Heeramandi Drama Series Review: Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar is an Indian Hindi-language period drama TV series crafted and helmed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It delves into the intricacies of tawaifs’ lives in Lahore’s renowned red-light district, Heera Mandi. Amidst the backdrop of the Indian independence movement against the British Raj. The stellar cast includes Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Sharmin Segal, and Taha Shah Badussha, with recurring appearances by Farida Jalal, Shekhar Suman, Fardeen Khan, and Adhyayan Suman.

Filming spanned from June 2022 to June 2023, capturing the essence of the era. The series premiered on Netflix on 1st May 2024.

Heeramandi Drama Series Review - The Celeb Guru

Set against the canvas of the Indian independence struggle against British rule from the 1910s to the 1940s, Heeramandi intricately narrates the tales of tawaifs residing in Lahore’s famed red-light district, Heera Mandi.

Main Casts

Manisha Koirala Mallikajaan Sonakshi Sinha Fareedan
Aditi Rao Hydari Bibbojaan Sanjeeda Sheikh Waheeda
Sharmin Segal Alamzeb Richa Chadha Lajjo


Heera Mandi was officially unveiled in April 2021, a project envisioned by Bhansali 14 years prior. The eight-part series, marking Bhansali’s debut in streaming, commenced filming in June 2022. Shooting wrapped up a year later in June 2023, following Bhansali’s call for reshoots in May. According to Bollywood Hungama, Bhansali directed the pilot episode. With the remaining episodes helmed by Mitakshara Kumar, who previously served as an associate director on Bhansali’s projects like Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, stepping in for Vibhu Puri.

In a 2023 interview with Netflix’s CEO Ted Sarandos, Bhansali hailed Heeramandi as his “most ambitious project”. Drawing inspiration from classic films like Mother India (1957), Mughal-e-Azam (1960), and Pakeezah (1972).

Designers Rimple Narula and Harpreet Narula disclosed in an interview that some of the series’ costumes were influenced by the styles of Patience Cooper, Suraiya, Swaran Lata, Noor Jehan, Shamshad Begum, and Mukhtar Begum. Additionally, in a conversation with Lily Singh, Sanjay Leela Bhansali expressed his desire to cast Pakistani actors such as Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, and Imran Abbas in the series, though it didn’t materialize due to unspecified reasons.


The inaugural track from the soundtrack, titled “Sakal Ban,” featuring music by Bhansali, penned by Amir Khusro, and voiced by Raja Hasan, premiered on 8th March 2024. Following suit, on 2nd April, the second song, “Tilasmi Bahein,” performed by Sharmistha Chatterjee, was unveiled.

All musical compositions are crafted by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, presented under his personal record label, Bhansali Music.


In February 2024, a teaser of the series made its debut, teasing a forthcoming release on Netflix later in the year. Subsequently, the following month, it was confirmed that the series would premiere on 1st May 2024.

Major Receptions

Saibal Chatterjee from NDTV awarded 3 stars and commended Bhansali’s dedication. Chatterjee emphasized, “In today’s India. Embracing the deep-rooted syncretism of the subcontinent stands out as a significant thematic element that should not be overshadowed by the dazzling allure of Bhansali’s Heeramandi universe.”

Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com gave a rating of 3/5 stars, noting, “Heeramandi, a passion project nurtured over years. Reflects both the finest and most frustrating aspects of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s filmmaking.”

Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express assigned the series a rating of 2.5 stars, commenting. “Bhansali’s opulent world, saturated with his trademark glamour, endeavors to narrate the tales of these ‘other’ women, who were once integral to Indian popular culture.”

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