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25 Best Indian TV Series of all time (Old Hindi TV Shows)

by Ashish Bansal
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popular indian tv shows

We Indians are known to have a penchant for drama and dramatic stories. Thereby it is no surprise that we love our TV shows. And though most of them of have been running on television for years, we still can’t get enough of them. And so every day there we are, right in front of our TV screens, not a minute late, to catch our favourite shows.

The unfortunate or fortunate thing is that we are spoilt for choice, there are just too many good and popular TV shows to choose from. Deciding on what to watch can be quite perplexing. So, if you are looking to get into a new series and don’t know where to begin, we have just the list for you. Here are our handpicked 25 most popular tv shows of India, to help you get started on evenings and nights filled with comedy, romance, mystery and a whole lot of drama.

Here is the List of All-time favorite Hindi TV Series that you can watch while staying home:

Sarabhai vs Sarabhai

Sarabhai vs Sarabhai - most popular TV series

There simply can be no list of popular TV shows that excludes Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. Giving it a miss would automatically bring down the very gravity of the list, that is just how great sitcom is. Sarabhai vs Sarabhai ran from the year 2004 to 2017 and had managed to gather somewhat of a cult following. The show revolves around the lives of a wealthy upper-class Gujarati family living in South Bombay and their son marries a woman from a middle-class Delhi family.

Since the marriage, nothing has ever been quite the same for the Sarabhais. And this is the root of all hilarity. The show perfectly captures how dramatic Indian families tend to be when they all share the same roof. No matter which status quo or city we come from, ultimately, we all resort to the same antiques. The show in itself is hilarious and will have you crying with laughter. But what makes the show a can’t-miss are its unique and zany characters; with their sarcasm, idiosyncrasies, madness, and urge to be unapologetically themselves.  

Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasma

Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasma - most popular TV series

Despite having nearly 3000 episodes, this family-friendly show has still not lost its popularity and happens to be a fan favorite. Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasma is based in the fictional Gokhuldam society, which houses many residents each quirky and different in their own unique way. And though they are largely different from one another, they are united in the heart of it all.

The show revolves around their daily lives and how comically they deal with their everyday problems. It also touches on delicate subjects like child marriage and teaches us various moral lessons in the guise of comedic situations. No one can predict how long this show will keep airing on television but so long it does, it will continue to make people spread joy and laughter.

Big Boss

Big Boss - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Big Boss

Reality TV shows are not for everyone and many don’t understand its importance or relevance. They do not exactly tell a story nor are they informative or educational in nature. But no one can deny that they are as entertaining as TV shows can be. If you too are in search of one such reality TV show to sink your teeth into, then Big Boss is the one. Hosted by Salman Khan, the game show centers around 12 or more contestants, usually celebrities, living together in a bungalow, with no outside interaction with the world.

Elimination rounds are held every week and one of these contestants are voted out of the show, till only one contestant remains who is declared the winner of the season and wins a handsome cash prize. The contestants are also constantly monitored by CCTVs and microphones. Quite naturally when you cram a bunch of people together, in a confined place, drama, squabbles, betrayals and love are bound to follow.  

Kum kum Bhagya

Kumkum Bhagya most popular TVseries

Watch Promo of Kum Kum Bhagya

This popular drama series follows the lives of two sisters, Pragya and Bulbul, who are about as similar as chalk and cheese. We closely follow the lives of these two sisters as they face numerous challenges in life and love and come out strong every time to achieve their dreams and goals. It is a strong woman-centric show with great acting. A must-watch for every Indian female.  

Office Office

Office Office - most popular TV series

The first ever Indian television show to portray and popularize workplace comedy, Office Office, centers around Mussadilal, a simpleton who is the victim of all kinds of jokes in his office and is often taunted by his corrupt seniors.

But for the most part, he remains unbothered by it all and wants nothing more than to earn his living in an honest way and help as many people as he can. The show does a wonderful job in bringing to light the shades of corruption that darkened the public offices of our country.


Naagin - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Nagin

Taking inspiration from ancient Indian folklore, Naagin narrates the story of Shivanya, the daughter of shape-shifting snake couple, who is out to avenge her parents’ murders.

With an enticing storyline, unprecedented plot twists, hateful villains and an attractive cast, Naagin has managed to enrapture a huge chunk of the audience and has had viewers glued to the show for 4 seasons.

