Vivah (2006) made her a national star; it depicted the journey of two individuals from engagement to marriage.
Co-starring alongside Shahid Kapoor, Rao portrayed Poonam, a traditionally raised young woman.
The film is set against the backdrop of the Kashmir Conflict in Northern India.
Mainly inspired from the Hollywood movie A Few Good Men, Shaurya received positive reviews from the critics, and the film did average business at the box-office.
Rao attended school at Canossa Convent Girls School and graduated from Sophia College with a psychology degree.
She has made special appearances in Heyy Babyy (2007), Shaurya (2008), Life Partner (2009) and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai (2010).
Rao was born and raised in Mumbai; she made her screen debut in Ab Ke Baras (2002), for which she was nominated for the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award in 2003.