A short list of Indian period dramas

While doing posts on contemporary regional Indian period movies, I made a rough list of Indian period films. These are listed below. Some are historicals but the bulk fall into the 19th and 20th century.  The list is fairly rough so feel free to add more, especially if they are in languages other than Hindi. Does not include the staple of Indian cinema for long aka mythologicals or films based on the epics. For South Indian mythologicals do check out cinemachaat – they have a number of reviews.

Pic 1: Vidyapati (1937), Pic 2: Jeevan Smriti (2013)


Amrapali (1966)

Maurya Empire/Buddhist/Post Buddhist

Vidyapati (Bengali?/Hindi, 1937)
Ashok Kumar (Tamil, 1941)
Veer Kunal  (Hindi, 1945)
Ashad Ka Ek Din (Hindi, 1971)
Siddhartha (English, 1972)
Utsav (Hindi, 1984)
Trishagni (Hindi, 1988)
The Cloud Door (Hindi, 1994)
Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (English, 1996)
Asoka (Hindi, 2001)
Anahat (Marathi, 2003)
Mirch (Hindi, 2010) (in part)
Rudhramadevi (Telugu, 2015)

See also wikipedia.

Early Medieval India

Razia Sultan(a) (Hindi, 1961 and 1983).

Mughal Period/Post Mughal 

Pukar (Hindi 1939)
Anarkali (19351953, 19551966, various languages)
Meera (Tamil/Hindi, 1945)
Mughal-e-Azam (Hindi, 1960)
Taj Mahal (Hindi, 1963)
Ghashiram Kotwal (Marathi, 1976)
Jodhaa Akbar (Hindi, 2008)
Urumi (Malayalam, 2011)
Aravaan (Tamil, 2012)
Bajirao Mastani (Hindi, 2015)
Rama Madhav (Marathi, 2014)

See also wikipedia.
Colonial India/Early 20th century/Pre-independence

Devdas (various languages, 1928-2013)
Pioli Phukan (Assamese, 1955)
Charulata (Bengali, 1964)
Chameli Memsaab (Assamese, 1975)
Shatranj ke Khilari (Hindi, 1977)
Junoon (Hindi, 1977)
Umrao Jaan (Hindi, 1981, 2006)
Massey Sahib (Hindi, 1985)
Mogamul (Tamil, 1995)
Vanaprastham (Malayalam, 1999)
Hey Ram (Tamil/Hindi, 2000)
Pinjar (Hindi, 2003)
Noukadubi, Bengali, 2011)
Makaramanju (Malayalam, 2011)
Bal Gandharva (Marathi, 2011)
Paradesi (Tamil, 2013)
Rang Rasiya (Hindi, 2014)
Kaaviya Thalaivan (Tamil, 2014)
Taptapadi (Marathi, 2014)
Rajkahini (Bengali, 2015)


Lootera (Hindi, 2013)


Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (Hindi, 2003) – starts in the 60s and spans the 70s and 80s. 
Shadows of Time (Bengali, 2004)

Parineeta (Hindi, 2005)
Vaagai Sooda Vaa, (Tamil, 2011)
Bombay Velvet (Hindi, 2015)


Border (Hindi, 1997)
Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (Hindi, 1998)
Om Shanti Om (Hindi, 2007)
Kaalbela (Bengali, 2009)
Natarang (Marathi, 2010)
Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (Hindi, 2010)
Shala (Marathi, 2011)
Barfi! (Hindi, 2012)
Dutta vs Dutta (Bengali, 2012)


Subramaniapuram (Tamil, 2008)
The Dirty Picture (Hindi, 2011)
Manjadikuru (Malayalam, 2012)
Dwaar (Assamese, 2013)
Amara Kaaviyam (Tamil, 2014)


Timepass (Marathi, 2014)
David (Tamil, 2013)
Haider (Hindi, 2014)
Dum Laga ke Haisha (Hindi, 2015)

Also see short wiki list. 


About Anu M

A potted history of Indian clothing and fashion.
This entry was posted in Actor, Ancient India, Bengali cinema, Bollywood, British Raj, Colonial, Costume, fashion, Film Costuming, historical costume, History, Independence, Indian Cinema, Indian Costume, Indian fashion, Islamic Dress, Medieval India, Movies, Mughal India, Old Bollywood, Regional cinema, Regional period drama, regional styles, retro, Sari, Sari Blouse, South Indian Cinema, Vintage, vintage cinema, vintage fashion and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A short list of Indian period dramas

  1. Hi Anu,
    Love this list….would be a great reckoner to go through for referencing for period films! your blog is a great source. I would like to add to the 1980’s list- “Neerja” is based in late 1980’s. Would love to read your take/comments on the costumes as I have done the costumes for the film 🙂 would really appreciate your feedback!

    • Anu M says:

      It is so lovely to have a costume designer comment on the blog, thank you so much!!! The list was compiled some time back on tumblr so Neerja is not included. Would love to do it when I get hold of the DVD. The stills look very promising and now I must check out more on the costumes!!!

  2. Paige says:

    Thank yoou for this

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