Popular Old Doordarshan Serials List (And The Best Way to Watch Them Now)
Remember the old serials which you watched leaving all other things. Even the playground. Often, in many households there were set hours when T.V was switched on. There were marked hours for studying, playing, and watching T.V. I can't imagine that sort of planning just for watching T.V with the advent of satellite television service, also not many people bother to look how much T.V their child watches.
Those days were special and would be remembered for many years to come. Even the ads felt great to watch, especially I remember ads like Paan Parag, Cadbury (lady dancing in the ground), Lijjat Papad, Nirma Super (Yes that one with the lines "Maan Gaye Deepika ji, Aap Ki Paar Ki Nazar and Nirma Super Dono ko"). Search Youtube many can be found there.
Doordarshan was the only channel and we had so much fun. Whereas now we have more than 100 and still can't keep that remote aside.
The magic that they had can't be replaced. But surely we can experience it once again - though not completely as many of these have not been uploaded or does not seem to have launched their DVDs. None the less it will give you a nostalgic vibe.
As a child growing up in the 90's serials like Alif Laila, Chandrakanta, Malgudi Days, Byomkesh Bakshi, mythological serials like Mahabharat, Shri Krishna, and comedies like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Tu Tu Main Main, Shrimaan Shrimati are very close to my heart. But I have made sure that I include many other older ones which were very famous.
Though I'm in my 20's unlike many others in my age group I'm a big fan of old movies, or rather I'd say that fan of all old things. I've a good liking for older things that can be any thing from movies to vintage dress collection.
Most of my leisure time (which is very less) is spent learning and watching (like History TV) about historic things.
So let's have a recap of some of the most popular doordarshan serials of yesteryear. I have also included links of official Youtube channels which have videos of these serials, of course not all the serials have a channel, but the shows which have are included and will also update as and when others are added. No illegal links over here. So don't expect links to torrent sites or download links pointing to illegal sites (which are always fake). Of course, you can always use a free downloader to download videos from Youtube.
Also information below if you want to buy these shows. And a surprise program which you might have watched at the end of this article.
Should Old Doordarshan Shows be Re-Telecasted?
1| Alif Laila
The extremely hit series where Shah Nawaz played the lead character excellently. Some of the well-known and easily coming to mind episodes are Sindhbad Sailor, Alladin and his Magical lamp etc.
You can get the entire collection of 143 episodes from Mosarbaer which is 20 set DVD. I'm sure you would binge watch all the episodes once you lay your hands on this one.
Buniyaad went on to become a popular serial which showcased the life of a common person after India's partition and the after effects it had.
Starring Alok Nath in the prime role of a freedom fighter. Some other known faces which still can be seen in the movie industry are Dilip Tahil and Soni Razdan.
3| Byomkesh Bakshi
The crime detection series based on the novel written by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. The show still has a cult following in which Rajit Kapur played the lead role.
Well crafted episodes with attention to every minute detail makes this one a treat to watch. Fortunately I got to catch a few episodes recently on DD. Still the plot seems so real and unique.
4| Bharat Ek Khoj
Shyam Benegal's direction brought forward to us the history of India based on the book by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru known as "Discovery of India". The series has altogether 53 episodes showcasing every aspect of Indian history such as the story of Caste Formation, Ramayan, Emperor Ashoka, Kalidas, Akbar - The Great and many more.
The vivid and simplistic approach to showcase India's history was indeed marvelous.
Relive the experience of the concept of discovering India. This entire set of 18 high quality DVDs is like a teaching to the newer generation. Along with the original TV series you also get to lay your hands to the book written by Nehru if you buy this one.
I still remember the title song sung by Sonu Nigam. Of course we were small to know that it has been sung by Sonu Nigam. But the title song was really great which goes like this.....so sing along...."Chandrakanta ki kahani, Yeh Mana Hai Purani, Lohgad Vijaygad Mein Thi Takraar, Lohgad Ka Tha Jo Rajkimar Chandrakanta Se Karta Tha Pyar".
Lead role played by Shahbaz Khan as Prince Virendra Singh, Chandrakanta as Shikha Swaroop, and Kroor Singh as Akhilendra Mishra.
Enter Shahrukh Khan. Shahrukh played the lead role of Raghavan, a Malayalee circus artist. Other actors who went to make a name for themselves after this are Renuka Sahane (love-interest of Shahrukh), and Ashutosh Gowarikar (?).
