ahima Chaudhry was a model before she became an actress. She was overshadowed by Aishwarya Rai in a Pepsi commercial. Her first breakthrough performance where she won rave reviews was Pardes (1997) as Ganga, the love interest of two men, Shahrukh Khan and Apoorva Agnihotri. She was chosen to be the female lead among 3000 applicants who auditioned for Pardes (1997).
Her career was launched by Subhash Ghai who launched the career of Madhuri Dixit and Manisha Koirala. She changed her name from Ritu Chaudhry to Mahima Chaudhry since Subhash Ghai has a superstitious belief of launching big careers with actresses whose name start with M.
She won rave review for her first performance in Pardes (1997) as a village girl who still values her cultures. Unlike most top actresses in India, she didn't mind playing second fiddle in films (example: Dhadkan (2000), Dil Kya Kare (1999)). Apart from her role in Pardes (1997), she also won acclaims on her role as Kavita, the loving wife of Ajay Devgan in Dil Kya Kare (1999).
She was nominated in Filmfare Awards for that role. She was also nominated for her performances in Dhadkan and Dobara
She has played a variety of roles and is known as one of the few actresses who have played every different role an actress could play. Starting with the village girl in Pardes (1997), Her variety of roles include: Daag The Fire (1999) where she played a nasty prostitute, in Pyaar Koi Khel Nahin (1999) she played a widow forced to marry her brother-in-law, in Dhadkan (2000) she's a loving friend of a man who's madly in love with another woman, in Deewane she plays a singer in love with a thief, in Kurukshetra she plays the stubborn wife of a police officer, in Lajja she plays a young bride forced to fight dowry, in Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar (2001), she plays a stubborn tenant who won't give up her home at any cost, in Om Jai Jagadish she's the loving homemaker, in Dil Hai Tumhaara she's the loving sister who'd do anything for her sister's happiness, in Dobara she's the frustrated housewife, in The Film she's a desperate struggling screenwriter, in Zameer she's a paralytic dancer, in Film Star she's an uptight arrogant fading actress, in Home Delivery: Aapko... Ghar Tak (2005) she's an actress who'd do anything to get in a big movie and in Souten (2006) she plays a desperate housewife who has an affair with her stepdaughter's boyfriend.
Next to doing a variety of movies, she has also worked with numerous talented actresses including Kajol, Shilpa Shetty, Urmila Matondkar, Manisha Koirala, Raveena Tandon, Rekha, Preity Zinta, Tabu, Padmini Kolhapure, and Hema Malini. When she was asked about this she responded by saying that she enjoyed working with other actresses and she expressed her opinion to work with Juhi Chawla, her favorite actress