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Mahabharat is a Hindi series about the Kurukshetra War, an ancient struggle for the throne of Hastinapura between related branches of a powerful Indian-Aryan royal family, the Pandavas, and the more senior branch of the family, the Kauravas. With direction by Ravi Chopra and production by his father, B. R. Chopra, the 94 episode format is narrated by the character of Time. It loosely follows the tale as spun by the author of the Mahabharat, another character named Maharishi Veda Vyasa. The full cast of characters includes gods, goddesses, and heroic men and women, and spans some one thousand years.

Each episode opens with a song whose lyrics are excerpted from sacred Hindi texts, as well as a recounting of previous events in the series. This technique is employed to bring any viewers up to speed and prepare them for the still unfolding drama. Additional text in the form of a summary or moral lesson occurs at the end of each episode, as well as more sacred text which echoes the episode's plot.

Mahabharat opens with a retelling of how it came to be recited by Sauti. History and background of the Kuru princes is given. The series progresses gradually, explaining how the character Maya Danava built the palace of Indraprastha. At court, the Pandava princes are exiled during a game of dice. The Pandava princes seek to regain power, but want to do it peacefully. They prepare both for battle with the Kurus and for peace talks, both of which come to naught.

For the first battle, the Kurus are led by Kauravas, who perishes after falling on a bed of arrows. Determined to see their efforts through, his soldiers continue their opposition to the Pandava. Meanwhile, Belarama, older sibling to the god Krishna, makes a pilgrimage to the Saraswati rivers, where the battle between Duryodhana and Bhima is taking place. His appearance promptly ends the battle.

But the greater war continues, raging for centuries. There are love triangles and demi-god children, intrigues, and plenty of victories, making the Mahabharat a thoroughly engrossing epic.

Rajshri Media
1 Season, 94 Episodes
October 2, 1988
Cast: Harish Bhimani, Mukesh Khanna, Nitish Bharadwaj, Arjun

Mahabharat Full Episode Guide

  • After the mourning period is over, Krishna leads Yudhishthir to the throne. Yudhishthir crowns Bheem the Yuvraj and appoints Vidur as the Prime Minister of Hastinapur. Arjun is made the commander of the army.

  • The Kurukshetra war has ended. The Pandavas visit Dhritarashtra who coldly embraces Yudhishthir. Dhritarashtra then moves forward to embrace Bheem, but Krishna tells Bheem to put an iron statue in his place. Dhritarashtra hugs and crushes the iron statue.

  • Duryodhan commands Ashwathama, the new commander-in-chief, to kill the Pandavas. Ashwathama, Kripacharya and Krit Verma arrive at the Pandava camp in the middle of the night as Dhristadyum and Draupadi's five sons are sleeping.

  • The battle between Bheem and Duryodhan begins. The warriors appear equal in strength and skill, but Krishna informs Bheem that Duryodhan could be defeated only if he smashes Duryodhan's thighs.

  • Kunti visits the battlefield in the middle of the night to grieve over the dead body of her son Karna. Yudhisthir finds her and learns that Karna was her brother. "Had I known, I wouldn't have fought this war," says Yudhisthir.

  • The battle between Karna and Arjun begins. Karna sends a dazzling arrow, which splits fire towards Arjun. Krishna presses Arjun's chariot five fingers deep in the mud,so that the shaft misses his head and only strikes his crown.

  • On the battlefield, Dushasan attacks Bheem with his arrows. Bheem remembers what Dushasan had done to Draupadi and anger blazes within him. Bheem jumps from his chariot and attacks Dushasan.

  • Drona spreads fear and destruction in the Pandava army. He seems invincible but Krishna tells Yudhisthir and Arjun that Drona can be defeated. "If he were to hear that his son, Ashwathama is dead,he would lose interest in life and throw down his weapons."

  • Bheem and Hidimba's mighty son, Ghatotkach, joins the Pandavas in the war. Duryodhan realizes that Ghatotkach must be destroyed and encourages Karna to use his "shakti" (divine weapon).

