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Mahabharat – Interesting facts of the Epic TV show on Indian Television

Juhi Chawla was first choice to play Draupadi in Mahabharat and more facts

One of the most legendary Indian TV show, B R Chopra’s Mahabharat is being re-telecast on is being telecast on DD Bharati from March 28 owing to the ongoing lockdown on account of Coronavirus outbreak.

Mahabharat serial cast

The show featured talented TV actors Gajendra Chauhan, Praveen Kumar, Arjun, Sameer Chitre and Sanjeev Chitre in the role of the Pandavas, Roopa Ganguly playing the role of Draupadi, Nitish Bharadwaj as Krishna, Mukesh Khanna as Bhishma Pitamah and Punit Issar portrayed the role of Duryodhan.

The show was originally telecast from 2 October 1988 to 24 June 1990. Back then, watching the show used to be a morning ritual and all families used to sit together and watch it every Sunday.

And now, when it had made a comeback after around 32 years on our television screen, it is currently one of the most watched shows on Doordarshan.

Here we share with you some of the interesting facts of India’s one of the most legendary TV show, Mahabharat

1. Director B R Chopra was planning to rope in Dilip Kumar and NT Rama Rao as ‘Samay’ in Mahabharat, the narrator of the show. However, Dr Rahi Masoom Raza was finalized to be ‘Samay’ aka time as the narrator.

2. Juhi Chawla was initially approached for the role of Draupadi but the actress chose to star in the film, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak instead. Roopa Ganguly was cast as Draupadi in the end.

Mahabharat serial actors Krishna and Draupadi images
Nitish Bhardwaj as Krishna and Rupali Ganguly as Draupadi in Mahabharat

3. Nitish Bhardwaj, who played the role of Krishna in Mahabharat, was also not the first choice for the role. It is heard that 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. However, in the end, Ravi Chopra thought that Nitish Bhardwaj’s smile suited for someone playing Krishna and finalised him as Krishna in Mahabharat. Interestingly, Nitish was interested in portraying the role of Abhimanyu.

4. Mostly, all the actors in Mahabharat TV series were newcomers, except Bollywood actor Raj Babbar who played King Bharat and Debashree Roy who played Satyawati, second wife of King Shantanu.

mahabharat serial latest photos

5. Actor Mukesh Khanna, who plays the role of Bhishma, was initially offered the role of Duryodhan. But, he turned down the offer as he was interested in playing the role of Arjun or Karna. He was even considered for the role of Dronocharya but was later finalised to play the role of Bhishma in Mahabharat.

6. Govinda and Chunky Pandey were considered for the role of Abhimanyu in Mahabharat. However, both the stars opted out due to their professional commitments and later Master Mayur was roped in as Abhimanyu.

7. Gufi Paintal, who is seen playing the role of seen playing the role of Shakuni in Mahabharat, is brother of popular actor/comedian Kanwarjit Paintal. He was also the casting director of the show and took eight months to finalise different characters of the iconic show.

8. Pankaj Dheer, who played the role of Karna in the show, had several near death experience while shooting for the war sequences. Once during the shoot, the chariot he was riding broke down mid-way and in other instance, he was hit by an arrow close to his eyes and had to undergo a surgery for the same.

9. Actors who played the role of Nakul and Sahadev are real-life brothers, Sameer Chitre and Sanjeev Chitre.

10. Actor Firoz khan who plays the character of Arjun, changed his name to Arjun professionally after finding success with his role in Mahabharat. He has also acted in a number of Hindi movies including Manzil Manzil, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Phool Aur Angaar, Karan Arjun, Tirangaa and many more.

And now, after Doordarshan, Colors TV is airing Mahabharat from 7pm to 9 pm daily.

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