Another historical saga on Zee

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Mumbai, June 2 : Following the glorious success of its primetime show 'Jhansi Ki Rani', India's leading entertainment channel Zee TV reopens a chapter lost in the by-lanes of Bharuch and passed on as a legend by mothers to their daughters in Gujarat.

Zee will air 'Shobha Somnath Ki', a historical drama that narrates the awe-inspiring story of India's unsung heroine Shobha who stood tall and strong in the face of a fiery invasion by Mughal emperor Mahmud of Ghazni.

No! She didn't wield the sword, she wasn't exactly the master of guerrilla warfare ... but she held an army of over 2 Lakh plunderers at ransom with the dexterity of a shrewd, agile mind.

Ushering in a fresh wave of sparkling programming content on the channel in the wake of its brand revamp exercise, ‘Shobha Somnath Ki’ premieres on Zee TV on June 20.

Born to a mother who succumbs to the pain of delivering her, Shobha is bereft of parental love all through her childhood, particularly from a bitter father who holds her solely responsible for her mother's death.

But the eternally hopeful and bright-eyed Shobha isn’t one to give up easily. The story follows her journey as she learns all about love, life, valour and sacrifice from her closest relatives, the noble King Daddachalukya and his beautiful wife Maharani Gayatri Devi of Bharuch.

The beauty of her bond with cousin Chaula as the two girls blossom into strikingly attractive women and the twists and turns of fate that drive Shobha to emerge as a torch-bearing heroine of her time form the crux of this tale. H

er shrewd game-plan for saving her beloved homeland from the clutches of Mahmud Ghaznavi will be remembered by generations in the land of the Narmada.

Built on a sprawling plot of over 9 acres, the magnificent set of ‘Shobha Somnath Ki’ is a vision to behold. The sweat and toil of over 500 skilled artisans working day and night for over a year and a half has indeed borne fruit, what with most passers-by mistaking the grand replica of India’s ancient Somnath Temple for the original.

The sheer splendour of the palaces, the beauty of the re-created landscapes and the minute detailing of elements such as the traditional sun-dial used for telling time all create an illusion that one has stepped into a time-machine and been transported back to 11th century Bharuch.

Sukesh Motwani, Head- Fiction Programming, Zee TV said, "We've gone the extra mile to ensure that we get the finer nuances right. Over a year of extremely meticulous research and development on the set, costumes, jewellery, dialects and diction, traditions and rituals has resulted in an extremely authentic re-creation of the royal lifestyles of Bharuch and Patan from over 10 centuries ago.

“The show will be shot on a Red HD camera with post-modern production techniques and state-of-the-art technology, giving it an extremely slick look!"

The cast of ‘Shobha Somnath Ki’ is an interesting melange of popular faces from the television and film fraternity.

Playing Daddachalukya, the noble king of Bharuch is actor Yash Tonk in a never-seen-before avatar. Lending her grace, charm and dignity to the role of Maharani Gayatri Devi is model-turned-actor Amrita Raichand. Baby Ashnoor Kaur who was last seen playing the incredibly cute Prachi in Zee TV's Jhansi Ki Rani will step into the shoes of young Shobhana.

Veteran big screen baddie Sadashiv Amrapurkar will make his Hindi television debut as the evil priest Rudrabhada and send shivers down the audience's spine.

Also making an impressive debut as the powerful Mahmud of Ghazni is newcomer Vikramjeet Virk. Other prominent names in the cast include Pankaj Dheer, Avinash Wadhawan, Roma Bali and Sudhir Dalvi.

Akash Chawla, Head- Marketing, Zee TV and Zee Cinema said, "At a time when most channels are making a beeline for high-TRP recipes with three basic ingredients - stars, controversies and reality shows, Zee TV has chosen to take the least trodden path of digging into unexplored chapters of Indian history that have the potential of making a remarkable story when told interestingly."

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