Amrita made her acting debut with Ab Ke Baras (2002) which won her the IFFA Face of the Year. She then starred in Ken Ghosh's blockbuster romantic film Ishq Vishk (2003) which earned her a Filmfare nomination in the "Best Female Debut" category. She won the Stardust Searchlight Best Actress Award for Welcome to Sajjanpur in 2009.
Amrita was born to a Mangalorean Brahmin family in Mumbai, India. Her father owns an advertising company in Mumbai and also turned author in 2008. She speaks Hindi, English, Marathi, besides her mother tongue, Konkani. She attended the Canossa Convent High School (Mahim) in Mumbai, and later enrolled in Sophia College to pursue a degree in Psychology. Her younger sister, Preetika Rao, is a model and well-known film journalist and columnist.