Mahabharat (2013 TV series)

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Mahabharat 2013 title.jpg
Created bySiddharth Kumar Tewary
Based onMahabharat
Written bySharmin Joseph
Radhika Anand
Anand Vardhan
Mihir Bhuta
Siddharth Kumar Tewary
Directed bySiddharth Anand Kumar
Amarprith G
Mukesh Kumar Singh
Kamal Monga
Loknath Pandey
Creative director(s)Amol surve
StarringSaurabh Raj Jain
Pooja Sharma
Shaheer Sheikh
Aham Sharma
Narrated bySaurabh Raj Jain
Opening themeHai katha Sangraam Ki
Ending themeMahabharat
Ismail Darbar
Country of originIndia
Original language(s)Hindi
No. of seasons28[1]
No. of episodes267[2]
Producer(s)Siddharth Kumar Tewary
Gayatri Gil Tewary
Rahul Kumar Tewary
Production location(s)Umbergaon, Gujarat
Editor(s)Paresh Shah
Camera setupmulti camera
Running timeEpisode→1: 40 minutes; Episode→2-11: 20 mins; Episode→12-267: 22 mins[3]
Production company(s)Swastik Productions
DistributorStar India
Original networkStarPlus
Picture format576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release22 September 2013 (2013-09-22) –
16 August 2014 (2014-08-16)
External links
Production website

Mahabharat is an Indian mythological[4] series based on the ancient Indian Sanskrit epic Mahabharat.[5][6][7][8][9] It aired from 16 September 2013 to 16 August 2014 on Star Plus.

It was produced by Swastik Productions Pvt. Ltd starring Saurabh Raj Jain as Shri Krishna, Shaheer Sheikh as Arjun, Pooja Sharma as Draupadi, Aham Sharma as Karna, Arav Chowdhary as Bhishma, Arpit Ranka as Duryodhan.


Mahabharat presents the story of the throne of Hastinapur, the kingdom ruled by the Kuru clan where the Kauravs and the Pandavs brothers compete for rulership. Both Duryodhan and Yudhisthir claim to be first in line to inherit the throne. Duryodhan, younger than Yudhisthir, the eldest Pandav.

The story begins with Devrath, Shantanu and Ganga's son; an impeccable warrior, and Parshuram's disciple is obligated to swear an oath of celibacy in order to fulfill his father's happiness that is to marry Satyavati. Satyavati refused to enter the palace given that she had to take up of the position of a 'step-mother of the king'. Devrath's integral oath of celibacy earns him the name Bhisma. Bhisma swears an oath to forever stay a 'servant; to the throne of Hastinapur. Shocked and astonished by the intensity of the sacrifice Bhisma made for Shantanu, he grants Bhisma the boon of 'ichhya-mrityu' which meant that until and unless Bhisma was ever pushed to the point of the willingness of death, he would never die.

Bhisma gave up his rightful throne and Satyavati took over the kingdom as 'Rajmaata' (Mother of the King) after her husband died years later, as her son Vichitravirya became an alcoholic and heavy dependency on Bhisma as his elder brother. Satyavati, precisely worried about her husband's passed kingdom decides that if not Vichtiravirya, then his future son will be capable of handling the kingdom. Hence, she decides to get him married. As Vichitravirya, a drunkard is physically and mentally unable to go fetch a wife for himself in the swayamvaras (bridal match-making assembly), Bhisma takes it upon himself to bring a wife for him.

Later, in Salva Kingdom, the three princesses Amba, Ambika and Ambalika are presented for swayamvara, although Amba had already planned to get married to a groom of her choice. As an enraged Bhisma enters the swayamvara, no one dares to fight against him and hence, he wins over the three princesses and proceeds to take them to Hastinapur to get them married. Amba, furious that she did not get to choose the groom she wished demands release from Bhisma, which he rightfully provided. But, once the freed Amba went back to her beloved, she was shocked to be spurned by him as the rejected wife of another man.

In Hastinapur, Ambika and Ambalika's wedding takes place with Vichitravirya. Amba out of fury enters the Palace hall of Hastinapur and demands justice. She is given the choice to marry Vichitravirya like her sisters and become the queen of Hastinapur, but a virtuous Amba demands Bhisma to marry her since it was Bhisma who unwillingly 'won' her in the swaymavara. But, Bhisma due to his vow of celibacy refuses to marry her. This leads to Amba to ask Parshuram and Lord Shiva for justice upon which Shiva grants her the boon of rebirth with memory of past life and a written fate to be the 'reason of death of Bhisma'. Amba is later born in Panchal Kingdom as Shikhandi who participates in the ultimate demise of Bhisma, thus fulfilling the boon granted by Shiva.

