Mahabharat (2013 TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mahabharat 2013 title.jpg
Created bySiddharth Kumar Tewary
Based onMahabharata
by Vyasa
Written by
Directed by
  • Siddharth Anand Kumar
  • Amarprith G
  • Mukesh Kumar Singh
  • Kamal Monga
  • Loknath Pandey
Creative directorAmol Surve
StarringSee below
Narrated bySaurabh Raj Jain
Theme music composerAjay–Atul[1] (Hai katha sangram ki)
  • Jitesh Panchal
  • Lenin Nandi
  • Sushant Pawar
Country of originIndia
Original languageHindi
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes267[2]
ProducersSiddharth Kumar Tewary
Rahul Kumar Tewary
EditorParesh Shah
Camera setupMulti camera
Running time22 minutes
Production companySwastik Productions
Original networkStarPlus
Picture format
Original release16 September 2013 (2013-09-16) –
16 August 2014 (2014-08-16)

Mahabharat is a 2013 Indian historical epic television series based on the Sanskrit saga Mahabharata.[3] It aired from 16 September 2013 to 16 August 2014 on Star Plus.[4][5] The series is available digitally on Disney+ Hotstar. Produced by Swastik Productions Pvt. Ltd, it starred Saurabh Raj Jain, Pooja Sharma, Shaheer Sheikh and Aham Sharma.[6]


The story begins with Bhishma, the son of Shantanu and Ganga, taking his oath of celibacy to convince Satyavati to marry his father Shantanu, the king of Hastinapura. Shantanu and Satyavati marry and have 2 children - Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. Chitrangad dies and on the advice of queen Saytavati Bhisma wins the three princesses of Kashi kingdom for Vichitravirya but the eldest Princess Amba refuses to marry him and leaves for her lover who rejects her. She blames Bhisma and vows that she will be the reason of his death. Vichitravirya died without any children, but Veda Vyasa, the son of Satyavati born through occult is requested to impregnate Vichitravirya's 2 wives Ambika and Ambalika the same way he was conceived. Besides the queens, Vyasa also impregnates a maid Parishrami through occult. Soon, Ambika gives birth to Dhritarashtra, born blind, Ambalika gives birth to Pandu, born pale and Parashrami gives birth to Vidura.

25 years later[edit]

Dhritarashtra is married to Gandhari, the princess of Gandhara Kingdom; because of her boon of bearing a hundred sons. After knowing her would-be-husband is blind Gandhari decided to blindfold herself to share her husband's pain. This angers Shakuni, the brother of Gandhari, and he vows to destroy Bhishma, as it was him who had brought the proposal for Gandhari's marriage. Dhritarashtra is denied the throne for being blind, and the throne is given to Pandu. Pandu marries Kunti, a princess of Kunti Kingdom, and Madri of Madra Kingdom. Pandu is later cursed by Sage Kindama, that he will die if he attempts to impregnate his wives. Pandu, heartbroken, renounces the kingdom with his 2 wives. After this Dhritarashtra becomes de facto king of Hastinapur.

Kunti uses her boon, given to her by Sage Durvasa, to invoke gods of her choice and obtain children from them. She begets Yudhishthira from Yama (the god of death and righteousness), Bhima from Vayu (the god of wind), Arjuna from Indra (the king of the gods). She also chants the boon for Madri, and Madri obtains twins - Nakula and Sahadeva - from the Ashwini Kumaras. Gandhari is jealous by this development and gives birth to a lump of flesh after being pregnant for 2 years, but this is cut into 101 pieces by Veda Vyasa, and these pieces eventually transform into children - the 100 Kauravas (led by Duryodhana) and a daughter, Dushala.

15 years later[edit]

Years pass, and the Kauravas grow up to be evil, led by their eldest brother Duryodhana, who is highly influenced by his uncle Shakuni, contrary to the Pandavas who are righteous. Pandavas return to Hastinapur with Kunti, after the death of Pandu and Madri. Shakuni tries to poison Bheema, but he is saved by his great-grandfather Naag Raj. Bhishma banishes Shakuni from Hastinapur, forcing him to return to Gandhar. All princes are sent to study under Guru Dronacharya where Dronacharya teaches everyone about warfare including his son Ashwatthama.

12 years later[edit]

Years pass and the princes return to Hastinapur, where they are engaged in a competition of showcasing their skills. Arjuna wins the competition, but Karna challenges Arjuna as Dronacharya declared Arjuna as the greatest bowman of the world. Kunti realises that Karna is her son whom she had obtained from Surya, the Sun God, long before marriage. In the meantime, Arjuna, also befriends Lord Krishna, his cousin (Lord Krishna's father was Vasudev, brother of Kunti), and King of Dwarka. The Kauravas attempt to kill the Pandavas using a palace made of wax, but the Pandavas escape. They go into exile so all others believe them to be dead. In the process, the Pandavas encounter a demon by the name Hidimba. Bhima kills Hidimba but ends up marrying his sister, Hidimbi. The couple begets a son, Ghatotkacha. Arjune disguised as a Brahmin wins Draupadi in her Swayamvar arranged by her father, the King of Panchal, Drupad. Arjuna takes her to his mother who was doing Pooja and without realising what he was talking about commands him to share whatever he has won with his brothers. The Pandavas eventually marry Draupadi, the princess of Panchala and King Drupada's daughter, born from fire, thus revealing their identity. They return to Hastinapur and justify their polyandry.

