Tenali Rama (TV series)

Tenali Rama is an Indian historical comedy drama based on the life of the legendary Telugu poet Tenali Ramakrishna, one of the Ashtadiggajas (or the eight honorable) poets at the court of Vijayanagara Emperor Krishnadevaraya (C.E. 1509–1529), who is often cited as the greatest Vijayanagara emperor.[1][2] The series premiered on Sony SAB on 11 July 2017 and went off-air on 13 November 2020.[3]

Tenali Rama
Tenali Rama.jpg
Created byAbhimanyu Singh
Developed byManikya Raju[citation needed]
Written byLawrence John[citation needed]
Screenplay byTimir Bhakshi
Story byParitosh Painter[citation needed]
Directed byJackson Sethi
Creative director(s)Dikshit Kaul
Theme music composerSouvyk Chakraborty
Opening themeTenali Rama
Country of originIndia
Original language(s)Hindi
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes804
Producer(s)Abhimanyu Singh
CinematographyNishi Chandra
Editor(s)Waseed Hussain
Camera setupMultiple camera
Running time21 minutes
Production company(s)Contiloe Entertainment
DistributorSony Pictures Networks
Original networkSony SAB
Picture format
Original release11 July 2017 (2017-07-11) –
13 November 2020 (2020-11-13)
External links
Tenali Rama

The show took a 9 months leap in July 2018, a 5 years leap followed by 20 years leap in August 2019 and then a 4 months leap in February 2020. The series is produced by Abhimanyu Singh under the banner of Contiloe Entertainment. The show was replaced on 13th November by another Contiloe Entertainment show Kaatelal and Sons.[4][5]


Legendary poet and royal advisor Pandit Ramakrishna in Krishnadevaraya's Vijayanagara court uses his timely wit and intelligence to solve even the trickiest of problems. His arch-rival Tathacharya, who wants to humiliate him, is often stumped by Ramakrishna's intelligence. Rama is very close to King Krishnadeva Raya.

Six years later, Bhaskar, Pandit Ramakrishna's son, is a naughty child and causes his father to be humiliated in the court of Krishnadeva Raya multiple times, to which Rama starts punishing Bhaskar for his naughtiness. He stops spoiling Bhaskar like he used to. Later, Bhaskara stops being naughty. Then, Prince Balakumaran arrives. Balakumaran is Krishnadeva's second wife, Tirumalamba's, brother. Balakumaran is a spoiled prince who cares a lot about his hair. Bhaskar is in Tathacharya's home to get Tathacharya to forgive him on his father's orders. Bhaskara has to glue together a broken vase. Balakumaran, who is at Tathacharya's home to learn from him, puts on the broken vase as a crown. The vase has glue on it, which causes it to be stuck to Balakumaran's hair. Balakumaran's hair must be pulled off his head to remove the vase. Balakumaran never gets his hair back and is forever angry at Bhaskara, who is blamed for Balakumaran's mistake. Bhaskara is then sent to Gurukul (school) for 20 years.

Three months later, Krishnadeva Raya and Pandit Ramakrishna have a debate about whether Vijayanagara will end. This is foreshadowing the future.

Twenty years later, Bhaskara returns from Gurukul. He finds from the reformed Tathacharya that Balakumaran has become king after King Krishnadeva Raya left the kingdom for an unknown cause. Kaikala, Balakumaran's uncle and Minister, is the new main antagonist. Bhaskara's family is gone, and Bhaskara tries to find them. He eventually finds his mother, Sharda. He then pretends to be his father, Pandit Rama Krishna, to give justice to people in Vijayanagara. He gives Tathacharya his position, which he lost for many years, back which causes Tathacharya to become evil again. Kaikala keeps trying to get Bhaskara, in the costume of Pandit Ramakrishna, put in jail. Eventually, Kaikala is caught trying to kill Balakumaran, which causes the former to be put in jail for life. Balakumaran's wife and Kaikala's assistant, Sulakshana Devi is the new main antagonist. She eventually gets Balakumaran banished from Vijayanagara. She assumes the role of a ruler.