Nobody predicted that Shahrukh would go on to rule Bollywood circles. I'm sure not even he would have thought about it. Somethings just happen, isn't it?
Watch This Episode Here of Circus
7| Chanakya - An Epic Saga
The series based on the eminent thinker, teacher, philosopher of the 4th century. This epic serial of the epic man has had the honour of getting many international awards. Apart from that Chanakya was one of the earliest political thinker and served as the chief advisor of emperor Chandragupta Maurya.
This had a total of 47 episodes which was originally aired in 1991 on a weekly basis.
There is no better way to watch this except to buy the DVD collection. I bought this recently and watched the entire series. This indeed has tremendous teachings that one can take and apply in their daily life. Yes I am talking about the Chanakyaneeti (teachings).
8| Dekh Bhai Dekh
Is Rang Badalti Duniya Mein...Kya Tera Hai Kya Mera...Dekh Bhai Dekh.....
The complete family drama-comedy show which will definitely bring a gushing smile on your face - and that's guaranteed. Shekhar Suman, Navin Nischol, Deven Bhojani, Farida Jalal were some of the members of the famous Diwan family.
I remember the character of Shekhar Suman where he used to recite his dialogue non-stop, the character of Gareema played by Deven Bhojani, and will you ever forget the short man Liliput for his role. One other thing about Liliput is that he is the one who has written the show.
Or do you remember the start of the serial showing the name of Jaya Bachchan zooming from the backside.
- Dekh Bhai Dekh TV Comedy Show - YouTube
No need to buy the DVD just click this link for watching all the episodes of this hit TV series
Dekh Bhai Dekh - Episode 1
It feels so amazing to watch this one again. If I remember properly it was shown at the evening between 6.30 to 7.00. Running from school just to watch Uncle Scrooge in his quest for accumulating more wealth was amazing.
The adventures of Uncle Scrooge, his amazingly intelligent nephews: Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and Launchpad is being remembered with great admiration and fondness.
10| Flop Show
The only 'misdirected' show in the history of India. The series only had 10 episodes which seamlessly made fun around the life of the middle class Indian. Jaspal Bhatti's most remembered show till now.
Flop Show on Wikipedia and Youtube
Shahrukh Khan shot to fame after this serial happened. Still being remembered by many people for the role of Abhimanyu Rai. Great emotions, acting, writing, and direction.
Watch Fauji Serial Online
- Fauji - YouTube
At least 13 full episodes of the show has been released by Rajshri on Youtube.com
12| Hum Log
The first Indian TV soap opera. At the time of serial it became a huge hit and also went on to run for a long time. A total of 156 episodes were shown which was pretty historic even by international standards. Of course that time was different, but now that amount of episodes is a norm.
Hum Log on Rediff.com
- Hum Log, 25 years on - Rediff.com Movies
Rediff's article on the 25th anniversary of the show is a great read. Exclusive interviews of Badki, Chutki, Nanhe, Lalu, Tony, Basesar Ram, and Daadi.
The extremely famous series couldn't entertain the audience much when it came up with a sequence in 2007 which aired on Sony. Whereas the role of Karamchand was portrayed by Pankaj Kapoor the role of Kitty was enacted by Sucheta Khanna.
14| Mr. Yogi
The show which had a NRI American trying to search a well-cultured bride in India. He goes on to see 12 girls of each belonging to a rashi. This was narrated by Om Puri in his unique style, thanks Sir.
Now I have to re-say the same thing that many others including newspapers have said about this. Yes, the streets would go empty when it started. The song at the start is just awesome - sung by Mahendra Kapoor.
The grandeur, though, might not excite when it is compared to today's special effects but the serial got the whole nation excited.
Mahabharat Title Song
(Unconfirmed) Youtube Channel of the Serial
- Mahabharat TV - YouTube
I don't know if this is the official channel or created by some user. There is no way of confirming it either. But most if not all the episodes can be viewed here.
16| Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne
Raghubir Yadav, a common man who gets to hear bad from every other person. But Mungerilal has a viable way to get around this - by daydreaming.
17| Mowgli - The Jungle Book
As I was writing this my mom reminds me "You used to be mad about Mowgli".
And tell me who hasn't recited the famous lines: Jungle Jungle "Baat Chali Hai Pata Chala Hai.....Chaddi Pahenge Phool Khila Hai Phool Khila Hai".
