Indian Women Poets

Throughout history, there have been many Indian women poets who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great Indian female poets such as Sarojini Naidu, Amrita Pritam, Mirabai, Mahasweta Devi, Savitribai Phule.

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

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 1 Amrita Pritam

Amrita Pritam.
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gujranwala
Died: October 31, 2005

Amrita Pritam was an Indian poet, essayist, and novelist who wrote in Hindi and Punjabi languages. She is widely regarded as the first major female Punjabi poet and the leading Punjabi-language poet of the 20th century. In 1956, she was honored with the Sahitya Akademi Award, becoming the first woman to receive the prestigious award.

 2 Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu.
5
Famous As: Poet and Freedom Fighter
Birthdate: February 13, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: 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.

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 3 Mirabai

Mirabai.
11
Famous As: Bhakti Saint
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.

 4 Meena Kumari

Meena Kumari.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bombay, Bombay Presidency, India
Died: March 31, 1972

Known as Hindi cinema’s “Tragedy Queen,” Meena Kumari is remembered for her stellar performances in films such as Pakeezah and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. The four-time Filmfare-winning actor sank into alcoholism after her separation from her abusive husband, director Kamal Amrohi, and died of liver cirrhosis.

 5 Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule.
4
Famous As: Social Reformer, Poet
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.

 6 Mahasweta Devi

Mahasweta Devi
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Famous As: Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist, Educator, Short story writer
Birthdate: January 14, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dhaka
Died: July 28, 2016

Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning Indian author Mahasweta Devi is regarded as a gem of the Bengali literary world. She had also been a left-wing social activist, and her works such as Hajar Churashir Maa and Rudali have either tribals or people from the marginalized communities as their protagonists.

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 7 Subhadra Kumari Chauhan

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
4
Famous As: Author, Poet
Birthdate: August 16, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Allahabad district
Died: February 15, 1948

Best remembered for her poem Jhansi ki Rani, Indian poet Subhadra Kumari Chauhan had also been part of the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and was jailed twice. Her works were written in the simple Khariboli dialect of Hindi. An Indian Coast Guard ship has been named after her.

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 8 Mahadevi Varma

Mahadevi Varma.
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Farrukhabad, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India
Died: September 11, 1987

A leading figure of the Chhayavad movement of Hindi literature, Indian author Mahadevi Varma was also a Jnanpith Award and Padma Bhushan winner. A champion of women’s rights, she contributed to the establishment of the Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth for educating girls. She also developed the soft Khadi boli.

 9 Balamani Amma

Balamani Amma
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 19, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Punnayurkulam
Died: September 29, 2004

Balamani Amma was a 20th-century Indian poet who wrote in Malayalam. Even though she received no formal education as a child, she learned to read and write from her uncle Nalapat Narayana Menon, an acclaimed writer. She numerous poems and prose works and was a recipient of many awards, including the Padma Bhushan, Saraswati Samman, and Sahitya Akademi Award. 

 10 Kamala Suraiyya

Kamala Suraiyya
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 31, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Punnayurkulam, India
Died: May 31, 2009

 11 Sugathakumari

Sugathakumari
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Famous As: Writer, Human rights activist, Children's writer
Birthdate: January 3, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aranmula

Sugathakumari was an Indian activist and poet who played a major role in Kerala's feminist and environmental movements in the late-1970s. She is credited with founding organizations like Prakrithi Samrakshana Samithi and Abhaya, which work towards protecting nature and safeguarding women and the mentally ill respectively. During her lifetime, she was honored with several prestigious awards like the Padma Shri.

 12 Nabaneeta Dev Sen

Nabaneeta Dev Sen.
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 13, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kolkata, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died: November 7, 2019

Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award-winning Indian author Nabaneeta Dev Sen is revered as one of the greatest figures of Bengali literature. Born to a poet couple, Nabaneeta was christened by Rabindrananth Tagore. She was also an academic and was married to economist Amartya Sen for almost 2 decades.

 13 Irom Chanu Sharmila

Irom Chanu Sharmila
4
Famous As: Poet, Journalist
Birthdate: March 14, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Imphal

Gwangju Prize-winning human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila, also known as the Iron Lady of Manipur, made international headlines with her 16-year hunger strike to urge the Indian government to repeal the AFSPA Act. She later married British citizen Desmond Coutinho and is now a mother to twin daughters.

 14 Lalleshwari

Lalleshwari
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Famous As: Hindu Saint
Birthdate: 1320 AD
Birthplace: Kashmir, India
Died: 1392 AD

Lalleshwari was a 14th-century Kashmiri mystic. She belonged to the Kashmir Shaivism school of philosophy and originated the style of mystic poetry called vatsun or vakhs. Her works have a significant place in the history of Kashmiri literature. She was known by several aliases, including Lal Ded, Lal Dyad, Lal Diddi, and Lalla Yogishwari/Yogeshwari. 

 15 Meena Alexander

Meena Alexander
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 17, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Prayagraj, Allahabad, India
Died: November 21, 2018

Indian-born poet Meena Alexander spent most of her childhood in Sudan, owing to her father’s job. She then acquired a PhD in English from the U.K. and moved to the U.S., where she wrote and taught. Known for works such as Illiterate Heart, Meena experimented with themes such as migration.

 16 Temsüla Ao

Temsüla Ao
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1945 AD
Birthplace: Jorhat, Bengal Presidency, India

Temsüla Ao is an Indian poet, ethnographer, and short story writer. In 2007, she was honored with India's fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri. In 2009, she received the Governor's Gold Medal. In 2013, her short story collection titled Laburnum for My Head earned her the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award. 

 17 Mah Laqa Bai

Mah Laqa Bai
1
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 7, 1768
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hyderabad, India
Died: July 31, 1824

Born to a courtesan mother in Aurangabad, as Chanda Bibi, Mah Laqa Bai mastered Deccani Kathak. She grew up to be a refined woman, skilled in everything from martial arts to poetry. Remembered for her fine ghazals and Urdu poetry, she was also the courtesan of the Nizam of Hyderabad.

 18 Adela Florence Nicolson

Adela Florence Nicolson
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Famous As: Poet, Author, Writer
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Stoke Bishop
Died: October 4, 1904

Adela Florence Nicolson was a 19th-century English poet. She initially wrote under the pseudonym Laurence Hope but eventually gained fame as Violet Nicolson. She spent many years in India owing to her father’s job and was influenced by the works of Indian poets and the Sufi poets of Persia. She died of suicide at the age of 39.  

 19 Manasi Pradhan

Manasi Pradhan
0
Famous As: Women's rights activist
Birthdate: October 4, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Banapur, Odisha, India