Four months later, Pandit Ramakrishna returns to the TV show. He returns to the position he had before. He stops Sulakshana Devi from being crowned Empress and instead makes it so that in 4 years, Sulakshana Devi's adopted son, Swami, will be crowned Emperor of Vijayanagara. Sulakshana Devi, the new Minister Pralayankar (Kaikala's son), Sulakshana Devi's brother Bharkam, and Sulakshana Devi's sister Charulata try to beat Pandit Ramakrishna. The King Maharaj Krishnadevraya returns back with his two queens and punishes Maharani Sulakshana Devi to find her husband Balakumaran who was banished from the kingdom.

Many people come to get rid of Ramakrishna but he stays put and saves Vijayanagara from various enemies. At last Pandit Ramakrishna gets ready to leave back to Tenali, his village, forsaking Vijaynagara kingdom to help the youth in Tenali.




  • Priyamvada Kant as Sharda, Rama's wife (2017–2018)
    • Niya Sharma replaced Kant as Sharda (2018–2019)
    • Aasiya Kazi replaced Sharma as Sharda (2019–2020)
  • Sonia Sharma as Chinnadevi, Krishnadevraya's first wife (2017–2019; 2020)
  • Priyanka Singh as Tirumalamba, Krishnadevraya's second wife (2017–2019; 2020)
  • Nimisha Vakharia as Lakshmi Amma, Rama's mother (2017–2019; 2020)
  • Sohit Soni as Manicharya (Mani), Tathacharya's Disciple (2017–2020)
  • Sanjay Mangnani as Dhanicharya (Dhani), Tathacharya's Disciple (2017–2020)
  • Vishwajeet Pradhan as Mahamatye Kaikala (2019–2020)
  • Neetha Shetty as Maharani Sulakshana Devi (2019–2020)
  • Shakti Anand as Maharaja Balakumaran (2019–2020)
  • Ajay Chaudhary as Mahamathya Pralayankar, Kaikala's son and Charulata's husband. (2020)
  • Manul Chudasama as Princess Amrapali, Kaikala's daughter and Bhaskara's love interest (2019–2020)
  • Dhruvi Jani as Kanta, Bhaskar's childhood best friend. (2019–2020)
  • Krish Parekh as Child Gundappa, Rama's friend (2017–2019)
    • Aman Mishra as Gundappa (2019– 2020)
  • Ayaan as Baby Bhaskar, Rama and Sharda's son (2018–2019)
  • Pratyaksh Panwar as Child Bhaskar (2019)
  • Mahi Soni as Child Kanta (2019)
  • Pradeep Kabra as Senapati Nakush (2019–2020)
  • Chahat Pandey as Ananta Lakshmi, Tathacharya's younger sister and Govind's love interest. (2018)
  • Meghan Jadhav as Govind, Sharda's younger brother and Ananta Lakshmi's love interest. (2018)
  • Jiten Mukhi as Timmarasu (2017–2019)
  • Jitendra Pathak as Nagar Kotwal (2017–2019)
  • Neha Chauhan as Varunmala, Tathacharya's wife (2017–2019)
  • Heer Chopra as Saudamini, Royal Dancer (2017–2019; 2020)
  • Deeksha Sonalkar as Mandakini, Royal Dancer (2020)
  • Nishi Singh as Kotwalan, Kotwal's wife (2017–2018) (Replaced)
  • Rishina Kandhari as Goddess Laxmi / Navadurga / Kaali / Saraswati (2018–2019; 2020)
  • Cheshta Mehta as Charulata, Sulakshana Devi's sister and Pralyankar's wife. (2020)
  • Ketan Karande as Bharkam, Sulakshana Devi's cousin (2020)



Regarding the series Tenali Rama, Neeraj Vyas, Senior EVP & Head, Channel SAB and MAX cluster of channels, said, "India has a compelling tradition of both written and oral folklore. Our epics are treasures that teach life lessons via stories. Tenali Rama was a legendary poet of the 15th century. He is immortal, his wit being admired even in today's times. With Tenali Rama's adaptation on SAB, we intend to offer a restored and renewed version of this classic chronicle."[16]