The sequence of events leads to the Kuru Kingdom being divided - The Pandavas receive a new kingdom - Khandavprastha. Arjuna destroys the Khandava. They renovate the town, and rename it as Indraprastha. The prosperity of Indraprastha angers Duryodhana. A jealous Duryodhana summons Pandavas for a dice game, where Yudhishthira loses his kingdom, brothers as well as their common wife Draupadi. Draupadi is dragged and humiliated in the court, however, Krishna saves her honour at the end.

The Pandavas and Draupadi, as a result of losing, are forced into a 12-year exile and a year of incognito, the latter phase being spent in the kingdom of King Virata.Arjun got pasupatashtra from lord shiva. Pandavas reunite with their children- the Upapandavas (the 5 sons of Draupadi) and Abhimanyu (the son of Arjuna and Subhadra), after the exile period. Abhimanyu is married to Uttaraa, the daughter of King Virata and Queen Sudeshna.

The Pandavas' peace treaty with the Kauravas fails to materialise, thus confirming that a war is set to happen. Both, the Pandavas and Kauravas, gather their respective armies by allying with different tribes and kingdoms.

Shortly before the Kurukshetra War commences, Arjuna obtains the knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita from Krishna, which helps him fight for righteousness without any remorse of killing his own people in the process. The war begins and continues for 18 days - both sides face mass destruction. The Pandavas and Kauravas lose all of their children, in-laws, and allies, and the war officially ends after Duryodhana, the only remaining Kaurava, is killed by Bhima.

Ashwatthama (the son of Dronacharya), on seeing Duryodhana's death, gets angered and raids the Pandava camp at night, killing many soldiers in the process. Dhrishtadyumna, Shikhandini ( eldest sister of Draupadi who helped Pandavas in killing Bhishma) and the Upapandavas are killed by Ashwatthama while they are sleeping. He also tries to kill a widowed Uttaraa and her unborn baby rather unsuccessfully, but both of them are revived and the child is named as 'Parikshit' by Krishna.

Krishna also curses Ashwatthama to remain in severe pain and immortality for the rest of his life because of his heinous act. The Pandavas return to Hastinapura, where Dhritarashtra attempts to kill Bhima but ends up being unsuccessful. Gandhari curses Krishna for letting the war happen as she lost all of her sons and grandsons, so he suffers the same fate. The show ends with Yudhishthira being finally crowned by Krishna, as the king of Hastinapur.



