Mahaabhaaaarattttt! We are sure you just remembered this intro in singer Mahendra Kapoor’s voice, didn’t you? You would hear this from most of the television sets way back when only Doordarshan channels were telecasted. Most of our Sunday mornings started with the mega mythological saga – Mahabharata.
For the uninitiated, Mahabharata is an Indian mythological series which was aired from October 2, 1988, to July 15, 1990 on Doordarshan. It was produced by renowned Bollywood producer and director BR Chopra, and directed by his son Ravi Chopra. It is one of the most successful series in the history of Indian television.
Read on to find out more interesting facts about the epic, and you will be as surprised as we were!
1. 1. Renowned Urdu poet, Late Rahi Masoom Raza wrote the script of the series. He has also written scripts for hit Bollywood movies such as Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, Mili and Lamhe.
2. Nitish Bharadwaj, who played the role of Shri Krishna, was revered by people in real life. There are instances where people have touched his feet thinking he is Lord Krishna!
3. Gufi Paintal, who played the cunning Shakuni mama, directed several episodes of the series.
4. Juhi Chawla was shortlisted for the role of Draupadi, but she later opted out when she bagged Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.
5. Mukesh Khanna, who effortlessly played 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.
6. Pankaj Dheer, who played Karna, got nearly killed during the shooting of the Kurukshetra war. The chariot he was riding in broke mid-way causing the horses run helter-skelter. He also had to get a surgery done when an arrow hit near his eye!