Siddhartha is the disarmingly simple story of a young Brahmin, and his search for a meaningful way of life. This search takes him through periods of harsh asceticism, sensual pleasures, material wealth, then self-revulsion and eventually to the oneness and harmony with himself that he had been seeking. Siddhartha learns that the secret of life cannot be passed on from one person to another, but must be achieved through inner experience.
The famed Shashi Kapoor plays Siddhartha. Kapoor is a member of India's most famous show business family, and starred in three James Ivory films, Bombay Talkie, The Householder, and Shakespeare Wallah as well as the films of Satyajit Ray.
Simi Garewal (Kamala), by the time of the film and at the age of 25, had already appeared in 22 films with such directors as Satyajit Ray and Raj Kapoor. Her appearance in the film is legendary, for she was the first Indian actress to perform a nude scene in a country where before that, even kissing was banned from the screen.