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16 Interesting Facts About The Iconic TV Show Mahabharat

Thanks to the 21-day lockdown, one of the most iconic TV serials in India, Mahabharat has returned to the public broadcasters DD. The episodes of Mahabharat are being shown every day from March 28 two times a day at 12 noon and 7 pm on DD Bharti. The TV serial Mahabharat is based on the Hindu Epic Mahabharat written by Ved Vyas. It left a maximum impact on a generation that was hooked to Sunday morning prime-time watching it religiously.

Here are some fascinating facts about the television show Mahabharat:

1. The first episode of Mahabharat was aired on Doordarshan on October 2, 1988, 32 years ago.

Total 94 episodes were aired.

2. The show is based on the book written by Ved Vyas, which is considered one of the holy books in India.

The TV serial was directed by Ravi Chopra and produced by BR Chopra.

3. The total cost of making the TV series was Rs 9 crore.

4. More than 15,000 people had shown interest in playing different roles in the Mahabharat TV show.

After screening 1500 of them were shortlisted by the casting department and called for video screen tests.

5. Gufi Paintal was Mahabharat’s casting director, and he also played the Shakuni role.

It took him 8 months of video testing and Hindi diction checking to finalize various characters.

6. Juhi Chawla was shortlisted for the role of Draupadi, but she later opted out when she bagged Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.

Later Roopa Ganguly was selected because of her correct Hindi diction.

7. Shooting the war sequences was the most difficult part for the cast of Mahabharat.

They shot for the scenes 40km away from Jaipur (Rajasthan) in June.

In an interview with HT Pankaj Dheer who played the role of Karna said,

“We had no vanity vans or make-up rooms. We stayed in tents. There was one toilet for 40 people. We didn’t have personal make-up men. We would wear heavy metal costumes that would heat up and were very uncomfortable.”

8. Mukesh Khanna, who played the role of Bhishma, was offered the role of Duryodhan.

However, he refused to take up the role since he didn’t want to play a negative character. He had also auditioned to play Arjun and Karna, but didn’t get those parts.

9. Govinda and Chunky Panday were signed for the role of Abhimanyu.

But they opted out when they bagged films and it was given to Master Mayur.

10. Nitish Bhardwaj clinched the role of Krishna because Ravi Chopra thought his smile is suited for someone playing Krishna.

For the role of Krishna, 55 screen tests were conducted and actors including Gajendra Chouhan (who played Yudhishthir) and Rishabh Shukla (who played Shantanu) were also considered for the role.

11. Nitish Bharadwaj, who played the role of Shri Krishna, was admired by people in real life.

There are instances where people have touched his feet thinking he is Lord Krishna!

12. Praveen Kumar, who played Bhima in the serial, was a known Indian athlete.

He had participated in Olypmics and won gold medals in Asian games.

13. Sameer Chitre and Sanjeev Chitre, who played twins Nakul and Sahadeva respectively, are brothers in real life as well.

14. Before Firoz Khan got the role of Arjun, name of Jackie Shroff was also considered but Khan got the role despite being rejected in the auditions.

Firoz Khan later adopted his screen name and is popular as Arjun.

15. For Draupadi Vastraharan sequence a 250-meter long saree was used.

The saree worn by Roopa Ganguly was 6-meter long.

16. Almost all actors in Mahabharat TV series were newcomers.

Other than Raj Babbar who played King Bharat and Debashree Roy who played Satyawati, second wife of King Shantanu.

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