Ramayan (TV series)
Ramayan promotional poster
|Created by||Ramanand Sagar|
|Country of origin||India|
|No. of episodes||78|
|Running time||35 minutes|
|Original run||January 25, 1987 – July 31, 1988|
|Followed by||Luv Kush|
Ramayan is a highly successful and phenomenally popular Indian epic television series created, written, and directed by Ramanand Sagar. The 78 episode series originally aired weekly on Doordarshan from January 25, 1987, to July 31, 1988, on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. IST.
It is a television adaptation of the ancient Indian Hindu religious epic of the same name and is primarily based on Valmiki's Ramayan and Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas. It is also partly derived from portions of Kamban's Ramavataram and other works.
List of Episodes
|Episode no||Episode Name|
|01||Birth of Rama|
|02||Rama going to Gurukul|
|04||Vishwamitra & Tadak Vatha|
|05||Ganga Redemption of Ahilya|
|06||Ram meets Seetha|
|08||Breaking of Shiv Dhanush, meeting of Parshuram|
|10||Ram and Seetha Marriage|
|11||Sita's arrival at Ayodhya|
|12||Discussion on Dasharatha's heir|
|14||Kaikayee's request to fulfill two wishes|
|15||Preparing for the Journey to the Forest|
|16||Journey to the forest|
|17||Meeting with Nishad Raj|
|18||Crossing Ganga River|
|19||Arriving at Valmiki's ashram|
|20||King Dasharath's Death|
|21||Bharath & Kaikeyi's discussion|
|22||Bharath rejects to become King|
|23||Bharath & Shatrughan go to meet Rama|
|24||Bharath meets Rama|
|25||Bharath returns to Ayodhya with Ramas Shoes|
|26||Ramas Shoes installed on the throne of Ayodhya|
|29||First meeting with Jatayu, Sita in Panchavadi|
|31||Kidnap Plan by Raavan|
In 1986, following the moderate success of his television series Vikram aur Betaal and while he was in the midst of producing Dada-Dadi Ki Kahaniyan, Ramanand Sagar approached executives at Doordarshan about the possibility of producing a serialized version of the Ramayana, of which Sagar was a lifelong devotee. The idea was initially rejected, then revived, but delayed due to concerns that such a television series might lead to a rise in communalism. Finally, the show was indeed approved for 52 episodes (which would later be expanded twice in response to the series' overwhelming popularity, each time by 13 episodes, bringing the total to 78 episodes), and was given the unpopular time slot of Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. Doordarshan budgeted Sagar 1 lakh (US$1,700) per episode. Among the reference sources for the TV series, the producers used the seven volumes of critical edition of the Ramayana published by the Maharaja Sayajirao Oriental Institute in Vadodara. Costumes of the series was provided by Maganlal Dresswala.
Popularity and influence
During its original broadcast, Ramayan was enormously popular, drawing over 100 million viewers. Although rising slowly at first, its popularity reached a point where the entire nation of India came to a virtual stop as nearly everyone who could gain access to a television stopped what they were doing to watch the televised adventures of Rama. In a phenomenon that the newsmagazine India Today dubbed Ramayan fever, religious services(Hindu and non-Hindu) were rescheduled to accommodate the show's broadcast; trains, buses, and inner-city trucks stopped running when the show was on; and, in villages, hundreds of people would gather around a single television set to watch the show.
At the time, Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi stated, "Ramayan has stirred the imaginations of millions of viewers. It has imbibed the great Indian culture, tradition and normal values especially in the young."
While religious-themed films had been produced since the beginning of Indian cinema, Ramayan was the first Indian television series based on religious stories and is widely credited with inspiring the production of many other religious television series, most notably B. R. Chopra's Mahabharat, as well as series such as Vishwamitra, Buddha, and Sagar's own Luv Kush and Krishna, while also inspiring the production of historical dramas such as Chanakya and Shyam Benegal's Bharat Ek Khoj.
The series was initially criticized by both urban Indian and Western film critics as being slow in pacing, melodramatic, and having poor production quality. As the series' popularity grew, eventually making it(at the time) the most popular series in the history of Indian television, many critics wrote articles in the Indian press and held discussions on Indian television, analyzing what caused such a programme to reach such a level of popularity.
At the time it aired, Ramayan quickly rose to become the most popular programme in the history of Indian television, a title it held until B. R. Chopra's Mahabharat aired, which was after the end of Ramayan's original run. Subsequently, through re-runs and video productions, Ramayan regained popularity and was listed in the Limca Book of Records as the world's "most viewed mythological serial" until June, 2003.
Within weeks of the end of the original run of Ramayan, the spin-off Uttar Ramayan(later renamed Luv Kush) premiered on Doordarshan, starring the same cast and production team as Ramayan and continuing the Ramayana story into the events following Ram's coronation. In general, it followed the story of Ram's children Luv and Kush.
- "Behind the scenes: Dress designers to actors & deities". The Tribune. April 20, 2003. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Karp, Jonathan and Williams, Michael. "Reigning Hindu TV Gods of India Have Viewers Glued to Their Sets." The Wall Street Journal, 22 April 1998
- Lutgendorf, Philip (1991). The Life of a Text: Performing the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06690-1.
- Lutgendorf, Philip (1990). "Ramayan: The Video". TDR/The Drama Review (The MIT Press) 34 (2): 127–176. doi:10.2307/1146030. ISSN 10542043. JSTOR 1146030.
- Lutgendorf, Philip (2006). "All in the (Raghu) Family: A Video Epic in Cultural Context". In Hawley, John Stratton; Narayanan, Vasudha. The Life of Hinduism. The Life of Religion. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 140–157. ISBN 978-0-520-24913-4.
- National Endowment for the Humanities. "Lessons of the Epics: The Ramayana". EdSITEment Lesson Plans. Available online from http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=599 (18 January, 2006).
- Limca Book of Records certificate on official website of Sagar Arts
- Ramayan Videos Online
- Ramayan at the Internet Movie Database
- Watch Imagine TV Ramayan Videos on Rajshri.com
- Watch DD Serial of Sagar's Ramayan and Uttar Ramayan
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