In Kuntibhoj, Princess Kunti, sister of Vasudev obtained a boon from sage Durvasa, where she could invoke any deity and could bear his child. Out of childlike curiosity, she decided to test the boon and uttered the mantra calling upon the Sun god and was handed a baby, Karna. Kunti, an unwed mother, set Karna afloat on the river Ganga with a heavy heart, in order to avoid the embarrassment of having a child before marriage to her father and the kingdom. After her marriage to Pandu, Kunti invoked other deities and had her sons, Yudhishtir, Bhim and Arjun. The two remaining sons of Pandu,Nakul and Sahadev were born of Madri. Neither Karna, nor the Pandavs knew the true identity of Karna until the end of the Kurukshetra War. Karna fought against misfortune throughout his life, and was often ill-treated as he was the son of a charioteer. (Adirath, a charioteer and his wife Radha found Karna on the banks of river Ganga and raised him as their own.) Duryodhan, the mortal enemy of the Pandavs was the only person who supported Karna, even when the Pandav brothers insulted him for being a skilled archer while belonging to a lower caste. Thus Karna made a vow to protect Duryodhan throughout his lifetime and fought on his behalf against the Pandavs in the Kurukshetra War.

When Bhishma asked for Gandhari's hand in marriage for his blind nephew Dhritarashtra, her brother Shakuni got furious. But he later agreed when Bhishma persuaded them that Dhritrashtra would be the future king of Hastinapur. During the Coronation Ceremony; Dhritrashtra's younger brother Pandu was made the king due to the influence of Vidur (Dhritrashtra's other younger brother).

Shakuni felt that he was cheated and so he swore to himself that he would destroy the Kuru race. He sowed the seeds of the climactic battle during the adolescence of the Kauravs (Sons of Dhritarashtra) and the Pandavs (Sons of Pandu) by poisoning the mind of Duryodhan; the eldest Kaurav against the Pandavs.This results in the Kurukshetra War where Shri Krishna imparts Bhagwad Gita to his Pandav cousin Arjun. The battle saw the deaths of Bhishma, Karna among many. All the sons of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, died in the war.


Lead cast[edit]

Actor Role Notes
Saurabh Raj Jain Krishna/Vishnu Rukmini’s husband
Shaheer Sheikh Arjun Third Pandav, Draupadi's husband.
Pooja Sharma Draupadi Wife of the Pandavs
Aham Sharma Karna Vrushali’s husband and Kunti’s sacrificed son
Aarav Chowdhary Bhishma Shantanu and Ganga’s son.
Arpit Ranka Duryodhan Bhanumati’s husband, eldest Kaurav
Praneet Bhat Shakuni Gandhari’s brother
Rohit Bharadwaj Yudhisthir First Pandav
Saurav Gurjar Bheem Second Pandav
Vin Rana Nakul Fourth Pandav
Lavanya Bhardwaj Sahadeva Fifth Pandav
Nirbhay Wadhwa Dushasan Duryodhan’s brother
Thakur Anoop Singh Dhritarashtra Ghandhari’s husband, father of the Kaurav's
Riya Deepsi Gandhari Dhritarashtra’s wife.
Shafaq Naaz Kunti Pandu’s wife

Supporting Cast[edit]

Production and promotion[edit]

Star spent 100 crore (US$14 million) on the project and spent another 20 crore (US$2.8 million) on marketing the show, making it India's most expensive TV series of its time. Its record of being India's most expensive TV show was later broken by Swastik Pictures' Porus.[10]

According to producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary, the Draupadi cheer haran (disrobing) sequence,[11] which Tewary himself directed, took 20 days to shoot.[12]

Reception and impact[edit]

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".[13] DNA praised the costumes, scenery, Krishna's flute theme which was given by Raj Mohan Sinha,[14] and most of the CGI special effects, but said the story pace was too fast.[15]

Its premiere had a viewership of approximately 8.4 million people.[16] The show has become the highest rated weekday mythological epic show in the last three years on Indian television.[17]

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(10TVTs.4 TVM) and helped the broadcasting channel Star Plus clock the highest GTVMs ever achieved by any channel in Indian Television History.[18]

It won the trophy for the Best Drama in Star Guild Awards 2013 as well as number of accolades in other award shows.[19] 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.[20]

It has been dubbed to other languages including Bengali, Marathi, Oriya, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.[21]

