Women, The Strength Of Baahubali!

Indian cinema, particularly South Indian films, has often faced criticism for portraying heroines as mere glam dolls. In recent years, global discussions on the role and importance of women in cinema have gained momentum, and this dialogue is likely to continue. However, shifting our focus to Baahubali, India’s biggest blockbuster, we find a refreshing portrayal of supremely powerful women, courtesy of the master craftsman S.S. Rajamouli and Baahubali’s writer, K.V. Vijayendra Prasad. While the overall story of Baahubali doesn’t feature numerous women characters, the most significant ones—Sivagami, Devasena, and Avanthika—are meticulously crafted. These characters are not just powerful and beautiful; they are equal to, if not superior to, the men in the narrative.

Empowered Women in Baahubali

It’s noteworthy that these women are not mere puppets controlled by external forces; they possess intelligence and individuality. Even the character of Sanga, Mahendra Baahubali’s foster mother portrayed by Rohini, stands out as a dominating and influential figure. Unlike traditional royal dramas where women often play passive roles, Baahubali presents women who are fierce, admirable, and central to the narrative. Although the film’s title revolves around the hero, the women in Baahubali are equally formidable and praiseworthy. Now, let’s delve into a closer look at each of the essential female characters in this epic saga.

Alert : There might be spoilers ahead!

Rajamata Sivagami Devi

A Compelling Beginning

The first scene in Baahubali: The Beginning introduces us to a queen-like figure, cradling a newborn while engaged in a fierce struggle for survival. This extraordinary woman, revealed as Sivagami, becomes the cornerstone of the story. According to Rajamouli, his father initiated the Baahubali tale with Sivagami, emphasizing her pivotal role in the kingdom of Maahishmathi. As the Rajamata safeguarding the realm in the absence of the king, Sivagami seeks the perfect heir to the throne, making her character beautifully nuanced with the essence of motherhood.

Mother-Son Sentiments

The film beautifully explores the mother-son relationship between Sivagami and Amarendra Baahubali, shaping the latter’s character. Sivagami’s introduction in the second half of Baahubali: The Beginning remains etched in memory, while in the Conclusion, she takes center stage in the conflict.

A Twist of Deception

The only quibble in Sivagami’s character lies in the somewhat perplexing plot twist where Bijjaladeva convinces her of Amarendra’s alleged turn towards evil. A deeper exploration of Sivagami’s emotional turmoil could have enhanced this aspect. Nevertheless, Rajamata Sivagami Devi leaves an indelible mark on the audience.

Portrayal by Ramya Krishnan

Ramya Krishnan’s portrayal is nothing short of exceptional, with her captivating eyes stealing the spotlight. Despite a prolific career spanning over 200 films in five languages, she effortlessly immerses the audience in Sivagami’s character, overshadowing the actress herself. The powerful dynamic between Devasena and Sivagami, portrayed by equally strong actresses, stands out in the narrative.

An Authentic Puranic Character

In summary, Rajamata Sivagami Devi emerges as nothing less than an authentic puranic character, etching her name into the hearts of the Indian audience.


Inspiring Swordplay

Witnessing Tamannaah’s sword fighting prowess in Baahubali: The Beginning fueled my desire to learn the art! Avanthika, also known as Mahendra Baahubali, becomes the conduit through which Sivudu learns about Devasena and embarks on his journey to Maahishmathi.

Catalyst for Self-Realization

Avanthika’s character serves as the catalyst for Sivudu’s realization of his true identity. Introduced as the dream girl in the enchanting “Dheevara” song, her ethereal beauty captures Sivudu’s imagination, leading him up the waterfalls. In reality, Avanthika is a formidable warrior, adept at effortlessly dispatching adversaries. Her seemingly stoic demeanor conceals a determined heart, committed to her tribe’s goals.

Fierce Warrior and Rescuer

In the larger narrative, Avanthika’s purpose is pivotal in propelling Sivudu toward Maahishmathi. Assigned the crucial role of rescuing Devasena from captivity and bringing her back, Avanthika emerges as a compelling character with ample screen time. The decision to maintain focus on her role in the Conclusion, without inserting unrelated sequences, proves effective.

Tamannaah’s Dynamic Portrayal

Tamannaah’s portrayal strikes a balance between glamour and boldness, with her dedicated efforts in perfecting stunt sequences contributing significantly to the first part’s impact. While the romantic elements in the first part may appear slightly cheesy, Avanthika emerges as a character who can inspire men to achieve greatness and single-handedly confront a multitude of adversaries. She epitomizes the strength and power of women.

A Symbol of Women Empowerment

Avanthika stands as a powerful representation of women’s strength, embodying qualities that can motivate and inspire. Her multifaceted character, seamlessly blending grace and resilience, adds depth to the cinematic narrative.


Anushka Shetty’s Stellar Portrayal

Anushka Shetty’s portrayal of Devasena in Baahubali stands out, captivating viewers with her beauty and exceptional performance. Devasena’s character, entrusted to Anushka, unfolds as a testament to her prowess as a fabulous performer.

Mysterious Aura in the First Part

In the initial part, Devasena remains shrouded in mystery. Held hostage by Bhallaladeva and depicted as an aged woman awaiting her son, her torn attire belies the fire in her eyes—a reflection of her formidable past as a lioness.

Evolution in the Second Part

The second part unveils the complexity of Devasena’s character, portraying her as pivotal as Amarendra Baahubali. Intelligent, beautiful, skilled in weaponry, and a touch arrogant, Devasena’s genuine love for Amarendra is evident. Her progressive nature, fearless confrontation of adversaries, and inherent feminism make her a modern-day woman to admire.

Representative of Modern Women

Devasena emerges as a representative of modern women—progressive, unafraid to confront injustice, and possessing a clear sense of right and wrong. Her character transcends traditional archetypes, mirroring the strength and resilience of contemporary women.

Historical Echoes

Unlike the shadow of Sri Rama that Amarendra Baahubali may cast, Devasena finds her resonance in historical figures like Kannagi or Rani Laxmibai. Through Devasena, Rajamouli showcases that a heroine can be a comprehensive character, capable of narrating a man’s story through her life.

Epitome of Persistence and Fierceness

Devasena becomes the epitome of persistence and fierceness, portraying the resilience of a mother’s love and hope. Her character transcends the boundaries of the film, leaving an indelible mark on the history of women in Indian cinema.

Empowering Message

In one of the film’s powerful scenes, Amarendra Baahubali emphasizes the sanctity of a woman’s consent. Baahubali, The Conclusion, upholds the dignity of women, earning accolades for S.S. Rajamouli’s portrayal of women. The film is a landmark in depicting women with dignity, and we hope for more empowering characters like Sivagami, Devasena, and Avanthika in both films and society.

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About the Author

Mahima Nandakumar
Hardcore Film Lover and Ardent Movie Goer, Aspiring Film Maker.

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