Celina Jaitly was born on 24 November 1981 in Kabul to V.K. Jaitly, a retired Indian Army Colonel from Punjab, India and Meeta, an Afghan nurse in the Indian Army. She has one brother, who is currently serving the Indian Army Special Force. Her parents are settled in the Army town of Mhow in the Indore district of Madhya Pradesh.
Due to her army background, Jaitly grew up in several cities in India, like Lucknow, where she attended City Montessori School. However most of her life was spent in the Kashmir valley and the north eastern states of India She also spent some years of her childhood in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu and graduated from St Joseph's College, Manjakuppam. She has, however, spent most of her time in Kolkata, India.
During her teenage years, Jaitly aspired to be a part of the Indian army, either as a doctor or a pilot. However, she started modeling alongside studies at the age of 16 Celina and took part in the 2001 Ms India pageant. She won the crown and then went on to become a runner up at Ms Universe the same year.
In the year 2003, Jaitly was discovered by noted actor & director Feroz Khan who offered her the lead role in her debut film Janasheen. For comedy film Golmaal Returns, Celina won several awards for her performance in the film.