Mahabharat (2013 TV series)

Mahabharat is a 2013 Indian mythological television series based on the Sanskrit epic Mahabharat.[3] It aired from 16 September 2013 to 16 August 2014 on Star Plus.[4][5] The television show was produced by Swastik Productions Pvt. Ltd.[6]

Mahabharat
Mahabharat 2013 title.jpg
GenreMythology
Created bySiddharth Kumar Tewary
Based onMahabharata
by Vyasa
Written by
Directed by
  • Siddharth Anand Kumar
  • Amarprith G
  • Mukesh Kumar Singh
  • Kamal Monga
  • Loknath Pandey
Creative directorAmol Surve
StarringSee below
Narrated bySaurabh Raj Jain
Theme music composerAjay Atul[1]
Composers
  • Jitesh Panchal
  • Lenin Nandi
  • Sushant Pawar
Country of originIndia
Original languageHindi
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes267[2]
Production
Producers
EditorParesh Shah
Camera setupMulti camera
Running time22 minutes
Production companySwastik Productions
DistributorStar India
Release
Original networkStarPlus
Picture format
Original release16 September 2013 (2013-09-16) –
16 August 2014 (2014-08-16)
External links
Website
Production website

SummaryEdit

The story begins with Bhishma, the son of Shantanu and Ganga, taking his oath of celibacy to convince Satyavati to marry his father Shantanu, the king of Hastinapura. Shantanu and Satyavati marry and have 2 children - Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. Both died without any children, but Veda Vyasa, the son of Satyavati is requested to impregnate Vichitravirya's 2 wives Ambika and Ambalika. Besides the queens, Vyasa also impregnates a maid. Soon, Ambika gives birth to Dhritarashtra, born blind, Ambalika gives birth to Pandu, born pale and Parashrami gives birth to Vidura.

25 years later, Dhritarashtra is married to Gandhari, the princess of Gandhara Kingdom; because of her boon of bearing a hundred sons. After knowing her would-be-husband is blind Gandhari decided to blindfold herself to share her husband's pain. This angers Shakuni, the brother of Gandhari, and he vows to destroy Bhishma, as it was him who had brought the proposal for Gandhari's marriage. Dhritarashtra is denied the throne for being blind, and the throne is given to Pandu. Pandu marries Kunti, a princess of Kunti Kingdom, and Madri of Madra Kingdom. Pandu is later cursed by Sage Kindama, that he will die if he attempts to impregnate his wives. Pandu, heartbroken, renounces the kingdom with his 2 wives. After this Dhritarashtra becomes de-facto king of Hastinapur.

Kunti uses her boon, given to her by Sage Durvasa, to invoke gods of her choice and obtain children from them. She begets Yudhishthira from Yama (the god of death and righteousness), Bhima from Vayu (the god of wind) and Arjuna from Indra (the king of the gods). She also chants the boon for Madri, and Madri obtains twins - Nakula and Sahadeva - from the Ashwini Kumaras. Gandhari is jealous by this development and gives birth to a lump of flesh after being pregnant for 2 years , but this is cut into 101 pieces by Veda Vyasa, and these pieces eventually transform into children - the 100 Kauravas (led by Duryodhana) and a daughter, Dushala.

Years pass, and the Kauravas grow up to be evil, led by their eldest brother Duryodhana, who is highly influenced by his uncle Shakuni, contrary to the Pandavas who are righteous. Pandavas return to Hastinapur with Kunti, after the death of Pandu and Madri. All princes are sent to study under Guru Dronacharya

Years pass and the princes return to Hastinapur, where they are engaged in a competition of showcasing their skills. Arjuna wins the competition, but Karna, son of a charioteer, gatecrashes the competition and challenges Arjuna. Kunti realizes that Karna is her son whom she had obtained from Surya, the Sun God, long before marriage. In the meantime, Arjuna, also befriends Lord Krishna, his cousin (Lord Krishna's father was Vasudev, brother of Kunti), and King of Dwarka. The Kauravas, along with Karna attempt to kill the Pandavas using a palace made of wax, but the Pandavas escape. They go into exile so all others believe them to be dead. In the process, the Pandavas encounter a demon by the name Hidimba. Bhima kills Hidimba but ends up marrying his sister, Hidimbi. The couple begets a son, Ghatotkacha. The Pandavas eventually marry Draupadi, the princess of Panchala, born from fire, thus revealing their identity. They return to Hastinapur and justify their polyandry.