  • Saurabh Raaj Jain as Krishna/Vishnu: Devaki and Vasudev's son; Yashoda and Nanda's adopted son; Balram and Subhadra's half brother; Kunti's nephew; Radha's divine consort; Rukmini's husband; Karna and the Pandavas’s cousin; Draupadi's friend. He is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who came to earth to protect dharma.
  • Shaheer Sheikh as Arjuna: Third Pandava prince; Supreme archer; Pandu and Kunti's son; Indra's spiritual son; Madri's step-son; Karna, Yudhishthir, Bheem's younger brother; Nakul and Sahadev's half elder brother; Draupadi, Ulupi, Chitrangada and Subhadra's husband; Shrutakarma, Iravan, Babruvahana, Abhimanyu, Pragati and Pragya's father; Uttarā's teacher and father in law; Parikshit's grandfather.
  • Pooja Sharma as Draupadi: Princess of Panchal; King Drupad's fire born daughter; Shikhandini and Dhristadyumna's younger sister; Pandavas's common wife; Mother of Upapandavas, Suthanu, Samyukthana, Pragati, Pragya, Printha and Sumithra's mother.
  • Aham Sharma as Karna: King of Anga; The supreme archer; Surya and Kunti's son; Vrushali's husband; Pandavas's elder brother; Adhiratha and Radha's foster son; Duryodhan's friend.
  • Arpit Ranka as Duryodhan: Eldest Kaurava; King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari's first son; Bhanumati's husband; Shakuni's nephew; Lakshmana and Lakshmanaā's father; Karna and Ashwathama's friend. An arrogant and hotheaded crown prince of Hastinapur, he is often manipulated by his maternal uncle Shakuni, an excellent mace fighter. Killed by Bheema on the 18th day.
  • Praneet Bhat as Shakuni: King Subala and Queen Sudharma's son; Gandhari's elder brother; Arshi's husband; Uluka, Vrikasura and Patatatri's father. In beginning, he is a prince but later King of Gandhara. He is devious and strategised all plans of Duryodhan against Pandavas. He has grudge against Bhishma for marrying his sister Gandhari to Dhritarashtra. Killed by Sahadeva on the 18th day.
  • Arav Chowdhary as Bhishma: King Shantanu and Goddess Ganga's son and Grandsire of Pandavas and Kauravas. He had taken a pledge of celibacy and was given a boon by his father to decide the timing of death. Defeated by Arjuna on the 10th day.
  • Thakur Anoop Singh as Dhritarashtra: Blind King of Hastinapur. He is born from Vyasa and Ambika's niyoga; Pandu and Vidura's elder brother; Gandhari's husband, Kauravas and Dushala's father, Pandavas paternal uncle. He is deeply insecure and intensely partial to his sons which often prevents him from making wise decisions.
  • Riya Deepsi as Gandhari: King Subala and Queen Sudharma's daughter; Princess of Gandhara; Shakuni's younger sister; Dhritarashtra's wife; Kauravs and Dushala's mother. After knowing that her future husband is born blind she decided to blindfold herself to share the pain of her husband. After her husband's coronation, she became queen of Hastinapur.
  • Shafaq Naaz as Kunti: Dowager Queen of Hastinapur; King Pandu's first wife. Karna, Yudhisthir, Bhim and Arjun's mother; Nakul and Sahadev's step mother; Shurasena's daughter; Kuntibhoj's foster daughter; Vasudev's sister; Balarama, Krishna, and Subhadra's paternal aunt. She has the power to have a child by invoking God.
  • Rohit Bhardwaj as Yudhishthira: First Pandava Prince; A truthful King. He ruled Indraprastha and later Hastinapur; Pandu and Kunti's son; Dharmaraj spiritual son; Madri's step-son; Karna's younger brother; Bheem and Arjun's elder brother; Nakul and Sahadev's half elder brother; Draupadi and Devika's husband; Prativindhya, Yaudheya and Suthanu's father.
  • Saurav Gurjar as Bhima: Second Pandava Prince; a tremendous mace fighter Pandu and Kunti's son; Vayu's spiritual son; Karna, Yudhishthir's younger brother; Arjun's elder brother; Nakul and Sahadev's half elder brother; Hidimbi, Draupadi and Valandhara's huasband; Ghatothkacha, Sutasoma, Sarvaga and Samyukthana's father.
  • Nissar Khan as Drona: Sage Bharadwaja's son, Royal teacher of Kuru princes, Kripi's husband, Ashwatthama father. Killed by Drishtadhyumna on Day 15 of the Kurukshetra war.
  • Ankit Mohan as Ashwatthama: Drona and Kripi's son; Duryodhan friend.
  • Vin Rana as Nakula: Fourth Pandava Prince; Pandu and Madri's son; Ashwini Kumar Nastya's spiritual son; Kunti's step&foster son; Sahadev's twin elder brother; Karna, Yudhishthir, Bheem and Arjun's half younger brother; Draupadi and Karenumati's husband; Shatanika, Niramitra and Printha's father.
  • Lavanya Bhardwaj as Sahadeva: Fifth Pandava Prince; Pandu and Madri's son; Ashwini Kumar Darsa's spiritual son; Kunti's step&foster son; Nakul's twin younger brother; Karna, Yudhishthir, Bheem and Arjun's half younger brother; Draupadi and Vijaya's husband; Shrutasena, Suhotra and Sumithra's father.
  • Nirbhay Wadhwa as Dushasana: Second Kaurava, King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari's second son, Duryodhana's younger brother, 98 Kauravas and Dushala's elder brother, Killed by Bheema on the 16th day.


