Ramanand Sagar

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 Hindu 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]

Ramanand Sagar
Chandramauli Chopra

(1917-12-29)29 December 1917
Died12 December 2005(2005-12-12) (aged 87)
Other namesRamanand Chopra
Ramanand Bedi
Ramanand Kashmiri
OccupationFilm producer, director, writer
ChildrenSarita Sagar

Early life

Ramanand Sagar was born at Asal Guru Ke near Lahore. His great-grandfather, Lala Shankar Das Chopra, migrated from Peshawar 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 took a second wife and had further children by her, including Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who is thus Sagar's half-brother, albeit thirty-five years younger than him, and younger than even his children. 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, Ramanand Sagar started out as an assistant stage manager in Prithvi Theatres of Prithviraj Kapoor. 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 many films. 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 in lead roles. His successful directorial ventures in 1960s included Ghunghat and Arzoo. 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 the 1960s.[7] His films like in early 70s were not successful like Geet and Laalkar. In 1976, he directed Charas starring Dharmendra and Hema Malini which was among top grosses of that year. In 1979, his directorial venture Prem Bandhan starring Rajesh Khanna, Rekha and Moushmi Chatterjee was successful commercially. However his next venture Armaan and Hum Tere Aashiq Hai were flops. In 1982, his film Bhagavat starring Dharmendra, Hema Malini and Reena Roy turned out to be huge hit.

In 1985 Sagar turned towards television. His Sagar Arts began producing serials based on Indian history. His Ramayan aired its first episode on 25 January 1987.[8][9] His next mythological tele-serials were Krishna and Luv Kush. He made fantasy dramas like Vikram Aur Betaal and Alif Laila.

Based on his experiences of Indo-Pak partition, Sagar published a Hindi-Urdu book Aur Insaan Mar Gaya (English: And Humanity 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.


Civilian awards


  • 1960 – Filmfare Best Dialogue Award for Paigham
  • 1969 – Filmfare Best Director Award for Aankhen



YearTitleFilm / TV serialRolesNotes
2005Sai BabaTV seriesDirector
1993Alif LailaTV SeriesDirectorOriginal telecast on DD National
Repeat telecast on SAB TV and also Repeat telecast on Bangladesh Television
1992KrishnaTV seriesDirector
1988-89Luv KushTV seriesDirector
1986Vikram Aur BetaalTV seriesDirector
1987RamayanTV seriesDirector
1979Hum Tere Ashiq HainFilmDialogue writer
Screenplay writer
1979Prem BandhanFilmDirector
1973Jalte BadanFilmDirector
1964RajkumarFilmDialogue writer
Screenplay writer
1959PaighamFilmDialogue writer
1958Raj TilakFilmWriter
Dialogue writer
1956Mem SahibFilmDialogue writer
1952SangdilFilmDialogue writer
Screenplay writer
1950Jan PahchanFilmDialogue writer
Screenplay writer
Dialogue writer
Screenplay writer

See also

  • Sagar Institute of Research & Technology - SIRT


  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. "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.
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