Mahabharat is a successful Indian television series based on the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The 94-episode Hindi series originally ran from 2 October 1988 to 24 June 1990 on DD National. It was produced by B. R. Chopra and directed by his son, Ravi Chopra. The music was composed by critically acclaimed music director Rajkamal. Each episode was approximately 45 minutes. It followed the highly successful Ramayan broadcast in 1987–1988. Costumes of the series was provided by Maganlal Dresswala.
It was shown in the United Kingdom by the BBC, where it achieved audience figures of 5 million. It was also the first programme broadcast on BBC2 after its 1991 revamp, but had also been shown late at night on BBC 1 the previous year. It has also been shown on FBC TV in Fiji and Star Utsav. Dubbed versions were aired in Tamil, Telugu, and Indonesian in the early 1990s.
According to production team member Kishore Malhotra, the total cost of producing the series was 90000000. It was aired in the premium Sunday morning time slot of 9:00 am – 10:00 am. The series was a runaway success and public places were often deserted during the broadcast. To ensure a good voter turnout in the central election one Sunday, the telecast was delayed to the evening. This is considered the definitive filmed version of the story. Nitish Bharadwaj, who portrayed Lord Krishna, was very popular and became a Member of the Indian Parliament.