A truly haunting and beautiful classic.
The movie begins with Devendra (Dilip Kumar) driving his car on a stormy night, His car breaks down, and he goes to seek shelter in a nearby house. He is let into the house by the caretaker, and he is allowed to stay until the rains stop, and he is able to get his car fixed. There he sees a painting and therefater begins a tale, which takes him far back in time.
The flashback shows the love between a simple tribal girl called Madhumati (Vyjayanthimala) and the manager of the estate posted there(Dilip Kumar). The owner of the estate, Ugranarayan(Pran) , has his eyes on Madhumati and tricks her into his house when Anand Babu is out of town. Madhumati thows herself from the terrace of his mansion, to escape from the clutches of Ugranarayan.
When Anand comes back to town, he learns that his love is dead. He loses interest in life. He suspects Ugranarayan is the reason behind Madhumati's death, but is unable to gain evidence of the same.
Later, Anand is amazed to come across Madhavi, who looks exactly like Madhumati. Anand convinces the lookalike, Madhavi to pose as Madhumati and trap Ugranarayan into confessing his crime. When Madhavi is late in arriving on the scene, Madhumati's spirit is seen again. She beckons Ugranarayan to his death and he dies by falling in the same fashion from the terrace. Anand also jumps off to be re - united with his love.
It is then learnt that the lovers take birth again and are re - united in this life, as Devendra and his wife Radha, whom he receives at the station the next day .