Let’s travel back in time and remember 12 interesting and popular Doordarshan serials that aired on the DD National channel that we hated to miss!

Hum Log (1984–85)

Meaning: “We People” in English

Type: Indian television soap opera

Aired: July 1984 to December 1985

Creators: P. Kumar Vasudev (also the director) and Khalid Sultan

Theme: Daily lives, struggles, and aspirations of an average Indian middle-class family

Cast: Included actors like Ashok Kumar, Vinod Nagpal, Abhinav Chaturvedi, Divya Seth, Seema Bhargava, and Sushma Seth

Hum Log (1984-85)

Alif Laila 1990

  • Format: Anthology series, adapting stories from “One Thousand and One Nights” (Arabian Nights)

  • Narrator: Scheherazade, telling stories to King Shahryar to prevent her execution

  • Cast: Notable actors like Praveen Kumar, Shahnawaz Pradhan, and others contributed to the series.
  • Popular Stories: Included tales of Aladdin and his magic lamp, Sinbad the Sailor, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
  • Genre: Fantasy television series
  • Aired: 1990–1992


Vikram Aur Betaal (1985)

  • Genre: Fantasy television series

  • Aired: 1985–1986
  • Based on: Betaal Pachisi, a collection of stories from the Indian folklore
  • Format: Each episode featured a story told by the ghost Betaal to King Vikramaditya.
  • Characters: King Vikramaditya, known for his wisdom, and Betaal, a ghost who narrates the stories.
  • Production: Created by Ramanand Sagar, the series had simple yet effective special effects for its time.
  • Stories: Included moral and ethical dilemmas, emphasizing virtues and principles.
  • Legacy: Vikram Aur Betaal is remembered fondly as a classic Indian television series.

Vikram Aur Betaal (1985)

Karamchand (1985-89)

  • Genre: Detective comedy-drama television series
  • Aired: 1985–1989
  • Protagonist: Karamchand, a quirky, sharp-witted detective

  • Famous Line: “Shut up, Kitty!” became Karamchand’s catchphrase.

  • Episodic Format: Each episode presented a new mystery or case to solve.

  • Actor: Pankaj Kapur played the iconic role of Karamchand.

  • Assistant: Kitty, Karamchand’s clever and loyal assistant

Karamchand (1985 )

Malgudi Days (1986)

  • Genre: Television series based on short stories by R.K. Narayan
  • Aired: 1986

  • Episodic Format: Each episode was a standalone story, capturing the essence of everyday life.

  • Author: Stories adapted from R.K. Narayan’s works, known for his simple yet profound storytelling.

  • Characters: Varied characters from different walks of life, portraying the diversity of Indian society.

  • Director: Shankar Nag directed the series, maintaining the authenticity of Narayan’s stories.

  • Narrator: The series was introduced and narrated by Indian actor and director Shankar Nag.

Malgudi Days (1986)

Buniyaad (1986)

  • Genre: Family drama television series

  • Aired: 1986–1987

  • Setting: Post-Partition era, depicting the lives of three generations of the fictitious Singh family.

  • Creator: Ramesh Sippy

  • Characters: Included characters like Master Haveliram, Lajo, and their descendants, representing different perspectives on historical events.

  • Episodic Format: Each episode covered a specific period, highlighting historical and personal milestones.

  • Popular Song: The title track “Buniyaad” became a memorable part of the series.

Buniyaad (1986)

Nukkad (1986-88)

  • Genre: Indian television drama series

  • Aired: 1986–1988

  • Setting: Urban street corner (“nukkad” in Hindi), representing a microcosm of society.

  • Characters: Included characters like Khopdi, Kaderbhai, Ghanshyam, and others, each representing a different facet of society.

  • Director: Kundan Shah directed the series, known for his innovative storytelling.

  • Street Theater Style: Reflected the spirit of street theater with its raw and realistic portrayal.

  • Catchphrase: “Sab chalta hai” (Everything works), became a popular catchphrase from the show.