  • Sayantani Ghosh as Satyavati: A fisherwoman who married King Shantanu and became Queen. Ved Vyasa, Chitragada, and Vichitravirya's mother. Bhishma's step-mother.
  • Naveen Jinger as Vidura: Prime minister of Hastinapur, Vyasa and Ambika and Ambalika's maid's Parishrami son, Dhritarashtra and Pandu's younger brother, Sulabha's husband.
  • Sudesh Berry as Drupada: King of Panchala and Shikhandini, Dhristadyumna and Draupadi's father.
  • Karan Suchak as Dhrishtadyumna: King Drupad's fire born son, Shikhandini's younger brother and Draupadi's elder brother and Prince of Panchala, Kshatradharman, Kshatravarman, Kshatranjaya, and Dhrishtaketu's father.
  • Shikha Singh as Shikhandini/Shikhandi: King Drupad and Queen Kokila's daughter; Satyajit, Dhrishtadyumna and Draupadi's elder sister; Princess of Panchala and Amba's rebirth.
  • Paras Arora as Abhimanyu: Arjun and Subhadra's son; Uttarā's husband and Parikshit's father. A brave and young warrior killed by Kauravas through treachery
  • Veebha Anand[7] as Subhadra/Yogmaya: Vasudeva and Rohini's daughter, Balram and Krishna's younger sister, Arjun's fourth wife. Abhimanyu's mother; Parikshit's grandmother
  • Hemant Choudhary as Kripa: Kul Guru of Hastinapur; Astra Guru of Kauravas and Pandavas; Kripi’s brother and Drona’s brother-in-law
  • Sandeep Arora as Vikarna: Third Kaurava prince, King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari's third son and Duryodhan and Dushasna's younger brother, Dushyala's elder brother and Indumati's husband.
  • Abhianshu Vohra as King Susharma Brother of Bhanumati ( Duryodhan's wife )
  • Nazea Hasan Sayed as Vrushali: Karna's wife.
  • Kaushik Chakravorty as Shalya: King of Madra and Madri's elder brother.
  • Ajay Mishra as Sanjaya: Dhritarashtra's advisor and charioteer.
  • Atul Mishra as Ved Vyas: Satyavati and Maharishi Parashara's son and Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura's surrogate father. Mahabharata's author
  • Arun Singh Rana as Pandu: Ambalika and Vyasa's son, Kunti and Madri's husband, father of the Pandavas, the King of Hastinapur.
  • Ali Hassan as Jayadratha: King Brihanmanas's son and later King of Sindhu Kingdom, Dushala's husband, and Suratha's father.
    • Hassan also portrayed Takshak: Nagraj and Ruler of Takshila who killed Arjuna's grandson Parikshit.
  • Vaishnavi Dhanraj as Hidimbā: Bheem's first wife and Ghatothkacha's mother.
  • Ketan Karande as Ghatotkacha: Bheema and Himdimbā's son, who was killed by Karna.
  • Tarun Khanna as Balrama: Rohini and Vasudev's son, Subhadra's elder brother and Krishna's step elder brother.
  • Deepak Jethi as Virata: Matsya's king, Sudeshna's husband, and Uttar and Uttara's father.
  • Mallika Nayak as Sudeshna: Matsya's Queen, Virata's wife, Uttara, and Uttar's Mother.
  • Rumi Khan as Kichaka: Commander-in-chief of Matsya, Sudeshna's brother and Uttar and Uttara's maternal uncle.
  • Joy Mathur as Shishupala: Krishna's cousin and Duryodhana's friend.
  • Richa Mukherjee as Uttarā: King Virata and Queen Sudeshna's daughter, Uttar's younger sister, Abhimanyu's wife, and Parikshit's mother.
  • Pravisht Mishra as Uttar: Virata and Sudeshna's son and Uttara's brother. He was killed by Shalya on first day of war.
  • Puneet Issar as Parashurama: The sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu and the teacher of Bhishma, Drona, and Karna
  • Sameer Dharmadhikari as Shantanu: King of Hastinapur, Pratipa and Sunanda's son, Ganga and Satyavati's husband and Bhishma, Chitrangada and Vichtravirya's father.
  • Vivana Singh as Devi Ganga: River goddess of Purity, King Shantanu's first wife, and Bhishma's mother.
  • Aryamann Seth as Vichitravirya: King Shantanu and Queen Satyavati's son, Chitrangad's younger brother, and Ambika and Ambalika's husband.
  • Ratan Rajput as Amba: Kashya's daughter, Ambika and Ambalika's elder sister and the Princess of Kashi
  • Aparna Dixit as Ambika: Vichitravirya's first wife and Dhritarashtra's mother.
  • Mansi Sharma as Ambalika: Vichitravirya's second wife and Pandu's mother.
  • Suhani Dhanki as Madri: Princess of Madra and King Pandu's second wife and Nakul and Sahadev's mother.
  • Rio Kapadia as Subala: King of Gandhar, Sudharma's husband and Shakuni and Gandhari's father.
  • Shweta Gautam as Sudharma: Queen of Gandhar, Subala's wife and Shakuni and Gandhari's mother.
  • Ananya Agarwal as Malini: Draupadi's little friend.
  • Anju Jadhav as Sugadha: Gandhari's maid and Yuyutsu's mother.
  • Jayantika Sengupta as Arshi: Shakuni's wife.
  • Manish Bishla as Yuyutsu: Dhritarashtra and Sugadha’s son, Duryodhana’s younger step brother and other Kauravas’s elder step brother, fought for Pandavas and remained alive.
  • Bhakti Chauhan as Priyamvada: Kunti's childhood friend like maid. The only person who knows Karna's secret from beginning
  • Kanishka Soni as Sulabha: Vidura's wife.
  • Ketaki Kadam as Radha: Krishna's divine consort.
  • Chandni Sharma as Kripi: Drona's wife, Ashwathama's mother, and Kripa's twin sister.
  • Garima Jain as Dushala: King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari's daughter, Pandavas and Kauravas' sister, Jayadrath's wife and Suratha's mother.
  • Preeti Puri as Devaki: Vasudev's wife, Kansa's sister, and Krishna's mother.
  • Vandana Singh as Yashoda: Krishna's adoptive mother.
  • Pallavi Subhash[8] as Rukmini: Princess of Vidharbha, Rukmi's younger sister and Krishna's first wife.
  • Gurpreet Singh ad Rukmi: Prince of Vidharbha and Rukmini's brother.
  • Akhilendra Mishra as Kansa: Devaki's elder brother and Krishna's maternal uncle.
  • Tinu Verma as Jarasandha: King of Magadha. He is defeated by Karna and is killed by Bheem.
  • Raj Premi as Kalayavan: A demon king who was fetched to death by Lord Krishna.
  • Niel Satpuda as Prativindhya: Yudhishthira and Draupadi's son and the Eldest Upapandava.
  • Aman Sharma as Sutasoma: Bheema and Draupadi's son.
  • Yash Joshi as Shrutakarma: Arjuna and Draupadi's son.
  • Jay Joshi as Shatanika: Nakula and Draupadi's son.
  • Akshay Batchua as Shrutasena: Sahadeva and Draupadi's son.
  • Yagya Saxena as Eklavya: A devoted student of Drona who gives away his thumb as Guru Dakshina.
  • Mohit Raina[9] / Amit Mehra as Lord Shiva: Known as the 'destroyer', a part of the Trinity;Supreme Being
  • Sachin Verma / Nikhil Arya as Lord Indra: God of rain, King of the Gods and Heaven, and Bali and Arjuna's father.
  • Sandeep Rajora as Lord Surya: Lord Sun and Sugriva and Karna's father.
  • Kunal Bhatia as Lord Agni: God of fire. Drishtadyumna and Draupadi's father
  • Vishal Kotian as Lord Hanuman: Rama's devotee, Vayu's son, and Bheema's elder spiritual brother.
  • Vidyut Xavier as adolescent Karna.
  • Vedant Sawant as adolescent Balarama.
  • Kunwar Vikram Soni as young Shri Krishna.
  • Rohit Shetty as young Yudhishthira.
  • Miraj Joshi as young Bhima.
  • Soumya Singh as young Arjuna.
  • Devish Ahuja as young Nakula.
  • Rudhraksh Jaiswal as young Sahadeva.
  • Alam Khan as young Duryodhana.
  • Ashnoor Kaur as young Dushala.
  • Aayush Shah[10] as young Ashwatthama.
  • Raj Anadkat as young Vikarna (Third eldest brother among the 100 Kauravas).



