Juhi Chawla was born in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. She is the first child born to Dr. S. Chawla and Mona Chawla.
She completed her schooling from Ludhiana before the family moved over to Mumbai. She graduated from Sydenham College, Mumbai with a specialisation in HR. She was the winner of Miss India title in 1984; later she won Best Costume Award for the Miss Universe contest in 1984. She is also a very good dancer. In a Baaje Payal (a film based on a collection of interviews for dancers/actresses) interview, she mentioned having learnt Kathak for three years and regretted giving it up as it could have helped her in her career as an actress. She is also an accomplished classical singer and has been training for the last 6 years.