Krishna Bharadwaj was chosen to play the titular role of Tenali Rama and went bald for it. Speaking on how he got the role, he said, "I have been waiting for something good to come my way".When I received a call for Tenali Rama, I was shocked to be informed that I would have to go bald. But then I decided to give it a try, and it all fell into places. I feel there has been a divine force blessing me for I have managed to sink my teeth into the character so well. I did not do any research nor read about it but I can assure I am doing a good job, even though I do not consider myself so capable. As for the baldness, the first day, I was really upset but now I see Tenali in the mirror and not Krishna, and that takes away the blues."[17]

It was reported in June 2017 that Manav Gohil had been cast to play the pivotal role of Emperor Krishnadevraya. Gohil, who worked with SAB TV on Yam Hain Hum, where he played the titular role, said, "This time it's Krishnadevaraya, a very powerful king that I am portraying. It's a comedy show and I am looking forward to working with a new set of people. The show is "Tenali Rama" and I am so ready to get rolling with this one."[18]

Veteran actor Pankaj Berry was cast to play the series' antagonist and Tenali Rama's foe frenemy, Tathacharya, who is the royal priest in the court room of Emperor Krishnadevraya, and always makes Tenali Rama in trouble in cases with his fellow servants, Dhani and Mani, in which he totally dislikes them. Berry said, "I am very excited to play Tathacharya. It is a very different kind of challenging role, there are different layers to the character even though it's a negative character."[19] It was reported in July 2017 that Sonia Sharma and Priyanka Singh had been cast to play the roles of Krishnadevraya's wives, Chinna Devi and Tirumalamba, respectively.[20]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2017 Indian Television Academy Awards Best Actor in a Negative Role Pankaj Berry Nominated
2018 Best Children's Program Tenali Rama[21] Won
Best Actress in a Comic Role Nimisha Vakharia Nominated
2019 Best Actor in a Supporting Role Manav Gohil Nominated
Indian Telly Awards Best Actor in a Comic Role Pankaj Berry Nominated

Historical inaccuraciesEdit

  • The series portrays Chinna Devi as Krishnadevaraya's senior wife and chief queen and Tirumalamba as his junior wife.[20] This is inaccurate. Tirumalamba (also known as Tirumala Devi) was actually Krishnadevaraya's senior wife and his chief queen or patta manishi.[22][23] She was the princess of Srirangapattana and Krishnadevaraya had married her most probably in 1498, long before his accession to the throne in 1509.[24] Chinna Devi was actually princess of Koorg pradesh to whom Krishnadevaraya had married immediately after his accession to the throne and was his junior wife.[22]
  • Tathacharya was a very wise priest unlike shown in the Soap Opera. But it's true that he hates and tries to get rid of Tenali Rama.
  • Ananta Lakshmi and Saudamini were his daughters not mistress or sister.
  • Krishnadevaraya died in 1529,[25] when Birbal was just one year old.[26] But, in the serial, Birbal is portrayed as a young man in Krishnadevaraya's court.[27]
  • Successor of Krishnadevaraya was Achyuta Deva Raya not Balakumaran, Kaikala or Sulakshana Devi.


Shweta Keshri of India Today gave the series a positive review, praising Krishna Bharadwaj's portrayal of Tenali Rama, the VFX and special effects of the series, the colourful sets and comic content which "can easily lure viewers to the show and takes you back to the 15th century."[28]


