Sarvadaman D. Banerjee is an Indian film and television actor who is best known for portraying Lord Krishna in Ramanand Sagar‘s magnum opus Krishna (1993). He is also known for his works in Telugu cinema, Bengali cinema, and Hindi cinema.
Sarvadaman D. Banerjee was born on Sunday, 14 March 1965 (age 55 years; as in 2020) in Magarwara village, Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.
Since childhood, he was inclined towards spirituality and had included yoga and meditation in his daily routine. After attending St. Aloysius School in Kanpur, he went to Pune where he graduated from The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
Height (approx.): 6′
Hair Colour: Grey
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Sarvadaman D. Banerjee belongs to a Bengali Brahmin family.
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about his parents.
He has two elder sisters – Roopali and Navneeta.
Relationships, Wife & Children
Sarvadaman D. Banerjee is married to Alankrita Banerjee who assists him in running his meditation centre in Rishikesh.
He has a daughter named Aalika who got married to DJ Chetas Shah in December 2015 in Mumbai.
The famous Bollywood actress, Kajol is his niece.
Sarvadaman D. Banerjee made his film debut with the 1983 Sanskrit language film “Adi Shankaracharya” directed by G. V. Iyer in which he played the role of “Adi Shankara.”
Thereafter, he appeared in the 1985 Telugu film “Shri Datta Darshanam.” in which he played the role of “Sridatta.” In 1986, Banerjee appeared in the Telugu-language romantic-drama film “Sirivennela” in which he played the role of “Pandit Hari Prasad.” Subsequently, he appeared in another Telugu film, “Swayam Krushi” (1987) in which he played the role of “Bhaskar.” In 2015, Sarvadaman appeared in the blockbuster Bollywood film “M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” in which he played the role of Dhoni’s coach “Chanchal.”
Sarvadaman D. Banerjee made his television debut with Ramanand Sagar‘s “Krishna” (1993) in which he appeared as “Krishna/Vishnu.” While talking about the moment he entered the studio where the set of Krishna was being established, he says,
I entered and a stack of papers was handed over to me saying, ‘These are your dialogues…’ I tried to run away, but then Ramanand Sagar turned up and the rest is history.”
Krishna went on to become a cult television show in India and Sarvadaman D. Banerjee a revered figure in the country; like wherever he went people would start touching his feet as if he was the real Krishna. While talking about the popularity of the show, Banerjee says,
The show that went on-air post the cult series, Ramayana, was initially supposed to run for 2-3 years. And it ran for 10 years! I shot the entire serial in a state of meditation. I signed the show in 1990 and by 1994, with the rising popularity of the show, I felt that an atom bomb had fallen into my bedroom.”
After Krishna, he didn’t get much work; however, he appeared in a few more mythology-based television shows, including Jai Ganga Maiya (2001) in which he played the role of “Vishnu” and Om Namah Shivay (2005) in which he played the role of “Rajkumar Vrishdwaj.” In an interview, he said,
After a few years of shooting Shri Krishna, I once asked Sagar: When will you direct me? He said: Whenever I see you, I see the supreme, so I just end up folding my hands. There’s isn’t a better compliment that a director can give.”
After his stint as a television actor, he left the glamour world and started a meditation centre in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand; a desire that had been inspiring him since his childhood. In an interview, he revealed,
When I was doing Krishna, I decided to work till the age of 45-57 and thereafter, I would get myself connected with nature and then I got meditation, and I have been doing that for many years.”
- Holiday Destination: Rishikesh
- Philosopher: Rabindranath Tagore
- Beverage: Lemon Ginger Honey
- In an interview, he revealed that he had not watched his television show “Krishna.” He said,
I have not seen the show till date.”
- Initially, Banerjee was not interested in playing the role of Krishna. He says,
I never wanted to do TV. I was working in films because a single shot in a film stays for 100 years. Then, Ramanand Sagar called me. I knew this invitation would offer me a role in TV and thus I didn’t want to go. I believed TV isn’t an art; even today it isn’t one.”
- Sarvadaman D. Banerjee and Nitish Bharadwaj (who portrayed Krishna in B. R. Chopra’s Mahabharat) have been staunch critics of each other. Once when Banerjee was asked about Nitish Bharadwaj’s portrayal of Krishna, he didn’t appreciate his performance and said that he had played the role of Krishna better than Nitish.
- His debut film, Adi Shankaracharya (1983) won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film.
- Apart from running a meditation centre in Rishikesh, he also supports an NGO called “Pankh,” which educates the slum children and empowers the underprivileged women of Uttarakhand.
- Banerjee is a nature lover, and he often embarks on trekking and hiking tours.
- Sarvadaman is a passionate animal lover and is actively involved in the care of stray animals; especially dogs.
- He advocates tree plantation and often takes part in tree plantation drives along with his wife Alankrita.
- Sarvadaman D. Banerjee often visits Dehradun where he has a house.
- He is a fitness enthusiast and often spends hours doing the workout in the gym.