According to music label T-Series, a version of the “Hanuman Chalisa” has become the first Indian video on YouTube to surpass three billion views.
T-Series founder Gulshan Kumar and singer Hariharan lend their melodious voices to the 9-minute and 41-second rendition of the “Hanuman Chalisa,” a Hindu devotional hymn by Tulsidas dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
This version has become the most popular one among devotees worldwide, and recently surpassed three billion views on YouTube, making it the first Indian video to achieve this milestone.
T-Series announced the achievement on its official Twitter handle, expressing gratitude to the viewers for making it possible.
Behind “Lakdi Ki Kaathi”- 3.3Bn
Lakdi Ki Kaathi, a popular childhood rhyme, is the most viewed video in India with 3.3 billion views, while Hanuman Chalisa is the second most viewed video in India with over 3 billion views on YouTube.
Hanuman Chalisa had crossed the one billion views mark in 2020, making it the first devotional song on YouTube to achieve this milestone, and in October 2021, the video had reached 2 billion views.
Hosting Langar as per tradition
T-Series Chairman Bhushan Kumar shared his thoughts on the achievement and said, “During tough times, people turn to and recite the Hanuman Chalisa to give them courage and strength to face problems.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all facing challenges, and the Hanuman Chalisa helps us to deal with pain and hardship.”
To celebrate the milestone, a langar was hosted by Bhushan Kumar, along with his mother, Krishan Kumar, Tulsi Kumar, and Khushali Kumar.
This isn’t the first time they have organized a langar to celebrate the video’s success, as they also did so when the video reached the 2 billion mark in 2021.
The video has not only garnered over 3 billion views on YouTube but also has more than 12 million “likes” since its upload in May 2011.
Most popular channel
According to Statista, a Germany-based consumer data and market insights company, T-Series’ YouTube channel has the highest number of subscribers on the platform, with over 238 million subscribers.
The channel offers a variety of content across genres, including Bollywood music, pop, devotional, and classics, on its 29 channels catering to different Indian languages such as Hindi, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Telugu, Tamil, Haryanvi, Kannada, Marathi, and Gujarati.
The channel achieved the milestone of 200 million subscribers in December 2021, and T-Series Chairman Bhushan Kumar expressed his excitement by saying, “We are thrilled to be the premiere Indian YouTube channel to hit such a massive subscriber base.”
As of now, the channel is followed by Pewdiepie (Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg) and Mr Beast (Jimmy Donaldson).
Bhakti Sagar channel
T-Series’ Bhakti Sagar, a subsidiary channel with more than 58 million subscribers, has surpassed channels such as Tips Industries, Sony Music, YashRaj Films, SonyMusicIndiaVEVO, and Shemaroo to become home to India’s chartbusters.
It is also globally ranked among the top-30 channels in terms of subscriber count.
With over 25,000 videos and close to 28 billion views, Bhakti Sagar is among the top-50 channels globally in terms of viewership.
Most of the devotional songs that have garnered hundreds of millions of views on this channel were recorded by the late Gulshan Kumar and one of the greatest singers of the 1990s, Anuradha Paudwal.
Building a digital ecosystem
The devotional songs recorded by Gulshan Kumar and Anuradha Paudwal have been remixed to improve their sound quality.
Additionally, the video descriptions often include links for streaming services such as Gaana, Wynk Music, Amazon Prime Music, Apple Music, Hungama, Spotify, Google Music, and iTunes.
This has led to the creation of a complete digital ecosystem for devotional music.
Such efforts indicate a shift away from the recent dominance of Bollywood songs, which should be encouraging to those who are critical of this trend.