Two female friends become sexual rivals at maturity.


Mira Nair
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Indira Varma ... Maya
Sarita Choudhury ... Tara, the Queen
Ramon Tikaram ... Jai Kumar
Naveen Andrews ... Raj Singh
Rekha ... Rasa Devi, teacher of the Kama Sutra
Khalid Tyabji ... Biki
Arundhati Rao Arundhati Rao ... Annabi
Surabhi Bhansali Surabhi Bhansali ... Young Maya
Garima Dhup Garima Dhup ... Young Tara
Pearl Padamsee ... Maham Anga
Kusum Haidar Kusum Haidar ... Dilki
Harish Patel ... Doctor Mani
Ranjit Chowdhry ... Babu
Achala Sachdev ... Rupa (as Achla Sachdev)
Achla Sachdev Achla Sachdev ... Rupa


Tara and Maya are two inseparable friends in India. Their tastes, habits, and hobbies are the same. Years later, the two have matured, but have maintained their friendship. Tara gets married to the local prince, Raj Singh, who soon succeeds the throne as the sole heir. After the marriage, Raj gets bored of Tara and starts seeking another female to satisfy his sexual needs. He notices Maya and is instantly attracted to her. He has her included as one of his courtesans, and is intimate with her. Watch what happens when Tara finds out and the extent she will go to keep her marriage intact. Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In a world ruled by pleasure, love is the ultimate seduction. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong erotic sequences, nudity and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Sarita Choudhury talked about performing her nude scenes in this film during a 2004 interview. "I was lucky to have a female director who was tasteful. Actual nudity in the film was less than its sensuality. Mira is very good at creating images that can get confused for nudity. I only believe in doing a nude scene when I trust the director. Usually up to the day before I am convinced I will say 'no' because my heart is full of fear. When I see French movies, I realise how normal it is for other cultures." See more »


When teen Tara and Maya were dancing to the music in the sunlight, Maya's blouse under her armpit can be seen wet with sweats, on the next scene the sweat is decreased severely. See more »


Jai Kumar: A servant is a master in disguise.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The CBFC removed the...
  • Side shot of Maya showing her bare breasts.
  • Side shot of Tara showing her bare bottom,
  • Side shot of Tara sitting and her bare breasts are seen.
  • and Maya lying down and her nipples are seen
for the Telugu release. See more »


The Toona Song
Written by Madan Gopal Singh
Performed by Shubha Mudgal
See more »

User Reviews

Lush, plot-lite tragedy.
5 December 2001 | by elizabeth_roseSee all my reviews

An exotic confection with pretty scenery and a terrific soundtrack, KAMA SUTRA, is worth watching if you're a fan of arty soap operas. Don't expect great art and you won't be disappointed. It's a lot of fun. The actors and scenes are yummy in various degrees. It sheds some light on the lives of privileged (or not so privileged) women in Medieval India and on their keepers, er, men. Options were pretty limited, as you might imagine, so pretty courtesan, Maya makes the most of her good looks, while former childhood playmate Tara gets the royal marriage she was bred for and doesn't like it one bit. There's sibling rivalry, love, greed and intrigue. Oh and sex... Looks great, ends tragically and some of the finest artists in Indian music worked on the soundtrack (which IS worth owning if Indian music is your cup of chai). What more could you want?

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UK | Japan | Germany | USA


English | Italian

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love See more »

Filming Locations:

Jaipur, Rajasthan, India See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$53,499, 2 March 1997

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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