Like other kids Manisha too dreamt of becoming a doctor. In place of becoming a doctor, destiny led her to modeling, and then onto the Silver Screen in Nepal in a 1989 movie ‘Pheri Betaula’.
She launched in Hindi movie with Saudagar which was released in 1991. Vidhu Vinod Chopra's love epic 1942: A Love Story and Mani Ratnam's drama Bombay made her an overnight star. In 1996 she received lot of accolades for her performance in Agni Sakshi, where she was seen as a battling wife of a mentally ill husband. The film was one of the biggest commercial hits of that year.
Later that year, she acted in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's directorial debut, Khamoshi: The Musical story which too was a huge hit. With no blood connection in Bollywood and being a Non-Indian, she undoubtedly was at the peak of her career during the 1990s.
In 2010, Koirala married Samrat Dahal, a Nepali businessman, in a conventional ceremony held in Nepal. The marriage didn’t last long and the couple divorced in 2012.