Episode #20 Of Bharat Ek Khoj – Hindi TV Serial On DVD – explores the tale of Harshvardhana aka Harsh/Harsha/Harshvardhan from Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of India)’s point of view. Harshvardhan ruled North India from 606 to 647 CE.
The episode explores story of Harshvardhan who ruled the north of India after the Gupta dynasty. Harsh was actually not the heir to the throne. His elder brother was to be the king. But the circumstances fall in such way that Harsh lost his father, elder brother and brother-in-law (his sister’s husband) in quick succession. He have left no way but to lead the armed forces, claim the throne and establish good and just ruling in his kingdom.
He not only did it effectively but went on the verge to dissolve small kingdoms of Northern India into his kingdom. Thus he eventually became an emperor and was about to expand his kingdom in southern part of Indian but he was defeated on the way.
Harsha was intelligent and was fond of arts also. He wrote many of Plays including Nagananda, Ratnavali and Priyadarsika. Though some scholars claim that these 3 creations are of Bana or BanBhatt. Majority of the historians agree that Harsh Charita written by BanBhatt is the authentic (or major) source of information about Harshvardhana.
The episode also explores the incidents where we can see Harsha’s love for the arts (especially literature). A play – Nagananda – was staged and Harsha himself acted in it as JeetVahana (some of the source say its JimutVahana, though). Nagananda is actually a good play, it is all about the human qualities and attributes. It gives the message of selflessness and kindness for others.
Visit of Chinese traveller Xuanzang is also mentioned in the episode.
The episode is written nicely. Pt. Nehru have sited many sources for his conclusive thoughts about Harsha and the makers of the TV Serial also seems have followed them brilliantly. There are actually so many incidents weaved in the episode, but you don’t feel the things are half-baked anytime. Pankaj Berry is a brilliant actor and he slips into the character of Harsha brilliantly. See his versatility as his performance as Harsha as king and (Harsha playing) JeetVahana (as part of Nagananda play). His dialog deliver during the play is of what expected from a stage actor. Superb performance. The actor playing Xuanzang is not very effective. For rest of the performances we can say some of them are good and some are average. But overall, the episode have majority of good performances.
The script is effective and the locations/stage is setup thoughtfully. You never feel the requirement of larger than the life stuff anywhere during the episode. The wardrobe is realistic so does the ornaments. The social circumstances of that time are explored well along with the political scenarios.
The background music adds to the positive attributes of the episode. The camera setup and cinematography is good. The audio quality is good. The video quality is better in the premium edition which is available at the double price of the economy edition. Both of the editions are good. You can choose according to your budget.
Overall a good episode with simple yet effective writing and dialogs. Good performances makes is worth watching. It is like revisiting the history. Definitely worth to go for.
Article about Harsha aka Harshvardhan at Wikipedia
Ratnavali – article at Wikipedia
Nagananda – article at Wikipedia
Priyadarsika – article at Wikipedia
Harsha Charita by BanBhatt
Xuanzang – article at Wikipedia
Did you watch this TV Serial? Are you going to buy it’s DVD Set? (It is available in two versions, economic edition and premium edition)? Do share your thoughts via comments below. And yes, if you like this article, don’t forget to share with your friends and loved ones on various social networks 🙂 And yes, watch out for next episode review for Bharat Ek Khoj.
»Reviews for all the episodes of this TV Serial