32 years ago, when Ramanand Sagar decided to switch from movies to TV, he did not have the support of many people. Because TV wasn't considered a profitable medium. And yet, he went ahead, with little financial support, to create a show that changed the face of Indian TV.
Ramayan, which was actually the second show that Ramanand Sagar created for TV (after Vikram Betaal), remains one of the most iconic shows to have been made. Here are some interesting facts about it:
1. When Ramayan first aired, Doordarshan reportedly earned ₹40 lakh for each episode.
2. Bal Dhuri and Jayshree Gadkar who played Dashratha and Kaushalya were married in real life.
3. Ramayan was telecast in 55 different countries and earned a viewership of around 650 million.
4. Though the show ended with Ram’s coronation, a special Luv-Kush episode was shot and an exclusive tape was flown for a man who was hospitalized in Chennai because he missed that.
5. Owing to the popularity of the show, it was extended thrice to a total of 78 episodes, instead of the original 52 episodes.
6. The show earned a spot in the Limca Book of Records for the World’s most watched mythological series.
7. When it was aired again, Ramayan recorded the highest ratings for a Hindi GEC (general entertainment channel) show since 2015.
8. The shoot for Ramayan went on for over 550 days.
9. Sanjay Jog, who played Bharat in the show, was originally approached for Laxman’s role but due to excessive shooting days required, he could not commit. Thus, he was cast as Bharat.
10. Arun Govil, who played Ram, played Laxman in V. Madhusudhan Rao's Lav Kush.
11. Ramayan was made with a budget of ₹9 lakh per episode.
12. The adoration that actor Arun Govil earned, for his portrayal of Ram, was so intense that he had to give up smoking in public.
No wonder the show was so well-received.