Everyone knows (and loves!) Bollywood, but not many people realize there are much more things to explore when it comes to Indian TV. India is big on TV shows and makes them just as epic and breathtaking as Bollywood movies we love watching so much. Series produced in India are as long as they are captivating, ranging from religious themes (like the famous Mahabharat) to long-running horror series and TV shows showcasing various talents like the Indian Idol. Be warned that they are very addictive! Here are 7 most epic Indian TV shows ever.
The life and teachings of Gautama Buddha are all well-documented, so why not make a TV series out of it? Buddha tells the story of Gautam Buddha from the very birth and adulthood as a prince to reaching enlightenment and eventually founding Buddhism. The scale of this show is truly unbelievable!
Bharat Ek Khoj
India’s long spectacular history inspired Jawaharlal Neru to write his fascinating work The Discovery of India. Shyam Benegal, an award-winning filmmaker, was so inspired by the book that he turned it into a drama series, dedicating each episode to a certain time in the history of India. This TV show is incredibly informative and well-made, covering a wide range of topics from the birth of Indus Valley Civilization to fighting for independence of the country.
Back in 1986 when the show only came out it quickly became the centre of everyone’s attention. It was the most watched TV series in the country! Based on the Hindu epic Ramayan, the TV show tells a story of Sita, Ram, and Hanuman. Ram’s wife Sita gets kidnapped by a demon king Ravana and is taken to Sri Lanka, where she is held captive. Desperate, Ram looks for her, prays, and even receives help from Hanuman, the monkey god.
Based on another Hindu epic, Mahabharat was loved by the viewers even more than Ramayan that aired earlier. It tells a spectacular story of rivalry between Pandavas and Kauravas. Filled with drama, beautiful costume designs, and breathtaking music composition, this show is a must-see for any fan of India.
Devon Ke Dev Mahadev
Shiva is one of the three main deities in Hinduism, so it doesn’t come as a surprise there’s a whole TV show dedicated to him only. It tells a story of Sita and Shiva, her struggles and, eventually, demise. The plot moves on to her next incarnation – Parvati, daughter of Himalayas, and tells a story of all the hardships on the way to becoming Shiva’s wife and all the events that followed next. You might not be able to read ancient sacred texts, but by watching this TV series alone you’ll get to know a lot about Lord Shiva!
Singing has always been a part of the Indian culture, so it was only a matter of time when a show like Indian Idol would grace the screens. The show first aired in 2004, adopting the form of similar western TV shows with a panel of judges and special elimination rounds. It was the first show that involved the viewers and let them partly decide the outcome of the show. Indian Idol hasn’t lost its popularity ever since!
Not only do Indian showrunners love history and romance, but they’re also not afraid to tap into genres like thriller and horror. Aahat is among the longest-running TV shows in India (550 episodes) and the longest horror show ever created. It started off as a mystery-solving drama, but soon evolved into a supernatural thriller with all kinds of creatures like witches, ghosts, zombies, and more.