Tenali Rama aired on Zee Tamil under the title Tenali Raman and was dubbed in Tamil.[29] It was dubbed and aired in Telugu on Zee Telugu as Thenali Ramakrishna.[30] The series was also aired on Zee Keralam as Tennali Raman, dubbed in Malayalam.[31]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Raychaudhuri, edited by Tapan; Habib, Irfan (1981). The Cambridge economic history of India (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge [Eng.]: Cambridge University Press. p. 106. ISBN 9780521226929.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Rao, P. Raghunanda (1989). Indian heritage and culture (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sterling Publishers Private Unlimited. p. 38. ISBN 9788120709300.
  3. ^ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tv/news/hindi/tenali-rama-to-go-off-air-on-november-13/articleshow/78520763.cms#:~:text=TV%20show%2C%20'Tenali%20Rama',the%20crew%20of%20the%20development.
  4. ^ "Tenali Rama Serial Episode On SAB:Times Of india". 7 July 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Sony SAB presents the epic folklore 'Tenali Rama'". The Times of India. 6 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  6. ^ TNN (11 August 2017). "Tenali Rama is trapped between the two wives of King KrishnadevrayaIndia".
  7. ^ "Barkha Bisht turns Goddess Kali in 'Tenali Rama'". The Times of India.
  8. ^ "Bollywood actress Minissha Lamba enters Tenali Rama as Vishkanya". Indian Television Dot Com. 20 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Rati Pandey joins the cast of Tenali Rama". The Times of India.
  10. ^ https://www.tellychakkar.com/tv/tv-news/nirisha-basnett-pradeep-gurang-and-satyajeet-gaonkar-enter-tenali-rama-200903
  11. ^ https://www.tellychakkar.com/tv/tv-news/nirisha-basnett-pradeep-gurang-and-satyajeet-gaonkar-enter-tenali-rama-200903
  12. ^ https://www.tellychakkar.com/tv/tv-news/nirisha-basnett-pradeep-gurang-and-satyajeet-gaonkar-enter-tenali-rama-200903
  13. ^ https://www.tellychakkar.com/tv/tv-news/sailesh-gulabani-enter-sab-tv-s-tenali-rama-200929
  14. ^ https://www.tellychakkar.com/tv/tv-news/vinay-rohrra-and-visha-vira-roped-sab-tvs-tenali-rama-201014
  15. ^ https://www.tellychakkar.com/tv/tv-news/vinay-rohrra-and-visha-vira-roped-sab-tvs-tenali-rama-201014
  16. ^ TNN (11 July 2017). "Tenali Rama tales come alive on television". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  17. ^ Farzeen, Sana (4 July 2017). "TV show Tenali Rama earnings will bail me out of debts: Actor Krishna Bhardwaj". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  18. ^ IANS (20 June 2017). "Manav Gohil excited for 'Tenali Rama'". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  19. ^ Team, Tellychakkar (23 June 2017). "Veteran actor Pankaj Berry joins SAB TV's Tenali Rama". Tellychakkar.com. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  20. ^ a b TNN (19 July 2017). "Actress Priyanka Singh and Sonia Sharma plays the role of Krishnadevraya's wives in Tenali Rama". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Tenali Rama : Best Children's Show". India Today. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  22. ^ a b Jackson, William J. (2016). "7". Vijayanagara Voices: Exploring South Indian History and Hindu Literature. Routledge. ISBN 9781317001928.
  23. ^ Verghese, Anila (2001). Hampi. Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 15. ISBN 9780195654332.
  24. ^ Life and Achievements of Sri Krishnadevaraya. Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Karnataka. 2010. p. 27.
  25. ^ "Biography of Sri Krishna Deva Raya!!!". www.yousigma.com. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  26. ^ eBiography. "बीरबल जीवनी – Biography of Birbal in Hindi Jivani" Check |url= value (help). jivani. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  27. ^ "20 December 2018 - Tenali Rama - Birbal Vs. Pandit Rama". Sony LIV. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  28. ^ Keshri, Shweta (12 July 2017). "Tenali Rama review: 5 things we loved about this historic comedy". Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  29. ^ "Zee Tamil to launch a new historical fiction Tenali Raman". Best Media Info.
  30. ^ "Zee Telugu brings Thenali Ramakrishna and his witty antics every weeknight". Adgully.com.
  31. ^ "Tennali Raman to go on air from April 6". Times Of India.

External linksEdit