Heeramandi: Cast, plot and release date of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's debut Netflix series

Ensemble cast includes Bollywood actors Manisha Koirala, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha and Sonakshi Sinha

Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is making his streaming debut with Heeramandi, a series based on the lives of courtesans in 1940s India. Photo: Netflix
Powered by automated translation

Visionary Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is known for his grand productions, says his debut series with Netflix has been 14 years in the making.

Heeramandi will centre around kothas or house of courtesans in 1940s India, with the country's freedom struggle as a backdrop. The show features an ensemble cast including Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal and Sanjeeda Sheikh.

Ted Sarandos, co-chief executive at Netflix, flew to Mumbai to unveil the show along with Bhansali, known for opulent dramas such as Devdas, Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat. Bhansali's Gangubai Kathiawadi, released last year to wide acclaim, was loosely based on the rags-to-riches story of gangster Ganga Harjivandas Kathiawadi, a mafia head in 1960s Bombay.

"Heeramandi, like all of Sanjay’s stories, is not style over substance, but style and substance together," Sarandos said.

Here's everything we know about Heeramandi so far.

What's Heeramandi about?

Set in pre-Independent India, the series will focus on three generations of courtesans living in the Heeramandi neighbourhood of Lahore, now in Pakistan. The show will explore their stories of love, betrayal, succession and politics as the struggle for freedom consumes the country and the threat of partition looms over it.

Like all of Bhansali's works, the show will have a memorable soundtrack, according to Netflix.

Who's in the cast of Heeramandi?

Acclaimed actress Koirala, one of top Bollywood stars in the 1990s, will lead a starry cast that includes Sinha, Hydari and Chadha, known for playing strong female characters in their movies.

Segal made her acting debut in the Bhansali produced Malaal; while Sheikh is a hugely popular TV star who's recently made the leap to films.

When will Heeramandi be released?

No release date has been announced yet.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s new exhibition showcases magic of Bollywood — in pictures

Updated: February 20, 2023, 2:03 PM