Ananya was born as Ayilya to Malayali parents Gopalakrishnan Nair, a well-known film producer, and Praseetha in Kerala. She has one brother Arjun, who is an engineering student. Ananya pursued a B.A. degree in Communicative English at St. Xavier's College, Aluva. During her childhood, she was an archer and won the State Championship. While representing her college in a television reality shows "Star Wars". Ananya got engaged to Anjaneyan, a businessman from Trichur on 3 February 2012. Then in July the actress went and married Anjaneyan in a highly secretive event in Tirupati.
Ananya appeared as a child artist in one of her father's productions (executive producer), Pai Brothers in 1995. She made her acting debut in Malayalam with Positive in 2008. Her screenname changed to Ananya, when she was working in her debut Tamil film Naadodigal, which was a high commercial success. She went on to reprise the same role in its Malayalam remake Ithu Nammude Katha, and the film Shikkar gave her a big break in Malayalam. This gave an opportunity for her in "Vijayashanti" of Malayalam. In 2011, Ananya played one of the female lead roles in Engeyum Eppodhum, which received rave reviews and became a sleeper hit. After three years, she appeared in Pulivaal, Tamil film in 2014. Her upcoming movies are A Aa, Sigappu Rojakkal 2, Intintaa Annamayya, Halliya Makkalu.