|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
Chandra Nandini is an Indian Hindi-language Historical fictional drama television series which started airing on Star Plus on 10 October 2016 till 10 November 2017. It was produced by Ekta Kapoor under her banner Balaji Telefilms and is directed by Ranjan Kumar Singh. Starring Rajat Tokas as Chandragupta Maurya and Shweta Basu Prasad as a princess Nandni, the story-line is loosely based on the life of Chandragupta Maurya.
The story is about Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan empire, a great warrior and ruler, known for uniting the Indian sub-continent. However, the show focuses on his love story with a princess named Nandni. The show starts with a voice over of mother India saying about Chandragupta Maurya and Nandini. Suryagupta Maurya and Moora the parents of Chandra have their romance. An invitation comes from Magadh for a festival. When they go there queen, Avantika of Magadh cheating her husband loves a barber named Nanda. When Suryagupta finds it, Nanda kills the king of Magadh. Then, Nanda kills Suryagupta but Suryagupta saves his wife. She gives birth to a boy. Moora hides her son in a cattle pound and escapes. But, Nanda arrests her and keep her in prison. However, A woman named Kanika finds Moora's son in the cattle pound and named him as Chandra and adopted without knowing his real identity.
8 years later
Chandra grows up and lives with his adopted parents. Moora is still in Nanda's prison without knowing anything about her son. She vows that her son will kill Nanda. Nanda and Avantika had a daughter named Nandini after 9 sons. Meanwhile, Chandra leaves home because his adopted mother suffering from her husband because of him. Chandra reaches to Magadh and meets a teacher named Chanakya who tries to save Magadh from Nanda. Chanakya sees Chandra's talents and understand that Chandra is the future king who save Magadh from Nanda. Then, he keeps Chandra in his presence and teaches him.
9 years later
Chandra is all grown up and becomes talented more than other students in Chanakya's presence. Nanda's daughter Nandini is also grown up and ready for a marriage. But that marriage is cancelled and Nandini marries Chandra to save her mother and kin. Love grows between Chandra and Nandini. But many problems are created by malayakutu and Helena. And Nandini’s twin sister Roopa tries to kill Chaaya and pushes her. Dhurdura sees her doing it and as they didn’t know about Nandini’s twin sister they blame Nandini for it. While exposing Roopa, Nandini and Chandra are married again but this time full pledged. Chandra and Chanakya use Roopa for catching Nanda and Nandini misunderstands Chandra for trapping her father using Roopa Nandini tried to warn Nanda. Mistaking her to be Roopa Nanda stabs her. Chandra saves Nandini but Roopa gets killed. Chanakya gets disturbed seeing the close relation of Chandra and Nandini. Durdhara is now 7 months pregnant and apologies Nandini for her mistake. Chandra and Nandini try to get intimate but Chanakya disturbs them saying that he should get ready for war against both of his father-in-laws (Nanda and Selucus) as they are planning to attack him together. Chandra convinces Selucus not to fight against him as his army is not big enough as Selucus. He decided to make Helena the chief queen and banish Nandini from kingdom as per Helena’s wishes. Helena threatens Durdhara to kill her if she spokes against her. Durdhara became sick. Helena informs Chandra and Nandini about Durdhara's condition and they both go back to Magadh to see her. Helena mixed poison in Durdhara's food and she becomes more sick eventually. Chandra and Nandini see Durdhara and become worried. At last Durdhara dies. When she was asked about her death at her last time she mistakenly pointed at Nandini while pointing at Helena.Everyone becomes shocked at Durdhara’s response. Helena provokes Chandra against Nandini and tells him to banish Nandini out of Magadh. Nandini later came back for revenge
- Rajat Tokas as Chandragupta Maurya - Emperor of Magadha; Chanakya's student; Helena, Durdhara and Nandini’s husband; Bindusara, Adonis and Alice’s father; Charumati and Dharma's father-in-law (2016-2017)
- Jineet Rath as Young Chandragupta Maurya. (2016)
