Miss India

History Champs Trivia

Mini Biography's of famous contestants in Miss India


The use of Miss India is not trademarked.

The dominant event was when Femina Miss India started. It is an annual, national beauty pageant, organized by Femina, a women's magazine published by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, a media group which housing the Times of India and Filmfare magazine.

The Femina Miss India competition began in 1964 as a closed off event. Femina gained a local license to international Miss Universe competitions. Towards the end of the 60s, it won licenses to both Miss World and the Miss Asia Pacific Quest. In the early 90's, it picked up licenses for Miss International. Femina Miss India has been held annually, except for 1989.

Miss India are the winners of the Miss India beauty pageant held each year. Starting from 1964, the pageant has since been held by Femina magazine. Prior to 1964, Miss India was selected by Eve's weekly in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962. In 1947 and 1952, the winners were chosen by the Indian media. In the 40s and 50s, a contest was held by the press where a title was bestowed. From 1959 into the late 80s, Eve's Weekly, held a Miss India contest. Star TV, one of India's largest channels, has held a TV based Miss India contest.

Miss India has been participating in the Miss Universe pageant since 1952, starting with Indrani Rehman; and in the Miss World pageant since 1959, starting with Fleur Ezekiel. After the Femina Miss India was established, the practice was sending a winner to the Miss Universe pageant and a runner up to the Miss World contest. While a 2nd runner up or an independent pageant winner was sent to other international pageants like Miss Asia, Miss International and Miss Asia Pacific. Starting from 95, the practice of choosing one Miss India was changed to elect representatives to different international pageants, and 3 winners, receiving equal status, designated as Miss India Universe, Miss India World and Miss India Asia Pacific. As of 2002, the 3rd winner would not be sent to Miss Asia Pacific, but to a Miss Earth pageant.

The popularity of the Miss World Contest is, however, not above criticism. The contest was opposed by many when it was held in India by Amitabh Bachchan’s ABCL.

In the year 2000 Miss India won Miss World and was watched by an estimated global television audience of two billion. Priyanka Chopra, an 18 year old student and bookmakers' favourite, became the fourth Indian to win the title in 7 years and succeeded her compatriot Yukta Mookhe. In India, the event was watched by an estimated 300 million people.

There are a series of Miss India comptetitions in different nations such as Miss India UK and Miss Canada.

The Miss India UK entrants must be between 17 and 25, at least 5ft 3in tall, British-born and of Indian origin.

Miss India and Bollywood

Though Aishwarya Rai was a runner up in Miss India 1994, she won Miss World. Since then, she hasbecome super star of Bollywood interviewed in the USA as well as India.

Back in the 70s, Tina Munim won an International Teen Princess Contest at Aruba and got selected by legendary actor Dev Anand to star in his film, Des Pardes. , she married industrialist Anil Ambani, one of India’s biggest businessmen.

Persis Khambatta starred in the highly popular series. In 1979, Swaroop Sampat won the covetted title. Swaroop was the lead in the TV comedy Yeh Jo Hain Zindagi and married comedian Paresh Rawal. Sangeeta Bijlani starred in a number of Bollywood movies. Juhi Chawla stormed into Bollywood with QSQT with Aamir Khan. 1986’s Miss India Mehr Jessia went on to become a model and marry Arjun Rampal, the Bollywood star.

The runners up for 1993 Pooja Batra went on to become a Bollywood actress. Miss Indias started getting more and more attention. And then in 1994, the whole of India with eyes open wide watched Sushmita Sen win the Miss India and Miss Universe title. And even though she was second, Aishwarya Rai went on to be called the World Most Beautiful women for the next decade.

2006's Miss Australia Sabrina Houssami says she is not averse to acting in Bollywood films and has already received a few offers.

Champions List

Miss India Universe - Neha Kapoor, placed among the top 20 semi finalist at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Natasha Suri
Miss India Earth - Amruta Patki

Miss India Universe - Amrita Thapar
Miss India World - Sindhura Gadde, top 15 semi finalist at Miss World
Miss India Earth - Niharika Singh
Representative at Miss International - Vaishali Desai
Representative at Miss Asia Pacific - Simran Chandok

Miss India Universe - Tanushree Dutta, Top 10 at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Sayali Bhagat
Miss India Earth - Jyoti Brahmin, Top 16 Semifinalists at Miss Earth
Representative at Miss International - Mahika Varma, semi finalist Miss International

Miss India Universe - Nikita Anand
Miss India World - Ami Vashi, third runner up Miss World 2003
Miss India Earth - Swetha Vijay
Representative at Miss Asia-Pacific - Shonal Rawat, first runner up Miss Asia Pacific, 2003
Representative at Miss International - Shonali Nagrani, Miss International runner up 1

