Ramanand Sagar

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Ramanand Sagar
Ramanand Saagar.jpg
Chandramauli Chopra

(1917-12-29)29 December 1917
Died12 December 2005(2005-12-12) (aged 87)
OccupationFilm producer, director, writer
Notable workRamayan
ChildrenAnand Sagar, Prem Sagar, Moti Sagar, Subhash Sagar, Shanti Sagar, Sarita Choudhari
HonoursPadma Shri (2000)

Ramanand Sagar (29 December 1917 – 12 December 2005) (born Chandramauli Chopra) was an Indian film director. He is most famous for making the Ramayan television series, a 78-part TV adaptation of the ancient Indian epic of the same name, starring Arun Govil as Lord Ram and Deepika Chikhalia as Sita.[1] This TV serial was then widely watched and liked across the country. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2000.[2]

Early life[edit]

Sagar was born at Asal Guru near Lahore. His great-grandfather, Lala Shankar Das Chopra, migrated from Lahore to Kashmir. Ramanand was adopted by his maternal grandmother, who had no sons, at which point his name was changed from 'Chandramouli Chopra' to 'Ramanand Sagar'.[3] After Sagar's biological mother died, his father remarried and had further children with her, including Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who is thus Sagar's half-brother. Sagar worked as a peon, truck cleaner, soap vendor, goldsmith apprentice etc. during the day and studied for his degree at night.

He was a gold medalist in Sanskrit and Persian from the University of Punjab in 1942. He was also editor of newspaper Daily Milap. He wrote many short stories, novels, poems, plays, etc. under names like "Ramanand Chopra", "Ramanand Bedi" and "Ramanand Kashmiri".[3] In 1942 when he caught tuberculosis he wrote a subjective column, "Diary of a T.B. patient", about his fight. The column was published in series in the magazine Adab-e-Mashriq in Lahore.[3]


In 1932, Sagar started his film career as a clapper boy in a silent film, Raiders of the Rail Road.[4] He then shifted to Bombay in 1949 after India's partition.

In the 1940s, Sagar started out as an assistant stage manager in Prithvi Theatres of Prithviraj Kapoor. He also directed a few plays under the fatherly guidance of Kapoor.[5][6]

Along with other films that Sagar himself directed, he wrote the story and screenplay for Raj Kapoor's superhit Barsaat. He founded the film and television production company known as Sagar Films (Pvt. Ltd.) a.k.a. Sagar Arts in 1950. He produced and directed Bazooband and Mehmaan which were not successful.

He won the 1960 Filmfare Best Dialogue Award for Paigham which was directed by S. S. Vasan and starred Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala and Raaj Kumar.

His successful directorial ventures included Ghunghat and Arzoo, which became blockbusters in the years 1960 and 1965 respectively. In 1964 he directed the classic Zindagi starring Rajendra Kumar, Vyjanthimala, Prithviraj Kapoor and Raaj Kumar. In 1968 he won the Filmfare Best Director Award for Ankhen. Ankhen was a spy-thriller starring Dharmendra and Mala Sinha. It was amongst the top 10 Hindi films of 1968.[7] His films in the early 1970s were not successful like Geet and Laalkar. In 1976, he directed Charas starring Dharmendra and Hema Malini which was among the top five grossers of that year. In 1979, his directorial venture Prem Bandhan starring Rajesh Khanna, Rekha and Moushmi Chatterjee was successful commercially, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of that year. In 1982, he directed Bhagavat starring Dharmendra, Hema Malini and Reena Roy which turned out to be a huge hit.

In 1985 he directed 'Salma' which was unsuccessful at the box office and though the music of the film romance was popular, the film did not perform well at box office.

In 1985 Sagar turned towards television with Dada Dadi Ki Kahaniyaan which was directed by Moti Sagar and produced by Ramanand Sagar. Then his Sagar Arts began producing serials based on Indian history. His directorial venture Ramayan aired its first episode on 25 January 1987.[8][9] His next tele-serials were Krishna and Luv Kush which were both produced and directed by him. He also later directed Sai Baba. Sagar also made fantasy serials like Vikram Aur Betaal and Alif Laila.

The Ramayan series was initially conceptualized to run for 52 episodes of 45 minutes each. Owing to popular demand it had to be extended thrice, eventually ending after 78 episodes.

Sagar made a Luv Kush episode after receiving a call from PMO.[10]

Based on his experiences of the Indo-Pak partition, Sagar published the Hindi-Urdu book Aur Insaan Mar Gaya (transl. And The Human Died) in 1948.

The government of India honoured Sagar with the Padma Shri in 2000. Sagar died on 12 December 2005 aged 88 at his home in Mumbai after a series of health problems.

In December 2019, his son Prem Sagar launched a book on his life, An Epic Life: Ramanand Sagar, From Barsaat to Ramayan. This book is a biography of Ramanand Sagar depicting his life struggles and his journey from a clerk to one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.[11][12]


Civilian awards[edit]




Year Title Film / TV serial Roles Notes
1986-1987 Dada Dadi Ki Kahaniyan TV series Director
1987-88 Ramayan TV series Director
1988-89 Luv Kush TV series Director
1993 Alif Laila TV Series Director
1993 Krishna TV series Director
1997 Jai Maha Lakshmi TV Serial Director
1998 Jai Ganga Maiya TV Serial Director
2005 Sai Baba TV series Director
1985-86 Vikram Aur Betaal TV series Director
1985 Salma Film Director
1983 Romance Film Director
1982 Baagawat Film Director
1981 Armaan Film Producer
1979 Hum Tere Ashiq Hain Film Dialogue writer
Screenplay writer
1979 Prem Bandhan Film Director
1976 Charas Film Director
1973 Jalte Badan Film Director
1972 Lalkaar Film Director
1970 Geet Film Director
1968 Aankhen Film Director
1965 Arzoo Film Director
1964 Zindagi Film Director
1964 Rajkumar Film Dialogue writer
Screenplay writer
1960 Ghunghat Film Director
1959 Paigham Film Dialogue writer
1958 Raj Tilak Film Writer
Dialogue writer
1956 Mem Sahib Film Dialogue writer
1954 Bazooband Film Director
1952 Sangdil Film Dialogue writer
Screenplay writer
1953 Mehmaan Film Director
1950 Jan Pahchan Film Dialogue writer
Screenplay writer
1949 Barsaat Film Writer
Dialogue writer
Screenplay writer


  1. ^ "Ramanand Sagar (Indian filmmaker)". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Early Life". Sagartv.com. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Film Making". Sagartv.com. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Shashi Kapoor". Junglee.org.in. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  6. ^ Anuj Kumar (25 July 2012). "Familiar turn". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Top Earners 1960–1969". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  8. ^ Lutgendorf, Philip (1991). The Life of a Text: Performing the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 12. ISBN 0-520-06690-1.
  9. ^ "Ramayan – Block Buster in the History of Indian Television". Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Ramanand Sagar had to make Luv Kush episode after receiving a call from PMO". India TV. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Life and times of Ramanand Sagar". The Week. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  12. ^ "A son's tribute, with a pinch of realism". Retrieved 31 March 2020.

External links[edit]