Mahabharat (2013 TV series)

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Mahabharat 2013 title.jpg
Official Poster
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
Rahul Kumar Tewary
EditorParesh Shah
Camera setupMulti camera
Running time22 minutes
Production companySwastik Productions
DistributorStar India
Original networkStarPlus (2013-2014) YouTube (2019 - 2020)
Picture format
Original release16 September 2013 (2013-09-16) –
16 August 2014 (2014-08-16)
External links
Production website

Mahabharat is a 2013 Indian drama television series based on the Sanskrit epic Mahabharat.[3] It aired from 16 September 2013 to 16 August 2014 on Star Plus.[4][5] The television show was produced by Swastik Productions Pvt. Ltd.[6] The story mainly focuses on Pandavas and Karna and tells the story through their point of view.


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

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 Karnai m the kinglenges Arjuna. Kunti realizes 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, along with Karna 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. 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. 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 materialize, 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 Raj Jain as Krishna: Devaki and Vasudev's son; Yashoda and Nanda's foster son; Balram and Subhadra's brother; Kunti's nephew; Radha's lover; Rukmini, Jambavati, Satyabhama, Khalindi, Nagnajiti, Mitravinda, Lakshmana, Bhadra and 16,100 women's husband; 161,070's children father; Karna and the Pandavas’s cousin; Draupadi's friend. He is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who came to earth to protect dharma.Jain also portrayed Lord Vishnu: Supreme being, God of Preservation and Protector of Dharma, Goddess Lakshmi's consort.
  • Shaheer Sheikh as Arjuna: Third Pandava prince; a skilled archer; Indra and Kunti's son; Karna, Yudhishthir, Bheem's younger brother; Nakul and Sahadev's step elder brother; Draupadi, Uloopi, Chitrangada and Subhadra's husband and Iravan, Babruvahan, Abhimanyu, Srutakarma, Pragati and Pragya's father; Uttarā's teacher and father in law; Parikshit's grandfather.
  • Aham Sharma as Karna: Surya and Kunti's son; Pandavas's elder brother; Adhiratha and Radha's foster son; a skilled archer, Duryodhan's friend; Padmavati's husband; Vrishasena, Vrishaketu, Chitrasena, Satyasena, Sushena, Shatrunjaya, Susharma, Sudama, Dvipata, Banasena, Prasena's father and King of Anga. Killed by Arjuna on the 17th day.
  • Arpit Ranka as Duryodhan: Eldest Kaurava, King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari's first son, arrogant and hotheaded crown prince of Hastinapur, he is often manipulated by his maternal uncle Shakuni. Karna and Ashwatthama's friend. Bhanumati's husband; Laxman Kumara, Lakshmanaa and Kaalketu's father; an excellent mace fighter. Killed by Bheema on the 18th day.
  • Pooja Sharma as Draupadi: King Drupad and Kokila's fire born daughter, Shikhandini and Dhristadyumna's younger sister, Princess of Panchala, Pandavas' common wife and Mother of Upapandavas, Suthanu, Samyukthana, Printha, Sumitra, Pragati and Pragya; step mother of Abhimanyu, Ghatotkach, Niramitra, Yaudheya, Suhrotra, Iravan and Babruvahan.
  • Praneet Bhat as Shakuni: King Subala and Queen Sudharma's son, Gandhari's elder brother. In beginning, he is a prince but later King of Gandhara. He is devious and strategized 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.
  • Saurav Gurjar as Bhima: Second Pandava; Vayu and Kunti's son; Karna, Yudhishthir's younger brother; Arjun's elder brother and Nakul and Sahadev's step elder brother; a tremendous mace fighter, fighter; Hidibma, Draupadi and Valandhara's husband; father of Ghatothkacha, Sutasoma, Samyukta and Sarvaga's father.
  • 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. Killed by Arjuna on the 10th day.
  • Shafaq Naaz as Kunti: Dowager Queen of Hastinapur, Late King Pandu's first wife. She has the power to have a child by invoking God. She is also Shurasena's daughter, Kuntibhoja's foster daughter. Pandavas mother. Karna, Yudhishthira, Bheema and Arjuna's mother and Nakul and Sahadev's step-mother. Balarama, Krishna, and Subhadra's paternal aunt.
  • Thakur Anoop Singh as Dhritarashtra: Blind King of Hastinapur. He is born from Vyasa and Ambika's niyoga, 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.
  • Nazea Hasan Sayed as Vrushali: Karna's Wife.
  • Rohit Bhardwaj as Yudhishthira: First Pandava; Dharmraj (Yamaraj) and Kunti's son; Karna's younger brother; Bheem and Arjun's elder brother; Nakul and Sahadev's step elder brother; Draupadi and Devika's husband; Prativindhya, Suthanu and Yaudheya's father. A truthful King. He ruled Indraprastha and later Hastinapur.
  • Riya Deepsi as Gandhari: King Subala and Queen Sudharma's daughter; Princess of Gandhara; Shakuni's younger sister; Dhritarashtra's wife. 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. She is Kauravas and Dushala's mother. She is often unaware of her sons' plotting against Pandavas.
  • 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.
  • Vin Rana as Nakula: Fourth Pandava, Madri, and Ashwini Kumar's son; Sahadev's elder brother; Kunti's foster son; Karna, Yudhishthir, Bheem and Arjun's step younger brother; Draupadi and Karenumati's husband and Satanika, Printha and Niramitra's father.
  • Lavanya Bhardwaj as Sahadeva: Fifth Pandava, Madri and Ashwini Kumar's son; Nakul's younger brother; Kunti's foster son; Karna, Yudhishthir, Bheem and Arjun's step younger brother; Draupadi and Vijaya's husband, and Srutasena, Sumitra and Suhotra father. Slayer of Shakuni.
  • 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, Charumati's husband, Dhrumsena and Bharat's father. Killed by Bheema on the 17th 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.
  • Ankit Mohan as Ashwatthama: Dronacharaya and Kripi's son, Duryodhana's friend and Indumati's husband.
  • 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: 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
  • Kaushik Chakravorty as Shalya: King of Madra and Madri's elder brother.
  • Ajay Mishra as Sanjaya: Dhritarashtra's advisor and charioteer.
  • 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 Vrushali's husband.
  • Atul Mishra as Ved Vyas: Satyavati and Maharishi Parashara's son and Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura's surrogate father.
  • Arun Singh Rana as Pandu: Ambalika and Vyasa's son, Kunti and Madri's husband, father of the Pandavas, the King of Hastinapur.
  • Veebha Anand[7] as Subhadra: Vasudeva and Rohini's daughter, Balram and Krishna's younger sister, Arjun's fourth wife and love interest. Abhimanyu's mother; Parikshit's grandmother
  • 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 Parshurama: The sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu and the teacher of Bhishma, Drona, and Karna
  • Sameer Dharmadhikari as Shantanu: King of Hastinapur, 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 Late 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 Sukhada: Gandhari's maid and Yuyutsu's mother.
  • Jayantika Sengupta as Arshi: Shakuni's wife.
  • 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 love.
  • Hemant Choudhary as Kripa: Royal teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas.
  • Chandani 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 foster mother.
  • Pallavi Subhash[8] as Rukmini: Princess of Vidharbha, Rukmi's younger sister and Krishna's first wife.
  • Neha Sargam as Satyabhama: Krishna's second 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.

