One of the most iconic Indian TV shows, Mahabharat which is back on Doordarshan is taking people down the memory lane. This 90’s popular show is being re-telecast to entertain the Indian audience during the ongoing 21- day lockdown.
Directed by Ravi Chopra, Mahabharat is considered one of the most popular TV series in India. The show is still managing to impress the audience with the same impact and relevant even in modern times for its iconic content.
Some interesting facts about the popular TV show Mahabharat that everyone should know
- The total cost of producing the TV series was ₹9 crores.
- The show consists of 94 episodes which include whole story till the end of the Kurukshetra war.
- Mahabharat’s first episode was aired on Doordarshan on October 2, 1988.
- The show used to broadcast on Sunday morning prime time.
- The show is based on the book ‘Mahabharat’ written by Ved Vyas.
- Satish Bhatnagar with his research team studied all available books in different languages on Mahabharat to make TV series good in every way. Raza wrote the script of the series.
- The show created huge addiction among the people that no one would go outside during the time of telecast, making the streets across the country empty.
- The title track of the show that gives TV lovers goosebumps even today was sung by veteran playback singer late Mahendra Kapoor.
- Mahabharat was the big show and more than 15,000 people applied to play roles in Mahabharat. After shortlisting, the casting team called 1500 people for the video screen tests.
- Mahabharat’s casting director, Gufi Paintal played the role of Shakuni in the Mahabharat.
- Juhi Chawla was selected for Draupadi’s role, but she chose to star in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. Later Roopa Ganguly was selected for the role.
- Shooting the war sequences was the most challenging task for the cast of Mahabharat. They shot for the scenes 40km away from Jaipur, Rajasthan.
- Pankaj Dheer who played the role of Karna got nearly killed during the shooting of the Kurukshetra war. The chariot he was riding in broke mid-way causing the horses to run helter-skelter.
- Mukesh Khanna who played the role of Bhishma was offered the role of Duryodhan. Since he didn’t want to play a negative character, he refused to take up the role and also auditioned to play the role of Arjun and Karna, but didn’t get it.
- Govinda and Chunky Panday were signed for the role of Abhimanyu but they chose to back out when they bagged films and later the role was given to Master Mayur.
- Nitish Bhardwaj clinched the role of Krishna because Ravi Chopra thought his smile is suited for playing Krishna. Bharadwaj was admired by people in real life so much that people have touched his feet thinking he is Lord Krishna.
- Praveen Kumar who played Bhima was a known Indian athlete. He had participated in the Olympics and won gold medals in Asian games.
- Firoz Khan who played Arjun later adopted his screen name because of its huge popularity.
- For Draupadi Vastraharan sequence was created by using the 250-meter long saree, however, the saree worn by Roopa Ganguly was 6-meter long.
- Almost all the actors in Mahabharat TV series were newcomers other than Raj Babbar who played King Bharat and Debashree Roy who played Satyawati, second wife of King Shantanu.
India’s most popular TV Show Mahabharat helped every actor get noticed in the TV and Film industry and became successful.