The sequence of events leads to the Kuru Kingdom being divided - The Pandavas receive a new kingdom - Khandavprastha. Arjuna destroys the Khandava. They renovate the town, and rename it as Indraprastha. The prosperity of Indraprastha angers Duryodhana. A jealous Duryodhana summons Pandavas for a dice game, where Yudhishthira loses his kingdom, brothers as well as their common wife Draupadi. Draupadi is dragged and humiliated in the court, however, Krishna saves her honor at the end.

The Pandavas and Draupadi, as a result of losing, are forced into a 12-year exile and a year of incognito, the latter phase being spent in the kingdom of King Virata. Pandavas reunite with their children - the Upapandavas (the 5 sons of Draupadi) and Abhimanyu (the son of Arjuna and Subhadra), after the exile period. Abhimanyu is married to Uttaraa, the daughter of King Virata and Queen Sudeshna.

The Pandavas' peace treaty with the Kauravas fails to materialize, thus confirming that a war is set to happen. Both, the Pandavas and Kauravas, gather their respective armies by allying with different tribes and kingdoms.

Shortly before the Kurukshetra War commences, Arjuna obtains the knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita from Krishna, which helps him fight for righteousness without any remorse of killing his own people in the process. The war begins and continues for 18 days - both sides face mass destruction. The Pandavas and Kauravas lose all of their children, in-laws, and allies, and the war officially ends after Duryodhana, the only remaining Kaurava, is killed by Bhima.

Ashwatthama (the son of Dronacharya), on seeing Duryodhana's death, gets angered and raids the Pandava camp at night, killing many soldiers in the process. Dhrishtadyumna (the brother of Draupadi and the commander-in-chief of the Pandavas) and the Upapandavas are killed by Ashwatthama while they are sleeping. He also tries to kill Uttaraa's unborn baby rather unsuccessfully, but the baby is revived and named as Parikshit by Krishna.

Krishna also curses Ashwatthama to remain in severe pain and immortality for the rest of his life because of his heinous act. The Pandavas return to Hastinapura, where Dhritarashtra attempts to kill Bhima but ends up being unsuccessful. Gandhari curses Krishna for letting the war happen as she lost all of her sons and grandsons, so he suffers the same fate. The show ends with Yudhishthira being finally crowned by Krishna, as the king of Hastinapur.

