BR Chopra's Mahabharat, the classic from the bygone era, is being telecast on DD Bharati from March 28. The TV series, earlier aired on Doordarshan, was a major success in late 1980s and left an indelible impression on the audience with its grand sets, exemplary cast and realistic performances. “Mahabharat” ran for two years (1988-90) and told the saga of the Hastinapur royal family while also conveying the eternal message of the holy Bhagwad Gita. The role of Draupadi played by Roopa Ganaguly has been one of the key highlights of the epic show. However, do you know that she wasn't the first choice?
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.
Besides this, have a look at some more interesting facts about BR Chopra's Mahabharat.
- Almost all actors in Mahabharat TV series were newcomers, barring Raj Babbar who played King Bharat and Debashree Roy who played Satyawati, second wife of King Shantanu
- For the role of Krishna, 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. Nitish Bhardwaj clinched it because Ravi Chopra thought his smile is suited for someone playing Krishna
- Mukesh Khanna was first offered the role of Duryodhana which he refused. He wanted to play the role of either Arjun or Karna. He was then offered Dronacharya and attended the muhurat as the sage. Later, BR Chopra asked him to dress as Bhishma and finalised him for the role
Mahabharat featured Gajendra Chauhan, Praveen Kumar, Arjun, Sameer Chitre and Sanjeev Chitre as 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. It was originally telecast from 2 October 1988 to 24 June 1990