Karthika Menon (born 6 June 1986), better known by her stage name Bhavana, is an Indian film actress who works in the South Indian film industry. She made her acting debut in Kamal's Malayalam film Nammal (2002), which won her critical acclaim and various honors. In a career spanning over a decade, she has appeared in over 60 films and won two Kerala State Film Awards.
Bhavana was born in Thrissur district, Kerala, as the daughter of Pushpa and assistant cinematographer, late G.Balachandran (died on 24 September 2015). She has one brother, Jayadev, who currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. She studied at Holy Family Girls' High School, Chembukkavu, Thrissur.
Bhavana has described herself as a restless person and someone who's "hard to handle". She grew up with a dream to become an actress. As a five-year-old, she used to imitate actress Amala's scenes from the Malayalam film Ente Sooryaputhrikku in front of the mirror and was even willing to jump from a building and break her arm, like Amala's character, did in the film.
At age 16, she debuted in the Malayalam film Nammal taking the stage name Bhavana ("enlightenment, imagination") opposite newcomers Siddharth, Jishnu and Renuka Menon. The film was a big success and she got several offers in Malayalam. She won many honors and a Kerala State Special Jury Award for the film. Bhavana was an 11th Standard student when she got her break in films. She has acted with almost all actors in Malayalam cinema and has got many offers lined up in Tamil and did many projects with famous Tamil actors like Ajith Kumar, Madhavan, Jayam Ravi, Bharath, Jiiva and Srikanth.
In 2010, she starred in her first Kannada film alongside Puneeth Rajkumar, Jackie which was a blockbuster. Following the film's huge success, the film was dubbed into Telugu and Malayalam. Bhavana was said to star with Emraan Hashmi and Amitabh Bachchan in a Bollywood film. Her second Kannada film Vishnuvardhana with Sudeep opened to a big response. She appeared in the Malayalam films Ozhimuri and Trivandrum Lodge in 2012, and Honey Bee and Ezhamathe Varavu in 2013. She played Roshni Mathew, a single mother employed in an IT company, in Shyamaprasad's Ivide, a crime thriller based on the serial killing of IT techies in major US cities.
Upcoming films of Bhavana include Swapnathekaal Sundaram and Adventures of Omanakuttan. Swapnathekaal Sundaram, touted to be an "out-and-out family entertainer", will see her portraying a housewife and mother to a 9-year-old boy, while Adventures of Omanakuttan will feature her as Pallavi, a flamenco dancer.
She is the brand ambassador, along with actress Mamta Mohandas, for team Kerala Strikers in the Celebrity Cricket League (CCL), captained by Mohanlal, who is also one of the owners of the team, and vice-captain Indrajith. She has acted in many advertisements also.