Priyanka Kothari or Nisha Kothari was born in Kolkata to a Marwari Jain family and grew up speaking Bengali, Gujarati, English and Hindi. She moved to New Delhi while in grade 10 and got her degree in Chemistry from Delhi University at Dayal Singh College. Her father is a chemical businessman, her mother a home-maker, and her elder sister is married.
After college, Kothari became a model and appeared in a number of advertisement campaigns. In 2003, she got her big break through actor Madhavan, who recommended her for an audition in his film after viewing her photographs. She made her acting debut with him in the Tamil film Jay Jay, credited as Amoga. She made her Bollywood debut in the 2005 film Sarkar and then later that same year appeared in James, directed by Ram Gopal Varma and Rohit Jugraj respectively. She then went on to do The Killer with Emraan Hashmi. Since then she had appeared in less significant films and roles. Her most recent release was Bin Bulaye Baraati.
Kothari is a member of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy Of Film & Television.
In 2011 West Bengal state assembly elections, she campaigned for Dr Nirmal Majhi, a All India Trinamool Congress candidate contesting from North Uluberia.