Doordarshan Joined hands with Sanjay Khan for ‘Maharathi Karna TV Serial’ on a budget of Rs 16 crore. Although There was some delay in the telecast of the serial due to some problem with the Doordarshan and its early 37 producers. But later, they had faith in Sanjay Khan who was King of Television at thet time; and had finally dropped the project, and the telecast of ‘Maharathi Karna TV Serial’ was made from January 1, 2003. The time slot was fixed at 9 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays on Doordarshan DD National (DD1).
Earlier Sanjay Khan made many series such as the “Great Maratha”, “Jai Hanuman”, “Akbar The Great” and “ The Sword Of Tipu Sultan”. It is believed that Sanjay Khan’s company ‘Numero Uno International Limited’ had provided revenue of Rs.200 crore to Doordarshan over his twelve years of association with a small screen. Similarly Sanay Khan was also running superthit tv serial for DD Metro 9 Gold, named “Jannat” at that time. Sanjay’s ‘Maharathi Karna TV Serial’ had a total of 104 episodes. It attracted huge advertisements for Doordarshan then.
Based on Mahabharat, Karna was the story of a deprived child born from Lord Surya and Kunti. Kunti gave birth to this son on receiving a boon from Rishi Durvasa, who gave her a mantra through which she could please any God. Kunti tried her luck and received Karna as her son.
But Kunti had to abandon the child in fear of her not being married still and floated the child Karna within a basket in river Ganges. Later, he was called as ‘Soodputra’ and later became a ‘Rajputra.’ He was no fewer warriors than Arjuna but lost in the Mahabharata battle as Lord Indra asked his ‘Surya Kavach’ to save Arjuna in the battle. Karna gave his ‘Kavach’, and he lost the power of his father Lord Surya given to him in his childhood. In this series, ‘Maharathi Karna’, actor Vinod Kapoor had essayed the role of Dronacharya.
Nimai Bali, who is married to actress Sahila Chaddha, was playing Duryodhana. Pankaj was playing the role of Dushasan while Manish Khanna was essaying the role of Arjun. The series was produced and directed by Sanjay Khan. Ravindra Jain scored the music while music director Khayyam scored the background music.
The executive producer of Maharathi Karna TV Serial was S. Mirza Khan; Subrata Dey did editing. Sushil Chopra was the cinematographer, and Darshan Laul had written the story and also dialogues. Shiv Kumar Tiwari worked on the special effects. Most of the actors of this series went to become famous Bollywood stars in the future. After sucess of this serial, later Sanay Khan also brought another Epic show Kranti 1857 on Doordarshan National.