Chandragupta Maurya's heroic journey captured for small screen

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) You may have read about Chandragupta Maurya's adventures as a child, his training at Takshasila and his rise as the ruler of the mighty Mauryan empire. Now get ready to see his valour on Imagine TV in a new series "Chandragupta Maurya".

There are many tales about Chandragupta's childhood and the show aims to take off from the point when Chandragupta was just a slave in the kingdom of Magadh.

It will narrate the series of events that motivated strategist and political theorist Chanakya into taking the young boy under his wings, after which Chandragupta dethroned Alexander and ended up conquering most of the Indian subcontinent in his time.

"We have been wanting to do something on Chanakya and Chandragupta because it is a rags-to-riches story. It is a very motivating and inspiring tale that youth must know through a medium like television," Saurabh Tewari, head of programming (Fiction) in Imagine TV, told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

"The story is historical, yet very filmy. It is about the bravery of a young boy who is just a slave and how he grows up to learn various skills and becomes the emperor of a dynasty. His adventures will be very interesting to watch...," he added.

The show has been conceptualised by Nilanjana Purkayasstha and she has co-produced it with Sagar Arts. It will be shot in Gujarat and will go on air in March.

Imagine TV has earlier experimented with heroic shows like "Rajkumar Aryan" and "Dharamveer"; "Ramayan" in the mythological space; but "Chandragupta Maurya" is its first tryst with a historical character.

The channel is scouting for new faces to feature in the show.

"Since we will start the story from his childhood, we have auditioned about 10-12 children. The casting process is in progress, but nothing has been finalised yet.

"We want to take new faces because a known face from a daily soap comes with a lot of baggage of his previous role. Taking the actor out of his previous image itself becomes a task...so it is better to bring a new face. The other challenge is to find actors with a theatre background with distinct command over Hindi language as well as deep baritone," said Tewari.

Since the show is set in ancient India, the feel will be quite royal with kings, queens, forts, palaces and wars being a staple in it to maintain "authenticity".

It is also going to be shot on high-definition, thus increasing its per episode production cost by at least 5-10 percent over the cost of shooting a regular show.

In the 1990s, Chandraprakash Dwivedi had launched "Chanakya" - a series which narrated a fictional account of the life and times of Chanakya. The show was made after years of research and was aired on Doordarshan. It earned a lot of critical acclaim in its time.

Even Sanjay Khan's "Tipu Sultan" on the small screen was a hit.

Lately, only Zee TV has managed to grab eyeballs with the tale of Rani Lakshmibai through its show "Jhansi Ki Rani".

One wonders whether youth will take a liking to "Chandragupta Maurya", especially in these times when shows with love and betrayal are the only flavour for them!

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