Childhood roles[edit]



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 jewelry.[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$68 million) on the project and spent another 410 million (US$5.4 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]


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

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".[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 criticized, " The scale of the Mahabharat is grand and overwhelming. The characters are larger than life. Highly dramatic events take place in the epic. But at the same time, it is a nuanced look at human beings and their frailties. Everything is so exaggerated. The acting of Shaheer Sheikh is very poor and is unnecessarily screen presence is given which is not as per Vyasa. In B.R.Chopra, Arjuna's weightage was very less and looked authentic, his role was on 8th number as per BR Chopra end credits. But that was history's point of view where Karna and Yudhisthira were the protagonists, this more looks Pandava Masalabharat and just like every other soap opera. The entire series is kept alive by Aham Sharma playing the role of Karna and the show finally belongs to him. Even relatively less important moments are treated with such overblown drama," They also criticized the background music being sound.[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]

The series started re-airing on Star Bharat along with Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev and Siya Ke Ram on Sundays from 5 August 2018 to 8 December 2019.

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, this series too belongs to Karna played by Aham Sharma.[77]


It has been dubbed and aired in other Indian languages including Tamil, Bengali, Odia, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu.[78][79][80][81][82][83]

International broadcasts[edit]

In Indonesia, the drama was broadcast on antv dubbed in Indonesian in 2014.[84] In 2015, the show aired 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 in 2016.[85] In Myanmar, it has been dubbed in Burma as မဟာဘာရတ and telecasted everyday on Sky Net World Drama Channel.[citation needed] In Sri Lanka, it has been dubbed in Sinhalese as මහාභාරත් and telecasted on Swarnavahini.

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.[86] 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.[87]

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 [88]
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


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External links[edit]