Mahabharat (2013 TV series)

Mahabharat is an Indian mythological[2] series based on the ancient Indian Sanskrit epic Mahabharat.[3][4][5][6][7] It aired from 16 September 2013 to 16 August 2014 on Star Plus.

Created bySiddharth Kumar Tewary
Based onMahabharat
by Vyasa
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
Shaheer Sheikh
Pooja Sharma
Narrated bySaurabh Raj Jain
Ismail Darbar
Country of originIndia
Original language(s)Hindi
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes267[1]
Producer(s)Siddharth Kumar Tewary
Gayatri Gil Tewary
Rahul Kumar Tewary
Production location(s)Umbergaon, Gujarat
Editor(s)Paresh Shah
Camera setupmulti camera
Production company(s)Swastik Productions
DistributorStar India
Original networkStarPlus
Picture format576i
1080i (HDTV)
Original release16 September 2013 (2013-09-16) 
16 August 2014 (2014-08-16)
External links
Production website

The television show 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 tells the story of Hastinapur, a kingdom ruled by the Kuru clan where the Kaurava and the Pandava brothers compete for its throne. The Pandavas are the sons of Pandu, and the Kauravas are the sons of Dhritrashtra. Yudhistira (the eldest Pandav brother) and Duryodhan, the eldest Kaurava brother, claim to be next in the line of succession.

The story begins with Devavrata, the son of Shantanu and Ganga and a disciple of Parshuram. Devavrata earns the name Bhisma by taking an oath of celibacy to fulfill his father's wish to marry Satyavati. He also vows to serve the throne of Hastinapur and is granted icchya-mrityu (the ability to live forever, as long as he does not choose to die). Bhisma gives up his rightful throne, and Satyavati rules the kingdom as the Rajmaata (mother of the king) after her husband's death. Her son, Vichitravirya, is an alcoholic who is dependent on Bhisma. He cannot rule the kingdom, leading Satyavati to decide that Vichitravirya's future son must rule the kingdom. Since Vichitravirya is unable to choose a wife for himself, Bhisma must do it for him.

The three princesses of the Salva kingdom (Amba, Ambika, and Ambalika) are won over by Bhisma, who takes them to Hastinapur to be married to Vichitravirya. Amba has already chosen a groom, however, and demands to be released. Although she returns to her lover, she is scorned as the rejected wife of another man. Vichitravirya then marries Ambika and Ambalika.

When Amba demands justice, she is given the option of marrying Vichitravirya and becoming the queen of Hastinapur. She asks Bhisma to marry her instead, since it was he who won her. Bhisma refuses due to his oath of celibacy, angering Amba; Lord Shiva grants her rebirth with a memory of the past and the fate to cause Bhisma's death. Reborn as Shikandi in the Panchal Kingdom, she participates in Bhisma's death.

In Kuntibhoj, Princess Kunti obtains a boon from the sage Durvasa enabling her to invoke any deity and bear his child. She tests the blessing, calling on the Sun God and being given a son named Karna. An unmarried woman, Kunti sets Karna afloat on the Ganges to avoid embarrassment. She later marries Pandu, son of Vichitravirya, and invokes other deities to give her three sons: Yudhistira, Bhima, and Arjuna. Madri, Pandu's second wife, invokes the Ashwini Kumaras to bear Nakula and Sahadeva. Ahe and Pandu die of a curse by Rishi Kimdam, and Kunti decides to raise the five children together.

Karna is raised by a charioteer named Adirath and his wife, Radha. Belonging to a lower-caste family, he is often mistreated but becomes a skilled archer. Karna's true identity is not revealed until the end of the Kurukshetra War. Duryodhana (enemy of the Pandavas) is his only supporter; Karna vows to protect him, and fights for him during the Kurukshetra War.

Arjuna wins the Swayamwara of Draupadi; Kunti mistakenly orders her to be shared by the five Pandavas, who eventually marry her. Draupadi is later insulted and disrobed in the Game of Dice by Duryodhana and the rest of the Kauravas, and the Pandavas swear to avenge her.

Bhisma asks for Gandhari's hand in marriage for his blind nephew Dhritarashtra, infuriating her brother Shakuni. He persuades Shakuni, however, since Dhritrashtra would be the future king of Hastinapur. During the coronation ceremony, Dhritrashtra's younger brother Pandu is crowned king due to the influence of Vidur (another of Dhritrashtra's younger brothers). Shakuni, feeling cheated, swears to destroy the Kurus. He turns Duryodhana against the Pandavas and sows the seeds of the Kurukshetra War, where Lord Krishna gives the Bhagavad Gita to his Pandava cousin Arjuna. The war results in the deaths of many, including Bhisma, Drona, Karna and the sons of Dhritrashtra and Gandhari. Yudhisthira becomes the rightful king of Hastinapur and his wife, Draupadi, becomes queen.



