Yeh Dharma Yudh Hain"||Raj Kamal||10:30|
|21.||"Hey Priyatame(Karna)"||Raj Kamal||06:16|
In India the series was originally broadcast on DD National. It was shown in the United Kingdom by the BBC, where it achieved audience figures of 5.1 million. It was also the first programme broadcast on BBC2 after its 1991 revamp, but it had also been shown late at night on BBC1 the previous year. It has also been shown on FBC TV in Fiji and STAR Utsav. It also aired on Epic in Hong Kong and TVB Jade. Dubbed versions were aired in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and also in Indonesia in the early 1990s on TPI (now MNCTV) and in the early 2000s on ANteve (now antv).
Pankaj Dheer became the icon of Mahabharata.The character of Karna was liked so much by the audiences that morning 9 am,all the streets would get emptied just to see Karna on the screen.Ganguly was applauded for her performance in the sequence. Ravi Chopra later disclosed that she was originally weeping while enacting in the sequence and the crew members had to console her later to make her stop.|The sequence is often claimed to be the most climactic one of the series. For the sequence Chopra recreated the visual effect of the Vastraharan sequence of Babubhai Mistry's Mahabharat (1965) starring Padmini as Draupadi. His visual effects won more favour than that of the 1965 film and has still been considered by a part of critics to be the most brilliant in line. of the most successful television series in Indian television history. In common with the "Ramayana" serial, the broadcasting of a Mahabharat episode was associated with the simultaneous emptying of streets in the cities and people leaving work early to watch it. Along with general audience many big names from Hindi film industry like Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Hema Malini and Jeetendra also praised the show.
During its rerun in COVID-19 lockdown, it became the second most watched Indian TV show after Ramayan. In week 13, it garnered 145.8 million impressions with both morning and evening slots combined on DD Bharati. However, after Ramayan ended, Mahabharat became the most watched TV show until its end. The series ended with 22.9 million viewership.
|Week||Year||BARC viewership (Hindi GEC overall)||BARC viewership (Hindi GEC pay)||BARC viewership (Hindi GEC rural)||BARC viewership (Hindi GEC urban)|
|Impressions (millions)||Ranking||Impressions (millions)||Ranking||Impressions (millions)||Ranking||Impressions (millions)||Ranking|
The series was uploaded onto the website "Rajshri.com" along with its dubbed Tamil version. Home video of the Bengali-dubbed version of this series has been released by Heart Video. In 2019, Pen India Ltd bought the rights of the show and uploaded all the episodes on its devotional YouTube channel Pen Bhakti including its spin-off series Mahabharat Katha.
B.R.Chopra got in dispute with Ramananda Sagar's Shree Krishna.The latter claimed that the BR Chopra Mahabharata had whitewashed the character of Pandavas.Several characters like Bhanumati and Padmavati who were an essential part of Mahabharata were not touched even who played an essential role in the life of Karna.Sagar also claimed that entire Stree Parva was not even touched.This dispute got so intense that it reached the court.However,this dispute was later pacified when the rest of Mahabharata was covered by Mahabharata katha. There were lots of Hindu protests against the wrong depiction of Karna's character in certain places like calling of 'Vaishyaa' to Draupadi and Draupadi calling 'Andhe ka putra Andha'.Hindu sentiments were hurt for wrong depiction of the ideal man.Till 1988, no television show or movie had shown this.This protest was also later brought at rest.
Mahabharat along with Ramayan (1987) became one of the most successful television series based on an epic in Indian television history. Many actors became popular through their appearances in this series. Nitish Bharadwaj became famous as Lord Krishna and later he also played lead role in Chopra's another mythological show Vishnu Puran. Roopa Ganguly who played Draupadi; went on to become a successful actress in Bengali cinema. Actor Pankaj Dheer also got immense popularity after playing Karna. His pictures are used in textbooks as reference to Karna and the actor also revealed that his statues are worshipped in temples in Karnal and Batar. Actor Firoz Khan changed his name to "Arjun" professionally after finding success with the role of Arjun.Mukesh Khanna named his production company after his character Bhishma.
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