Lara was born in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh to a Punjabi father and an Anglo-Indian mother. Her father is Wing Commander L.K. Dutta (retired) and her mother is Jennifer Dutta. She also has two older sisters, one of whom serves in the Indian Air Force and a well known younger sister. Famed composer and DJ Nitin Sawhney is Lara’s cousin. The Dutta family moved to Bangalore in 1981 where she completed high school from St.Francis Xavier Girls’ High School and the Frank Anthony Public School. Lara graduated in economics with a minor in communications from the University of Mumbai. She was crowned Miss Universe in 2000 which led to her appointment as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador in 2001.