Not 200+ Crore Heeramandi, But 350 Crore Baahubali: Before The Beginning Was The Costliest Web Series Of India
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Heeramandi Became The Costliest Web Series In India After Netflix’s Baahubali Was Shelved (Photo Credit – IMDb/YouTube)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is back with a world we could have never imagined. After Gangubai Kathiawadi, the visionary created a world that transcended into the Shahi Mohalla of Lahore, a colony meant for the courtesans of the Mughal Era.

The web series, which will stream on Netflix, is said to be the costliest web series in India. Mounted on a reported budget of 200+ crore are stars Manisha Koirala, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharmin Saigal, Richa Chaddha, and Sanjeeda Sheikh.

It has also been reported by Times Of India that Bhansali is charging a whopping 65 crore as his fee to direct this highly ambitious project. Heeramandi is being touted as the costliest web series in India; it might surpass the budget of Ajay Devgn’s Rudra, which was also made on a budget of 200 crore that included Devgn’s 125 crore fee as well!

However, what if we tell you that this would not have been the costliest web series in the country if all had gone well with SS Rajamouli’s ambitious project? The Baahubali director joined hands with Netflix to produce the biggest web series in India – Baahubali: Before the Beginning.

The series was based on Anand Nilakantan’s novels – The Rise Of Sivagami and The Queen of Mahishmati. The web series was considered a prequel to Baahubali, which would have led to the story of how Rajmata Sivagami became the most powerful woman in the Mahishmati kingdom.

Initially, a budget of 100 crore was allotted to the web series, and Mrunal Thakur was cast as Sivagami. However, Netflix and Rajamouli’s team were not satisfied with whatever was shot. The web series was being shot on the same set as Baahubali, and Netflix even dropped an announcement teaser for the grand epic. Have a look.

An additional 50 crore was spent on the web series, and in 2021, Mrunal was replaced by Wamiqa Gabbi. The web series was planned to be reshot; however, after spending 150 crore on the series and planning to spend an additional 200 crore to make the entire series from scratch later, it did not seem like a good choice for Netflix. Assuming that the product would not be of premium quality, they decided to scrap this 350-crore series, which had already lost around 150 crore!

So Baahubali: Before The Beginning, which will probably never see the light of day, makes Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s Heeramandi the costliest web series ever made in India. The series will be a tribute to Pakeezah and Mughal-E-Azam. While Bhansali will direct the pilot episode, his assistant will direct the rest of the episodes.

The filmmaker has even launched his music label with the web series, and the first song, Sakal Ban, speaks volumes of the grandeur this web series is about to offer!

For more such stories, stay tuned to Koimoi.

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