In November 2005, a report from Variety stated Bobby Bedi's plan to make three feature films and 100 hours of television programming on Indian epic Mahabharat under Kaleidoscope Entertainment with the television version planned to be delivered by the end of 2007.[11] In 2006 it was revealed making for Star Plus which was to be directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi.[12][13] It was a part of Bedi's 360 degree approach to the epic through TV, film, gaming and theme parks.[14] Planned for 100 episodes with new actors, it was planned to premiere in March 2008 but got postpone due to production to August 2008 and later January 2009.[13][15][16]

During this, Ekta Kapoor was simultaneously producing a series on Mahabharat since January 2008 titled Kahaani Hamaarey Mahaabhaarat Ki for a rival channel to premiere in mid 2008 which she earlier planned for Star but could not as the channel roped Bedi.[17][18] This led on to a pressure in the production as they wanted to rush their premiere before Kapoor due to which Dwivedi quit midway after association with them for two years after which three directors were working on it.[19][20] But, they were not able to rush up the series before Kapoor's. 50 episodes were shot at the sets created in Morna between Noida and Delhi for a year after paying ₹6 Crores.[16] However, as the channel was not satisfied with those episodes, they were asked to rework the entire series again pushing its premiere to 2009. But, Bedi reportedly started selling it in DVDs which created problems between them and the channel, and the production was stalled.[16] However, in December 2008, Star took Bedi to Bombay High Court filing an arbitration petition alleging that the production house took ₹6 Crore for the production of the series in advance but has not produced even a single episode while a senior executive from the production house stated, " This legal notice is Star's way of pulling out of the show. Maybe it doesn't want to go ahead with the Mahabharat project after all."[21] After these, the shooting was expected to restart from February 2009 but in mid 2009 the production was cancelled and the project was given over to Siddharth Kumar Tewary's Swastik Productions to start fresh.[22][16]


It took us four years of research and brainstorming sessions to conceive and execute the show.

More than 400 people were involved in production with 200 people working on graphics.[24] Renowned author Devdutt Pattanaik was roped as the chief consultant and guiding person for the series.[25] Also writer Salim Khan, music directors Ajay-Atul and Ismail Darbar and action director Ram Shetty were involved.[26]

Speaking about bringing Mahabharat to television again, Star Plus senior vice-president Nikhil Madhok said, "With over 20 years having passed since the telecast of Mahabharat serial on Doordarshan, we felt that the younger generation should be re-introduced to this epic. Also, the plot of this epic is open to interpretation and has many intricacies in it, unlike that of let's say Ramayan, which is fairly linear and is passed on from generation to generation."[27]

According to producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary, the Draupadi cheer haran (disrobing) sequence, which Tewary himself directed, took 20 days to shoot.[28]

Even in the last fight between Bheema and Duryodhana, the actors shared that the scene took 3 days to shoot.[29]

Originally planned for 129 episodes, its growing popularity gave an extension for about 100 more episodes as Tewary wanted to explore the story further in January 2014.[30][31] However, it ended with 267 episodes.