CastEdit

MainEdit

  • Saurabh Raj Jain as Krishna: Devaki and Vasudev's son; Yashoda and Nanda's foster son. He is an incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu, who came to earth to protect dharma. Karna and Pandava's cousin, Radha's love interest, Draupadi's friend, and the spouse of Rukmini as well as other 16,107 wives.
    • Jain also portrayed Lord Vishnu: Supreme being, God of Preservation and Protector of Dharma, Goddess Lakshmi's consort.
  • Shaheer Sheikh as Arjuna: Third Pandava prince; a skilled archer; Draupadi, Ulupi, Chitrangada and Subhadra's husband and Abhimanyu and Srutakarma's father.
  • Pooja Sharma as Draupadi: King Drupad's daughter, Shikhandini and Dhristadyumna's younger sister, Princess of Panchala, Pandavas' common wife and Mother of Upapandavas.
  • Aham Sharma as Karna: Surya and Kunti's son; Pandavas's elder brother; Adhiratha and Radha's foster son; a skilled archer, Duryodhan's friend; Vrushali's husband; King of Anga. Killed by Arjuna on 17th Day.
  • Arpit Ranka as Duryodhan: Eldest Kaurava, King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari's first son, arrogant and hotheaded crown prince of Hastinapur, he is often manipulated by his maternal uncle Shakuni. Karna and Ashwatthama's friend. Bhanumati's husband and an excellent mace fighter. Killed by Bheema on the 18th day.
  • Arav Chowdhary as Bhishma: King Shantanu and Goddess Ganga's son and Grandsire of Pandavas and Kauravas. He had taken a pledge of celibacy and was given a boon by his father to decide the timing of death.
  • Praneet Bhat as Shakuni: King Subala and Queen Sudharma's son, Gandhari's elder brother. In beginning, he is a prince but later King of Gandhara. He is devious and strategized all plans of Duryodhan against Pandavas. He has grudge against Bhishma for marrying his sister Gandhari to Dhritarashtra. Killed by Sahadeva on the 18th day.
  • Thakur Anoop Singh as Dhritarashtra: Blind King of Hastinapur. He is born from Vyasa and Ambika's niyoga, Gandhari's husband, Kauravas, and Dushala's father, Pandavas's paternal uncle. He is deeply insecure and intensely partial to his sons which often prevents him from making wise decisions.
  • Riya Deepsi as Gandhari: King Subala and Queen Sudharma's daughter; Princess of Gandhara; Shakuni's younger sister; Dhritarashtra's wife. After knowing that her future husband is born blind she decided to blindfold herself to share the pain of her husband. After her husband's coronation, she became queen of Hastinapur. She is Kauravas and Dushala's mother. She is often unaware of her sons' plotting against Pandavas.
  • Saurav Gurjar as Bhima: Second Pandava; Vayu and Kunti's son; a tremendous mace fighter, fighter; Hidibma and Draupadi's husband; father of Ghatothkacha and Sutasoma.
  • Rohit Bhardwaj as Yudhishthira: First Pandava; Dharmraj (Yamaraj) and Kunti's son; Draupadi husband: Prativindhya father. A truthful King. He ruled Indraprastha and later Hastinapur.
  • Shafaq Naaz as Kunti: Dowager Queen of Hastinapur, Late King Pandu's first wife. She has the power to have a child by invoking God. She is also Shurasena's daughter, Kuntibhoja's foster daughter. Karna, Yudhishthira, Bheema, and Arjuna's mother. Balarama, Krishna, and Subhadra's paternal aunt.
  • Nissar Khan as Drona: Sage Bharadwaja's son, Royal teacher of Kuru princes, Kripi's husband, Ashwatthama father, killed by Dhrishtadhyumna on Day 15 of the Kurukshetra war.
  • Vin Rana as Nakula: Fourth Pandava, Madri, and Ashwini Kumar's son. Draupadi and Karenumati's husband and Satanika, Nirmaitra, and Printha's father.
  • Lavanya Bhardwaj as Sahadeva: Fifth Pandava, Madri and Ashwini Kumar's son, Draupadi and Vijaya's husband, and Srutasena and Suhotra's father.
  • Nirbhay Wadhwa as Dushasana: Second Kaurava, King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari's second son, Duryodhana's younger brother, 98 Kauravas and Dushala's elder brother