Actor Role Notes
Saurabh Raj Jain Krishna / Vishnu Son of Daivaki & Vasudev, Rukmini's husband, Balram's brother, Karna and Pandava's cousin and Kunti's nephew.
Pallavi Subhash Rukmini Krishna's 1st wife and Rukmi's sister.
Sameer Dharmadhikari Shantanu Ganga and Satyavati's husband.
Vivana Singh Ganga Shantanu's 1st wife and Bhishma's mother.
Sayantani Ghosh Satyavati Shantanu's 2nd wife and Chitrāngad and Vichitravirya's mother.
Aarav Chowdhary Bhishma Shantanu and Ganga's son. Grandsire of Pandavas and Kauravas
Aryamann Seth Vichitravirya Ambika and Ambalika's husband.
Aparna Dixit Ambika Dhritarashtra's mother and Gandhari's mother-in-law.
Mansi Sharma Ambalika Pandu's mother and Kunti and Madri's mother-in-law.
Thakur Anoop Singh Dhritarashtra Gandhari's husband, father of the Kauravas and Dushila and King of Hastinapur.
Riya Deepsi Gandhari Dhritarashtra's wife, Shakuni's sister, mother of the Kauravas and Dushila and Queen of Hastinapur.
Shafaq Naaz Kunti Pandu's 1st wife, mother of Karna, Yudhisthir, Bhima and Arjuna, Rajmata of Hastinapur.
Arun Singh Rana Pandu Kunti and Madri's husband and father of the 5 Pandavas.
Naveen Jinger Vidur Pandu and Dhiratarashter's Younger Brother.Mahamantri of Hastinapur.
Suhani Dhanki Madri 2nd wife of Pandu.
Aham Sharma Karna Son of Surya and Kunti, elder brother of Pandavas, King of Anga, Duryodhana's friend and husband of Vrushali, Supriya, Uruvi and Padmavati and father of Vrishasena, Sudama, Vrishaketu, Chitrasena, Satyasena, Sushena, Shatrunjaya, Dvipata, Banasena, and Prasena.
Nazea Hasan Sayed Vrushali Karan's wife, Kunti's 1st daughter-in-law and Vrishaketu's mother.
Pooja Sharma Draupadi wife of the 5 Pandavas, princess of Panchala, daughter of King Drupada, Shikandini and Dhristadyumna's sister, Kunti's 3rd daughter-in-law and mother of

Prativindhya, Sutasoma, Shrutakarma, Satanika, and Shrutasena, Pragati, Pragya, Suthanu and Sumitra.

Rohit Bharadwaj Yudhisthir First Pandava, Son of Dharmaraj and Kunti, Husband of Draupadi and Devika and father of Prativindhya, Yaudheya and Suthanu.
Saurav Gurjar Bhima Second Pandava, Son of Vayu and Kunti, husband of Hidimba, Draupadi and Valandhara and father of Ghatotkacha, Sutasoma and Sarvaga.
Vaishnavi Dhanraj Hidimba Bheem's first wife, Ghatothkacha's mother and Pandu and Kunti's 2nd daughter-in-law.
Ketan Karande Ghatotkacha Bheem and Himdimbi's son.
Shaheer Sheikh Arjuna Third Pandava, Son of Indra and Kunti, husband of Draupadi, Subhadra, Uloopi and Chitrangada and father of Shrutakarma, Abhimanyu, Iravan and Babruvahana . Daughter Pragati and Pragya.
Vibha Anand Subhadra Arjun's 2nd wife, Kunti's 4th daughter-in-law and Abhimanyu's mother, Uttara's mother-in-law and Balram and Krishna's sister.
Paras Arora Abhimanyu Arjun and Subhadra's son, Uttara's husband and Parikshit's father.
Richa Mukherjee Uttara Abhimanyu's wife, Uttar's sister and Parikshit's mother.
Vin Rana Nakula Fourth Pandava, Son of Ashwini Kumar and Madri, husband of Draupadi and Karenumati and father of Shatanika and Niramitra.
Lavanya Bhardwaj Sahadeva Fifth Pandava, Son of Ashwini Kumar and Madri, husband of Draupadi and Vijaya and father of Shrutasena and Suhotra. Daughter Sumitra.
Praneet Bhat Shakuni Gandhari's brother and King of Gandhara and Kauravas Mama.
Arpit Ranka Duryodhana Eldest Kaurava, son of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra, Karna's friend, Dushila's Eldest brother and Bhanumati's husband and father of Laxman Kumara and Laxmana.
Nirbhay Wadhwa Dushasana Duryodhana and Dushila's brother, 2nd Kaurava and Dhritarashtra and Gandhari's son.
Ali Hassan Takshak and Jayadratha Dushala's husband.
Garima Jain Dushala Duryodhan's sister and Jaydrath's wife.
Ankit Mohan Ashwatthama Dronacharya's son, Duryodhana's friend.


