Darshan takes historian Michael Wood on a journey through India, from the spectacular modern developments of Delhi, to the hustle, bustle and poverty of Calcutta and on to the deep South of Tamil Nadu, where the gentle peace of the holy men at the temple at Chidambarum is at one with the lives of the ordinary families there.
Charting the changes that technology has brought to India’s way of life and religion, this film is a personal search for the meanings of the old way when confronted by the new, a process which is happening all over the sub-continent. From the industrial North to the villages in the South, where TV is fast replacing traditional entertainment, there is still the enormously powerful influence of the ancient myths and legends – of Krishna, Kali and Siva – and which interweave their magic everywhere through the rich tapestry of life there.
Michael Wood’s experience of the vivid contrasts and many layers of a culture which is one of the oldest and greatest the world has ever seen takes him through a mixture of emotions as his journey continues until Benares, the holiest city, it resolves ultimately with the strongest impression – that of fascination and wonder at the spectacle that is India.
“A glorious Indian travelogue with historian Michael Wood, travelling through a world within a subcontinent of cultures and traditions.” – Today
Written & Presented by Michael Wood
Director: Gerry Troyna
Producer: Rebecca Dobbs
First broadcast 1989 on ITV
Available to watch here on ITV Studio’s YouTube channel