Rana Daggubati as Bhallaladeva
|First appearance||Baahubali: The Beginning|
|Last appearance||Baahubali: The Conclusion|
|Created by||K. V. Vijayendra Prasad|
|Portrayed by||Rana Daggubati|
(age 8 years)
|Occupation||Former King of Mahishmati|
Sivagami Devi (mother)
Amarendra Baahubali (cousin)
Mahendra Baahubali (nephew)
Bhallaladeva is a fictional character and the primary antagonist of the Baahubali franchise. The character was created by the writer K. V. Vijayendra Prasad. The character was portrayed by Rana Daggubati in the films Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali: The Conclusion, which were directed by S. S. Rajamouli.
Bhallaladeva is the son of Bijjaladeva and Rajamatha Sivagami Devi. He is raised by Sivagami along with his cousin Amarendra Baahubali. He is a great warrior and is as equally skilled as his cousin. However, he is not empathetic towards his subjects like Amarendra and has a ruthless personality. He is often misguided by his father Bijjaladeva to take evil steps. He ruled over Mahishmati for 25 years. 
Rivalry with Amarendra
Bhallaladeva shared a Rivalry with his cousin Amarendra.
His reign lasted 25 years until he was killed by his nephew Mahendra Baahubali.
Bhallaladeva was a great warrior and had a strong desire for power. He was always ready to kill to ascend the throne of Mahishmati and lacked compassion, a trait which Amarendra Baahubali had in abundance. While the character of Bhallaladeva seemed to have the potential to be a good king, in the sequel, his desire for power makes him evil and he begins to do hideous things to accomplish his goal which makes him lose his sanity eventually and he transforms into a hateful character. Despite being the king, he feels like he has nothing. Baahubali was a good man and he died as one, while Bhallaladeva did not have the virtue of greatness from the beginning. His actions were guided by basic human emotions such as jealousy, envy, desire and loneliness. The Indian Express considers him as the most interesting character of the film even more than Baahubali and Devasena, and calls him "the only character that achieves such a huge transformation through the course of the film". Rakhadev Ghoshal of IB Times considers him to be a sadist. Bollywood Life considered him to be the smartest character of Baahubali: The Conclusion. His son Bhadrudu was revealed to be adopted by SS Rajamouli, while Rana Daggubati jokingly said that he is a surrogate child. Another reviewer credited the female characters over Bhallaladeva.
The character of Bhallaladeva is inspired from Ravana of Ramayana and Duryodhana of Mahabharata. Just like Ravana kidnapped Sita, he also captured Devasena and kept her for 25 years. Bhallaladeva's feeling of having his right denied before birth when his father is denied the right to the throne due to his disability is contrasted with the denial of the throne to Duryodhana's father Dhritarashtra due to his blindness and his feelings about the matter. As Duryodhana didn't get the throne and tried his best to gain it, Bhallaldeva also followed every possible way to gain the thorne and finally got it and ruled it over 25 years. Like Duryodhana and Ravana also tried to marry Draupadi and Sita respectively, he also tried his best to marry Devasena and even convinced Shivagami to let him marry Devasena instead of Baahubali. He was also a very cruel king just like Kamsa.  Kanniks Kannikeshwaran also shared the view.
Notable works done by Bhallaladeva
- Bhallaladeva killed his enemy king Kalkeya, Kumar Varma; tried to kill Mahendra Baahubali; imprisoned Devasena for 25 years and was involved in the murder of Amarendra Baahubali and his own mother Sivagami.
- In the war against Kalkeyas he killed many soldiers, the king of Kalkeya (already wounded by Amarendra Baahubali) and even few of his kingdom's own innocent subjects imprisoned by Kalkeyas.
- In order to become the king, he killed Kalkeya just a second before Amarendra Baahubali was doing so, but still was made the Senapati for not saving the innocent subjects of Mahishmati.
- He had tried to kill Baahubali many times even before the Kalkeya War.
- He destroyed the whole Kuntaladesha only due to his anger on Devasena.
- A 90 metre tall gold statue of Bhallaladeva was built after completion of his 25 years as the king. Mahendra Baahubali toppled the statue and later had its broken head dumped in the river. 
- He used a scythed chariot drawn by a pair of horses in the Kalakeya War. It was destroyed by the Kalakeya chief. He owned a much more powerful chariot drawn by two Gaur bisons with three spinning scythes and a mechanism to shoot multiple arrows simultaneously at small intervals. It was destroyed by Mahendra Baahubali.
- He carries a different kind of Gada which could be elongated through a chain inside it and looks same as that of Ball and chain. Mahendra Baahubali smashed it while fighting Bhallaladeva.
Rana Daggubati was inspired by Daniel Day-Lewis to play the character of Bhallaladeva. He had a lot of workout sessions for transforming into the character. Reports say that he worked for more than two hours a day for weight training and cardio. The older Bhallaldeva is heavier and weighed around 110 kg for those portions of both the films while his younger version is 8 kg lighter. He learned martial arts for the film. He ate every two and half hours as a part of his diet and avoided oil, while eating food rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Even Prabhas had to eat about 40 boiled eggs daily to increase his weight to 150 kg. They both went through very tough workouts including 500 push ups a day.
Legacy and impact
Rana Daggubati, the actor who played Bhallaladeva, was paid a high amount for his role parallel to that of Baahubali, which was played by Prabhas, but he charged Rs 15 crore, less than the Rs 25 crore paid to Prabhas for the franchise. He described Baahubali as "career-defining" for him as the film industry will trust and support his vision. He further said that the films success allowed him to gain more opportunities. He said he learned a lot working with the team of Baahubali.
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