In 13th-century Afghanistan, Jalaluddin Khilji of the Khilji dynasty plans to take over the throne of Delhi. His nephew Alauddin Khilji at the same time brings him a whole ostrich though he was asked only to bring ostrich hair. In return, he ask for Jalaluddin’s daughter Mehrunisa’s hand in marriage. Their wedding is organised, but on the night of the event, Alauddin engages in adultery with another woman. A courtier witnesses the act and is killed by Alauddin. Mehrunisa is informed of this during the wedding, leaving her horrified.
Meanwhile, the Sinhala princess Padmavati mistaking the Rajput ruler Maharawal Ratan Singh for a deer, accidentally wounds him while hunting in a forest. She takes him along with her and treats him, upon which he divulged his identity, who had traveled to Sinhala to acquire rare pearls for his first wife Nagmati. Over a course of events, the two fall in love. Ratan Singh asks for Padmavati’s hand in marriage, she agrees and with permission from her father, they get married.
Jalaluddin takes over the throne of Delhi and sends Alauddin to repel a Mongol invasion. Alauddin is successful in doing so, but undertakes an unsanctioned raid on Devagiri. Jalaluddin is informed of Alauddin’s ambition to take over the throne from his wife and nephew. He journeys to Kara to meet Alauddin and gifts him the slave Malik Kafur. Alauddin has Jalaluddin and his ministers assassinated and declares himself the new Sultan.
Padmavati journeys to Mewar with Ratan Singh and is blessed by his royal priest, Raghav Chetan. Chetan is caught watching Ratan Singh and Padmavati sharing an intimate moment and is banished from the kingdom. He travels to Delhi and informs Alauddin of Padmavati’s beauty. Alauddin, who is fixated with wanting anything that is of exceptional beauty, invites the Rajputs to Delhi; his invitation is rejected. Frustrated, he lays siege to Ratan Singh’s capital Chittor. After waiting for six months and yet unsuccessful in his attempts to conquer the kingdom, Alauddin feigns peace on account of Holi and is allowed to enter Chittor where he meets Ratan Singh. He asks to see Padmavati. The Rajputs, knowing his intentions, threaten him and tell him that he is alive only because he is a guest. Ratan Singh grants Alauddin’s request to see Padmavati, but does so only for a moment while preventing Alauddin from seeing her face.