Based on Thea von Harbou's novel, a rajah in Bengal has his yogi heal an English architect of leprosy, but he takes revenge on his wife's English lover.
Ayan III (Conrad Veidt) is told how MacAllen (Paul Richter) escaped from his burning bungalow. Irene Amundsen (Mia May) asks to see Ayan. He sends his tiger hunters after MacAllen and offers gold. Irene tells Ayan that she wants to see her fiancé Herbert Rowland (Olaf Fonss). Ayan takes her to a leper colony. From the wall she sees Herbert and faints. Mirrjha (Lya de Putti) tells the captive princess Savitri (Erna Morena) what is happening. Ayan blames Irene for seeking Herbert because he followed her to the penitents. Ayan says that God wants her as a sacrifice, or she can accept his destiny.
MacAllen crosses a deep river on his horse, and the hunters follow. Irene agrees to sacrifice herself. The hunters capture MacAllen. Irene goes to the temple. The yogi Ramigani (Bernhard Goetzke) tells Ayan that he will heal Herbert. Irene is allowed to be a silent witness. Ramigani calls Herbert, and he walks out the gate and into the temple, falling down by Ramigani. He holds out his hands, and Herbert's skin clears up.
Hunters deliver MacAllen. A priest tells Irene to honor her pledge. Ayan walks out of a shrine and stops her from stabbing herself. He says her sacrifice is to worship him. Ayan orders the bound MacAllen to be kept for him.
Herbert wakes up in bed and learns that Ramigani healed him. Irene enters the leper colony, throws jewelry at them, and tries to get away. Mirrjha opens a door for her. MacAllen is put into an area with tigers, and Ayan has Savitri watch them eat him.
Herbert and Irene go to Ayan's party. Mirrjha is abducted and ordered to dance for Ayan. As she dances, a snake is brought and bites her. Ayan says she follows MacAllen, whom she helped. Mirrjha dies.
Herbert and Irene look for Savitri, and he fights guards. Ayan is told. Herbert, Irene, and Savitri take a boat after he shoots the engines of two others. Soldiers can't operate those boats. Ayan asks for a boat. A man swims but is eaten by a crocodile. Others use a harpoon on a rope to haul in a boat. Herbert, Irene, and Savitri cross the lake, and Ayan pursues them. They climb a mountain and come to a ravine with a rope bridge. Herbert carries Savitri across, but Irene stays behind and cuts the ropes. Ayan demands that Herbert surrender Savitri, or Irene will die. To stop innocents dying, Savitri jumps to her death. Herbert joins Irene at the bottom to see Savitri's body. Ayan grieves over her.
In the final scene Herbert has built a tomb for Savitri, and Ayan has become penitent.
This drama completes the personal story of an Indian
king who sought revenge after his wife had an affair with an Englishman.
She gives up her life so that more innocent people will not be
killed, and his anger and hatred turn to repentance. Thus the
tragedy reflects the Indians' responsibility for lusting after
what the British had to offer them.