Journalist Anand Ingalagi’s book El-Dorado, that detailed events at the Kolar Gold Fields between 1951 and present day, has been banned by the Government of India and all published copies burnt. However, a television news channel procures a copy and interviews him circling the events.
Ingalagi narrates that an ore of gold was discovered by commissioned government officials in the southern part of India’s Mysore State (in present-day Kolar district, Karnataka) in 1951. Raja Krishnappa “Rocky” Bairya is also born on the day of the discovery in the Mysore region, to a poor and widowed woman. Discerning the increasing demand for gold by the Cold War belligerents, Suryavardhan, one of the workers that accompanied the officials, deceitfully sets up a company, Narachi, in that land, bought for a lease of 99 years on the pretext of mining limestone. He has five associates, all of who operate away from KGF: Kamal, the son of a former associate; Rajendra Desai, the father of Reena, Kamal’s fiancé; Andrews, who oversees operations in the Konkan and Malabar Coasts; Guru Pandian, a powerful politician and president of the DYSS party; and brother Adheera. However, each of them have their eyes on the mines. Andrews’ underboss Shetty is a gold smuggler in Bombay, the city that also has another smuggler, Dubai-based Inayat Khalil’s eyes set on.
Rocky arrives in Bombay as a ten-year-old on a quest for power and wealth as desired by his dying mother and begins to work for Shetty. He becomes Shetty’s henchman later and oversees the arrival of gold bars from Africa to the Bombay coast with an iron fist, and soon rises in strength and power rivaling that of Shetty’s. This attracts Andrews who offers him Bombay in return for assassinating Garuda, the elder son of Suryavardhan, who was seen to inherit KGF after his paralysed father’s passing. Rocky accepts the offer and heads to Bangalore where an event is staged for the purpose. Once there, he witnesses the authority and power that Garuda commands and has the attempt averted.
In 1978, at the KGF, a bedridden Suryavardhan announces Garuda as his successor overlooking Adheera, who he wants to serve as the latter’s aide. Garuda’s ruthless way of functioning aided by his commander Vanaram comes to fore. Rocky soon makes his way into KGF evading a unit of henchmen. Once there, he witnesses the brutality that the slaves are subjected to. Although apathetic at first, he is moved by a couple of incidents involving a cold-blooded killing of a mother and son at the hands of an overseer and the slaves’ children hoping that he rises to liberate them. Beginning his attempt at it and to indicate to Desai and his men through informants, Kulkarni and Garuda’s virtuous brother Virat, that he was alive, as planned, Rocky engages in a fight with a unit of twenty-one overseers killing each one of them in order to save a blind slave they were to kill. With the act, Rocky emerges as a hero in the slaves’ eyes. An alerted Vanaram now informs Garuda who heads toward the mines from his palatial residence. To avert thousands of slaves being killed due to his fury, Virat smothers father Suryavardhan to death and sidetracks Garuda, who rushes back home. At the mines, Rocky seizes the opportunity, conspires and unsuspectingly heads through a tunnel to the site where Garuda has decided to behead three slaves as offerings to a deity. Upon Garuda’s return to the site and sacrifice of two slaves, a concealed Rocky emerges and beheads him. The ecstatic slaves accept him as their leader as they cheer him on. The narrator concludes that Rocky intentionally chose KGF as the site to assassinate Garuda, in order to earn the will of an “army of people”, the slaves, before he seized KGF to his control. He adds that Prime Minister Ramika Sen then ordered the Indian Army to have Rocky, now labelled “India’s biggest criminal”, killed.