  • Arjun vows to kill Jayadhrath before sunset to avenge the death of his son Abhimanyu. If he is unable to kill Jayadhrath before sunset, Arjun swears he will burn himself to death.

  • On the battlefield Arjun tells Krishna to take his chariot to Jayadhrath. "There is a wall of Kaurav army between you and Jayadhrath" says Krishna." I have to break the wall to complete my oath." Declares Arjun. Krishna is amused.

  • Arjun kills Susarama the Trigatha Chief and returns to the Pandava camp. He learns about Abhimanyu's death and discovers that Jayadhrath was the main cause of his son's death. Arjun vows to kill Jayadhrath before sunset the next day.

  • Drona decides to arrange his focuses in a "Chakra - Vyuha," which is a battle arrangement that only Arjun can penetrate and emerge from. The Trigartha Chief Susarama is asked to assist the Kauravas in their plan to capture Yudhisthir.

  • On the tenth day of battle, Arjun positions Shikhandi in front of him and attacks Bheeshma. As Arjun's arrows pierce his body, Bheeshma smiles. Bheeshma's shield is cut into pieces by Arjun's arrows and he falls onto the ground.

  • The Pandavas army fares poorly during the first day of the battle. Dhrishtadyumna, the commander-in-chief of the Pandavas, devises strategies to avoid a repetition of the first day. Bheeshma's chariot, Duryodhan's men protect the grand sire.

  • During the afternoon of the first day of battle, Abhimanyu attacks grand sire Bheeshma and brings down his chariot's flag. The Kauravas warriors retaliate with a combined attack on the youthful warrior. Bheeshma's chariot continues to create havoc.

  • The battle is about to begin, but Yudhisthir removes his Armour, puts down his weapons, and descends from his chariot. The Pandavas and the Kauravas forces look with amazement as he proceeds on foot towards the Kaurava camp..

  • Krishna says to Arjun, "I am birthless and changeless. I am the Lord. I take birth through the power of my Maya". Unable to satisfy Arjun's hopeless conscience, Krishna grants divine eyesight to Arjun and stuns him with his "Viraat Roop" .

  • On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Krishna continues to talk to Arjun about the importance of following Dharma (Duty). He tells Arjun to equate pain with pleasure and profit with loss.

  • Krishna tells Arjun to seek Goddess Durga's blessings for winning the war. Arjun prays to the Goddess. She tells him, " Wherever there is righteousness there is Krishna, and wherever there is Krishna, there is victory."

  • Shikhandi, who was Amba in the previous life, is anxious for the Kurukshetra war because he wants to fight with Bheeshma. Bheeshma had insulted Amba by refusing to marry her after he had abducted her.

  • All the warriors expect Balram and Rukhmi (Rukmani's brother) move towards the battelfield. Balram remains neutral and both parties deny Rukhmi's help. Duryodhan tricks Salya into joining the Kaurava army.

  • Yudhishtir holds a meeting and Drishtadyum is appointed Supreme Commander of the Pandora army. Drupad, Shikhandi, Bheem and the other prominent warriors take command of the various divisions. The stage is set for the Kurukshetra war.

  • Vidur submits his resignation to Dhritarashtra, he is depressed by the inevitable war. Kunti worries about the battle to be fought between her sons, Karna and the Pandava brothers. She visits Karna and tells him the truth about his birth.

  • Krishna's peace mission has failed. Krishna goes to Kunti and tells her what has happened at the Court. He asks her if she has a message for her sons. "The time has come", she says, "for which a Kshatriya woman brings forth sons."

  • Krishna goes to the court of Hastinapur. He suggests that Indraprastha be given back to the Pandavaas, but Duryodhan insists that the Pandavas must return to the forest. Krishna then suggests that five villages be given to the five Pandava brothers.

  • The war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas looks inevitable, but Krishna makes a last attempt for peace. Krishna arrives in Hastinapur and is flooded with valuable presents.

  • Vidur advises Dhritrashtra to return Indraprastha to the Pandavas. Gandhari also ask her husband to act justly, but Dhritrashtra refuses to accept their advice. He sends a message to Yudhishthir, telling the Pandavas to spend twelve more years in exile.