In Indonesia, the drama was broadcast on antv dubbed in Indonesian in March 2014. The casts of Mahabharat were invited to hold a fan meeting tour at Jakarta and Bali. The Times of India reported in 2014 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.[22] The main casts of Mahabharat, performed on "Mahabharat Show: Fan Meeting Tour" in the year 2014 .[23][24][25][26][27][28][29]

As from 6 December 2015, the show starts airing 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 starting January 2, 2016.[30]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2014 Star Guild Awards Best Ensemble Cast Sidharth Kumar Tewary Won
Best Mythological Series Swasthik Picture
Indian Television Academy Awards Best Visual Effects Swasthik Picture
Best Historical/Mythological Serial Mahabharat
Indian Telly Award
Best Costumes for a TV Program Bhanu Athaiya
Best Makeup Artist G. A. Jamesh
Best Ensemble Sidharth Kumar Tewary
Best Actor in a Negative Role Praneet Bhat
Best Stylist Shweta Korde
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Aham Sharma
Star Parivaar Awards Favourite Naya Sadasya (Male) Shaheer Sheikh
Pehel Nayi Soch Ki Saurabh Raj Jain and Pooja Sharma
Saathi Nayi Soch Ka Aham Sharma
Nayi Soch Saurabh Raj Jain
Favourite Kutumb Mahabharat
2015 Scroll of Honour


  1. ^ "Mahabharat Seasons". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Mahabharat Episodes". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  3. ^ "nMahabharat (2013 TV series) Technical specifications". IMDb. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Parmavatar Shri Krishna to premiere soon; 5 mythological shows that redefined the genre and left us asking for more". India Today. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  5. ^ TNN 15 September 2013, 10.27 AM IST (2013-09-15). "Mahabharat launced for the youth of the nation! - Times Of India". Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  6. ^ "Shakuni's role in Mahabharat once in a lifetime: Praneet Bhatt". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Is Shafaq Naaz miffed with Mahabharat makers?". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Shaheer Sheikh and Rohit Bhardwaj's Buddy Diwali!". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Riding high on 'Mahabharat' ratings, Star Plus tops the chart". Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  10. ^ Ajita Shashidhar. "Broadcasters betting big money on the small screen with Rs.100 crore shows". India Today. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  11. ^ "The cheer haran sequence in Mahabharat took 20 days to shoot". The Indian Express. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  12. ^ Kanabar, Ankita R. (2 April 2014). "The cheer haran sequence in Mahabharat took 20 days to shoot". Indian Express. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  13. ^ Nishi Tiwari. "Review: Mahabharat, so far so good". Rediff. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  14. ^ "A young boy from Bihar".
  15. ^ Chaya Unnikrishnan. "Show review: 'Mahabharat'". DNA. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  16. ^ Debashish Mukerji. "Riding high on 'Mahabharat' ratings, Star Plus tops the chart". India Today. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  17. ^ Priyanka Srivastava. "Major networks in epic ratings battle as mythological shows like Mahabharat take on reality TV for nation's viewers". Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Rise in the ratings of TV shows this week - Times Of India". 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  19. ^ "Reality shows see a drop in ratings this week - Times Of India". 2013-12-08. Retrieved 2015-08-22.
  20. ^ "13th Indian Telly Awards: Complete List of Winners". Times of India. 2014-10-18.
  21. ^ Janani Karthik (6 December 2014). "Mahabharatham is back on Vijay TV - The Times of India". Indian Express. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Indonesia calling for Mahabharat!" (8 December 2014). Times of India. Times of India. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  23. ^ "Mahabharat's Shaheer Sheikh, Aham Sharma & Rohit Bhardwaj woo their fans in Indonesia!". Pink Villa. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  24. ^ "Look what 'Mahabharat' Stars are busy doing in Indonesia!". Pink Villa. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  25. ^ "In Pics: Team 'Mahabharat' works hard in Jakarta and parties harder in Bali!". Pink Villa. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  26. ^ "Casts of Mahabharat will be performing using English, Hindi and Indonesian Languages". tribunnews. 2 October 2014.
  27. ^ "Mahabharat Show". tribunnews. 3 October 2014.
  28. ^ "Stars of Mahabharat will perform at Jakarta". tribunnews. 1 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Residents of Bali bought tickets for Fans Meeting of the casts of Mahabharat". tribunnews. 4 October 2014.
  30. ^ "ซีรีย์อินเดีย มหาภารตะ". Channel 5 (in Thai). 2 January 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.

External links[edit]