The title song is composed by Vishal Bharadwaj lyrics by Gulzar and the singer is Amol Sahdev (Photo Link)
18| Malgudi Days
Remember Swami and Friends. Do you want to know where is that little child that played the character of Swami. Is he a famous actor now, or is he now a star in the South-Indian film industry.
No he quit acting and is now pursuing a career in Information Technology. Below is the link from where you can get more information about Swami.
My views on Malgudi days is that it is the greatest T.V series ever in the history of India.
A truly great story and is a must for every human being.— TheGuardian.com on Malgudi Days
More on Malgudi Days
Malgudi Days - Episode 1 - Swamy And Friends
Official Video Page
- Malgudi Days Watch Online
No need to buy the DVD set to watch this. Each and every episode has been uploaded. Based out of the book written by R.K Narayan. Directed by Shankar Nag who is also seen in some episodes. I am particularly very fond of Shankar Nag's acting.
The mere mention of the name Nukkad brings forward the names such as Guru (Dilip Dhawan), Kadar Bhai (Avtaar Gill), Khopdi (Sameer Khakkar).
Nukkad Official Youtube Channel
- Nukkad - YouTube
Get 17 episodes of Nukkad here on its official Youtube channel.
20| Potli Baba Ki Kahani
Fairy tales which had a relevant social message. The ever famous writer Gulzar penned this series and is now also available as a book which will be fun to read for kids
A serial which is etched in my mind because of Jatin Kanakia who talked with the home furniture. Just a look of Jatin Kanakia fills my stomach with laughter. He was one of the few actors whose performance was liked by everyone, however, the industry didn't properly utilize his talents.
Padosan Serial Online
- Padosan - Hindi Comedy - YouTube
Find all the episodes of Padosan. This is a great comedy to watch. Balaji Telefilms has uploaded this for us to watch free of cost. Just that the videos are broken in to part 1, 2, and 3 which is at times a hindrance for this free flowing show.
Bow your head down to take blessings of Lord Ram.
This 20 set DVD is available at all leading online stores. It is considered as the first mythological show of Indian television and directed by Ramanand Sagar. This will surely have a lasting effect on your mind, body, and soul. Buying the DVD set seems the only possible way to watch this as it has not yet been uploaded online.
23| Raja Aur Rancho
This was also fun to watch. The good news is that some episodes have been uploaded by Ultra Hindi on Youtube. The link below.
I hope so that all the episodes will soon be uploaded by them. No point in uploading half the episodes, isn't?
Some Episodes Can be Found Here
- Raja aur Rancho - Serial - YouTube
Super hit TV serial Raja aur Rancho
24| Space City Sigma
India's first ever sci-fi series.
25| Shri Krishna
Hugely popular mythological serial on Lord Krishna.
- Watch Shri Krishna Old Serial Online
Some videos from the official channel on Youtube
26| Shrimaan Shrimati
My favorite comedy show of all time.
This one had a re-run on Sab TV at the afternoon slot some years back. Shall I suggest Sab TV to re-start this one. If anyone from Sab is reading please re-run the show.
I believe the TRP's would be way better than the serials which are being telecasted. Also thanks to Sony for uploading all the episodes on Youtube.
Based on the concept of "love thy neighbor" but don't love your wife. Keshav has a liking for Prema (Dilruba's wife) and in turn Dilruba throws his heart on Koki (Keshav's wife).
Each episode is filled with humorous jokes and manages to entertain till the last minute. I have watched all the episodes and I recommend you should as well in your dinner time.
Jatin Kanakia was a gem.....R.I.P.
Poll on Shrimaan Shrimati
Who is your favorite character?
Episode 99 : Prema Has a Fall
Playlist of all Episodes Here
- Shriman Shrimati All Episodes
I have watched all the episodes. You too can view all the 142 episodes.
While Shaktimaan started when other T.V channels had forayed in the Indian Market. You might not like but I didn't had much fun watching it, might be because I had grown-up by the time this happened.
- Watch Shaktimaan Online
Though Shaktimaan was a long series, but at least some of the episodes can be watched right now on the official channel by Ultra Hindi.
The hugely popular cultural show. Has the prized distinction of being the longest running cultural show as well featured its name in Limca Book of Records for getting more than 10 lakh letters in a single week.
29| Shanti - Ek Aurat Ki Kahani (Mandira Bedi : Then and Now)Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mandira Bedi made her debut in the industry with this dark reality based serial. She plays the character of Shanti the lead actor of an aspiring journalist.
