Ramayan (TV series)

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Ramayan poster.jpg
Ramayan promotional poster
Format Religious drama
Created by Ramanand Sagar
Starring Arun Govil
Deepika Chikhalia
Sunil Lahri
Sanjay Jog
Arvind Trivedi
Dara Singh
Vijay Arora
Sameer Rajda
Mulraj Rajda
Lalita Pawar
Country of origin India
Original language(s) Hindi
No. of episodes 78
Running time 35 minutes
Original channel Doordarshan
Original run 25 January 1987 – 31 July 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 25 January 1987 to 31 July 1988 on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. IST, and in later 90's it was again telecasted on DD1 at 8:00PM {IST}.

It is a television adaptation of the ancient Indian Hindu religious epic of the same name, and is primarily based on Valmiki's Ramayana and Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas. It is also partly derived from portions of Kamban's Ramavataram and other works.


Actor / Actress Character
Arun Govil Ram
Deepika Chikhalia Sita
Sunil Lahri Lakshman
Sanjay Jog Bharat
Sameer Rajda Shatrughna
Arvind Trivedi Ravan
Dara Singh Hanuman
Bal Dhuri Dashratha
Jayshree Gadkar Kaushalya
Rajni Bala Sumitra
Padma Khanna Kaikeyi
Lalita Pawar Manthara
Vijay Arora Indrajit
Mulraj Rajda Janak
Sudhir Dalvi Vasishta
Chandrasekhar Sumanta
Aparajita Mandodari
Shyamsundar Kaalaani Sugriva / Vali
Sulakshana Khatri Mandavi
Anjali Vyas Urmila
Vijay Kavish Shiva / Valmiki
Poonam Shetty Shuddhkirti
Nalin Dave Kumbhakarna
Mukesh Rawal Vibhishana
Shrikant Soni Vishwamitra
Bandini Mishra Parvati

List of episodes[edit]

Episode no Episode Name
00 Introduction
01 Birth of Rama
02 Rama going to Gurukul
03 Continuing Gurukul
04 Vishwamitra & Tadak Vatha
05 Ganga Redemption of Ahilya
06 Ram meets Sita
07 Sita Swayamvar
08 Breaking of Shiv Dhanush, meeting of Parshuram
09 Marriage Preparation
10 Ram and Sita Marriage
11 Sita's arrival at Ayodhya
12 Discussion on Dasharatha's heir
13 Rajyabhishek
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
30 Shurpanaka Encounter
31 Kidnap Plan by Raavan
32 Kidnap of Sita Ji
33 Jatayu Udhar and sugreev mitrata
34 Baali Udhaar


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 serialised 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 INR100000 (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 for the series were provided by Maganlal Dresswala.[1]

Popularity and influence[edit]

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 news magazine India Today dubbed "Ramayan fever", religious services (both 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. It 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 and 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. It ran on American TV on the syndicated program Eye on Asia.

Critical reception[edit]

The series was initially criticised by both urban Indian and Western film critics as being slow in pacing, melodramatic, and having poor production values. 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, analysing what caused the programme to reach such a level of popularity.

World record[edit]

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 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.

In 2008, a Ramayan produced by Sagar Arts began airing on NDTV Imagine. In August 2012, Zee TV began airing a second remake, called Ramayan – Sabke Jeevan Ka Aadhaar and produced again by Sagar Arts.


  1. ^ "Behind the scenes: Dress designers to actors & deities". The Tribune. 20 April 2003. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 


External links[edit]

Ramayan Videos Online