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


Passion. Pleasure. Power. 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?


The movie was banned in India and Pakistan because of the erotic scenes. See more »


The story of this film is set in the sixteenth century. Young Maya is running through red chili pepper drying in the sun on the palace grounds. Chillies didn't reach Indian cuisine until the seventeenth century. See more »


Teacher of the Kama Sutra: Some things don't make sense immediately.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The US theatrical version was cut to receive an R rating. The uncut version, rated NC-17, was released on video unrated. See more »


Winter in Austria, Theme and Variations
Written and Performed by L. Subramaniam
See more »

User Reviews

Very Well Cast
12 October 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

I do confess that I have read the Kama Sutra and there's an awful lot of misconceptions about it . It is NOT some hot porn manual that will get your juices flowing , it's a very thick book about the art of love . If you've bought a copy simply to use as masturbation fuel then you've certainly wasted your money . Likewise if you bought the book to wave around during some moral crusade with a rather dubious agenda

The film is very similar to the book . Many people who have stated their opinion have obviously watched the movie either expecting to be shocked or to be brought to orgasmic ecstasy but that's their problem because like the book with the same name this film while being somewhat erotic is also rather dull . It's not an adaptation per se just a rather unconnected and tenuous example of a book and movie sharing the same name . The only reason it's called KAMA SUTRA is down to the fact that it's taught to a group of courtesans , the rest of the plot involves something of a love triangle . It's also a movie that's not well made with a visual look of something that appears to have been shot on very poor stock film

I will praise it on one aspect - The casting . For this type of movie to come close to any type of success the casting of the lead female must be right and Indira Varma as Maya simply steals the film . He is strikingly beautiful but he also oozes a type of pure innocence . It's very easy to see why Raj Singh has fallen in love with her . Singh is played by Naveen Andrews who everyone in the world will now know via a very successful American show but you'll never be reminded of Sayid Jarrah while watching this because Andrews is very convincing . I do feel slight sympathy for Sarita Choudhrey as the other pivotal female role of Tara because her part feels rather underwritten and understandably she doesn't have the same type of breathtaking beauty as Varma unfortunately

This could have been a very poor film and to be honest it's not a great one either , but some clever casting and fine acting make it worth watching at least once

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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:

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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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