  • After the wedding of Abhimanyu and Uttara, Krishna, the Pandavas, Virat and others meet in Virat's assembly. They decide to send an emissary to Hastinapur to seek the restoration of Indraprastha. The emissary arrives in Hastinapur.

  • Duryodhan and Karna advance into battle. Arjun attacks the Kaurav army and the Kaurav warriors fall unconscious due to his magical weapons. News arrives from the battlefield and King Virat boasts about the glory of his son Uttar.

  • The news of Keechak's death reaches Duryodhan. He suspects that Bheem is responsible and decides to invade Virat. King Susarma of Trigarta also invades Virat. He captures Virat, but Bheem attacks and Virat emerges victorious.

  • Keechak is mad with lust for Draupadi. Draupadi runs to the Virat court, where Keechak angrily kicks her in the presence of Yudhishtir and Bheem. Draupadi reports the matter to Queen Sudeshna and asks Bheem for protection and revenge. Bheem kills Keechak.

  • Karna has assumed the guise of a Brahmin and has become a disciple of Parshuram. Parshuram observes Karna's resistance to pain and realizes that he is a Kshatriya.In anger, he curses Karna.

  • The Pandavas live incognito and serve King Virat. Yudhishthir becomes a courtier named Kanak. Bheem becomes a cook. Nakul and Sahadev look after cattle and horses. Arjun becomes a eunuch named Brihannala and Draupadi becomes Sairandhir.

  • In Indralok, Lord Indra limits Urvashi's curse on Arjun to one year during which he becomes an eunuch. In Dwaraka, Sri Krishna trains his nephew Abhimanyu in the martial arts. In Hastinapur, Bheeshma, Drona and Vidur worry about the future of the Kingdom.

  • Rishi Durvasa and his followers arrive in the forest to visit the Pandavas. He requests food for himself and his followers and Draupadi is worried, for her cooking vessel is empty.

  • After hearing about the Pandavas exile, Krishna goes to visit them. He advises the Pandavas to prepare for war and tells Arjun unwillingly to do penance to obtain divine weapons. Arjun does penance and eventually pleases Lord Shiva.

  • Rishi Vyas rebukes Dhritarashtra for exiling the Pandavas. He predicts the extinction of the Kauravs after 14 years due to Duryodhan's misdeeds. Duryodhan and his men leave for Dwaitavan to witness the distress of the Pandavas.

  • The departure of the Pandavas upset Bheeshama, Vidur, Drona and the other elders of the Royal House of Kurus. Vidur advises Dhritarashtra to summon them back. Dhritarashtra rebukes Vidur, so Vidur leaves.

  • Gandhari warns Dhritarashtra that the attempt to disrobe Draupadi will cause the destruction of his lineage. Dhritarashtra gives everything back to the Pandavas. Arjun swears that the Pandavas want the dead bodies of Duryodhan, Dushasan and Shakuni .

  • Enraged, Duryodhan asks his brother Dushasan to bring Draupadi in the assembly hall. Dushasan drags Draupadi to the hall and tries to disrobe her but a miracle occurs. Bheem swears to avenge the wrongdoing, while Draupadi rises to curse the Kauravas.

  • Duryodhan suggests that Shakuni cast the dice for him. Yudhishthir loses his entire Kingdom, his brothers, himself and Draupadi. Duryodhan insists that Draupadi be fetched to the assembly hall and orders Prathikami to bring her.

  • Dhritarashtra orders Vidur to go to Indraprastha and to invite Yudhishthir to Hastinapur to play dice with Duryodhan.The Pandavas arrive in Hastinapur and pay their respect to the King.

  • Duryodhan is unhappy about the prosperity of the Pandavas. Shakuni consoles him and later loses in a game of dice to Yudhishthir. Duryodhan walks around Yudhishthir's "Maya Mahal" and falls into one of the pools.

