The protagonist of the movie is born with a divine grace of Lord Shiva (Prakash Raj) and the boy’s parents are advised to name him as Mallikarjuna as he is destined to accomplish a great work. During his childhood, Mallikarjuna faces a great tragedy as his parents and grandparents are killed by a huge feline creature when they are returning from Kashi. This incident leaves his younger sister, Sailu (Abhinaya) paralyzed from the waist and hence renders her lame (Sailu had a talent for dancing before this incident). Malli then develops strong hatred towards Lord Shiva.
Meanwhile, the scene shifts to the focus of a demon named Andhakasura (Ravi Shankar). We see him performing a severe penance to obtain the boon of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva blesses the demon that he will not interfere in the latter’s attempt to sacrifice a virgin girl in order to obtain complete rulership over the 3 worlds. The demon is advised by his aged friend Maayi (Jeeva) that the sacrifice must be made in a month having 2 solar eclipses, in such a way that he has to marry the girl and sacrifice her before the solar eclipse ends. This will render the demon matchless and a master over all the 5 elements.
The story then shifts to Malli (Nagarjuna), now an adult whose motive is to help people and take care of his bedridden sister. He falls in love with Dr. Maheshwari (Anushka Shetty) on a visit to the hospital where his sister is being treated. There are many scenes where the atheist Malli forces the people of his colony who include Rudraksha (Brahmanandam), Ringu Raja (Raghu Babu), President (Krishna Bhagavaan) and others, not to worship, on account of his childhood tragedy. Then, on one occasion, Malli questions Lord Shiva for his condition and drives away in his car, only to meet with an accident. Lord Shiva comes and saves him. Lord Shiva calls himself as Saambayya, befriends Malli and goes to his home.