Famous Indian Women

Indian women are perceived to be dusky, doe-eyed and beautiful—a stereotype that has long been promoted by the media. While there is no doubt that the Indian woman is pretty, it is very unfair to judge her based upon only the physical attributes. Indian women are intelligent, talented and hard working too. Mathematics had long been considered a man’s domain in patriarchic India, but the feisty lady mathematician Shakuntala Devi, dubbed the “Human Computer” proved the naysayers wrong. Similarly the female chemist Asima Chatterjee beat all the odds to become the first woman to be conferred a Doctorate of Science by an Indian University.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Indian Women

 1 

Mother Teresa
104
Birthdate: August 26, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Skopje, North Macedonia
Died: September 5, 1997

An Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and a missionary, Mother Teresa was the founder of Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation. She was both an admired and controversial figure and was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. While she was admired by many for her charitable work, she also earned criticism for her stance against abortion and contraception.

 2 

Priyanka Chopra
107
Birthdate: July 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India

The Winner of Miss World 2000; a successful actress in Hindi films; the owner of production house that promotes regional Indian cinema and the first Indian actor to play the lead character in an American television show – Priyanka Chopra’s list of achievements is long. The popular star is also a singer, a tech investor and the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

 3 
Indira Gandhi
(3rd Prime Minister of India)

Indira Gandhi
43
Birthdate: November 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: October 31, 1984

The third Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi served as PM from 1966 till 1977 and then again from 1980 till her assassination in October 1984. She is considered one of India’s strongest PM and is hailed for leading India to victory over Pakistan in 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. However, she is also categorised as authoritarian and is criticised for imposing Emergency in 1975.

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 4 
P. V. Sindhu
(Badminton player)

P. V. Sindhu
57
Birthdate: July 5, 1995
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

P. V. Sindhu is an Indian badminton player. In 2016, she won the Olympic silver medal in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first Indian woman to receive an Olympic silver. Sindhu became a national icon following her performance in the 2016 Olympics. In January 2020, she was honored with the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian award.

 5 
Rani Lakshmibai
(Queen of Jhansi State)

Rani Lakshmibai
30
Birthdate: November 19, 1828
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Varanasi, India
Died: June 18, 1858

Remembered for her heroics against the British, the Indian Joan of Arc Rani Lakshmibai remains an icon of the 1857 Indian Rebellion. The wife of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, she is known for leading the fight against the British after her husband’s death. She also inspired the legendary lines Khoob Ladi Mardani.

 6 

Deepika Padukone
47
Birthdate: January 5, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

Deepika Padukone is one of the highest-paid Indian actresses. She is also known for her off-screen work, which involves supporting charitable organizations. She founded The Live Love Laugh Foundation, which aims at creating awareness on mental health. In 2018, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world.

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 7 
Madhuri Dixit
(Actress)

Madhuri Dixit
23
Birthdate: May 15, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Padma Shri-winning actor Madhuri Dixit ruled Bollywood in the 1990s, with her performances in films such as Dil, Beta, and Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! The multiple-Filmfare-winning actor is a talented Kathak dancer. She owns a production company and an online dance school, and has also worked with UNICEF.
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 8 
Rekha
(Actor, Politician)

Rekha
21
Birthdate: October 10, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

 9 
Aishwarya Rai
(Actress and the Winner of the Miss World 1994 Pageant.)

Aishwarya Rai
28
Birthdate: November 1, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mangaluru, Karnataka, India

Indian actress Aishwarya Rai is one of the most popular and influential celebrities in the country. She began her career as a model and was crowned the Miss World 1994. She started acting soon after and became one of India’s top actresses. Besides acting, she is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS).

 10 
Sridevi
(Indian Actress Cited as the 'First Female Superstar' of Indian Cinema)

Sridevi
16
Birthdate: August 13, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sivakasi, Madras State, India
Died: February 24, 2018

Sridevi was an Indian film actress who appeared in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam language films. Considered one of the most popular actresses of all time, Sridevi was dubbed the First Female Superstar in India. With several prestigious awards under her belt, she was also regarded as one of the finest actresses of her generation.

 11 

Kareena Kapoor
41
Birthdate: September 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

One of the most popular and also amongst the highest paid Bollywood actresses, Kareena Kapoor is best known for her roles in movies like Chameli, Omkara, 3 Idiots and Jab We Met. Born into a film family, the beautiful, accomplished and award winning actress always aspired to enter the film industry and eventually made her debut at the age of 19 with the movie Refugee.

