In a small village in Darjeeling, Sahuji (Utpal Dutt) the merchant has woven a web of corruption in every layers of the social fabric. He supplies materials of inferior quality to the tea garden, and then bribes the accountants to pass his bills. When one of the managers, called "Boro Babu", (Abhi Bhattacharya), stands up, Sahuji pays the workers to go on a strike against this Boro Babu. And he is also involved in rampant smuggling of goods across the border, and everyone from the local jeweler to the local police inspector are part of his intricate web.
While the father has created a position of influence by spreading corruption, his son Kaaliram (Amjad Khan) has ushered in a reign of terror. He goes to local bars, drinks, and doesn't pay. Anyone standing in his way gets beaten up mercilessly, either by him or his thugs. After getting sufficiently intoxicated, he then indulges in carnal desire by forcefully taking away any of the unmarried village girls for a night of merriment. If the poor girl's parents try to fight back, their house is set on fire. Desperate villagers make a plea to the owner of the tea garden, who calls (presumably) the higher ups in police force and they promise to send someone.
Next day, while crossing a bridge, Kaaliram and his thugs meet a mysterious stranger on a mule, whose face is completely covered in a Sombrero-type hat popular in that region. The stranger, named Abhijit (Amitabh Bachchan), doesn't seem to be aware of Kaali's reputation and has no hesitation in fighting back strongly. Kaali vows to take revenge, but on a number of subsequent encounters, including a drum-playing competition, Kaali comes up second every time. However, the ever so loyal police inspector (Asit Sen), always comes to his rescue and prevents him from being sent to jail. However, Kaali's frustration grows.
In the meanwhile, Abhijit meets and falls in love with Rajni (Raakhee), the blind daughter of the Boro Babu. One rainy night, Kaali attempts to molest Rajni, but Abhijit comes to her rescue. When the police inspector again attempts to drag his feet, Abhijit erupts in anger, shows his identity as a very high level police officer, throws Kaali into jail, and suspends the police officer.
Abhijit marries Rajni and they settle down in a quaint little village named Sonarpur, awaiting the birth of their first child. Meanwhile, Kaalia gets out of jail and finds the whereabouts of Abhijit and Rajni. He sends Abhijit away from home by making a fake call for help, and then, enters Abhijit's home and attacks Rajni, killing the unborn child.
A clue found outside the house ties Kaali with the incident, and Abhijit confronts him. However, as he is about to drag the handcuffed Kaalia to the police station, Sahuji, in an attempt to shoot Abhijit, ends up killing his son.
The film has two solos by Lata Mangeshkar, a romantic duet by Lata and Kishore, the mocking of Kaaliram after the drum competition sung in the form of a titular song by Kishore ("Kaliram Ka Dhol"), and then the melody of "Manchali O Manchali" sung by Kishore and Asha.
Some of the scenes have been in filmed in Darjeeling. The knife shown in the poster is the "khukri".Amitabh Bachchan as Abhijit
Raakhee as Rajni (Tamosha in Bengali version)
Amjad Khan as Kaaliram
Abhi Bhattacharya as Rajni's father
Utpal Dutt as Sahuji, Kaaliram's father
Prema Narayan as Village belle
Asit Sen as Police inspector
All music composed by Rahul Dev Burman.