RecurringEdit

  • Puneet Issar as Parshurama: The six avatar of Lord Vishnu and the teacher of Bhishma, Drona, and Karna
  • Ankit Mohan as Ashwatthama: Dronacharaya and Kripi's son and Duryodhana's friend
  • Naveen Jinger as Vidura: Prime minister of Hastinapur, Vyasa and a maid's son, Dhritarashtra and Pandu's younger brother
  • Sameer Dharmadhikari as Shantanu: King of Hastinapur, Ganga and Satyavati's husband and Bhishma, Chitrangada and Vichtravirya's father.
  • Vivana Singh as Devi Ganga: River goddess of Purity, King Shantanu's first wife, and Bhishma's mother.
  • Sayantani Ghosh as Satyavati: A fisherwoman who married King Shantanu and became Queen. Ved Vyasa, Chitragada, and Vichitravirya's mother. Bhishma's step-mother.
  • Atul Mishra as Ved Vyas: Satyavati and Maharishi Parashara's son and Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura's surrogate father.
  • Aryamann Seth as Vichitravirya: King Shantanu and Queen Satyavati's son, Chitrangad's younger brother, and Ambika and Ambalika's husband.
  • Ratan Rajput as Amba: Kashya's daughter, Ambika and Ambalika's elder sister and the Princess of Kashi.
  • Aparna Dixit as Ambika: Vichitravirya's first wife and Dhritarashtra's mother.
  • Mansi Sharma as Ambalika: Vichitravirya's second wife and Pandu's mother.
  • Arun Singh Rana as Pandu: Ambalika and Vyasa's son, Kunti and Madri's husband, Pandavas's father and the King of Hastinapur.
  • Suhani Dhanki as Madri: Princess of Madra and Late Pandu's second wife and Nakul and Sahadev's mother.
  • Rio Kapadia as Subala: King of Gandhar, Sudharma's husband and Shakuni and Gandhari's father.
  • Shweta Gautam as Sudharma: Queen of Gandhar, Subala's wife and Shakuni and Gandhari's mother.
  • Paras Arora as Abhimanyu: Arjun and Subhadra's son; Uttarā's husband and Parikshit's father.
  • Ananya Agarwal as Malini: Draupadi's little friend.
  • Anju Jadhav as Sukhada: Gandhari's maid and Yuyutsu's mother.
  • Jayantika Sengupta as Arshi: Shakuni's wife.
  • Kanishka Soni as Parashvi: Vidura's wife.
  • Ketaki Kadam as Radha: Krishna's divine love.
  • Kaushik Chakravorty as Shalya: King of Madra and Madri's elder brother.
  • Hemant Choudhary as Kripa: Royal teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas.
  • Chandani Sharma as Kripi: Drona's wife, Ashwathama's mother, and Kripa's twin sister.
  • Ajay Mishra as Sanjaya: Dhritarashtra's advisor and charioteer.
  • Garima Jain as Dushala: King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari's daughter, Pandavas and Kauravas' sister, Jayadrath's wife and Suratha's mother.
  • Ali Hassan as Jayadratha: King Brihanmanas's son and later King of Sindhu Kingdom, Dushyala's husband, and Suratha's father.
    • Hassan also portrayed Takshak: Nagraj and Ruler of Takshila who killed Arjuna's grandson Parikshit.
  • Sandeep Arora as Vikarna: Third Kaurava prince, King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari's third and Duryodhan and Dushasna's younger brother and Dushyala's elder brother.
  • Nazea Hasan Sayed as Vrushali: Karna's first wife and Sudama and Vrishasena's mother.
  • Vaishnavi Dhanraj as Hidimbā: Bheem's first wife and Ghatothkacha's mother.
  • Ketan Karande as Ghatotkacha: Bheema and Himdimbā's son, who was killed by Karna.
  • Preeti Puri as Devaki: Vasudev's wife, Kansa's sister, and Krishna's mother.
  • Vandana Singh as Yashoda: Krishna's foster mother.
  • Tarun Khanna as Balrama: Rohini and Vasudev's son, Subhadra's elder brother and Krishna's step elder brother.
    • Vedant Sawant as Adolescent Balarama
  • Veebha Anand[7] as Subhadra: Vasudeva and Rohini's daughter, Balram and Krishna's younger sister, Arjun's fourth wife and Abhimanyu's mother.
  • Pallavi Subhash[8] as Rukmini: Princess of Vidharbha, Rukmi's younger sister and Krishna's first wife.
  • Gurpreet Singh ad Rukmi: Prince of Vidharbha and Rukmini's brother.
  • Sudesh Berry as Drupada: King of Panchala and Shikhandini, Dhristadyumna

and Draupadi's father.

  • Karan Suchak as Dhrishtadyumna: King Drupad's fire born son, Shikhandini's younger brother and Draupadi's elder brother and Prince of Panchala Kshatradharman,

Kshatravarman, Kshatranjaya, and Dhrishtaketu's father.

