A great emperor, a heroic warrior, a legend – but before all that, a son. This is the story of a boy who fought for his mother who was denied her rightful place in his father’s Kingdom. He set out to change it all, to ensure that her honour was reinstated. Come 2nd February, 2015, COLORS dives into the pages of history to highlight Ashoka’s (Siddharth Nigam) tale and his journey to becoming the greatest emperor in Indian history through its epic historical offering Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat. The show will touch upon every critical aspect of Ashoka’s life through exceptional storytelling, intricately structured script, stellar acting and some stunning visual effects. Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, produced by Contiloe Productions, will air every Monday to Friday at 9:00 PM only on COLORS.
Commenting on the launch of the show, Raj Nayak, CEO – COLORS, said, “With Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, our aim is to take the Indian audience beyond the confines of history books to narrate the never told before tale of Emperor Ashoka for the first time on television. We hope that the visually rich scene-setter, epic sets and renowned cast provide the audience with a new perspective into one of our most magnificent projects in recent times.”
A masterpiece from the COLORS bouquet of offerings, Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat is the creation of the best minds in the entertainment industry coming together with a cast involving notable faces from the industry and some remarkable technicians. The show has been extensively shot in various exotic locales across the country. A mammoth set with intricate designs which are reminiscent of that era have been put together at ND Studios, Karjat by two incredibly gifted designers, Omung Kumar and Nitin Desai. The opulent Mauryan era will be brought alive through the use of high-end VFX technology to make the overall viewing experience more engaging and entertaining for viewers.
Young Ashoka’s journey was set in motion when Chanakya set out to look for Bindusara to take over the throne and protect Magadh from the Greek Army General, Seleucus Nicator (Tej Sapru), his daughter Helena (Suzanne Bernert) and her son Justin (Sumit Kaul). Being Chandragupta Maurya’s wife, Helena wanted to usurp the throne from her step son, Bindusara and make her own son, Justin the king of Magadh. However, all was not well even upon Bindusara’s return. Magadh’s future remained uncertain with everyone’s thirst for the throne. In an attempt to look for the rightful heir to succeed Bindusara’s reign, Chanakya traced Dharma (Pallavi Subhash), Bindusara’s wife and Ashoka (Siddharth Nigam) in the forest and brought them to Magadh. But the transition wasn’t an easy one. Ashoka came to Magadh with a sense of vengeance. His sole purpose was to restore his mother’s honour and secure a spot in the Mauryan Empire for her once it was revealed to him that the King of Magadh, Bindusara was his sire.
Speaking about the content to be showcased on the show, Manisha Sharma, Programming Head – COLORS, said,“There is a real allure in historical dramas that pair dense history with the crowd-pleasing elements of war, honour, pride and power. Ashoka has all of these in spades – he is a king who is consumed by power and revenge which eventually made a course correction. For Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, we have roped in two stalwart art directors, Omung Kumar and Nitin Desai, to create lavishly designed ornate sets whose aesthetics enhance the aura of the period. We hope that this glimpse into Mauryan customs and traditions resonates with the viewers and engages them.”
Young acrobat and Olympics 2016 hopeful, Siddharth Nigam will be seen stepping into the character of the determined boy who wants to reinstate his mother’s rightful status as the Queen of Magadh. Speaking about his character, the young actor said, “Being a part of a show like Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat is a dream come true for me. It is a privilege for me to be a part of a show of this scale and stature at this age. I have been undergoing rigorous training over the past couple of months with special lessons in horseback riding, swordsmanship training and workshops for behavioral elements. I have done television and films before, but scope in show like Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat is beyond imagination. I’m learning new things every day! Hope I am able to do justice to the character.”
Speaking about the scale and production value of the show, Abhimanyu Singh, CEO - Contiloe said, “As a production house, it is an honour for us to be able to present a story on the life of India’s greatest ruler, Ashoka. The challenge for us is to make it a spectacle that is authentic yet relatable for today’s evolved viewers. Schedules have been synchronized and camera time has been maximized to ensure on-time delivery for such a large scale production.”
For Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, COLORS has devised an elaborate impact and reach-driven marketing strategy amplifying the thought ‘Yeh Woh Raja Hai Jiska Sikka Aaj Bhi Chalta Hai’. A special School Contact Program will be executed in close to 200 schools in 50 towns in Tier II markets where young students will, in an interactive way, learn about Emperor Ashoka and his life. A first-time innovation with the Mumbai Metro will have tokens being converted to coins from Ashoka’s Mauryan Empire for the duration of 1 week. The campaign will further engage viewers through platforms such as cable and television, print, DTH, and OOH at multiple touchpoints.
Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat brings together a powerful ensemble cast which includes Siddharth Nigam (Ashoka), Pallavi Subhash (Dharma), Sameer Dharmadhikari (Bindusara), Manoj Joshi (Chanakya), Tej Sapru (Seleucus Nicator), Suzanne Bernert (Helena), Sumit Kaul (Justin), and Ankita Sharma (Noor Khorasan) among others.