Rajamouli ventured into films with directing the Telugu film Student No.1 in 2001, starring Jr. NTR, Gajala and Rajeev Kanakala. This coming of age musical film was a big hit and was dubbed in Hindi as Aaj Ka Mujrim and was remade in Odia in 2008 as Mate Ta Love Helare. His second movie Simhadri, even though was released two years after his first, was a blockbuster hit. This action masala film once again starred Jr. NTR alongwith Ankitha and Bhoomika Chawla in lead roles, and Mukesh Rishi, Nassar and Rahul Dev in supporting roles. It was dubbed in Hindi and Malayalam languages, and was remade as Gajendra in Tamil and Kanteerava in Kannada.
The director’s third venture was the sports drama Sye with actors Nithin and Genelia D’Souza in the lead. Based on a rugby game, it was first the time Rajamouli collaborated with cinematographer K. K. Senthil Kumar. This movie too was dubbed in Hindi as Aar Paar – The Judgement Day, Malayalam as Challenge, and Tamil as Kalugu. His next was the 2005 action drama Chhatrapati with Prabhas in the lead role with Shriya Saran, Bhanupriya, and Pradeep Rawat in other pivotal roles, loosely based on the Hollywood film Scarface. The movie is about Shivaji (Prabhas) and his family who are uprooted from their community in Sri Lanka and they end up as bonded labourers in Vizag, and Shivaji fights to save the oppressed. This followed with Vikramarkudu in 2006, an action-masala film, starring Ravi Teja, Anushka Shetty and Vineet Kumar in the lead. The movie received positive reviews and was screened at the International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section. This huge blockbuster hit was remade in Tamil as Siruthai, in Kannada as Veera Madakari, in Hindi as Rowdy Rathore, in Indian Bengali as Bikram Singha, and in Bangladeshi Bengali as Ulta Palta 69. The Hindi remake Rowdy Rathore starred Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, and was also a hit.
In the consecutive year, Rajamouli’s next direction was Yamadonga, a socio-fantasy film starring Mohan Babu, Jr. NTR, Priyamani and Mamta Mohandas. The movie received critical praises and was a box office success.
The romantic-action film Magadheera (2009) was the director’s next, which was one of the highest-grossing Telugu films and gained worldwide claim. The huge success of the film shot up the lead actors Ram Charan and Kajal Aggarwal to stardom. It is the first Telugu film to have a home media release in Blu-ray. It won the National Award for Best Choreography and Best Special Effects at the 57th National Film Awards, and was dubbed in Tamil as Maaveeran and Malayalam as Dheera: The Warrior. Based on reincarnation, the film won Rajamouli Filmfare Award for Best Director – Telugu – Magadheera (2009), Nandi Award for Best Director – Magadheera (2009) and CineMAA Award for Best Director – Magadheera (2009).
His next was a light-hearted comedy thriller film Maryada Ramanna in 2010, starring Sunil and Saloni Aswani. It was a remake of Kannada movie Balagalittu Olage Baa and garnered moderate to favorable reviews. The movie was remade in Hindi as Son of Sardar, in Tamil as Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham, starring Santhanam and Ashna Zaveri, and in Malayalam as Ivan Maryadaraman with Dileep. Subsequent to this, Rajamouli directed Eega in Telugu, a 2012 bilingual fantasy film, made simultaenously in Tamil titled Naan Ee. This movie was written by this father K. V. Vijayendra Prasad and starred Sudeep, Nani, and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. The director once again collaborated with K. K. Senthil Kumar for the cinematography of the film. The movie is based on a fantasy bedtime story a father tells his daughter to put her to sleep.
One of the biggest successes in Rajamouli’s career was the epic historical fiction film Baahubali: The Beginning produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devinen. This was the first of the two cinematic parts and was simultaneously made in Telugu and Tamil. The movie featured a star cast comprising Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah, and Anushka Shetty, in the lead roles, while Sathyaraj, Ramya Krishnan, Nassar, Adivi Sesh, Tanikella Bharani and Sudeep played supporting roles. It was one of the highest grossing Indian films, globally. This non-Hindi film also grossed a lot in the dubbed Hindi version. The movie won the Best Feature Film and the Best Special Effects at the 63rd National Film Awards and was also nominated for five categories at the 42nd Saturn Awards. For brilliant direction of the movie, Rajamouli won Filmfare Award for Best Director – Telugu – Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), IIFA Award for Best Director (Telugu) – Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) at the 1st IIFA Utsavam, and Best Director – Baahubali: The Beginning (2015).