Dharmesh was born Dharmesh Sabharwal, the son of film producer Darshan Sabharwal by his wife Sheila, who is the elder sister of filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt. Thus, both of his parents were linked to the Hindi film industry. At some point, Dharmesh decided to adopt his father's first name as his own surname, and came to be known as Dharmesh Darshan.
He made his directional debut with Lootere (1993), for which he also wrote the story. The film was produced by his brother Suneel Darshan, and was a hit at the box office nationwide.
In 1996, he made his second film in a big way with Raja Hindustani, starring Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor. The movie was the biggest hit of that year as well as one of the biggest blockbusters of the 90s and is also the 4th biggest box office hit of 100 years of Indian cinema as of 2012. It was also much appreciated as Darshan won the Filmfare Best Movie Award and several awards at the Star Screen Awards ceremony.
He took a break of four years after the success of Raja Hindustani. He returned in 2000 with two releases, which were directed and written by himself. His first film Mela starring again Aamir Khan with brother Faisal Khan was average at the box office overall but was one of the biggest success in the hinterlands of India. However, his second release Dhadkan with Akshay Kumar and Shilpa Shetty did tremendously well at the box office and won him acclaim & cult status as one of the finest romantic directors. It was also critically highly acclaimed and he was nominated for Dhadkan in different award ceremonies in the Best Director, Best Film and the Best Story categories, apart from resurrecting the flagging career and image of Akshay Kumar as he had done with Aamir Khan & Karisma Kapoor.
His next release in 2002, Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya starring Karisma Kapoor and her boyfriend of that period, Abhishek Bachchan was a remake of the 1981 film Ek Hi Bhool and was a complete failure for Darshan at the box office and with critics.
The 2005 film Bewafaa was the next venture of Darshan. It was expected that the film would be a success because of its successful songs and well known stars. It performed above average at the box office and received average reviews, However it broke the box office jinx of its reputed producer Boney Kapoor and did tremendous business overseas.
He is one of the youngest directors in Bollywood making the box office history Raja Hindustani only at the age of 28 and is also widely reputed for being a strong woman's director creating the metamorphosis of top heroines as Juhi Chawla, Karisma Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Kareena Kapoor, Sushmita Sen and Priyanka Chopra in Andaz 2002.
His latest release in 2006 was Aap Ki Khatir (2006) which was a remake of the Hollywood hit The Wedding Date. It was not that successful at the box office and with critics though a financial winner for it producers Venus, Ratan jain.
He is the life member of International Film And Television Club Of Asian Academy Of Film & Television. and a major key note speaker at various podiums of media, related to all aspects of cinema and marketing.