Bharat Ek Khoj is a historical based Indian drama series which relives the history of India as told by Jawaharlal Nehru in his book “The Discovery of India (1946)”. It portrays and covers the vast history of India, 5000 years ago, from its very early beginnings to its achievement of Independence in 1947. It is directed and produced by the very well known Shyam Benegal and had its inception in 1988. It was aired on Doordarshan with the renowned cinematography of V.K. Murthy.
The 53 episode long series slowly yet dramatically unfolds the history of India since its birth to its rebirth during Independence. It explores all the different time periods in Indian history and portrays its changes in social, political and cultural aspects. The evolution of the Indian civilization and its crucial landmarks are portrayed beautifully while Om Puri narrates us through the drama. A unique blend of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities is portrayed through the constitution of a society that remains unparallel and pluralistic in the world.
The cast included Roshan Seth as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Om Puri, Tom Alter, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Irrfan Khan, and many other renowned artists. The show also features renowned actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Pallavi Joshi, Shabana Azmi, Alok Nath, among many others. 144 sets were built for the show by production designer Nitish Roy and his assistants Samir Chanda and Nitin Chandrakant Desai.
Twenty-five writers and more wrote and researched the show with factual history. The show is shot at many places in the country that are known for its history, like the “Taj Mahal” and the “Western Ghats”. Although using the techniques of a documentary, it holds to be the most beautiful and authentic dramatization prizing the history of the country, as no attempts have been made to remake the show.
Another Version Of This Story:
Bharat Ek Khoj is an Indian television series. The show was based on drama and was only fifty-three episodes long. The series is conceptualized from Jawaharlal Nehru’s book called The Discovery of India. The book came out in the year 1946, and it talked about the thousand years of history that lay behind India before finally getting Independence in the year 1947. Although the actual story was quite long, Shyam Benegal crafted an excerpt of the entire story of the book to fit in fifty-three episodes.
Shyam Benegal, who wrote the story, also looked after the direction and production of the series. The entire series released in the year 1988, on the national channel of Doordarshan. The cast and crew of the show were keenly selected, and a total number of one hundred and forty-four sets were created to shoot this television series. The story of the series sequentially flowed from one episode to another. The first episodes showcased the beginning of life in India. This started with the portrayal of Indus Valley Civilization, followed by the arrival of the Vedic age. After this, the grand tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana were shown in a couple of episodes. Eventually, Chandragupta and Chanakya were the ones on whom the episodes were based.
Then came the parts were Ashoka’s story was portrayed. The Sangam Period made the following sequence of episodes, and it was followed by the tales of Shakuntala and Kalidas. Harshavardhana marked the twentieth episode of the series, and then the Chola Empire was shown, before entering into the saga of the Delhi Sultanate. PrithvirajRaso and Padmavati were simultaneously merged with the Delhi Sultanate, as per the notes of history. Then came the time of The Vijayanagar Empire, its rise, and fall, which was the first time something like feudalism surfaced to the world. After this, the storyline flowed through the Mughal Empire, with special emphasis on Akbar, and then Aurangzeb.
Then came the time for the depiction of the Bengal Renaissance followed the inception of the Indian freedom movements, which was marked by Sepoy Mutiny in 1857. Then chronologically Indigo Revolution, Mahatma Phule, Vivekananda, and Gandhi were portrayed, before pulling down the curtains at the creation of the slogan Do or Die. Chronologically all the major events that shaped Indian history were showcased in an intrinsic manner. The story writing was crisp and was paired with dialogues which took its viewers to a journey of India’s formation through years and years of revolutionary incidents.