 12 

Anushka Sharma
39
Birthdate: May 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India

Indian actress and producer, Anushka Sharma is one of the most popular and highest-paid actresses in the country. She was featured by Forbes Asia in their 30 Under 30 list of 2018 and is the recipient of numerous awards. Beginning her career as a model, she soon ventured into acting and made a name for herself within a short while.

 13 
Sania Mirza
(Tennis player)

Sania Mirza
50
Birthdate: November 15, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mumbai, India

An impressive doubles tennis player, Sania Mirza has six Grand Slam titles under her belt. A former doubles world No. 1, Sania Mirza is one of the greatest Indian female  tennis players ever. In 2005, Sania Mirza was named in Time magazine's 50 Heroes of Asia list. In 2016, she was named in the magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list.

 14 
Saina Nehwal
(Badminton player)

Saina Nehwal
20
Birthdate: March 17, 1990
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hisar, Haryana, India

A former world no.1, Saina Nehwal holds the feat of being the only Indian female player and overall the second Indian player to achieve this ranking. She is the first Indian female to have bagged in an Olympic medal in badminton. She was also awarded India's third highest civillian award, the Padma Bhushan.

 

 15 
Kajol
(Actress)

Kajol
30
Birthdate: August 5, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mumbai
Padma Shri-winning Indian actor Kajol, daughter of yesteryear actor Tanuja, holds the record for the most Filmfare Award wins as the “Best Actress,” along with Nutan, her aunt. She is known for teaming up with Shah Rukh Khan in hit Hindi films such as Baazigar and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

 16 
Padma Lakshmi
(Model. Writer)

Padma Lakshmi
9
Birthdate: September 1, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madras, Tamil Nadu, India

Padma Lakshmi is a model, television host and author. She has hosted cooking competition program Top Chef and has published cookbooks. She has acted in films and television too and is also an activist working for immigration and women’s rights and is a critic of skin-lightening creams. She was married to novelist Salman Rushdie for a little over three years.

 17 
Sarojini Naidu
(Poet and Freedom Fighter)

Sarojini Naidu
39
Birthdate: February 13, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hyderabad, India
Died: March 2, 1949

Sarojini Naidu was an Indian poet and political activist. An important figure in the Indian Independence Movement, she was a proponent of anti-imperialistic ideas, women's rights, and civil rights. Her illustrious career as a poet earned her the nickname Nightingale of India. After India became independent, she became the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.

 18 
Tabu
(actor, model)

Tabu
13
Birthdate: November 4, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hyderabad

Tabu is an Indian actress best known for her work in the Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu film industries. One of the most celebrated actresses of her generation, Tabu is renowned for playing unconventional roles. In 2011, she was honored with the Padma Shri by the Indian Government. She has also received other prestigious awards, such as National Film Awards.

 19 
Preity Zinta
(Actor, Model, Journalist)

Preity Zinta
12
Birthdate: January 31, 1975
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Preity Zinta is an Indian actress and entrepreneur. She is best known for her roles in the romantic drama films Kal Ho Naa Ho and Veer Zaara. She has degrees in English honors and criminal psychology but chose to become a model and actress. She is known for playing unconventional roles and is the recipient of several awards. 

 20 
Sunny Leone
(Actress, Model)

Sunny Leone
100
Birthdate: May 13, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sarnia, Canada

In 2010, Sunny Leone was named among 12 top porn stars by Maxim magazine. After a flourishing career in the porn industry, Sunny Leone settled in India where she is currently popular as a film actress. Her journey from a porn actress to a successful Bollywood personality is viewed as an inspirational story by many young women across the world. 

 21 
Sushmita Sen
(Actor, Model, Beauty pageant contestant)

Sushmita Sen
8
Birthdate: November 19, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hyderabad

 22 
Mary Kom
(Boxer, Politician)

Mary Kom
24
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kangathei, Manipur, India
Indian boxing legend Mary Kom, known as “Magnificent Mary,” is the only female to win the World Amateur Boxing championship six times. She has won golds at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, and an Olympic bronze, too. The Padma Vibhushan-winner is also a Rajya Sabha member.

 23 

Manushi Chhillar
12
Birthdate: May 14, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rohtak, Haryana, India

Manushi Chhillar is an Indian actress and model. Chhillar achieved popularity in 2017 when she won the Miss World pageant, becoming only the sixth Indian to win the pageant. After winning the pageant, Chhillar went on to sign a three-film contract with the popular production company Yash Raj Films. She has also modeled for popular brands like Fashion Big Bazaar.

