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Padmapriya was born in Delhi into a Tamil Iyer family to Janakiraman, a brigadier in the Indian Army, and Vijaya and brought up in Punjab.

She did her schooling at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Trimulgherry, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh and studied at Loyola Academy, Alwal, Secunderabad, from which she graduated with a B. Com degree. Later, she pursued an MBA degree in finance at Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Bangalore. She was then working for GE Capital as a risk consultant in Bangalore and Gurgaon. After GE she was with Symphony in Bangalore. During her free-time, she ventured into modelling, which would later pave her way to the film business and acting. She has also won Miss. Andhra Pradesh in 2001.

Classical dance

She has grown up to be a vibrant dansuese under the auspices of the famous guru Natya Brahma V.S. Ramamurthy. She performed more than 200 public performances to her credit. Her Krishna Leela Ballet, where she performed the role of Lord Krishna for Hyderabad Doordarshan in 1990 is telecast even today on almost all Krishna Jayanti festivals and was specially chosen for the SAARC exchange program - she also featured in Nritya Rupam, an innovative choreography by Jayalakshmi Eshwar at Delhi, which was also specially telecast by Delhi Doordarshan.