The Empire TV Series Overview


The Empire is an Indian historical fiction period drama streaming television series created by Nikkhil Advani and directed by Mitakshara Kumar based on the novel series Empire of the Moghul by Alex Rutherford for Disney+ Hotstar.


The series depicts upon the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire, starting from Babur. The story begins from Farghana where the young prince Babur is crowned as emperor at a young age after the death of his father, Umar Sheikh. His grandmother Aisan Daulat Begum guides him in his rule. He begins his campaign for the conquest of North India through hardships, betrayals and struggles amongst his court members. He was then defeated by Muhammad Shaybani Khan, and as a part of a deal to save their life, Khanzada had to marry Shaybani. She then falls in love with him but she chooses her brother over him, tricks him and becomes a cause of his death.

Babur then travels to Hindustan, defeats Ibrahim Lodi in the Battle of Panipat, and establishes the Mughal Dynasty. Amongst his wife’s battle for the heir, Babur finally selects Humayun as his successor.


  • Shabana Azmi as Ësan Dawlat / “Shah” Begum.
  • Kunal Kapoor as Babur.
    • Mehroos Mir as Young Babur.
  • Drashti Dhami as Khanzada Begum.
    • Gracy Goswami as Young Khanzada.
  • Dino Morea as Shaibani Khan.
  • Aditya Seal as Humayun.
  • Sahher Bambba as Maham Begum.
  • Rahul Dev as Wazir Khan.
  • Khalid Siddiqui as Umar Shaikh Mirza II.
  • Imaad Shah as Qasim.
  • Gireesh Sahdev as Baisanghar.
  • Charu Shankar as Qutlugh Nigar Khanum.
  • Aayam Mehta as Aitbaar.
  • Toranj Kayvon as Gulrukh Begum.
  • Swattee Thakur as Nishqa.
  • Kalliroi Tzaifeta as Roxanna.
  • Akansha Sareen as Razia.
  • Megha Kaul as Dildar Begum.
  • Salina Prakash as Aq Quzi Begum.
  • Madhuri Pandey as Nusrat.
  • Naved Aslam as Qambar Ali.
  • Karan Pandit as Kamran Mirza.
  • Anuj Singh Duhan as Aslam Nawaz.
  • Digvijay Purohit as Zulfikar Anwar.
  • Akshay Nagori as Jibran.


Nikhil Advani accepted the idea of creating the show ebing brought up by Star India. Bhavani Iyer was initially tapped to write the screenplay for the television adaptation on the show, with A.M. Turaz penning the dialogue. The show focuses on Babur for the first season.

Speaking about the series with, Advani said, “What we know about the Mughal Empire is its men, but the highlight of the series is the active role women played in the backroom politics and manipulations […] Women had the remote controls.”


Ronit Roy, Dia Mirza and Shabana Azmi were initially cast in the lead roles (in September 2018). However, Ronit and Dia left the series for unknown reasons, and they were replaced by Kunal Kapoor and Drashti Dhami respectively. Rahul Dev was confirmed to be part of the cast in July 2020.


Principal photography took place in Jaipur in February 2020. The shoot was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and it was later resumed after the lockdown in September 2020. After shooting a large portion on sets, the filming was moved to Wai, Maharashtra to recreate wilderness scene. A huge set for Uzbekistan was recreated in Mumbai.


The series premiered on Disney+ Hotstar on 27 August 2021.


The first teaser was released in July 2021 by Disney+ Hotstar and the trailer was released in August 2021.


  • The first season of the series opened to generally favourable reviews with praise for the show’s visuals, sets, costumes and the performance of the main cast, with a positive consensus on Shabana Azmi’s portrayal of Ësan Dawlat and criticism for poor VFX in a few scenes.

The Empire Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Mitakshara Kumar … (8 episodes, 2021).
  • Producer(s):
    • Monisha Advani … producer (8 episodes, 2021).
    • Nikkhil Advani … producer (8 episodes, 2021).
    • Madhu Bhojwani … producer (8 episodes, 2021).
    • Karn Gupta … executive producer (8 episodes, 2021).
    • Abdul Aziz Makani … line producer (8 episodes, 2021).
    • Ranjana Mitra … executive producer (1 episode, 2021).
  • Writer(s):
    • Nikkhil Advani … (creator) (1 episode, 2021).
    • Bhavani Iyer … (written by) (1 episode, 2021).
    • Mitakshara Kumar … (written by) (1 episode, 2021).
    • A.M. Turaz … (written by) (1 episode, 2021).
  • Music:
    • Shail Hada … (1 episode, 2021).
    • Ashutosh Phatak … (1 episode, 2021).
  • Cinematography:
    • Nigam Bomzan … (1 episode, 2021).
    • Yiannis Manolopoulos … (1 episode, 2021).
  • Editor(s):
    • Sagar Manik … (8 episodes, 2021).
    • Atanu Mukherjee … (8 episodes, 2021).
  • Production:
    • Emmay Entertainment.
    • Hotstar Specials.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Disney+ Hotstar (2021) (India) (all media).
  • Release Date: 27 August 2021 (Internet).
  • Running Time:
  • Rating: 60 minutes.
  • Country: India.
  • Language: Hindi.

Video Link

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