Nukkad (1986-88)

Ramayan (1987-88)

  • Genre: Indian mythological television series

  • Aired: 1987–1988

  • Director: Ramanand Sagar directed the series.

  • Main Characters:

    • Lord Rama: The protagonist and seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu.
    • Sita: Rama’s wife, an incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi.
    • Lakshmana: Rama’s loyal brother.
    • Hanuman: Devotee of Lord Rama, with great strength and devotion.
  • Story Focus: Chronicles the life and adventures of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and his loyal companions, emphasizing values and righteousness.

Ramayan (1987-88)

Fauji (1988)

  • Genre: Indian television drama series

  • Aired: 1988

  • Theme: Centered around the training and lives of Indian Army cadets.

  • Lead Actor: Shah Rukh Khan made his acting debut with this series, playing Lt. Abhimanyu Rai.

  • Episodic Format: Each episode focused on the challenges and experiences faced by the cadets during their military training.

  • Director: Directed by Colonel Raj Kapoor, a retired officer from the Indian Army.

  • Limited Episodes: The series had a short run with only 13 episodes.

Fauji (1988)

Mahabharat (1988-90)

  • Genre: Indian mythological television series

  • Aired: 1988–1990

  • Adaptation: Based on the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata, attributed to the sage Vyasa.

  • Director: Ravi Chopra directed the series.

  • Main Characters:

    • Pandavas: Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva.
    • Kauravas: Duryodhana, Dushasana, and others.
    • Lord Krishna: Advisor to the Pandavas.
  • Cultural Significance: Considered a landmark in Indian television, blending religious teachings with entertainment.

Mahabharat (1988-90)

Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne (1989-90)

  • Genre: Indian television sitcom

  • Aired: 1989–1990

  • Occupation: Mungerilal works in a mundane office job.

  • Actor: Raghubir Yadav’s portrayal of Mungerilal received praise for its comedic timing.

  • Humor Style: Blends situational comedy with Mungerilal’s quirky imagination.

  • Plot Focus: Revolves around Mungerilal’s escapades and daydreams that provide comic relief from his ordinary life.

Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne (1989-90)

Udaan (1989-91)

  • Genre: Indian television drama series

  • Aired: 1989–1991
  • Plot Focus: Explores the challenges faced by a young girl named Kalyani Singh and her journey to overcome societal norms.

  • Director: Directed by Kavita Choudhary, known for her focus on social issues in storytelling.

  • Impact: Received acclaim for its socially relevant storytelling and strong character portrayals.

Udaan (1989-91)

Chandrakanta (1994-96)

  • Genre: Indian fantasy television series
  • Aired: 1994–1996

  • Adaptation: Based on the novel “Chandrakanta” written by Devaki Nandan Khatri.

  • Main Characters:

    • Chandrakanta: Princess and the central character.
    • Virendra Singh: Prince and the love interest of Chandrakanta.
    • Kroor Singh: Antagonist and a sorcerer.
  • Plot Focus: Revolves around the love story of Chandrakanta and Virendra Singh, entwined with magical elements and political intrigue.

Chandrakanta (1994-96)

Byomkesh Bakshi (1993)

  • Genre: Indian detective television series

  • Aired: 1993
  • Adaptation: Based on the fictional detective character Byomkesh Bakshi created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay.

  • Lead Character: Byomkesh Bakshi, a brilliant and unassuming detective.

  • Actor: Rajit Kapur played the role of Byomkesh Bakshi.

  • Episodic Format: Each episode focused on a different case solved by Byomkesh Bakshi.

  • Character Traits: Byomkesh was known for his intellect, deductive skills, and calm demeanor.

  • Cinematic Quality: Known for its well-crafted narratives, atmospheric settings, and attention to period details.

Doordarshan Serials


Step back in time and enjoy the magic of the past with these 12 classic Doordarshan serials from the 80s and 90s that we’d love to watch again. These shows have timeless stories and a special charm that still captures our hearts. Whether it’s the interesting plots, unforgettable characters, or just the nostalgic vibe, these TV classics are worth revisiting for a trip down memory lane.

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