The set covering 10 acres of land in Umargam, Valsad, Gujarat was designed by the art director Omung Kumar.[32]

The costume designer of the series Nidhi Yasha along with her consultant Bhanu Athaiya, had referred 450 books related to period textiles, costume and jewellery.[33][34]

Different ancient techniques have been used to achieve the various looks. A lot of bright coloured silks, handlooms, gold and jewellery structured embroidery patterns have been used.

It took a study of over 450 books related to period textiles, costume and jewelry and four years of hard-work to arrive at the current look and feel of the show. An extensive study on jewelry structures according to ethnicity, fabrics, drapes and costume was undertaken.

Marketing and budget[edit]

Star spent 5.1 billion (US$64 million) on the project and spent another 410 million (US$5.1 million) on marketing the show, making it India's most expensive TV series.[37] As a part of marketing, Star constructed Mahabharat museum across malls in cities consisting selective weapons, jewellery and finery of Mahabharat along with 3D virtual tour of the sets of Hastinapur.[38] In towns the same concept was adapted with wheels-canter vans along with LED.[38]

The sets of the series at Umargam in Gujarat cost ₹100 crores and production costs of ₹13-15 Lakhs per day.[39][40]


The series was mainly shot in the sets at Umargam, Valsad in Gujarat.[41][32] Shooting also took place in various exotic locations such as Jaisalmer, Amber Palace in Jaipur, Kashmir, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.[42][43][44][24]


The actors shared that they had to go through acting workshops and various trainings for about a year where they were explained in detail what to do and how.[45][46][47] Rajit Kapur trained the actors by conducting acting workshops.[48][47][49][50][51]


Soundtrack album by
Released4 September 2013 (2013-09-04) (TV Series)
LabelSangeet Music
1."Hai Katha Sangram Ki (Theme Song)[1]"4:07
2."Ek Maa Ki Santane - Ye Kaisi Duvidha Hai (Sad - Theme)"3:00
3."Jagat Mein Samay Maha Balwan"3:33
4."Krishna Manmohana (Krishna theme song 1)"6:58
5."Murli Manohar Mohan Murali (Krishna theme song 2)"4:21
6."Shri Krishna Govind Hare Murari (Krishna theme song 3)"3:15
7."Yada Yada Dharmasya"2:24
8."Gandhiv Dhaari Arjuna (Arjun's Gandiva theme song)"2:25
9."Paarthasya Dhananjaya"1:15
10."Kumari Chaapi Panchali (Draupadi theme song)"4:15
11."Rahega Atal Mera Mann"3:21
12."Arjuna Draupadi Theme"3:32
13."Suryadev So Gaye"4:56
14."Suryaputra Karna Theme"3:35
15."Shakuni Theme: Yukti Kapat Chhal"1:30
16."Abhimanyu Theme"3:30
17."Vande Dronacharya"1:05
18."Bhishma Theme"1:28
19."Parshuram Theme"1:20
20."Yeh Dharma Yudh Hai"1:00
21."Yudh Yeh Vinash Hai"2:25



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".[52] DNA praised the costumes, scenery, Krishna's flute theme which was given by Raj Mohan Sinha,[53] and most of the CGI special effects, but said the serial's pace was too fast.[54]

Hindustan Times criticised, "Everything is so exaggerated that you feel you are watching a series of unreal events rather than following a deeply emotional story. Even relatively less important moments are treated with such overblown drama that when you really need the drama at crucial junctures — such as Bheeshma’s brahmacharya pledge — the impact is lost." The background music was also criticised for being loud all the time.[55]

Viewership in India[edit]

Its premiere had a viewership of approximately 8.4 million impressions (8.445 TVTs - Television Viewership in Thousands) and 4.09 TVR.[56][57] That week it averaged 6.356 TVTs.[58] 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 (10 TVMs) and helped the broadcasting channel Star Plus clock one of the highest GTVMs.[59] Overall, it became the tenth most watched Hindi GEC of 2013 with an average viewership of 5.6 million and a peak viewership of 7.2 million.[60]

In week 29 of 2014, it was at fifth position with 7.1 TVTs while the following week it jumped to second position with 9.2 TVTs.[61]

The show was listed in the list of top 20 TV series of all time in 2016.[62]

During the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown in India, it started re-airing on Star Plus from 30 March 2020 to 25 July 2020.[63] It soon became one of the most-watched Hindi GEC series featuring in the top five programs even during the re-run.[64][65]


This series is regarded as the costliest show ever launched by StarPlus and one of the costliest Indian television series, being the first Indian television show to be made on a budget more than ₹100 crores.[66][67][68]