  • Shikha Singh as Shikhandini: King Drupad and Queen Kokila's daughter; Satyajit, Dhrishtadyumna and Draupadi's elder sister; Princess of Panchala and the Amba's reincarnation.
  • Akhilendra Mishra as Kansa: Devaki's elder brother and Krishna's maternal uncle.
  • Tinu Verma as Jarasandha: King of Magadha. He is defeated by Karna and is killed by Bheem.
  • Joy Mathur as Shishupala: Krishna's cousin and Duryodhana's friend.
  • Raj Premi as Kalayavan: A demon king who was fetched to death by Lord Krishna.
  • Deepak Jethi as Virata: Matsya's king, Sudeshna's husband, and Uttar and Uttara's father.
  • Mallika Nayak as Sudeshna: Matsya's Queen, Virata's wife, Uttara, and Uttar's Mother.
  • Rumi Khan as Kichaka: Commander-in-chief of Matsya, Sudeshna's brother and Uttar and Uttara's maternal uncle.
  • Richa Mukherjee as Uttarā: King Virata and Queen Sudeshna's daughter, Uttar's younger sister, Abhimanyu's wife, and Parikshit's mother.
  • Pravisht Mishra as Uttar: Virata and Sudeshna's son and Uttara's brother.
  • Niel Satpuda as Prativindhya: Yudhishthira and Draupadi's son and the Eldest Upapandava.
  • Aman Sharma as Sutasoma: Bheema and Draupadi's son.
  • Yash Joshi as Shrutakarma: Arjuna and Draupadi's son.
  • Jay Joshi as Shatanika: Nakula and Draupadi's son.
  • Akshay Batchua as Shrutasena: Sahadeva and Draupadi's son.
  • Yagya Saxena as Eklavya: A devoted student of Drona who gives away his thumb as Guru Dakshina.
  • Mohit Raina[9] / Amit Mehra as Lord Shiva: Known as the 'destroyer', a part of the Trinity
  • Sachin Verma / Nikhil Arya as Lord Indra: God of rains, King of heaven and Bali and Arjuna's father.
  • Sandeep Rajora as Lord Surya: Lord Sun and Sugriva and Karna's father.
  • Kunal Bhatia as Lord Agni: God of fire.
  • Vishal Kotian as Lord Hanuman: Rama's devotee, Vayu's son, and Bheema's elder spiritual brother.
  • Manish Bishla as Chitrasena (Kaurava): A son of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, a Kaurava, he was killed by Bhima
  • Kunwar Vikram Soni as young Shri Krishna
  • Rohit Shetty as young Yudhishthira
  • Miraj Joshi as young Bhima
  • Soumya Singh as young Arjuna
  • Devish Ahuja as young Nakula
  • Rudraksh Jaiswal as young Sahadeva
  • Alam Khan as young Duryodhana
  • Vidyut Xavier as young Karna
  • Ashnoor Kaur as young Dushala
  • Aayush Shah[10] as young Ashwatthama
  • Raj Anadkat as Young Vikarna (Third eldest brother among the 100 Kauravas)

ProductionEdit

BackgroundEdit

In November 2005, a report from Variety stated Bobby Bedi's plan to make three feature films and 100 hours of television programming on Indian epic Mahabharat under Kaleidoscope Entertainment with the television version planned to be delivered by the end of 2007.[11] In 2006 it was revealed making for Star Plus which was to be directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi.[12][13] It was a part of Bedi's 360 degree approach to the epic through TV, film, gaming and theme parks.[14] Planned for 100 episodes with new actors, it was planned to premiere in March 2008 but got postpone due to production to August 2008 and later January 2009.[13][15][16]

During this, Ekta Kapoor was simultaneously producing a series on Mahabharat since January 2008 titled Kahaani Hamaarey Mahaabhaarat Ki for a rival channel to premiere in mid 2008 which she earlier planned for Star but could not as the channel roped Bedi.[17][18] This led on to a pressure in the production as they wanted to rush their premiere before Kapoor due to which Dwivedi quit midway after association with them for two years after which three directors were working on it.[19][20] But, they were not able to rush up the series before Kapoor's. 50 episodes were shot at the sets created in Morna between Noida and Delhi for a year after paying ₹6 Crores.[16] However, as the channel was not satisfied with those episodes, they were asked to rework the entire series again pushing its premiere to 2009. But, Bedi reportedly started selling it in DVDs which created problems between them and the channel, and the production was stalled.[16] However, in December 2008, Star took Bedi to Bombay High Court filing an arbitration petition alleging that the production house took ₹6 Crore for the production of the series in advance but has not produced even a single episode while a senior executive from the production house stated, " This legal notice is Star's way of pulling out of the show. Maybe it doesn't want to go ahead with the Mahabharat project after all."[21] After these, the shooting was expected to restart from February 2009 but in mid 2009 the production was cancelled and the project was given over to Siddharth Kumar Tewary's Swastik Productions to start fresh.[22][16]

DevelopmentEdit

It took us four years of research and brainstorming sessions to conceive and execute the show.

