Juhi Chawla Was The First Choice For Draupadi: 10 Unknown Facts about Mahabharata TV Serial


The iconic 80’s show Mahabharata is back on television after its initial run three decades ago. It is one of the many shows ordered for a rerun by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to keep the people entertained in the period of total lockdown in the country. In the first week of its rerun, it has already garnered 170 million views on television.

As the young try to catch up, the old are revisiting the old memories through the show. Here are some of the interesting facts about the show.


1. Nitish Bharadwaj refused to play Krishna

The actor who essayed the role of Krishna, Nitish Bharadwaj dodged BR Chopra for the longest time to avoid testing for the role. Nitish Bharadwaj felt he is not experienced enough to play the role of Krishna.

2. Juhi Chawla was the first choice for Draupadi

The role of Draupadi which was finally played by Roopa Ganguly was initially offered to Juhi Chawla. Because of date issues, Juhi Chawla chose to work in the Amir Khan starrer Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.

3. Actors who played Nakul and Sahadeva were brothers in real life

The actors who played Nakul and Sahadeva, Sameer Chitre and Sanjeev Chitre, were indeed brothers in real life.


Mahabharata Krishna 1
Courtesy: Rediff

4. Nitish Bharadwaj was first offered the role of Vidur

Before being locked for the role of Krishna, Nitish Bharadwaj was offered the role of Vidur initially but was soon replaced by Virendra Razdan. The reason being that BR Chopra felt Nitish is too young to play Vidur.

5. Pankaj Dheer was injured on set

Pankaj Dheer who played Karna was seriously injured during a battle sequence in the series. His chariot broke and the horses ran away. He was also hit by an arrow near his eyes. He apparently had to undergo surgery.

6. The script was written by Rahi Masoom Raza

The script for the show was written by the famous Urdu poet who later turned into a screenwriter, Rahi Masoom Raza. He passed away two years after the show concluded its run on television.


7. Nitish Bharadwaj wanted to play Abhimanyu

After being turned down for the role of Vidur, Nitish Bharadwaj was offered the role of Nakul and Sahadeva but he wanted to play a more important role like Abhimanyu.

Mahabharata Krishna
Courtesy: India TV

8. The actor who played Arjun had the same name in real life

The actor who played the role of Arjun had the same name in real life. While his real name was Firoz Khan, he chose to be recognized with the other name.

9. Mahabharata’s Bhishma went onto becoming Shaktiman

Mukesh Khanna who played the role of Bhishma later went onto essay the title role of Shaktiman which also become a popular show on Doordarshan.


10. Casting director cast himself as Shakuni

The casting director of the show, Gufi Paintal, had to cast himself as Shakuni in the series.

The show directed by BR Chopra is being received with the same love even during its rerun. Alongside Mahabharata, another historic epic, Ramayana too is being broadcasted again.