In 2014, the cast of Mahabharat were invited to hold a fan meeting tour at Jakarta and Bali. The Times of India reported 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.[69] The main casts of Mahabharat, performed on "Mahabharat Show: Fan Meeting Tour" in the year 2014 .[70][71][72][73][74][75][76]

In June 2020, Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurappa then, on watching the Kannada dubbed version appreciated the series and stated that the character Krishna played by Saurabh Raj Jain impressed him and also stated that just like every Mahabharata.[77]

Awards and nominations[edit]

It won the trophy for the Best Drama in Star Guild Awards 2013 as well as number of accolades in other award shows.[78] Show won Best Historical/Mythological serial award in Indian Television Academy Awards. 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.[79]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref(s)
2014 Star Guild Awards Best Ensemble Cast Sidharth Kumar Tewary Won
Best Mythological Series Swasthik Picture Won
Indian Television Academy Awards Best Visual Effects Swasthik Picture Won
Best Actor - Popular Shaheer Sheikh Nominated
Best Historical/Mythological Serial Mahabharat Won
Indian Telly Award Best Actor in a Lead Role Saurabh Raj Jain Nominated [80]
Shaheer Sheikh Nominated
Best Actress in a Lead Role Pooja Sharma Nominated
Best Actor in a Negative Role Praneet Bhat Won
Arpit Ranka Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Shafaq Naaz Nominated
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Aham Sharma Won
Aarav Chowdhary Nominated
Rohit Bhardwaj Nominated
Best Costumes for a TV Program Bhanu Athaiya Won
Best Makeup Artist G. A. Jamesh Won
Best Ensemble Sidharth Kumar Tewary Won
Best Stylist Shweta Korde Won
Gold Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role Shaheer Sheikh Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Ajay-Atul roped in for Mahabharat". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Mahabharat Episodes". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Parmavatar Shri Krishna to premiere soon; 5 mythological shows that redefined the genre and left us asking for more". India Today. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  4. ^ TNN 1 (15 September 2013). "Mahabharat launced for the youth of the nation!". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 18 September 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Mahabharat to end with one-hour special". The Times of India.
  6. ^ "The Tewary brothers on their magnum opus Mahabharat". The Times of India.
  7. ^ "Veebha as Subhadra in Mahabharat". The Times of India.
  8. ^ "Pallavi to play Krishna's Rukmini". The Times of India.
  9. ^ "'Mahadev' in 'Mahabharat'!". Daily News and Analysis. 21 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Aayush Shah: The best part of 'Mahabharat' is that it stays relevant across eras and is timeless". The Times of India.
  11. ^ "India's Kaleidescope plans Hindu conquest". Variety. 5 November 2005. Archived from the original on 4 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Bobby Bedi has epic plans for 'Mahabharata'". Indian Television dot com. 22 November 2006. Archived from the original on 4 April 2021.
  13. ^ a b "An epic for an epic, on small screen - All-new Mahabharata". The Telegraph (India).
  14. ^ Kukreti, Rajshree (4 October 2007). "Reel-life success". Business Today. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  15. ^ "Shoot at site". Mumbai Mirror.
  16. ^ a b c d "Mahabharat, reloaded!". Hindustan Times. 16 April 2010.
  17. ^ "Mahabharat at Balaji". Mumbai Mirror.
  18. ^ "Ekta wages a channel war?". Daily News and Analysis. 17 March 2008.
  19. ^ "No more pressure, period". Mumbai Mirror.
  20. ^ "King sized move". Mumbai Mirror.
  21. ^ "Star takes Bobby Bedi to court over Mahabharat". Hindustan Times. 30 December 2008.
  22. ^ "Mahabharata on TV next year". Hindustan Times. 26 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Epic saga returns". Deccan Herald. 28 September 2013.
  24. ^ a b "In pics: On location of serial Mahabharat!". Daily Bhaskar.
  25. ^ "Devdutt Patnaik roped for Mahabharat". The Times of India.
  26. ^ "Star Plus fast forwards to the past with remake of 'Mahabharat'". Star India.
  27. ^ "Faith accompli on small screen". Tribune India.
  28. ^ Kanabar, Ankita R. (2 April 2014). "The cheer haran sequence in Mahabharat took 20 days to shoot". Indian Express. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  29. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "BHEEM (SAURAV GURJAR) AND DURYODHAN (ARPIT RANKA) IN Saas Bahu Aur Betiyan Aaj Tak 9th August 2014". YouTube.
  30. ^ "'Mahabharat' gets an extension". The Times of India.
  31. ^ "Mahabharat's 129 episodes extended to 200". The Times of India.
  32. ^ a b "PIX: Inside the GRAND Sets of Mahabharat".
  33. ^ "Nidhi Yasha to style & design for Mahabharat". The Times of India.
  34. ^ "Bhanu Athaiya designs the look for Mahabharat". The Times of India.
  35. ^ "Mahabharata will revive Indian handicrafts: Bhanu Athaiya". Hindustan Times. 3 September 2013.