 24 
Raveena Tandon
(Model, Actor, Film producer)

Raveena Tandon
5
Birthdate: October 26, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mumbai

Raveena Tandon is an Indian film actress, producer, and model. Although she is best known for her work in the Hindi film industry, Tandon has also played important roles in many popular South Indian films like Kamal Haasan's Aalavandhan and Upendra's eponymous film. Over the course of her career, Tandon has received several prestigious awards, including a National Film Award.

 25 
Sonia Gandhi
(President of Indian National Congress (1998-2017, Since 2019))

Sonia Gandhi
12
Birthdate: December 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lusiana, Lusiana Conco, Italy

Sonia Gandhi is an Indian politician and president of one of the most prominent Indian political parties, The Indian National Congress. As the president of Indian National Congress, which has been one of India's most successful political parties in the country's post-independence history, Sonia Gandhi remains one of the most powerful women in India.

 26 

Urmila Matondkar
14
Birthdate: February 4, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Urmila Matondkar started her career at 3 and then delivered a memorable performance in Masoom as a child actor. Fans have loved her appearances in Satya, Rangeela, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, and Pinjar. She won a Filmfare for her role in Bhoot and has now joined the Indian National Congress.

 27 
Bipasha Basu
(actor, model, film actor)

Bipasha Basu
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Delhi

 28 
Rani Mukerji
(Actor, Model)

Rani Mukerji
13
Birthdate: March 21, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mumbai

Rani Mukerji is an Indian actress best known for her work in the Hindi film industry. One of the most successful actresses of her generation, Mukerji has featured in the highest-paid and most popular actresses of the 2000s lists. She has also received several awards like Filmfare Awards and Screen Awards. Rani Mukerji is also known for her humanitarian work.

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 29 
Indra Nooyi
(CEO of Pepsico)

Indra Nooyi
8
Birthdate: October 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Indra Nooyi is an Indian-American business executive known for her association with PepsiCo where she served as the chief executive officer from 2006 to 2018. Often ranked among the most powerful women, Nooyi was named in Forbes' World's 100 Most Powerful Women list in 2014. In 2017, she was named in the magazine's 19 Most Powerful Women in Business list.

 30 
Juhi Chawla
(Actor, Model, Film producer, Beauty pageant contestant)

Juhi Chawla
8
Birthdate: November 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ambala

 31 
Madhubala
(Actress)

Madhubala
29
Birthdate: February 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Delhi
Died: February 23, 1969
Madhubala, also known as the Marilyn Monroe of Bollywood, ruled the 1950s with films such as Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and Mr. and Mrs. '55. She was nominated for a Filmfare Award for Mughal-e-Azam and was photographed for Life magazine. She died due to a congenital heart ailment, at 36.

 32 

Dimple Kapadia
10
Birthdate: June 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mumbai

 33 

Karisma Kapoor
12
Birthdate: June 25, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mumbai

Karisma Kapoor is an Indian film actress best known for her association with the Hindi film industry. Born into the famous Kapoor family, Karisma achieved popularity during the 1990s when she played important roles in successful films like Jigar. She then established herself as the leading actress of Bollywood by winning prestigious awards like National Film Award and Filmfare Awards.

 34 
Zeenat Aman
(Actress)

Zeenat Aman
4
Birthdate: November 19, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bombay, State of Bombay, India

 35 
Lara Dutta
(She was previously crowned as Miss Intercontinental 1997)

Lara Dutta
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

 36 
Dia Mirza
(Mirza won the title of Miss Asia Pacific International in 2000)

Dia Mirza
7
Birthdate: December 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Telangana, India

 37 
Shabana Azmi
(Actress)

Shabana Azmi
3
Birthdate: September 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Shabana Azmi is an Indian actress best known for playing eccentric and unconventional characters. One of the most acclaimed and celebrated actresses, Azmi has won several prestigious awards, including a record five National Film Awards under the Best Actress category. In 2012, Shabana Azmi was honored with India's third-highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan.

 38 
Razia Sultana
(First Female Sultan of Delhi)

Razia Sultana
23
Birthdate: 1205 AD
Died: October 14, 1240

Razia Sultana is known for being the only female Muslim ruler of Delhi. She ruled the Delhi Sultanate in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent from 1236 to 1240. She was the daughter of Mamluk Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish. Upon her ascend to the throne, she was challenged by rival nobles, many of whom she defeated.

