This multi-layered fantasy drama revolves around a male child born with the divine grace of Lord Shiva (Prakash Raj). His parents are advised to name him Mallikarjuna as he is destined to accomplish a great task.
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 and becomes an atheist.
Meanwhile, the focus shifts to a demon named Andhakasura (Ravi Shankar). He performs 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 domination 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 returns 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.
Attack reticle juncture, the atheist 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.
The demon chooses Dr. Maheshwari as his target for the sacrifice and prevents the Kaapaalikas (who arrive at the temple) from having access to Mahi, during the day of the first solar eclipse. Malli rescues Mahi from the Kaapaalikas and Mahi's parents entrust Malli to take care of Mahi. Then, Mahi's parents decide to get Mahi married to a relative, Rahul (Ganesh Venkatraman), who is to arrive from the US.
This advice is given by a saint known to Mahi's family. On his arrival to the airport, Andhakaasura kills Rahul in the washroom and takes his form. The demon, now in Rahul's form, enters Mahi's home and kills 3 dogs who guard Mahi. The demon also paralyzes Mahi's father, when he comes to know the truth about him. He also tries to kill Malli and Mahi, on their way to a temple, but Lord Shiva intervenes by sending his divine vehicle, Nandi who saves Malli.
This infuriates the demon, who feels that Lord Shiva has not kept his promise. He challenges the Lord, to which he replies that it was his duty to protect his devotee. The demon then decides to oppose Lord Shiva, so he kills the saint known to Mahi's family, impersonates him and convinces Malli, Mahi and others that Saambayya is not a good person by faking his death at the hands of Saambayya.
This makes Malli angry with Saambayya and he returns the ring of friendship given to him by Saambayya. Finally, Malli convinces Mahi's family that Rahul is actually Andhakaasura. Then, the demon carries Mahi to the spot of sacrifice and prepares for the ritual. Meanwhile, Malli is advised by the Kaapalika chief (Avinash) to worship Lord Shiva, he tells Malli about his purpose of birth to destroy the demon and the means to do it, as he was the reason of the tragedy in Malli's childhood and Lord Shiva saved him as Saambayya.
Malli confronts the demon and is initially defeated, but he heads skyward to get a blessing from Lord Shiva and finally destroys Andhakaasura by piercing the Trident given by Lord Shiva.