  36. ^ "Bhanu Athaiya designs the look for Mahabharat". 2 September 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  37. ^ Ajita Shashidhar. "Broadcasters betting big money on the small screen with Rs. 100 crore shows". India Today. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  38. ^ a b Malvania, Urvi (12 September 2013). "STAR Plus uses technology to market epic to the youth". Business Standard India.
  39. ^ "Bigg Boss, Yudh: TV shows with bumper budgets". The Times of India. 6 August 2014.
  40. ^ "An epic battle". The Indian Express.
  41. ^ "A sneak peek into the grand sets of 'Mahabharat'". The Times of India.
  42. ^ "Epic shoot for 'Mahabharat' at Amber Palace". The Times of India.
  43. ^ "Mahabharat to be shot in Kashmir!". Daily News and Analysis. 13 April 2013.
  44. ^ "'Mahabharat' opening sequence shot in MP". The Times of India.
  45. ^ "Mahabharat to End With One-Hour Special Episode". NDTV News.
  46. ^ "Shaheer Sheikh Says He Couldn't Speak To Anyone For Days After Shooting Draupati's Cheer Haran Scene". 25 April 2020.
  47. ^ a b "Epic transition". The Indian Express. 14 March 2014.
  48. ^ "Rajit Kapur trains Mahabharat actors". The Indian Express.
  49. ^ "Like lead actors, character actors too are paid well: Praneet Bhat". The Times of India.
  50. ^ "Pooja Sharma on her show Mahabharat". The Indian Express. 29 April 2020.
  51. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Mahabharat Watch Party Part 1". YouTube.
  52. ^ Nishi Tiwari. "Review: Mahabharat, so far so good". Rediff. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  53. ^ "A young boy from Bihar".
  54. ^ Chaya Unnikrishnan (28 September 2013). "Show review: 'Mahabharat'". DNA. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  55. ^ Saxena, Poonam (20 September 2013). "How to mess up the world's greatest story". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 19 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  56. ^ Debashish Mukerji. "Riding high on 'Mahabharat' ratings, Star Plus tops the chart". India Today. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  57. ^ "Steady but now". The Indian Express.
  58. ^ Malvania, Urvi (28 September 2013). "STAR Plus zooms ahead as Mahabharat shows who's the big boss on TV". Business Standard India.
  59. ^ "Rise in the ratings of TV shows this week". The Times of India. 1 December 2013. Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  60. ^ Malvania, Urvi (25 December 2013). "Diya Aur Baati Hum is No 1 among top ten shows in 2013". Business Standard India.
  61. ^ "TVTs for week 30, starting 23rd July- 30th July 2014". The Times of India.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  62. ^ "Shaheer Sheikh's Mahabharat listed among 20 best TV series of the world". Bollywood Life. 7 December 2016.
  63. ^ "All the TV shows which have returned during lockdown". The Indian Express. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  64. ^ शर्मा, परमीता (21 March 2020). "BARC TRP Rating: टॉप 5 शो से गायब हुआ रामायण, महाभारत और श्री कृष्णा ने बनाई अपनी जगह". Times Now. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  65. ^ Singh, Prashant (10 June 2020). "Supreme reign: Gods continue to top TRP charts!". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  66. ^ Raghavendra, Nandini. "Classic tales a hit on TV channels; Mahabharata, Mahadev & Jodha Akbar are still crowd-pullers". The Economic Times.
  67. ^ "Expensive shows on Indian Television". The Times of India. 30 January 2015.
  68. ^ "2013's Mahabharat was the first Indian TV show made on a budget of Rs 100 crore". India Today.
  69. ^ "Indonesia calling for Mahabharat!". No. 8 December 2014. Times of India. Times of India. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  70. ^ "Mahabharat's Shaheer Sheikh, Aham Sharma & Rohit Bhardwaj woo their fans in Indonesia!". Pink Villa. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  71. ^ "Look what 'Mahabharat' Stars are busy doing in Indonesia!". Pink Villa. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  72. ^ "In Pics: Team 'Mahabharat' works hard in Jakarta and parties harder in Bali!". Pink Villa. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  73. ^ "Casts of Mahabharat will be performing using English, Hindi and Indonesian Languages". tribunnews. 2 October 2014.
  74. ^ "Mahabharat Show". tribunnews. 3 October 2014.
  75. ^ "Stars of Mahabharat will perform at Jakarta". tribunnews. 1 October 2014.
  76. ^ "Residents of Bali bought tickets for Fans Meeting of the casts of Mahabharat". tribunnews. 4 October 2014.
  77. ^ "Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa watches Mahabharata, the picture goes viral". The Times of India.
  78. ^ "Reality shows see a drop in ratings this week". 8 December 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  79. ^ "13th Indian Telly Awards: Complete List of Winners". Times of India. 18 October 2014.
  80. ^ "Indian Telly Awards 2014 | Nominees". 14 September 2015. Archived from the original on 14 September 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2020.

External links[edit]