Production and promotion

Star spent 100 crore (US$14 million) on the project and spent another 20 crore (US$2.9 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.[8]

According to producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary, the Draupadi cheer haran (disrobing) sequence,[9] which Tewary himself directed, took 20 days to shoot.[10]

Reception and impact


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".[11] DNA praised the costumes, scenery, Krishna's flute theme which was given by Raj Mohan Sinha,[12] and most of the CGI special effects, but said the story pace was too fast.[13]


Its premiere had a viewership of approximately 8.4 million people.[14] The show has become the highest rated weekday mythological epic show in the last three years on Indian television.[15] 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.[16]

Other countries

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.[17] The main casts of Mahabharat, performed on "Mahabharat Show: Fan Meeting Tour" in the year 2014 .[18][19][20][21][22][23][24] 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 2 January 2016.[25] In Myanmar,it has been dubbed in Burma as မဟာဘာရတ and telecasted Everyday at 8:30 pm on Sky Net World Drama Channel.

Awards and nominations

It won the trophy for the Best Drama in Star Guild Awards 2013 as well as number of accolades in other award shows.[26] 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.[27] It has been dubbed to other languages including Bengali, Marathi, Oriya, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.[28]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
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
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 Actor in a Supporting Role Aham Sharma Won
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. "Mahabharat Episodes". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  2. "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.
  3. TNN 1 (15 September 2013). "Mahabharat launced for the youth of the nation! - Times Of India". Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  4. "Shakuni's role in Mahabharat once in a lifetime: Praneet Bhatt". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  5. "Is Shafaq Naaz miffed with Mahabharat makers?". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  6. "Shaheer Sheikh and Rohit Bhardwaj's Buddy Diwali!". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  7. "Riding high on 'Mahabharat' ratings, Star Plus tops the chart". Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  8. Ajita Shashidhar. "Broadcasters betting big money on the small screen with Rs.100 crore shows". India Today. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  9. "The cheer haran sequence in Mahabharat took 20 days to shoot". The Indian Express. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  10. Kanabar, Ankita R. (2 April 2014). "The cheer haran sequence in Mahabharat took 20 days to shoot". Indian Express. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  11. Nishi Tiwari. "Review: Mahabharat, so far so good". Rediff. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  12. "A young boy from Bihar".
  13. Chaya Unnikrishnan. "Show review: 'Mahabharat'". DNA. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  14. Debashish Mukerji. "Riding high on 'Mahabharat' ratings, Star Plus tops the chart". India Today. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  15. 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.
  16. "Rise in the ratings of TV shows this week - Times Of India". 1 December 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  17. "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.
  18. "Mahabharat's Shaheer Sheikh, Aham Sharma & Rohit Bhardwaj woo their fans in Indonesia!". Pink Villa. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  19. "Look what 'Mahabharat' Stars are busy doing in Indonesia!". Pink Villa. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  20. "In Pics: Team 'Mahabharat' works hard in Jakarta and parties harder in Bali!". Pink Villa. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  21. "Casts of Mahabharat will be performing using English, Hindi and Indonesian Languages". tribunnews. 2 October 2014.
  22. "Mahabharat Show". tribunnews. 3 October 2014.
  23. "Stars of Mahabharat will perform at Jakarta". tribunnews. 1 October 2014.
  24. "Residents of Bali bought tickets for Fans Meeting of the casts of Mahabharat". tribunnews. 4 October 2014.
  25. "ซีรีย์อินเดีย มหาภารตะ". Channel 5 (in Thai). 2 January 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  26. "Reality shows see a drop in ratings this week - Times Of India". 8 December 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  27. "13th Indian Telly Awards: Complete List of Winners". Times of India. 18 October 2014.
  28. Janani Karthik (6 December 2014). "Mahabharatham is back on Vijay TV - The Times of India". Indian Express. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
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