I have heard that the name and places of Baahubali: The Beginning are taken from real history. But I have also heard that its quite inspired from Mahabharata for the character of Kattappa which is inspired from Bhishma and it did feel like that. So how much of the film is based on actual history of India? Is there any official commentary available?
No. Bahubali is not inspired from the actual history of India.
It was inspired by the stories of the individual characters which were told to director S. S. Rajamouli by his father. Later on Rajamouli decided to bring all these characters together to make a story.
Quoting from his interview to Forbes:
Rob: When did you start developing this film, Baahubali?
Rajamouli: It gradually filled up. It was not like we suddenly said one day “Let’s make a film called Baahubali. It didn’t happen like that. But it all started with the character of Sivagami. One day about 9 or 10 years back my father told me about this character. The first scene of the film is what he narrated to me, where Sivagami saves the child and she dies, that was very emotional. But he just told me about that character, there was no story or anything. But the character was there, then a few years later he told me about the character Kattappa, the loyal slave. And later he told me about the character of Bhallala Deva. So then about 4 or 5 years back we said why don’t we bring all these characters together to make a story. And then things started falling into place
In the same interview when asked whether the film is inspired by Indian epics:
Rob: I wrote in my first article about Baahubali that it is inspired by classic Indian epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, but there are also references in the film to the biblical stories of Moses and the Greek legend of Hercules. Several Forbes readers said I was wrong, that I was just leaning on my own western preconceptions? Was I?
Rajamouli: If you look at it so many epics of so many countries are identical. We don’t know how that happens. For example, if you take the story of Moses where he was left in a basket by his mother, you’ll find an exact replica in Mahabharata, where the principal character Karna is left by his mother, Kunti, in a basket in a river where he is picked up by his foster mother and he’s brought up. These epics have similarities across cultures. But mostly my stories are drawn from the epics of India itself.