- Shweta Basu Prasad as Chief Empress Nandini Maurya - Mahapadma Nanda and Avantika's daughter; Chandragupta Maurya's third wife; Bindusara and Dharma's foster mother. (2016–17)
- Angel Roopchandani as Young Princess Nandini.(2016)
- Tanu Khan as Empress Helena Maurya - Seleucus I Nicator and Apama’s daughter; Chandragupta Maurya's first wife; Adonis and Alice’s mother.(2016–17)
- Saanvi Talwar as Former Chief Empress Durdhara Maurya - Chandragupta Maurya's second wife; Bindusara's mother; Charumati and Dharma's mother-in-law; She is killed by Helena. (2016–17)
- Siddharth Nigam as Crown Prince Bindusara Maurya - Emperor Chandragupta Maurya and Empress Durdhara’s son; Nandini's foster son; Adonis and Alice's half-brother; Charumati & Dharma's husband.(2017)
- Ayaan Zubair Rahmani as Young Prince Bindusara (2017)
- Maahi as baby Bindusara (2017)
- Manoj Kolhatkar as Acharya Chanakya, Guru of Chandragupta Maurya and Prime Minister of Magadha.(2016–17)
- Avneet Kaur as Crown Princess Charumati Maurya; Bindusara's first wife; Chandragupta and Durdhara's daughter-in-law.(2017)
- Prerna Sharma as Dharma Maurya - Bindusara's second wife; Nandini's foster daughter; Chandragupta and Durdhara's daughter-in-law (2017)
- Arpit Ranka as Mahapadma Nanda - Former Emperor of Magadha; Avantika's husband; Nandini and her nine brother’s father; He was killed by Chandragupta (2016–17)
- Mansi Sharma as Avantika - Former Empress of Magadha; Mahapadma Nanda's second wife; Nandini and her nine brother's mother. (2016–17)
- Vidya Sinha / Niyati Joshi as Senior Queen - Suryagupta’s mother; Chandragupta's grandmother; Bindusara, Adonis and Alice's great-grandmother (2016) / (2016–17)
- Papiya Sengupta as Rajmaata Moora - Chandragupta's mother; Helena, Durdhara and Nandini’s mother-in-law; Bindusara, Adonis and Alice’s grandmother. (2017)
- Sheeba Chaddha as Apama- Former Queen of Greece and Helena's mother. (2016–17),
- Chetan Hansraj as Prince Parvatak Malayketu - Princess Chhaaya's second husband. (2016–17)
- Sanjeev Siddharth as Amaatya Rakshas - Mahapadma Nanda's Prime minister. (2016)
- Rohit Choudhary as Vakranas.(2016)
- Urfi Javed / Piya Valecha as Princess Chaya - Chandragupta's sister. (2016–17)
- Ishaan Singh Manhas as Satyajeet - Chhaaya's first husband. (2016)
- Lokesh Batta as Prince Dhana Nanda - Mahapadma Nanda's son. (2016)
- Rushiraj Pawar as Sona Nanda - Dhana Nanda's son. (2016)
- Danish Bagga as Pandugrath - Mahapadma Nanda's seemingly mentally disabled son. (2016–17)
- Geetanjali Mishra as Empress Sunanda - Mahapadma Nanda's first wife. (2016–17)
- Vibhuti Thakur as Kanika - Chandragupta's foster mother. (2016–17)
- Kristian Hedegaard Petersen as Seleucus I Nikator (2016)
- Andrea Ravera as Megasthenes
- Khushboo Shroff as Gautami
- Ankur Malhotra as King Ambhi (2016)
- Vikas Salgotra as King Porus (2016)
- Gaurav Khanna as Seleucus I Nicator (2016-2017)
- Amrapali Gupta as Rajmaata Moora - Chandragupta's mother; Helena, Durdhara and Nandini’s mother-in-law; Bindusara, Adonis and Alice’s grandmother. (2016-2017)
- Shikha Singh as a Princess (cameo role) (2016)
- Pooja Banerjee as Princess "Vishaka" Vishkanya. (2017)
- Ahad Ali Aamir as Rajkumaar Bandhir. (2017)
- Abhishek Nigam as Prince Bhadraketu - Parvatak Malayketu and Princess Chhaaya’s son, nephew of Chandragupta, Chitralekha's husband. (2017)
- Pragati Chourasiya as Chitralekha - Princess of Champanagar and wife of Bhadraketu. (2017)
- Gautam Nain as Prince Adonis - Chandragupta and Helena’s son; Alice's brother, Bindusara's half-brother (2017)
- Nirisha Basnett as Princess Alice- Chandragupta and Helena’s daughter; Adonis's sister; Bindusara's half-sister; Kartikey's wife. (2017)
- Sheezan K as Kartikay - Prince of Champanagar; Alice's husband.(2017)
- Charmi Dhami as Princess Tilottama - Maadhav and Maalti’s daughter. (2017)
- Lavina Tandon as Mohini - an Enchantress. (2017)
- Athar Siddiqui as Bheem Dev - Mohini's husband. (2017)
- Garima Arora as Madhuram
- Vikas Singh Rajput
This is regarded as one of the costliest series produced by Ekta Kapoor under Balaji Telefilms. In 21 September 2016, a press conference was held in Mumbai with the presence of Producer Ekta Kapoor and some actors including the leads Rajat Tokas and Shweta Basu Prasad. Director Santram Verma who directed the pilot episode of the series opted out after it and was replaced by Ranjan Kumar Singh.