More than 400 people were involved in production with 200 people working on graphics.[24] Renowned author Devdutt Pattanaik was roped as the chief consultant and guiding person for the series.[25] Also writer Salim Khan, music directors Ajay-Atul and Ismail Darbar and action director Ram Shetty were involved.[26]

Speaking about bringing Mahabharat to television again, Star Plus senior vice-president Nikhil Madhok said, "With over 20 years having passed since the telecast of Mahabharat serial on Doordarshan, we felt that the younger generation should be re-introduced to this epic. Also, the plot of this epic is open to interpretation and has many intricacies in it, unlike that of let's say Ramayan, which is fairly linear and is passed on from generation to generation."[27]

According to producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary, the Draupadi cheer haran (disrobing) sequence, which Tewary himself directed, took 20 days to shoot.[28]

Even in the last fight between Bheema and Duryodhana, the actors shared that the scene took 3 days to shoot.[29]

Originally planned for 129 episodes, its growing popularity gave an extension for about 100 more episodes as Tewary wanted to explore the story further in January 2014.[30][31] However, it ended with 267 episodes.

DesignEdit

The set covering 10 acres of land in Umargam, Valsad, Gujarat was designed by the art director Omung Kumar.[32]

The costume designer of the series Nidhi Yasha along with her consultant Bhanu Athaiya, had referred 450 books related to period textiles, costume and jewelry.[33][34]

Different ancient techniques have been used to achieve the various looks. A lot of bright coloured silks, handlooms, gold and jewellery structured embroidery patterns have been used.

It took a study of over 450 books related to period textiles, costume, and jewelry and four years of hard work to arrive at the current look and feel of the show. An extensive study on jewelry structures according to ethnicity, fabrics, drapes, and costume was undertaken.

Marketing and budgetEdit

Star spent 5.1 billion (US$72 million) on the project and spent another 410 million (US$5.7 million) on marketing the show, making it India's most expensive TV series.[37] As a part of marketing, Star constructed Mahabharat museum across malls in cities consisting selective weapons, jewellery and finery of Mahabharat along with 3D virtual tour of the sets of Hastinapur.[38] In towns the same concept was adapted with wheels-canter vans along with LED.[38]

The sets of the series at Umargam in Gujarat cost ₹100 crores and production costs of ₹13-15 Lakhs per day.[39][40]

FilmingEdit

The series was mainly shot in the sets at Umargam, Valsad in Gujarat.[41][32] Shooting also took place in various exotic locations such as Jaisalmer, Amber Palace in Jaipur, Kashmir, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur in Madya Pradesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.[42][43][44][24]

TrainingEdit

The actors shared that they had to go through acting workshops and various trainings for about a year where they were explained in detail what to do and how.[45][46][47] Rajit Kapur trained the actors by conducting acting workshops.[48][47][49][50][51]

SoundtrackEdit

No.TitleLength
1."Hai Katha Sangram Ki (Theme Song)[1]"4:07
2."Ek Maa Ki Santane - Ye Kaisi Duvidha Hai (Sad Theme)"3:00
3."Jagat Mein Samay Maha Balwan"3:33
4."Krishna Manmohana (Krishna theme song 1)"6:58
5."Murli Manohar Mohan Murali (Krishna theme song 2)"4:21
6."Shri Krishna Govind Hare Murari (Krishna theme song 3)"3:15
7."Yada Yada Dharmasya"2:24
8."Gandhiv Dhaari Arjuna (Arjun's Gandiva theme song)"2:25
9."Paarthasya Dhananjaya"1:15
10."Kumari Chaapi Panchali (Draupadi theme song)"4:15
11."Rahega Atal Mera Mann"3:21
12."Arjuna Draupadi Theme"3:32
13."Suryadev So Gaye"4:56
14."Suryaputra Karna Theme"3:35
15."Shakuni Theme: Yukti Kapat Chhal"1:30
16."Abhimanyu Theme"3:30
17."Vande Dronacharya"1:05
18."Bhishma Theme"1:28
19."Parshuram Theme"1:20
20."Yeh Dharma Yudh Hai"1:00
21."Yudh Yeh Vinash Hai"2:25

Reception and impactEdit

CriticsEdit

Writing for Rediff, Nishi Tiwari wrote that "If it maintains the quality of writing and able actors who portray key characters, we may have another winner among us".[52] DNA praised the costumes, scenery, Krishna's flute theme which was given by Raj Mohan Sinha,[53] and most of the CGI special effects, but said the serial's pace was too fast.[54] However, received negative criticism from Deepanjana Pal of Firstpost for CGI effects, acting, dialogues, cinematography and background. They also stated the storytelling as disappointing.[55]