 39 
Nora Fatehi
(Dancer & Actress)

Nora Fatehi
95
Birthdate: February 6, 1992
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Nora Fatehi is a popular figure in the Indian film industry. Although born and raised in Canada. Nora has worked in Malayalam, Telugu, and Hindi language films. She was part of one of the highest-grossing Indian films ever - Baahubali: The Beginning. Apart from appearing in films, she has also made a mark in the TV industry.

 40 
Mithali Raj
(Cricketer)

Mithali Raj
4
Birthdate: December 3, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jodhpur

Lata Mangeshkar
20
Birthdate: September 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Indore
Died: February 6, 2022

One of the most respected and best-known playback singers in India, Lata Mangeshkar is popularly known as the Nightingale of India. She had a long career of more than 60 years and was honoured with India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna..

 42 
Savitribai Phule
(Social Reformer, Poet)

Savitribai Phule
9
Birthdate: January 3, 1831
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Naigaon, British India (now in Satara district, Maharashtra)
Died: March 10, 1887

Savitribai Phule was a revolutionary social reformer who dedicated her life to educate girls and bring about gender equality in the face of resistance from the conservative Indian society. Phule, who was illiterate till her marriage, went on to become a teacher, a feat considered first by an Indian woman. With her husband, she established schools for girls in Maharashtra.

 43 
Arundhati Roy
(Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Essayist)

Arundhati Roy
2
Birthdate: November 24, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Assam

Apart from her bestselling books such as The God of Small Things, Man Booker Prize-winning Indian author Arundhati Roy is also known for her left-wing political activism. Born to a Syrian Christian mother and an Indian Hindu father, Roy had initially studied architecture and worked as a script writer.

 44 

Tanushree Dutta
2
Birthdate: March 19, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jamshedpur, Bihar, India

 45 

Rhea Pillai
0
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Indian model Rhea Pillai is associated with several charitable causes, including the Art of Living Foundation, and played a minor role in the film Corporate. She is also known as actor Sanjay Dutt’s second wife. She was also tennis Leander Paes’s live-in partner and has a daughter with him.

 46 
Sunidhi Chauhan
(Singer, Actor)

Sunidhi Chauhan
3
Birthdate: August 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

A musical prodigy, Sunidhi Chauhan had started performing at events at age 4. Discovered by actor Tabassum, she quit school and plunged into a full-fledged music career, winning several reality shows. She then soared to fame with her playback singing in Mast and now has three Filmfare awards in her kitty.

 47 

Shraddha Kapoor
11
Birthdate: March 3, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

 48 
Sushma Swaraj
(Politician)

Sushma Swaraj
3
Birthdate: February 14, 1952
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Delhi, india
Died: August 6, 2019

Supreme Court lawyer and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj had held several ministries, such as external affairs and information and broadcasting. Named India’s “best loved politician” by Wall Street Journal, Swaraj was known for her prompt assistance to Indians in emergency situations abroad and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

 49 
Rakul Preet Singh
(Actress, Model)

Rakul Preet Singh
18
Birthdate: October 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

Indian actress Rakul Preet Singh started her career as a model and then graduated to films. She made her debut in a Telugu film in 2011 and then did a Tamil film in 2012. In 2014 she starred in a Hindi film Yaariyan. Venkatadri Express, Current Theega, Dhruva, Spyder and De De Pyaar De are some of her notable films.

 50 
Mirabai
(Bhakti Saint)

Mirabai
32
Birthdate: 1498 AD
Birthplace: Kudki
Died: 1557 AD

The 16th-century Hindu mystic poet, Mirabai, was a devotee of Lord Krishna. In the North Indian Hindu tradition, she is a celebrated Bhakti saint. While millions of devotional hymns in praise of Lord Krishna are attributed to Mirabai, only a few hundreds are believed to be actually composed by her. Several temples are dedicated to her memory.

Indian women are blessed with an artistic bent of mind as is evident from the painting of artists like Amrita Sher-Gil, Anjolie Ela Menon, and Zarina. Authors like Arundhati Roy, Anita Desai and Shobha De have proved that the Indian women’s contributions to world literature are on a scale comparable to their male counterparts. Singers like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle have made India proud with their numerous international performances. And who can forget the diminutive boxer, Mary Kom who is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion? Browse on to discover many more fascinating details about the famous women of India.