In October 2016, about 300 horses were auditioned for a sequence for the lead Tokas.
Speaking about his role male lead Rajat Tokas said, "I am really looking forward to portraying the mighty king, Chandragupta Maurya. His and Nandni’s story is very different from what we’ve seen on TV so far. Theirs is a love story written with hatred." Female lead Shwetha Basu Prasad ssaid, "This show marks my comeback on TV after quite some time. The character of Nandni is that of a strong princess, whose emotions and struggles, every woman would resonate with."
In 2017, the storyline of the series took a leap. During which Siddharth Nigam joined the cast as Bindusara, Avneet Kaur as Charumati. The series ended in 10 November 2017, due to fluctuations in its viewership, with Chandragupta becoming a Buddhist monk. The shooting of the series was completed on 2 November 2017.
I will be paying attention to some of the nuances of that era and that character with the body language of a warrior princess, which will soon require me to learn sword fighting and horse riding. I have been reading on Magadh and Mauryan history a lot these days.
The initial scenes of the series was shot in the ancient locations of Magadh and Pataliputra in Patna. But, the series was mainly filmed in Mumbai.
India Today quoted the series as more masala, less history and reviewed, "The creators of the show have taken generous amount of creative liberty with the original story or history. The actors are not that bad; in fact, they are pretty okay.The palace looks super-animated, like it has just been put on the screen as an afterthought."
The Times of India stated, "Going by the trailer, Shweta Basu fits the role of Chandragupta's wife perfectly. When it comes to showcasing opulence, there is no one who does it better than Ekta Kapoor. Right from the costume to the setting, one can expect grand locations and beautifully decked men and women."
The series was dubbed in Tamil and Kannada aired on [[Star Vijay and Star Suvarna ]]. In Sri Lanka, the show is broadcast in Sinhala on the Swarnavahini network. In Hindi the series airs in Malaysia on TV3.
Historical accuracy and inaccuracy
While the character of Chandragupta and some of the wars and conflicts shown are almost historically accurate, the character of Princess Nandni of Magadha itself along with her twin Roopa is considered completely fictional by many sources. Most historians said, Chandragupta married only twice, first to Durdhara who died while giving birth to Bindusara and years after he was married to daughter of Seleucus I Nicator (Helena as per the show) in a war-peace treaty. Queen Nandni as per the show is described as daughter of the real Mahapadma Nanda which is contradicted as there is no historical evidence. It has been said Nandni's characterization is based upon most of Durdhara character derived from historical texts, novelization and poetries. However there are several historical sources have been mentioned the existence of Queen Nandni, among them one evidence has found in 350 BC Greek Historian Megasthenes' book called Indika as he served as an Ambassador in Royal Court of Chandragupta Maurya. According to this Book Queen Nidarus (presumably Greek accent of Nandni) was Mahapadma Nanda / Dhana Nanda's daughter who was given to Samrat Chandragupta as a war-peace treaty. In that book, she is mentioned as a great warrior and a leader.