  • Yudhishthir decides to perform the Rajsuya Yagna. The first honor is rendered to Sri Krishna. Shishupal, the King of Chedi, asks, "When there are so many Kings gathered in this assembly? Why should the first honor be paid to Krishna?"

  • Bheem and Jarasandh are so equally matched in strength that they fight for nearly fourteen days without rest. When Jarasandh finally shows signs of exhaustion, Krishna prompts Bheem to bring an end to him

  • Arjun and Subhadra arrive at Dwarika and are formally married. Arjun later returns to Indraprastha with Subhadra. Draupadi welcomes Subhadra. Yudhishthir seeks Sri Krishna's advice on performing the Rajsuya Yagna.

  • The Pandavas were happy in Indraprastha. To avoid rivalry amongst themselves, they had come to a decision to have Draupati divide her time equally between the five brothers.

  • Yudhishthir is coronated with great celebration. Dhritrashtra bids Yudhishthir farewell with his words Yudhishthir knew that the land was a barren wasteland, but he agreed to accept this injustice because he wanted peace.

  • The Pandavas and Draupadi return to Hastinapur. Dhritrashtra conceals his disappointment and orders everyone to welcome them. Determined to establish peace between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, Bheeshma suggests giving half the kingdom to Yudhishthir.

  • Duryodhan and Shakuni are furious when they learn that the Pandava brothers are alive and that King Dhritrashtra has sent Vidur to call them back to Hastinapur. Karna is ready to fight them.

  • Without hesitation, Arjun shoots his arrow into the target. He wins Draupadi's hand in Marriage. The Princes are loud with anger about how a Brahmin can marry a princess. Shri Krishna seeks to appease the Princes and Arjun and Bheem protect Draupadi.

  • The Pandavas journey through the forest and learn about Draupadi the daughter of King Drupad. Many warrior princes were invited for the wedding.The candidate for the hand of the princes was required to string a mighty steel bow and shoot a steel arrow.

  • The Pandavas stay in the city of Ekchakra in the guise of Brahmins. Kunti and Bheem learn of a cruel and terribly strong rakshasa named Bakasur who was harassing the people. Bheem sets out to eliminate this rakshasa.

  • After escaping from the tragedy, the Pandavas arrived in a forest and took rest.

  • Only three days are left for the house of wax to go up in flames and for Kunti and her sons to burn to death. Vidur informs the Pandavas of the evil plan and sends them a miner who helps them dig a tunnel to escape.

  • Kunti takes Yudhishthir to Gandhari to seek her blessings before leaving for Varnavat.Gandhari is extremely happy to learn that Yudhishthir will stay in the beautiful palace built by her son Duryodhan.

  • Rukmani asked Krishna to take her away from Vidarbha before she gets married to Shishupal. Krishna decides to go to Vidarbha and defeats the forces of Bheeshmal and Shishupal and take Rukmani away. In Hastinapur, Dhirtarashtra is worried about his throne.

  • The court meets to name the Heir Apparent to the throne of Hastinapur. Dhritarashtra is compelled to appoint Yudhishthir because of his superior intellect. Jarasandh, the King of Magadha, arrives in Vidarbha to meet King Bheeshmak.

  • After finishing his education at Sandeepani Gurukul Shri Krishna returns to Mathura. Krishna advises Ugrasen, the king of Mathura, to shift his capital from Mathura to Dwarika.The Heir Apparent to the throne of Hastinapur is to be chosen .

  • The education of the Kuru princes is over. Dhrona continues to advise the Kaurava and the Pandava Princes.Shri Krishna and Balram finish their education at Sandeepani Gurukul and plan to return to Mathura.

  • A special stadium that was built to exhibit the feats of the Kuru princes is full of spectators.A mace fight between Duryodhan and Bheem follows.Arjun displays many feats of archery convincing all that there is no one equal to him .

  • Dronacharya (Drona) trains the Kuru Princes in the art of "Gada Yudh" (Mace fighting).Bheem and Duryodhan specialize in it and exhibit their skills.Drona is especially delighted by Arjun's prowess and he loves him even more than his own son, Ashwathama.

