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Baahubali:The Beginning Inspired by Mahabharata

SS Rajamouli, the director of the blockbuster movie Baahubali: The Beginning, says he received the inspiration for this movie from the Indian epic Mahabharata. Baahubali: The Beginning, released in theatres worldwide on the 10th of July, 2015, is an epic historical fiction, made simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu. The movie features Prabhas, Rana, Ramya Krishnan, Sathyaraj, Nassar and many others in prominent roles, each inspired by characters of Mahabharata.
During the trailer launch of this movie, S S Rajamouli informed that the second part is also inspired by Mahabharata. He added that all his movies are inspired by Ramayana and Mahabharata, and that the epic war drama between the Pandavas and Kauravas had always fascinated him.

The Plot

The plot is set in an ancient kingdom of Mahishmati in India, ruled by King Veerendra. Pingaladeva was the eldest son, but he could not rule
due to his bodily defect and the throne of Mahishmati is entrusted to his brother Veerendra. But Veerendra dies at an early age, leaving behind Amarendra Baahubali, the posthumous child, who also loses his mother. The commander-in-chief Marthanda conspires to capture the throne, but Sivagami, the wife of Pingaladeva, takes control of the situation with the help of Kattappa, a loyal servant of the throne. Pingaladeva expresses his desire to enthrone his own son Ballaladeva. But Sivagami promises that the one with all required qualifications and ability to protect the citizens would occupy the throne in the future.


Character in Movie: Pingaladeva is a handicap and could not occupy the throne of Mahishmati. His brother Veerendra becomes the king, but he dies at an early age. Veerendra’s son Amarendra Baahubali is the legal inheritor of the throne, but Pingaladeva wants his son Ballaladeva to become the next king.
Personality in Mahabharata: Dhrtarashtra was blind and could not occupy the throne of Hastinapura. His brother Paandu became the king of Hastinapura, but he died at an early age leaving behind his wives and five sons, the Pandavas. The Pandavas had their rightful share on the kingdom, but Dhrtarashtra wants his son Duryodhana to inherit the throne of Hastinapura.


Character in Movie: Sivagami, a righteous lady, who takes charge of the kingdom in the absence of a ruler. She is the wife of Pingaladeva. After the death of Veerendra Baahubali, she subdues the conspiring groups trying to occupy the throne with the help of Kattappa, a slave warrior, and starts managing the state affairs. Ballaladeva, the son of Pingaladeva and Amarendra Baahubali, the son of Veerendra grow up under her care and supervision.
Personality in Mahabharata: Satyavati (the wife of King Santanu, who was the father of Bhishma) took charge of the kingdom after the death of Santanu. She had two sons: Chitrangada and Vichitraveerya. She managed the entire responsibility of ruling the kingdom with the help of Bhishma, till her sons grew up. But unfortunately, both of her sons died at an early age.


Character in Movie: Son of Pingaladeva, an expert in handling the mace (club), who conspires to attain the throne of Mahishmati and in that attempt even tries to kill Amarendra Baahubali. He is a powerful fighter focused on achieving his goals by adopting whatever means possible.
Personality in Mahabharata: Duryodhana, the son of Dhrtarashtra, who conspired to get rid of the Pandavas and occupy the throne of Hastinapura. Duryodhana was also an expert in handling the mace, an art he learnt from none other than Balarama, the elder brother of Lord Sri Krishna. Duryodhana, with the help of his uncle Shakuni, constantly plotted against the Pandavas. He tried to poison them and also tried to burn them to ashes by putting them in a house made of lac. He insulted Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas, in front of everyone in the assembly.


Character in Movie: Devasena, a queen who rejects Ballaladeva and accepts Amarendra Baahubali as her husband. The first part of the movie does not talk much about her. All that we know is that she was the princess of Kundala Kingdom and after the death of Amarendra Baahubali, she is kept captive by Bhallaladeva. She awaits the come back of her missing son Mahendra Baahubali to rescue her and punish the atrocious king Bhallaladeva.
Personality in Mahabharata: Draupadi who rejects Duryodhana and others in the swayamvara to marry Arjuna. However, the character also takes inspiration from another epic Ramayana. Sitadevi was kept captive by Ravana in the Ashoka forest. She was waiting for her husband Rama to come and rescue her and punish Ravana for his aggression.


Character in Movie: Kattappa, a loyal servant of the throne, who is ready to even lay down his life for the protection of Mahishmati. It does not matter who rules the kingdom. Kattappa is always the order carrier of the throne, and he executes the order without considering whether it is right or wrong. In spite of his prowess, he considers himself as a slave of the throne, always obligated to serve the kingdom of Mahishmati and its rulers, even at the cost of his own life.
Personality in Mahabharata: Bhishmadeva was the grandfather of the Pandavas and Kauravas. He had great affection for the Pandavas. The Kauravas headed by Dhrtarashtra usurped the rightful share of the kingdom that belonged to the Pandavas. But, due to his loyalty, Bhishma felt obliged to fight on the side of Kauravas.
Let us wait for more such surprises in Baahubali: The Conclusion scheduled to release in 2016. 

Did you notice that Devasena being captivated in Mahishmati and being freed by Mahendra Baahubali after setting fire to the royal palace is just like the episode of Hanuman setting fire to Lanka in his attempt to rescue Sitadevi? Did you observe any other similarities in the movie sequences to the incidents in Ramayana or Mahabharata? Here is our next article on Baahubali: The Beginning which talks about such epic similarities. Do not miss it.

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