Kartik Tiwari (later Aaryan)[a] was born on 22 November 1990 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. Both his parents are doctors; his father is a paediatrician, and his mother, Mala, is a gynaecologist. He pursued an engineering degree in biotechnology from Navi Mumbai's D Y Patil College of Engineering, while secretly harbouring ambitions for a career in film. He has said that he would skip his classes and travel for two hours to attend auditions. Aaryan began a modelling career while in university and after three years of unsuccessfully auditioning for films, he did an acting course from the Kreating Charakters institute. He informed his parents of his desire to become an actor only after he signed his first film.
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