Vijaya spent most of her childhood in the holy city of Palani. Vijaya's father was from Andhra Pradesh and mother from Kerala. Her father wanted her to become an actress since he was himself acting in M. K. Radha's drama troupe at the time. She got married to a businessman Sudarshan Velayudhan Nair in 1966 and quit acting in films. The couple has a daughter Hemalatha. Velayudhan died on 26 March 2016 aged 82. She made her film debut with Karpagam in 1963. She received lot of film offers between 1963 to 1966. She played the title character, a heroine, in her 1963 debut film Karpagam, directed by K. S. Gopalakrishnan. Gopalakrishnan also directed her 100th film Nathaiyil Muthu. Her co-stars in the Hindi movie were Raaj Kumar and Feroz Khan and movie was based on K . Balachander's play Major Chandrakant. She received many offers in Hindi, but did not accept them as she was busy in the South. Between her debut in 1963 and her marriage in 1966, she shot for films like Ninaivil Nindraval, Thenmazhai, Ooty Varai Oravu, Patanathil Bhootam,Server Sundaram, Kandan Karunai, Paladai and Manam Oru Korungu. She did 3 films Thazhampoo, Vivasayee and Panam Padaithavan opposite M.G.Ramachandran and played supporting roles in Naan Aanaiittal. She got married at the peak of her career. Some of her films include Karpagam, Selvam, Anarkali, Saraswathi Sabadham, Nenchirukkum Varai, Namma Veetu Theivam, Dheergasumangali, Idhayakamalam, Thangappathakkam,Panchavarna Kili and Thirusoolam.