Radhika Pandit is an Indian film and former television actress. She has established a career in Kannada cinema as a leading actress and is the recipient of a Karnataka State Film Award and three South Filmfare Awards.
Having worked in television soaps such as Nandagokula and Sumangali, Pandit made her feature film debut in Moggina Manasu (2008), for which she was awarded the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress and South Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She won the latter award again for her performances in Love Guru (2009) and Krishnan Love Story (2010), and in the process, became the only actress to have won the award on three consecutive years.
She rose to fame starring in commercially successful films Hudugaru (2011), Addhuri (2012), Drama (2012), Bahaddur (2014) and Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari (2014), with her performances receiving critical praise alongside.
Radhika Pandit was born in Bangalore Palace Nursing Home, in the Malleswaram suburb of Bangalore. Her father Krishnaprasad Pandit belongs to the Brahmin community of Chitrapur Saraswats, with his roots in Shirali, in the Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka, and worked for an insurance company, apart from directing and appearing in plays. Her mother, Mangala, is of Goan descent, and is a housewife. Radhika has a younger brother, Gourang. She grew up in her paternal grandfather's house in Malleswaram and continues to live there for "sentimental reasons" as "had bought the house with all the money he had saved." She completed her schooling in Cluny Convent High School, Bangalore, and later pursued a Bachelor of Commerce (B. Com) course at the Mount Carmel College (Bangalore).
Pandit aspired to become a teacher after completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) course. However, in 2007, during her final year in B. Com, she was persuaded by her friend to audition for a role in a Kannada language television serial, Nandagokula, directed by Ashok Kashyap. Pandit was offered the role without an audition. The same year, she appeared in another soap, Sumangali. When the former neared completion, her photos began circulating in local magazines, which were noticed by film director Shashank who was looking for a female lead for his film 18th Cross, and the makers of Moggina Manasu. She was cast in both the films, and began filming with the former first.
Belonging to the community of Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmins, Pandit maintains that she is a non-practicing Brahmin, and that she is not religious. In a 2010 interview with The New Indian Express, she said that she however loves visiting the Chitrapur Math in Uttara Kannada, where she has her roots, as she "feel good after spending some time" and "believe there are positive vibrations there." On her religious and spiritual beliefs, she said:
I am not a religious person ... According to me, God is nothing but a positive energy ... that is a must for mankind to lead a happy and content life ... I offer no pujas at home. I believe in the power of prayers. I think the prayer is the best way to connect with God than offering pujas or participating in rituals. Prayer needs no rituals.
Pandit is considered one of most versatile actresses in Kannada cinema. One of the highest paid actresses in Kannada cinema, Pandit is among the most popular actresses. In a 2015 Bangalore Times poll, she was voted the second most popular actress in Kannada cinema.
Radhika Pandit got engaged to actor Yash in Goa on 12th August 2016. They both got married on 9th December 2016.