  • Kunti forbids Bheem from saying anything about Duryodhan's attempt to kill him.Vidur suspects something is behind Bheem's silence and goes to see Bheeshma to discuss his concerns. Bheeshma is helpless as he is bound by his vow to protect Hastinapur.

  • Rishi Vyas takes Satyavati, Ambika and Ambalika to Tapovan (forest).Before leaving, Satyavati tells Dhritarashtra to look after the Pandava Children.The Kaurav and the Pandav children grow up together.

  • Rishi Vyas takes Satyavati, Ambika and Ambalika to Tapovan (forest).Before leaving, Satyavati tells Dhritarashtra to look after the Pandava Children.The Kaurav and the Pandav children grow up together.

  • Krishna releases King Ugrasen and his parents, Devki and Vasudev who had been imprisoned by Kans. People of Mathura rejoice and celebrate the coronation of King Ugrasen. Krishna goes to Sandeepani Gurukul for his education while.

  • Krishna's departs for Mathura.The residents of Mathura have heard of his divine sports and they pay obeisance to him as an ‘Avatar'.Eventually,Krishna faces his uncle, Kans who plans to slay Krishna but meets his own death at the hands of Shri Krishna.

  • Kans tries to subdue Krishna.He commands two demons to destroy Nandgaon.This episode covers two major portions of divine sports – one,saving of Nandgaon by lifting the Govardhan Mountain and the other 'Maharaas' .

  • Krishna grows up to being an 11 year-old-boy.Now he has given up stealing butter; instead he steals the hearts of the young 'Gopis'.Radha is one such 'Gopini' who has lost her heart to him.

  • Krishna's divine sports make him the darling of his friends. To everyone's amazement he killed Kalia the Serpent King who lived in the river Yamuna, while retrieving the ball of his friend Sridham from the bottom of the river.

  • Krishna's divine sports make him the darling of his friends. To everyone's amazement while retrieving the ball of his friend Sridham from the the river Yamuna, he kills the Serpent King Kalia who lived in the bottom of the river.

  • Unusual celebrations in Gokul make Kans suspicious that Devki's eighth child must be there. Pootna is sent there as a toy seller to kill all the children born in Gokul. When she tries to kill Krishna, she loses her own life.

  • Kans personally kills Devki's first six children born in the prison. Devki's seventh ‘Pregnancy' is taken over by Vasudev's second wife who gives birth to Balram.

  • In Mathura, King Kans dethrones his father and takes over the Kingdom. He arranges his sister marriage with his influential friend Vasudev. But with the prediction that her eighth son will be responsible for Kans's death, he imprisons Devki and Vasudev.

  • Pandu accidentally kills a Sage, while hunting. As penance, Pandu decides to spend his life in exile and entrusts his kingdom to Dhritarashtra. In time, five children – Yudhisthir, Bheem, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev – are born to Kunti and Madri.

  • Dhritarashtra and Pandu are married to Gandhari and Kunti respectively. As Dhritarashtra is blind, Gandhari binds up her eyes with a piece of silk, refusing to see the world. Kunti is the daughter of the King of Yadava's and sister of Vasudeva.

  • Threatened with extinction, Satyavati, calls on Ambalika and Ambika to marry Rishi Vyasa. Ambalika gives birth to Dhritarashtra who is born blind. Ambika gives birth to Pandu who is born anemic.Bhishma is duty bound to look after this generation too.

  • Shantanu's son Vichitravirya ascends the throne. Bhishma arranges the marriage of Amba,Ambika and Ambalika, the daughters of a neighboring king, with King Vichitravirya. However, Vichitravirya dies young and without any offspring.

  • Bhishma (Devavrat) defends his sacrifice and carries out his duties to look after all the affairs of the State. King Shantanu dies in grief and guilt towards Bhishma.

  • Devavrat is crowned as Yuvraj, heir apparent to King Shantanu. But, to enable his father's remarriage to a village girl, Devavrat vows to remain unmarried for the rest of his life and renounces his rights to the throne.