Mahabharat (1988 TV series) is a Hindu epic which inspired filmmaker B.R.Chopra and his son Ravi Chopra to direct a series based on the same Hindu mythology for DD National. It was the first ever Hindi series that attracted every Indian of the different sect, religion or language to watch the series. It was a flawless series that ever appeared in idiot box. The Huge popularity of the series made it run for over two years. The series was first aired on October 2, 1998, and it lasted until June 24, 1990. The episode was of 45 minutes duration.
The budget on the making of the series was to the tune of Rs 9 crores then. Raj Kamal and song composed the music was based on verses of Bhagavad Gita. Singer Mahendra Kapoor sang it. The story was based on an original script of Lord Vyasa, and it was written in Hindi by Dr. Rahi Masoom Reza. B.R. Chopra produced the series and directed by his son B.R. Chopra. Noted announcer Harish Bhimani provided the background narration. Maganlal Dresswala provided the costumes.
Every actor in the series was new TV actor except the role played by Roopa Ganguly (Draupadi), Naazneen (Kunti), Kiran Juneja (Ganga), Gufi Paintal (Shakuni), Puneet Issar (Duryodhana), and Debashree Roy (Satyavati). The series began with the introduction of how our country ‘Bharath’ came into existence. It showed the introduction of Kuru family, King Bharat and his son Shantanu. Shantanu weds Goddesses Ganga and how Ganga drowns her own seven sons and when Shantanu objects to floating of the eighth son Bhishma, Ganga goes back to heaven. That is how again Shantanu marries again Satyavati and son Vyas are born. The serial showed how Bhishma agreed never to marry and take care of Hastinapur.
The series had depicted minutely births of Pandu, Dhritarashtra and Vidura and their wedding to Gandhari, Kunti, and Madri. How Kunti gave birth to Karna and how later five Pandavas were born was also shown in the serial. It also showed the birth of 100 sons of Gandhari on one side and on another side how five Pandavas, Balram, and Lord Krishna were born. The struggle of Krishna and Pandavas and the birth of Draupadi and her wedding to five Pandavas and their exile for 13 years was also depicted. The serial ended with Lord Krishna telling Arjuna about ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and how the Mahabharat war came up and how it ended. The series showed how Krishna and Balarama left the earth and reached Vaikuntha. Lord Krishna had finished all his tasks in the earth and left for heaven and so did the five Pandavas and Draupadi. Due to the series popularity in India, it was telecast even on BBC.