Balika Vadhu

Balika Vadhu - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Balika Vadhu

With its story set in Rajasthan, Balika Vadhu gives voice to the sensitive subject of child marriage. In first season, the series revolves around Anandi and Jagdish, who were married as children.

The second season follows the life Nandini, Anandi’s daughter who was also a child bride. The first Indian fiction show to have crossed the mark of 2,000 episodes, Balika Vadhu touched on many social topics and grew to be a well-loved show among the masses. 

Kaun Banega Crorepati

Kaun Banega Crorepati - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Kaun Banega Carorepati

The host, Amitabh Bacchan presents the contestants with a question and 4 options to choose the correct answer from. Each correct answer given brings the contestant closer to winning the coveted prize money of one crore.

Amitabh’s bold and enigmatic personality makes Kaun Banega Crorepati, far more interesting than it perhaps set out to be thus becoming a favourite among Indian TV viewers. 


Ramayana - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Ramayan

Ever Indian is well versed in the Indian epic, Ramayana but there is also no Indian who will miss out on watching its dramatization. Our mythology is immensely interesting and it is always an engaging experience to watch the well-known story unfold right in front of our eyes.

The story of Ramayana has had many re-makes and whichever one you choose to watch, you can rest assured it will keep you engrossed.  

Indian Idol

Indian Idol - most popular TV series

Many music competition reality TV shows have come and gone from the telly but none has managed to captivate the audience as Indian Idol has.

This music show has graced our TV screens for many moons and yet it manages to bring in more viewers with every new season. Each season sees a host of talented singers who compete against one another to impress the musical genius judges and win the much coveted title of “Indian Idol”

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain 

The 4th longest running soap opera of Indian televison, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain follows the story of Akshara and Naitik, a couple brought together by arranged marriage.

As we watch the series we learn of their struggles and hardships and their tale of romance. Soon though, we get more engrossed in their family as well and the series complies taking us through the stories of members of their family as well. The show is known for its captivating storyline and unprecedented plot twists. Once you start watching this show, there will be no going back.

The Kapil Sharma Show

The Kapil Sharma Show - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of The Kapil Sharma Show

Acclaimed comedian Kapil Sharma brings B-town celebrities to his show to promote and talk about their latest movies while arranging skits with them and putting on an entertaining show.

Kapil’s easy humour, sharp wit and the diversity of the show makes the show a roaring success of late night television. 


Fauji - most popular TV series

This 1989, 13 episode long successful show marks the TV screen debut of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. The series focuses on the lives led by the Indian army soldiers of the commando regiment and gives us an up close and personal insight into the adventure, danger, trials and thrill faced by our faujis.

According to reports, when the show first hit the television screens it instilled a deep sense of patriotism in every Indian and thus led many young lads to sign up for the Indian army. 

Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon

Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon 

This romantic drama television series revolves around the life of a wealthy business tycoon, Arnav and a small town girl, Khushi. Believing Khushi is responsible for having sabotaged one of his events which led to his utter disgrace, Arnav vows to destroy her life.

But the catch is Khushi is completely innocent. This heart-touching sitcom follows how their hatred soon blossoms into an everlasting love affair.

Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan

Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Kaise Yeh Yaariaan

It is a youth show which follows the story of small town girl who fortunately or unfortunately ends up in an elite college of Mumbai, hoping to achieve her goals in the City of Dreams.

Soon, however, her path collides with the college’s popularly notorious group, Fab5, and thus begins a story of friendship, angst and love. This entertaining show also has a very attractive cast who know how to put on a good show.

Diya Aur Bati Hum

Diya Aur Bati Hum - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Diya Aur Baati Hum

This TV soap drama focuses on a strong-willed woman named Sandhya, whose only true goal is to become an IPS officer. She is met with strict opposition by her in-laws but continues to strive towards success with the help of her doting and supportive husband, Sooraj but not without a fair share of troubles and mishaps.

Quite different from the genre of Indian television we are accustomed to, Diya aur Bati Hum is a breath of fresh air. Indian TV so often glamorizes tales of a woman’s sacrifice in her life and career for the sake of her family life. But this show is steadfast in ensuring a woman’s victory in the face of every adversity. 

Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi

Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi - most popular Tv series

Easily the epic of Indian television, this Ekta Kapoor directed bonanza was the staple TV show in every Indian household for as long it was on air. A businessman from a wealthy family named Mihir, decides to marry their family priests’ daughter, the ideal tulsi.

This marriage is however vehemently reproached and opposed by Mihir’s mother who tirelessly tries to ruin Tulsi’s life. This show is known for its extravagant dramatic situations and crazy plot twists. Every 90s kid is sure to have a vivid memory of the show, having spent evenings huddled with their mother watching a show that never ceased to amaze.


Khichdi - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Khichdi

Despite not being the delicacy we Indians so love, this Khichdi too is savoury as it can get. The story focuses on a zany Gujarati family who always seem to be at odds with another and are only brought together by their desire to separate from one another.

The series has only a mere 98 episodes to its name and each episode is hilarious as it can get. Khichdi has set the benchmark for comedy in India and is well-loved by the millions of Indian families. The show is still so relevant, that it got a renewed for a new season in 2018. 

Shararat- Thoda Jaadu, Thodi Nazaakat

Shararat- Thoda Jaadu, Thodi Nazaakat - most popular TV series

The absolute favorite show of every Indian 90’s girl, Shararat revolved around 3 women of 3 generations, leading a very ordinary family on the outside. But their big secret is that they all possess extraordinary magical powers.

And as much as these magical powers solved their problems, they also caused some hilarious problems. The closest thing we got to Harry Potter, Shararat will always be cherished. 


CID - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of CID

The longest-running sitcom in India, CID has had its viewers hooked for generations with its intriguing cases. The series follows the adventures of three inspectors ACP Pradhyuman, Senior inspector Abhijeet and inspector Daya, as they go on a new chase every week and present you with a culprit each time.

This particular show has somewhat become a lifestyle of Indian television viewers. A habit you cannot and will not want to curb.

Crime Patrol

crime patrol - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Crime Petrol 

This crime anthology narrates real-life incidents of harrowing crimes ranging from kidnaps, murder, abuse to arson.

We also get to see the enactments of the incident as it had played out. Each episode of Crime Patrol leaves us a little more scared and dubious about the strange, cruel world we live in.

Dil Mill Gayye

Dill Mill Gaye - most popular TV series

Young and intelligent medical interns join the reputed hospital of Sanjeevani to fulfill their goals of becoming the best doctors.

What they do not foresee is that the road to success is excruciatingly difficult, especially with their personal and professional lives inextricably woven together. The series is filled with numerous plot twists that always has you coming back for more. 

Mile Jab Hum Tum

mile jab hum tum - most popular TV series

Teen drama Mile Jab Hum Tum gained much popularity among the youth in the summer of 2008. The series revolves around the lives of 4 youngsters and the problems they face during their college years.

Back when Indian TV solely focused on family dramas, Mile Jab Hum Tum made for a welcome change. It connected with the youth and stayed with them far after its denouement. 

Kasautii Zindagi Kay

kasauti zindgi ki most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Kasautii Zindagi Kay

Reprised in 2018 from the 2001 version of the same show, Kasautii Zindagi Kay follows the story of two star-crossed lovers, Anurag and Prerna who face every obstacle together and become stronger in the face of every trial.

This sitcom is perfect for those who want to dive into a soul-stirring romantic drama. It has ranked high on the TRP charts since its launch on national television and continues to keep its viewers hooked. 

Malgudi Days

Malgudi Days - most popular TV series

Watch Promo of Malgudi Days

A collection of short stories written by R. K. Narayan, Malgudi Days has made a poignant place in our hearts. As children, we were all familiar with the stories of Swami and his friends. Its dramatic representation too perfectly encapsulates the book’s essence.

Set in the fictional small town of Malgudi, located in South India, the show follows the trouble laced lives of simpletons residing in the town. If you want a trip down memory lane and fill yourself with the nostalgia of days past, this is your show. A masterpiece of Indian television, Malgudi Days is an evergreen watch that will never fail to strike a chord with you. 

Now that you have the list, it should be quite easy to choose what you want to watch. Each of these shows mentioned are special because they have an Indian flavor to it. So, no matter which you choose, you are going to enjoy it all the same. 

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