Hindustan Times criticized, " The scale of the Mahabharat is grand and overwhelming. The characters are larger than life. Highly dramatic events take place in the epic. But at the same time, it is a nuanced look at human beings and their frailties. Everything is so exaggerated. Even relatively less important moments are treated with such overblown drama," They also criticized the background music being sound.[56]

Viewership in IndiaEdit

Its premiere had a viewership of approximately 8.4 million people (8445 TVTs) (4.09 TVR).[57][58] That week it averaged 6356 TVTs.[59] The viewership ratings of the week of 1 December 2013 reached 9,801 TVTs. The game of dice leading to Draupadi's 'cheer haran' took Mahabharat at its peak viewership (10 TVMs) and helped the broadcasting channel Star Plus clock one of the highest GTVMs.[60] Overall, it became the tenth most watched Hindi GEC with an average viewership of 5.6 million and a peak viewership of 7.2 million.[61] Mahabharat was soon declared to be the most-watched Indian TV show in the last 3 years, in 2013.

The show was listed in the list of top 20 TV series of all time in 2016.[62]

During the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown in India, it started re-airing on Star Plus from 30 March 2020 till 25 July 2020. It was then again launched from the first episode on a different time slot from 27 July 2020.[63] It soon became one of the most-watched Hindi GEC series featuring in the top five programs even during the re-run.[64][65]It topped the TRP charts multiple times in its re-run.

ImpactEdit

This series is regarded as the costliest show ever launched by StarPlus and one of the costliest Indian television series, being the first Indian television show to be made on a budget more than ₹100 crores.[66][67][64]

In 2014, the cast of Mahabharat were invited to hold a fan meeting tour at Jakarta and Bali. The Times of India reported that the show has a huge fan following abroad and as result, the prominent characters from the show had been called to Indonesia for a special event.[68] The main casts of Mahabharat, performed on "Mahabharat Show: Fan Meeting Tour" in the year 2014 .[69][70][71][72][73][74][75]

In June 2020, Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurappa then, on watching the Kannada dubbed version appreciated the series and stated that the character Krishna played by Saurabh Raj Jain impressed him.[76]

AdaptationsEdit

It has been dubbed and aired in other Indian languages including Tamil, Bengali, Odia,Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu.[77][78][79][80][81][82]

International broadcastsEdit

In Indonesia, the drama was broadcast on antv dubbed in Indonesian in 2014.[83] In 2015, the show aired in its original version and subtitled in English on MBC Digital 4 every Sunday in Mauritius. In Thailand, the drama was broadcast on Channel 5 dubbed in Thai in 2016.[84] In Myanmar,it has been dubbed in Burma as မဟာဘာရတ and telecasted everyday on Sky Net World Drama Channel.[citation needed] In Sri Lanka,it has been dubbed in Sinhalese as මහාභාරත් and telecasted on Swarnavahini.

Awards and nominationsEdit

It won the trophy for the Best Drama in Star Guild Awards 2013 as well as number of accolades in other award shows.[85] Show won Best Historical/Mythological serial award in Indian Television Academy Awards. It won the Indian Telly Awards for Actor in a Supporting Role (Drama), given to Aham Sharma for his portrayal as Karna, and Actor in a Negative Role to Praneet Bhat in 2014. The crew members also won the awards for Best Costumes for a TV Programme, Best Make – Up Artist, and Best Stylist.[86]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref(s)
2014 Star Guild Awards Best Ensemble Cast Sidharth Kumar Tewary Won
Best Mythological Series Swasthik Picture Won
Indian Television Academy Awards Best Visual Effects Swasthik Picture Won
Best Actor - Popular Shaheer Sheikh Nominated
Best Historical/Mythological Serial Mahabharat Won
Indian Telly Award Best Actor in a Lead Role Saurabh Raj Jain Nominated [87]
Shaheer Sheikh Nominated
Best Actress in a Lead Role Pooja Sharma Nominated
Best Actor in a Negative Role Praneet Bhat Won
Arpit Ranka Nominated
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Aham Sharma Won
Aarav Chowdhary Nominated
Rohit Bhardwaj Nominated
Best Costumes for a TV Program Bhanu Athaiya Won
Best Makeup Artist G. A. Jamesh Won
Best Ensemble Sidharth Kumar Tewary Won
Best Stylist Shweta Korde Won
Gold Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role Shaheer Sheikh Nominated

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External linksEdit