Dashing pilot Arun - Rajesh Khanna loves Vandana Tripathi - Sharmila Tagore, they become very intimate, and as a result Vandana gets pregnant. Arun and Vandana have a quiet wedding ceremony in the temple, and Arun leaves to re-join his duties. Unfortunately, Arun is killed, and Vandana is unable to convince anyone of her marriage with him, and as such must re-locate to hide her shame. She gives birth to a baby boy, whom she must place in an orphanage to be adopted. Unfortunately for her, the boy, Suraj, is adopted by someone else. She manages to find out their whereabouts, and gets a job as a servant. When she is about to be molested by Shyam, a relative, Suraj witnesses this, and kills him. Vandana takes the blame for this killing and is sentenced to imprisonment, leaving her son and her life behind, for a crime she did not commit. When she returns everything has changed, and she is unable to locate the family where her son was. Fantastic music and a dashing leading man aside, the main reason why Aradhana works is perhaps because of the wonderful story line and direction.