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 
Sarojini Naidu
(Poet and Freedom Fighter)

Sarojini Naidu
13
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.

 2 
Savitribai Phule
(Social Reformer, Poet)

Savitribai Phule
5
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.

 3 
Mirabai
(Bhakti Saint)

Mirabai
11
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 
Amrita Pritam
(Indian Author Who Wrote in Punjabi and Hindi and is Considered One of History's Foremost Female Punjabi Writers)

Amrita Pritam
4
Birthdate: August 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gujranwala, Pakistan
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.

 5 
Mahadevi Varma
(Poet, Novelist)

Mahadevi Varma
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Farrukhabad, 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.

 6 
Mahasweta Devi
(Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist, Educator, Short story writer)

Mahasweta Devi
4
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.

 7 

Kamala Suraiyya
4
Birthdate: March 31, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thrssur, Kerala, India
Died: May 31, 2009

Kamala Suraiyya, also known by her pen-name Madhavikutty and by her married name Kamala Das, was a Malayali poet who is remembered for her liberal treatment of female sexuality in her works. Her writings, such as Summer in Calcutta, form an integral part of Indian literature written in English.

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 8 

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
4
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.

 9 
Irom Chanu Sharmila
(Poet, Journalist)

Irom Chanu Sharmila
4
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.

 10 

Nabaneeta Dev Sen
3
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.

 11 

Balamani Amma
3
Birthdate: July 19, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Punnayurkulam, India
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. 

 12 
Aśvaghoṣa
(First Sanskrit Dramatist, and the Greatest Indian Poet Prior to Kālidāsa)

Aśvaghoṣa
3
Birthdate: 0080 AD
Birthplace: Ayodhya, India
Died: 0150 AD

Aśvaghoṣa was an Indian Buddhist philosopher, poet, dramatist, and orator. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Indian poets of all time, Aśvaghoṣa was the most popular and important poet among a group of Buddhist court writers. He is credited with writing two of the most important Sanskrit-language poems held dear by the Buddhist community—Buddhacharita and Saundarananda.

 13 
Sugathakumari
(Writer, Activist)

Sugathakumari
3
Birthdate: January 22, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aranmula, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India
Died: December 23, 2020

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.

 14 
Roshanara Begum
(Mughal princess and the third daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan)

Roshanara Begum
0
Birthdate: September 3, 1617
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Burhanpur, India
Died: September 11, 1671

 15 
Zeb-un-Nissa
(Mughal princess and the eldest child of Emperor Aurangzeb)

Zeb-un-Nissa
0
Birthdate: February 15, 1638
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Daulatabad, India
Died: May 26, 1702

 16 

Meena Alexander
2
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.

 17 

Temsüla Ao
2
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. 

 18 
Sujata Bhatt
(Indian poet who became known for an award-winning collection entitled Brunizem)

Sujata Bhatt
0
Birthdate: 1956 AD
Birthplace: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

 19 

Mah Laqa Bai
1
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.

 20 
Lalleshwari
(Hindu Saint)

Lalleshwari
3
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. 

 21 
Manasi Pradhan
(Women's rights activist)

Manasi Pradhan
0
Birthdate: October 4, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Banapur, Odisha, India

 22 
Adela Florence Nicolson
(Poet, Author, Writer)

Adela Florence Nicolson
0
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.