By Reya Mehrotra
Recently, The Empire, which was telecast on Disney+ Hotstar, brought to life the story of the establishment of Asia’s most prominent empire—the Mughals—and how they arrived in India. Praised for the performances of the actors and the storyline, the show is expected to come up with a second season soon. Be it the Mughals or stories of Indian royals, historical dramas never fail to gain the attention of audiences. We bring you some of the most popular historical dramas that have been telecast on the small screen.
With 566 episodes, the show ran between 2013 and 2015. The show portrayed how Jodha, a Rajput princess, marries Mughal king Akbar for political reasons and that leads to true love between the two in the 16th century. It stars Rajat Tokas as Akbar and Paridhi Sharma as Jodha. The TV show is now available on ZEE5. Jodha Bai, also known as Mariam uz-Zamani, was the mother of Jahangir and the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber.
Currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, the drama has Shabana Azmi, Dino Morea, Drashti Dhami, Aditya Seal, Kunal Kapoor, Rahul Dev, Sahher Bambba in lead roles. The show traces the history of the rise of the Mughal empire starting from Babur’s story. The show has been praised for its portrayal of the events and performances of the ensemble cast. The first season ends with Humayun being crowned the next king after Babur’s demise. It shows how Babur’s sister, adviser and grandmother helped him make decisions that would lead to the formation of Asia’s most prominent empire.
The 2018 show, Chandragupta Maurya, aired on Sony TV from 2018 to 2019. The show stars Faisal Khan, Kartikey Malviya, Tarun Khanna and Saurabh Raj Jain among others. Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the Mauryan empire, one of the largest empires, in ancient India under the tutelage of Chanakya. His accomplishments are described in Greek, Hindu, Jain and Buddhists texts.
Dharti Ka Veer Yodha Prithviraj Chauhan
The show was first telecast in the year 2006 and ran till 2009. It now is available on Disney+ Hotstar for the audience to watch with nine seasons and 382 episodes. The show stars Rajat Tokas as Chauhan and led to his massive popularity among youngsters as he portrayed the character well. The show traces the story of Chauhan’s childhood, how he became the king and his love affair with Sanyogita. Prithviraj Chauhan was a 12th-century king who ruled northwest India and controlled Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. He is also known to have repulsed early invasions by Muhammad of Ghor of the Muslim Ghurid dynasty.
Bharat ka Veer Putra: Maharana Pratap
The Indian historical fiction was based on Maharana Pratap’s life. He was a 16th-century Hindu Rajput ruler of the Mewar kingdom, present-day Rajasthan. The serial ran between 2013 and 2015. It maps his life from his teen years to his death and his son, Amar Singh becoming the ruler. The king was also given the title of ‘Mewari Rana’ for his military resistance against the Mughal empire’s expansion. He is also known for participating in the Battles of Haldighati and Dewair. Born to Udai Singh II and Jaiwanta Bai, he was married to Ajabde Punwar of Bijolia.
Jhansi Ki Rani
The 2019 historical drama based on the life of Lakshmi Bai, the queen of Jhansi, stars Anushka Sen as the lead. It depicts the life of Manikarnika who grew up to become the queen. When she marries Jhansi’s King Gangadhar Rao, she becomes the queen of Jhansi. She is known to have rebelled against the British in India.
Chittod Ki Rani Padmini Ka Johur
The historical show was aired on Sony Entertainment Television in 2009. It chronicles the life of 14th century queen. Actor Tejaswini Lonari portrayed the character of Padmavati. The queen of Mewar kingdom finds her mention in several 16th-century texts like Padmavat, written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in 1540. However, several texts offer varying accounts of her life. It is said that after her husband died fighting Alauddin Khalji, she led a Jauhar, where she jumped into the fire with other women of her kingdom.
The ancient Indian king’s territory spanned between the Jhelum and Chenab rivers. However he finds mentions in only Greek sources.
He is known to have possessed exceptional skills as a warrior but was defeated by Alexander the Great. Impressed with his skills, Alexander reinstated him as a satrap. Alexander also granted him dominion over the lands until the Beas. It is believed that he was a king of the Purus, a marginal power in Punjab.