10 Best Indian Mythological TV Shows That Hold A Special Place in Our Heart

Ever since the telecast of Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana on Doordarshan in the late 80s, Indian Mythological TV shows have always been among the most-watched content on television channels. There have been numerous attempts to create films, animated movies, shows, and TV series inspired by epics, mythological characters, deities, and stories from Hindu culture. However, only a few of them have truly impacted Indian audiences and received a tremendous response.

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Here is a list of the 10 best Indian Mythological TV shows that have become all-time favorites among Indian viewers in no particular order.

1. Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev (2011-2014)

IMDB rating: 9.3/10

Watch the show: Disney+Hotstar

This show started airing in December 2011 on the channel LifeOK. It focuses on the life journey of Shiva, from when he was an ascetic man to the time he turns into a family man. “Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev” starts with Adi Shakti trying to take many births to marry Shiva, about 106 times, and then finally taking birth as Parvathi, who meditates for 3000 years to convince Shiva to marry her.

Interestingly, the TV show chronicles the entire life of Lord Shiva, showing all his different forms, including Aghori, Veerbhadra, Swami Adiyogi, Vaidyanath, Bhairav, Bhoothnath, Rishabh, Shambhu, Pashupatinath, Kaal Bhairav, Baba Lokhnath, Nata Bhairav, Nataraja, and Martand, among many other avatars he takes to protect the common people on Earth. The show also presents the story of the 12 Jyotirlingas in detail. It is directed by a number of directors, and Mohit Raina and Sonalika Bhadoria played the lead roles of Shiv-Parvati.

2. Shri Krishna (1993)

IMDB rating: 8.6/10

Watch the show: Dailymotion

Ramanand Sagar decided to direct a show on Shri Krishna in 1993 before he worked on one of the best versions of Ramayana in 1997. This Indian Mythological TV show chronicles the life journey of Shri Krishna, starting from the time Lord Vishnu incarnates as Shri Krishna to fight evil on Earth and protect the people. There were two actors who played the role of Shri Krishna throughout the majority of episodes on the show: Swapnil Joshi played teenage Krishna, while Sarvadaman Bannerjee portrayed adult Krishna. Ashok Kumar Balakrishna played the role of child Krishna.

The show ran for a span of 4 years (1993-97), depicting important parts of Krishna’s life inspired by incidents mentioned in scriptures, including Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Vishnu Purana, Harivamsa, Padma Purana, and Bhagavad Purana, among others. Interestingly, this famous mythological show was also re-telecasted in 2020 during the COVID lockdown in India.

3. Mahabharat (1988-1990)

IMDB rating: 9/10

Watch the show: ZEE5

This BR Chopra-produced show is based on the epic tale of the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, which was completed within 94 episodes. It was directed by Ravi Chopra, started airing in 1988, and ran until 1990. The show’s title track consisted of verses from the Bhagavad Gita. One of the most popular and remembered aspects of the show was the personification of time that narrated the entire Mahabharata saga, voiced by Harish Bhimani.

Mahabharata is such a vast story with numerous characters and incidents that it is a challenging task to encompass it in a single show. The show begins with the story of Emperor Bharat and ends with Bhishma’s death and the Rajyabhishek of Yudhishthir. However, this version of Mahabharata was highly praised for its narration, story, and characters. It should be noted that the show did not include the aftermath of the Kurukshetra war. The show featured an ensemble cast including actors such as Nitish Bhardwaj (Krishna), Mukesh Khanna (Bhishma), Firoz Khan (Arjun), and Roopa Ganguly (Draupadi), among others.

4. Ramayan (1987-1988)

IMDB rating: 9/10

Watch the show: Youtube

This Indian Mythological TV show is more popularly known as Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana, which broke all television records when it was broadcasted during the late 1980s on DD National. It was produced by Ramanand Sagar and narrated by Ashok Kumar. The show received immense love and accolades from the public for its music, polished acting, huge sets, and creative portrayal of Ramayana. The series aired every Sunday at that time, and it is claimed that during that one hour, the streets and shops in many parts of the country were deserted as people would be inside watching the show!

The series begins with the birth of Lord Ram, followed by his 14 years of exile, the war with Ravana, and ends with his return to Ayodhya after the victory and his coronation. The actors who played the lead roles became household names and were recognized everywhere they went. The lead actors included Arun Govil (Ram), Sunil Lahri (Lakshman), Dipika Chikhlia (Sita), and Arvind Trivedi (Ravan). The series was also re-telecasted during the Covid-19 lockdown in India and received praise even from the new generation!

5. Mahabharat (2013–2014)

IMDB rating: 9/10

Watch the show: Hotstar

This show, based on Mahabharat, started airing on Star Plus and ran for about a year from 2013 to 2014. This version of Mahabharat begins with the time when Bhishma takes his oath of celibacy and convinces Satyavati to marry his father, Shantanu. The story continues to depict the entire Mahabharat saga, spanning over 52 years. It concludes with Yudhishthir being crowned the king of Hastinapur by Krishna.

