Kangana was raised in Dehra Dun and completed her school level education from DAV's High School. During, her school days, she actively participated in many Elocutions and debates competitions. She was also a basketball player. Upon completion of her schooling, she enrolled at the Science College in Simla. While in college, she joined the Elite School of Modeling. She also did a bit of theatre acting in Delhi and also became a member of the Smita Theater Group and learned acting under the guidance of Arvind Gaur.
She then re-located to Mumbai and after some unsuccessful attempts; she was spotted at a coffee shop by Anurag Basu, who immediately signed her for his film Gangster. Thus, she made her acting debut through Anurag Bsu’s film Gangster in 2006. She was cast opposite Emraan Hashmi. She was praised for her performance and also won the Best Female Debut Award at several Award functions. She then appeared in much-acclaimed films Life in a..Metro, and Fashion. For the latter one, she was not just critically lauded but also won herself National Award under the category of Best Supporting Actress.
She was riding high with her career graph scaling new highs day by day. Her fan following must have at least doubled after her breakthrough performance in the comedy-drama film Tanu Weds Manu in 2011. She won her second National Award but this time under the category of Best Actress for her much-acclaimed performance in the film Queen in 2014. She created history by winning the National award in successive years and this for one of the biggest hit of her career Tanu Weds Manu Returns in 2015.
She was last seen in Vishal Bharadwaj’s film Rangoon in 2017 and her upcoming films are Hansal Mehta’s Simran and Ketan Mehta’s biopic on Rani Laxmibai.