The Great Maratha is an Indian television series based on historical incident based on the life of Mahadji Shinde, the Maratha general, who is also known as Mahadji Scindhia. During the third Panipat battle Marathas were invited by Moghuls in Delhi to safeguard their army from the terrifying attack of Ahmed Shah Abdali, the invader of Afghans. However, India lost the battle.
When the defeat has demoralized the Marathas and Moghuls, Mahadji influenced the Marathas in regaining the Maratha power in the North India. He also tried to regain the moral power of Moghuls. Mahadji's insightful nature has let down British effort to enslave India for many years. Marathas themselves betrayed him who envied of his rising power among Marathas and on other hand his influence on Moghuls. In a deceitful manner he was poisoned by his own people.
The serial was premiered between the year 1993 and 1994. The show was broadcasted on Doordarshan on every Sunday. Sanjay Khan, the director and producer of the show, through this historic serial portrayed the fierce Panipat war, bravery and persistence of Marathas, disloyalty of countrymen and the journey of warriors of those times which are splendidly showcased making it a great treat to the viewers.The lead cast of the show are:
1. Shahbaz Khan
Shahbaz Khan, an Indian actor, was born in 1966 in Indore. He is the son of popular classical singer, Ustad Amir Khan. He is popular for his lead role in TV serials like Chandrakanta, Yug and The Great Maratha. He played the role of Hyder Ali in The Sword of Tipu Sultan. He studied in Hislop College and moved to Mumbai.
He acted in serials as Mata Singh in Ek Ghar Banaunga( 2013-14), Bairam Khan in Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap (2013–present), Maharaj Briraj in Dekha Ek Khwaab (2011-2012), Naaginn (2007), Saat Phere (2005), C.I.D., Aamrapali (2002), as Betaal in Betaal Pachisi (1997), as Virendra Singh in Yug (1997), as Hyder Ali in The Sword of Tipu Sultan (1989), as Kunwar Virendra Vikram in Chandrakanta (1994), as Mahadji Shinde in The Great Maratha (1994). He acted in films like Singh Saab the Great in 2013, Agent Vinod in 2012, The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey in 2005, Masti in 2004, Jaal: The Trap in 2003, The Hero: Love Story of a Spy in 2003, Ek Hindustani in 2003, Yeh Hai Jalwa in 2002, Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin in 2002, Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage in 2002, Kyo Kii... Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta in 2001, Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya in 2000, Raju Chacha in 2000, Chal Mere Bhai in 2000, Major Saab in 1998, Betaal Pachisi in 1997.
2. Pankaj Dheer
Pankaj Dheer is a TV and film actor. Some of his best role on television include Karna in Mahabharat, Shivadatta in Chandrakanta, Sadashivrao Bhau in The Great Maratha. He played the role of Himavat in Devon Ke Dev-Mahadev on Life OK. His son, Nikitin Dheer, is also an actor who appeared in TV series Jodhaa Akbar and in film Chennai Express.
His other TV serials include Zee Horror Show, Dastak, Kanoon as defence lawyer. He established Visage Studioz, a shooting studio in 2006 along with his brother Satluj Dheer in Mumbai. He also opening acting academy with the name Abhinnay Acting Academy in Mumbai.
3. Irrfan Khan
Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan known as Irrfan Khan was born on 7 January 1967. He earned a scholarship to study at National School of Drama in 1984 while he was studying MA degree. In 1995 her married Sutapa Sikdar and have two children Babil and Aryan. He appeared on television, Indian movies as well in some Hollywood movies. His television career includes some of the best series like Chanakya, Bharat Ek Khoj, Chandrakantaa, Banegi Apni Baat, Star Bestsellers and Darr.
His Bollywood movies include The Warrior, Gunday, The Lunchbox, Maqbool, Haasil, Rog. He appeared in TV show, Mani Ya Na Mano and also in many commercial ads. He appeared in over 30 bollywood movies as of 2013. His English language movies includes A Mighty Hear, The Namesake, I Love You, New York, Slumdog Millionaire, The Amazing Spider-Man, Life of Pi. He appeared in In Treatment, an HBO series. He won three Filmfare Awards, one Screen Actors Guild Award. He received Padma Shir Award in 2011. In 60th National Film Awards, he received best actor award for his role in Paan Singh Tomar. His appearance in The Warrier made his a known face. His Bollywood lead role came with the movie Rog in 2005. Apart from lead role, he mostly played supporting role and villain. He received Filmfare best villain award for Haasil in 2004. He appeared in Metro movie in 2007 for which he received Filmfare best supporting role award. There is news that Irrfan Khan is casted in Jurassic World, the upcoming 2015 movie.
4. Mangal Dhillon
Mangal Dhillon, an Indian actor and film producer, was born on 18 June in wander katana village in Punjab. He is a versatile personality including acting, writing, producing, directing and he is also a poet. He did matriculation from Uttar Pradesh and Graduation from Government College in Muktsar. Later he joined Department of Indian Theatre at Punjab University in Chandigarh in 1980 and stood as a gold medalist. He did a lot of theater during 1978 and 1987.Besides doing commercial voicing, he worked with Doordarshan and Radio. He got a role of Lubhaya Ram in Buniyaad, a popular serial on Doordarshan. After that, he worked in nearly 30 Hindi movies and TV series. HE appeared in Janasheen in 2003. He played the role of Dattaji Scindia in the Great Maratha TV series.
5. Bob Christo
Robert John Christo is popularly known as Bob Christo. He was born in Sydney, Australia. He was a Civil Engineer. While he came to Mumbai on work permit he was introduced to Parveen Babi, famous actress, who made possible to Bob to enter Bollywood. He debuted in Hindi film as a villain in Abdullah in 1980 and then he decided to stay in India. He appeared in over 200 movies across Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu languages. He became a main villain in bollywood. He acted in many Amitabh Bachchan’s movies like Kaalia, Agneepath, Mard, Toofan to name a few. From Mumbai he then moved to Bangalore where he worked as Yoga instructor and kept himself away from Hindi films. At the age of 72 he died in Bangalore due to rupture of left ventricle valve. His popular movies include, Mr. India, Kaalia, Mard, Nastik, Gumraah, Qurbani, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja. He also worked for TV series. He played the role of Ahmed Shah Abdali in The Great Maratha TV serial.