The show featured some famous names in the cast, including Saurabh Raj Jain, Pooja Sharma, Shaheer Sheikh, and Aham Sharma, among others. Interestingly, the same show was initially planned to be produced by Ekta Kapoor and titled “Kahaani Hamaarey Mahaabhaarat Ki” on another channel in 2008, but it did not commence at that time.

6. Jai Hanuman (1997–2000)

IMDB rating: 7.9/10

Watch the show: Youtube

This show began in the year 1997, showcasing the life and events of the Hindu deity Hanuman, who is an avatar of Shiva. Hanuman is known for his humility, strength, loyalty, and perseverance. The show was directed by Sanjay Khan and chronicles the entire life of Lord Hanuman, starting from his childhood and concluding with Tulsidas leaving for Vaikunth. It delves into many aspects of Hanuman’s life that are not typically depicted in the Ramayana, such as Hanuman living until Kalyug to spread Dharma in every Yug.

The main star cast included Raj Premi as Hanuman, Kavin Dave as child Hanuman, Siraj Mustafa Khan as Ram, Shilpa Mukherjee as Sita, Rohitash Gaud as Tulsidas, Ravi Kishan as Krishna, and many more. The series successfully portrays the different roles that Hanuman played in preserving dharma throughout the three Yugas: Treta Yug, Dwaparyug, and Kalyug.

7. Siya Ke Ram (2015–2016)

IMDB rating: 8/10

Watch the show: Disney+Hotstar

This Indian Mythological TV show is also based on the epic Ramayana but takes viewers on the same journey from the perspective of Sita. It begins with the Baal Kand, where Mithila is unable to conceive and her disheartened and childless husband, King Janak, becomes elated when he finds a baby girl while plowing a field. The show further tells the story of Swayamvar, the wedding of Ram and Sita, and the entire Ramayana, ending with Ram and his brothers taking Jal Samadhi.

“Siya Ke Ram” was broadcasted on the Star Plus channel, and the lead star cast included Madirakshi Mandal as Sita, Aashish Sharma as Ram, Karan Suchak as Lakshman, and Karthik Jayram as Ravana. The show was well-received by audiences because of its refreshing take on the Ramayana, presenting it from the point of view of Sita.

8.  Luv Kush (1988–1989)

IMDB rating: 9/10

Watch the show: Youtube

This is the follow-up series to Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana, which depicts the story of Ram and Sita’s twin sons, Luv and Kush. This part of the Ramayana is also known as Uttar Ramayan. It was directed by Ramanand Sagar and consisted of a total of 39 episodes originally broadcasted on DD National. The show begins after Ram’s coronation when Sita becomes pregnant, and the people of Ayodhya question her since she had just returned from Lanka. To prevent any insult to Ram, she chooses to leave for the forest and starts living with Rishi Valmiki, who accepts her as his daughter. The show concludes with Rama crowning his sons and nephews as kings in different regions of Kosala and taking Jal samadhi.

The show featured some actors reprising their roles from the Ramayana series, including Arun Govil as Ram, Dipika Chikhlia as Sita, and Sunil Lahiri as Lakshman. The lead roles of Luv and Kush were played by actors Mayuresh Kshetramade and Swapnil Joshi, respectively.

9. Om Namah Shivay (1997–1999)

IMDB rating: 8/10

Watch the show: Youtube

This show was based on the Shiv Puran and was broadcasted in the late 90s on DD National. Reportedly, the show’s makers took 9 years to conduct extensive research before creating the show. They brought together numerous interconnected stories to narrate the life of Lord Shiva. The serial begins with the creation of the Universe and Shiva’s marriage with Sati, and it concludes with the Mahabharata, depicting Lord Shiva blessing Arjun. The main star cast included Samr Jai Singh as Shiva, Yashodhan Rana as Kamdeva and Shiva, Manjeet Kullar as Sati, and Gayatri Shastri as Parvati.

A vast number of scriptures were meticulously read and researched to create the script for the show, including the Ling Puran, Vayu Puran, Shiv Maha Puran, Skand Puran, Swetashwar Upanishad, Tantra Chooramani, Valmiki Ramayan, Vaman Puran, Varah Puran, Koorma Puran, Rudra Yamal Tantra, Padma Puran, Bhagwat Puran, and Devi Bhagwat Puran. If you wish to educate yourself about Shiva and his life, this show could be one of the best choices!

10. Ramayan (2008-2009)

IMDB rating: 7.7/10

Watch the show: Youtube

This Indian Mythological TV show also gained popularity during its broadcast in 2008 on Imagine TV. It was a remake of the 1987 Ramayana and had two seasons. The first season begins with King Janak’s wish for sons to be born and later shows the eldest son, Rama, leaving for a 14-year exile. It concludes with Ram’s return to Ayodhya after winning a war with Ravana and bringing back Sita. The second season of the show narrates the story of what happens after Ram and Sita return to Ayodhya, and Ram is crowned as the king.

Although the show did not gain as much popularity as the 1987 Ramayana, the lead pairing became famous among the audience. The main leads in the show included Gurmeet Choudhary as Ram, Debina Banerjee as Sita, Ankit Arora as Lakshman, and Akhilendra Mishra as Ravan, among others.

Which among these have you watched? Tell us in the comments section!

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