Ramayana: From Arun Govil to Deepika Chikhalia, what actors of hit mythological serial are doing now - Hindustan Times

Ramayana: From Arun Govil to Deepika Chikhalia, what actors of hit mythological serial are doing now

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Apr 05, 2020 03:43 PM IST

Arun Govil, Deepika Chikhalia, Sunil Lahri, Arvind Trivedi and Padma Khanna, among others, became household names when Ramayana was on air in the 80s. Here’s what thy are doing now.

The coronavirus lockdown has been an unexpected boom for Doordarshan. The national broadcaster is back to being the most happening place with mega mythological serials from the golden era of Doordarshan back on screen -- Ramanand Saagar’s Ramayana and BR Chopra’s Mahabharat are currently on air.

The lead cast of Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana visited The Kapil Sharma Show recently.
The lead cast of Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana visited The Kapil Sharma Show recently.

In their day, the main actors of the both the serials were the talk of the town. Many saw them as personification of the gods and goddesses from the Hindu pantheon. With the passage of time and new generations coming in, they faded into oblivion. As the focus is back on these serials, here’s a look at what some of these actors are doing today.

Arun Govil

While the actor has been around since 1997 in Bollywood (he is related to veteran actor and host Tabassum), he made it big when Ramanand Sagar cast him Ram in Ramayana. He had worked with Sagar in latter’s Vikram Aur Betaal before. After Ramayana, Arun continued to work in television, appearing in a bunch of mythological serials such as Luv Kush, played Harishchandra in TV series Vishwamitra and Buddha in a serial of the same name. He also lent his voice as Rama in Indo-Japanese animation film Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama. He has also worked in a number of Bhojpuri, Braj Bhasha, Odia and Telugu films.

Deepika Chikhalia

Deepika started out in Hindi film Sun Meri Laila (1983) and worked opposite stars like Rajesh Khanna, but stardom was to come only after she played Sita in Ramanand Sagar’s serial. After the serial ended, she continued working in television and worked in serials such as The Sword of Tipu Sultan and Luv Kush (both in 1989). Sadly, her film career in Mumbai never really took off. She then moved to work in South India and gave box office hits -- Hosa Jeevana (1990) and Tamil film Naangal (1992) . She also worked in a hit Bengali film, Asha O Bhalobasha (1989). She later settled into matrimony and married the owner of Shingar Bindis. Deepika soon joined politics and won the Baroda constituency under BJP ticket. She was recently seen playing Yami Gautam’s mother in Bala.

Sunil Lahri

Popular for playing Lakshmana in Ramayan, the actor continued to do films and work in television after the serial ended. He is now best remembered for his role in 1991 musical Baharon Ke Manzil and for playing 2nd Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane in 1990 TV series Param Vir Chakra. He was last seen in 2017 film, A Daughter’s Tale Pankh. He had reportedly begun a production company with Arun Govil.

Arvind Trivedi

His booming presence in Ramayana as Raavan is hard to forget. Arvind Trivedi was a celebrated actor in Gujarati films already. After Ramayana ended, he continued to work in his native language films. He is still recalled for his role as dadaji in Desh Re Joya Dada Pardesh Joya (1998). He continued to work in mythological TV series and featured in Vishwamitra as Trishanku. He was also part of Vikram Aur Betaal. He also represented BJP from the Sabarkatha constituency in Gujarat. He held the office till 1996.

Padma Khanna

A contemporary of Amitabh Bachchan (they acted in Saudagar) , Padma Khanna already had a productive Bollywood career (appearing as vamp and supportive roles), before she portrayed Kaikeyi in Ramayana. After the serial ended, the actor continued to work in TV serials (Pehchaan {2006 on Hum TV} and Taank Jhaank on Sony TV) but principally moved to regional cinema, working in Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi and Marathi films. She also directed a Bhojpuri film, Nahir Hutal Jaya (2004).

The serial was well known for some other iconic actors who are dead now. Who can forget late Dara Singh as Hanuman? Or for that matter, late Lalita Pawar (perfectly cast as the scheming Manthara)? Many will not know but the actor who played Raavan’s son Indrajit was late Vijay Arora, best remembered for featuring in the song Chura Liya from Yaadon Ki Baraat opposite a ravishing Zeenat Aman.

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