Most distinctive shows ever on Indian television

longest running Indian TV show list

The popularity of television as a mass media might be waning today. But back in the day, it used to be the prime source of entertainment. TV in the Indian context has been a massive agglomeration of programmes that identified variously as being a show or series or sitcom within the general entertainment classification. Here are some of the longest running Indian TV programmes that have long lighted up screens all across the country with their entertaining show-


Source: Twitter

Chitrahaar is the longest running music show of Indian TV that continues to be aired on DD National. It was in 1982 when Chitrahaar was first aired and the show went on to amass immense popularity in the following couple of decades. The programme prominently features clips of popular Bollywood songs and had in its heydays commanded a viewership of more than 150 million.

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa

longest running Indian TV show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa
Source: The Beyond News

The longest running reality show in India as well as the oldest show on private television in India, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is very evidently a competitive musical extravaganza. It was first aired on 1995 and since then has seen 39 seasons with multiple variations characterising the show’s format over the years. The Hindi version that it started as and still continues to even after decades of inception has been successful enough to be remade in numerous other regional languages across the country.

Taraak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma

longest running Indian TV show Taraak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
Source: India Forums

The Guinness World Record holder for the longest-running Indian daily sitcom on television by episode count is this a decade and a half old show that has been airing since 2008. Based on one of writer Tarak Mehta’s weekly magazine column, TMKOC as the show is popularly known, is the flagship offering of SAB TV that itself is a channel dedicated exclusively to sitcoms. The immense popularity of the show has also led to the emergence of spinoffs namely an animated series as well as a TV film even as TMKOC itself continues to rule the roost till today.

Kaun Banega Crorepati


Kaun Banega Crorepati has been airing since 2000 and is by that account the longest running game show of the country. Currently in its 15th season, KBC however has not been aired continuously over the years but has managed to grab viewers every time it returns with Bollywood biggie Amitabh Bachchan as the host. Apart from the third season that had Shah Rukh Khan taking the lead, Mr. Bachchan has been the mainstay of what is the official Hindi adaptation of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise.


Source: Mumbai Mirror

CID has been the longest running show in the history of Indian TV and its longest running in the genre of crime drama as well. The popularity of the show that enthralled audiences for two decades ever since its premiere in 1998 however goes beyond this definite distinction. CID holds place in both the Guinness Book of World records and the Limca Book of Records for uncut shooting for 111 minutes for a certain episode named “The Inheritance” during October 2004. It also is as recognised a part of the popular culture on internet and has spurred numerous memes on account of more than one aspect of its character.


Source: IMDb

The close to 20 year long span of Sony Entertainment Television’s Aahat since its initial airing in 1995 makes it the longest running horror TV show in the Indian context. Despite this defining character, the show started off as mostly a crime thriller in its first season. Elements of the supernatural though came to be essential to its plot the next season onward and continued to govern its popularity. The show however had to be shut down entirely after a dismal sixth season in 2015 that saw a continuous fall in its TRP ratings.

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai

longest running Indian TV show Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai
Source: Teqip

The longest still running Indian soap opera by years and by episode count and one that has regularly been among the top rated ones through the 14 years of its continuing, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai therefore is also among the most successful shows of TV. The first Hindi show to complete 2500 episodes and the only one to have aired for more than 4000 of them, YRKKH’s dream run though has also been besotted by struggles. On multiple occasions of what would not be less than three instances, the show received notices for ending due to low viewership. But every time it has managed to reverse its fate by continuously reinventing itself to suit the whims of the audience and also be relevant to the current times. Numerous leaps and crossover episodes have characterised the long span of YRKKH with also a spinoff that was released in 2019.

Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan

Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan
Source: Facebook

As the first ever talk show of Indian television and one that first aired just immediately after Doordarshan itself started operations in Mumbai, Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan remains as one of the most prominent Indian shows. The series enjoyed its run for a little over two decades and continues to hold distinction as being the longest of its kind in the country’s televised history. The format of the show followed that of interviews conducted with famous personalities from the entertainment industry both of Bollywood and television.

Rasoi Show

Rasoi Show longest running Indian TV food programme
Source: Wikipedia

Rasoi Show is a Gujarati language cookery show that is not just one of the longest running in the world of Indian television. With a whopping 6000 episodes telecast over its 18 years length of spanning, it also is one of the longest running shows in Asia. Specifically in the genre of cooking shows, Rasoi Show trails only the the Mexican series Hasta La Cocina to be the second contender as per the number of episodes aired.


Source: PinkLungi

This Malayalam series is the longest running television satire in India. It first aired on 2000 and has since then completed well over 7000 episodes. In its socio- political content and satirical tone, this TV programme has managed to keep its audience hooked for more than 22 years now.

Thatt Antha Heli

longest running Indian TV show Thatt Antha Heli
Source: Quora

A Kannada show Thatt Antha Heli is the longest running quiz show in the history of Indian television. More than 4000 episodes of the show has aired ever since its debut in 2002 and it was as early as in 2012 that the Limca Book of Records recognised it as being the longest running television show in India based on a quizzical format.


Source: YouTube

Sancharam is another Malayalam show that occurs as being one of the longest running in the history of Indian television. A travel documentary that was first telecast in 2001, Sancharam has been a multiple award winning production and continues to bring to viewers travelling experiences from all over the world.