And what boy see the stark differences of her looks now. She definitely looks much bolder and I must say she carries it well and suits her.
30| Tu Tu Main Main
Pun on Saas-Bahu relationship. Reema Lagoo and Supriya Pilgaonkar have some great fun irritating each other.
Where is all the love lost between the Saas-Bahu (I'm talking about the recent shows).
31| Tenali Rama
Again, a made for kids show which also become quite a hit when it aired.
The story of a woman who beats all odds and hardships to become an IPS officer. So insightful, apt, and still relevant today.
Kavita Choudhary played the lead role which also had Shekhar Kapoor. This was recently released as a DVD by Reliance Entertainment which is available on all online stores.
If a woman becomes certain in doing something then she will defy all odds and get to the position she wants. Kavitha Chaudhary's character is one such woman who is out there in the dirty world to show it. This five DVD pack is all that you need to re-experience it.
33| Vikram Beetal
Brought to life stories that were written nearly 2500 years ago. The story of King Vikramaditya and Vetal. Each story was narrated by Beetal to the king which ended with a question that the king answered correctly.
34| Wagle Ki Duniya
Anjan Shrivastav's most remembered series of all time. An adaptation of R.K Laxman's famous Common Man which was a regular feature on Times of India.
35| Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi
Late Shafi Inamdar, Swaroop Sampat, Satish Shah alongwith Rakesh Bedi in this awesome comedy. A complete family entertainer.
Experience it Now!!!
- Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi - YouTube
All the 67 episodes with high quality videos have been uploaded at the above link. If you want to view this offline then you can find this at Flipkart or Amazon.in for about 1200 Rs. My favorite actor of this is Satish Shah if I have to take a name.
36| Zabaan Sambhalke
The story of Mohan Bharti who is booted from his job as an engineer and to make ends meet teaches how to speak Hindi. However, he constantly gets frustrated by the lack of his students who don't even follow simple Hindi lessons.
Same goes for this you can watch this online from the below link or DVD set is available at all online stores.
Online Videos Can be Found Here
- Zabaan Sambhalke - YouTube
Shemaroo has uploaded 72 episodes from the season 1. Note that this also had a season 2 in the early 2000s.
37| Zu Mountain Saga - (Surprise) aired on Home TV
This was one of my personal favorites while growing up. I'm sure you too are a fan of Rocky, Yinglam and do remember Aadamkhor, Kala Jadudar, Shaitaini Haath etc. Unfortunately, the CD/DVD is not released. I bet if it is released it would be bought hands-down.
Is this the inclusion justified?
Let us know in the comments section.
How and Where Can You Watch Them?
So you skipped around and want to know where you can watch all these serials now. First of all I have included links for some shows above which have good quality videos, or at least are watchable. But not all of them are available and released online, and I will certainly not point you to illegal sites.
The best way to remember and refresh your old days by watching these serials is to buy CD/DVD's of them.
No don't throw stones at me for advocating to buy them. Trust me they will make a valuable collection. Needless to say if you are living in the United States then Amazon.com offers a large range of the above serials.
Other benefit of buying them is that you can watch them anytime without an internet connection and that too without compromising the quality. I said without an internet connection, now that's a valid point here, I know we all have situations where our internet connection doesn't work and the computer guy takes way too much time to fix it. These serials make a great watch that time.
Some Other Famous Ones : Names and Lead Actors
Air Hostess - Kitu Gidwani
Phir Wahi Talash - Poonam Sarin
Captain Vyom - Milind Soman, Tom Alter
Chunauti - Suchitra Krishnamurthy
Jai Hanuman - Raj Premi
Kahan Gaye Woh Log - Dheeraj Kumar
Katha Sagar - Sharmila Tagore, Shammi Kapoor, Om Puri, Utpal Dutt
Luv Kush - Arun Govil, Swapnil Joshi
Mirza Ghalib - Naseerudin Shah
Masters of the Universe
Neem Ka Ped - Pankaj Kapoor
Rajani - Priya Tendulkar
Subah - Salim Ghouse
Swabhimaan - Kitu Gidwani
Talaash - Alok Nath, Moushumi Chatterjee
Tamas - Om Puri, Amrish Puri
Tehkikaat - Vijay Anand
The Stone Boy
The Sword of Tipu Sultan - Sanjay Khan