Miss India Universe - Neha Dhupia, ninth at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Shruti Sharma, semi finalist at Miss World (top 20)
Miss India Earth - Reshmi Ghosh
Representative at Miss Asia-Pacific - Tina Chatwal, 2nd runner up Miss Asia Pacific, 2002
Representative at Miss International - Gauhar Khan

Miss India Universe - Celina Jaitley, fourth runner up at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Sara Corner
Miss India Asia-Pacific - Maheshwari Thyagrajan
Miss India Earth - Shamita Singha, fifth place at Miss Earth (first Indian)
Miss India International - Kanwal Toor, semi finalist Miss International

Miss India Universe- Lara Dutta, Miss Universe, 2000 (also Miss Intercontinental 1997)
Miss India World - Priyanka Chopra, Miss World, 2000
Miss India Asia-Pacific - Diya Mirza, Miss Asia-Pacific, 2000
Representative at Miss International - Gayatri Joshi, semi finalist Miss International

Miss India Universe - Gul Panag, sixth place at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Yukta Mookhey, Miss World, 1999
Miss India Asia Pacific - Shivangi Parikh
Representative at Miss International - Srikrupa Murali

Miss India Universe - Lymaraina D'souza, seventh place at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Annie Thomas
Miss India Asia Pacific - Vitika Aggarwal
Representative at Miss International - Swetha Jaishankar, second runner up at Miss International

Miss India Universe - Nafisa Joseph, tenth place at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Diana Hayden, Miss World, 1997
Miss India Asia-Pacific - Divya Chauhan, first runner up at Miss Asia Pacific, 1997
Representative at Miss International - Diya Abraham, first runner up at Miss International

Miss India Universe- Sandhya Chib, seventh place at Miss Universe, 1996
Miss India World - Rani Jeyraj, third runner up at Miss World, 1996
Miss India Asia-Pacific - Mini Menon, semi finalist at Miss Asia Pacific 1996
Representative at Miss International - Fleur Dominique Xavier

Miss India Universe - Manpreet Brar, first runner up at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Preeti Mankotia
Miss India Asia-Pacific - Ruchi Malhotra, first runner up at Miss Asia Pacific
Representative at Miss International - Priya Gill

Miss India Universe - Sushmita Sen, Miss Universe, 1994
Miss India World - Aishwarya Rai, Miss World, 1994
Miss India International - Francesca Hart
Miss India Asia-Pacific - Swetha Memon, semi finalist at Miss Asia-Pacific, 1994
Miss Tourism World Wide - Barkha Madan, fourth place, 1994

Miss India - Namrata Shirodkar, fourth place at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Karminder Kaur
Miss India International - Pooja Batra, semi finalist at Miss International

Miss India - Madhu Sapre, second runner up at Miss Universe, 1992
Miss India World - Shyla Lopez
Miss India Asia Pacific - Mehroo Jal Mistery
Miss India International - Kamal Sandu


Miss India Universe - Suzanne Sablok(Pillai), semi finalist (final 10) at Miss Universe
Miss India World - Naveeda Mehdi
1991 - Francsca Hart

not held

Miss India Universe- Dolly Minhas
Miss India World - Anuradha Kottoor
Miss India Asia Pacific - Viola Anthony
Miss India International - Shikha Swaroop
Miss India First runner up - Shabnam Patel, went on to win Miss MaxFactor in 1989

Miss India Universe- Priyadarshini Pradhan
Miss India World - Manisha Kohli
Miss India International - Erika Maria d'Souza, semifinalist at Miss Iinternational
Miss India Asia Pacific - Jasleem Kaur

Miss India - Mehr Jessia
Miss India first runner up - Maureen Lestourgen

Miss India - Sonu Walia
Miss India first runner up - Sharon Clarke

Miss India - Juhi Chawla
Miss India first runner up - Suchita Kumar

Miss India - Rekha Hande
Miss India first runner up - Sweety Grewal

Miss India - Pamela Singh
Miss India first runner up - Uttara Mhatre

Miss India - Ruchita Kumar, now known by the name Nandini Thackersey
Miss India first runner up - Deepti Divakar

Miss India - Sangeeta Bijlani
Miss India first runner up - Elizabeth Anita Reddi, 10th place at Miss World
also Meenakshi Seshadri

Miss India - Swaroop Sampat
Miss India first Ruhel from bangladesh - Raina Winifred Mendonca

Miss India - Alamjeet Chauhan
Miss India first runner up - Kalpana Iyer, 11th Place Miss World

Miss India - Nalini Vishwanathan
Miss India first runner up - Veena Prakash, withdrew from the Miss World contest because of India's policy against apartheid

Miss India winner - Nafisa Ali
Miss India first runner up - Naina Balsaver, withdrew from the Miss World contest because of India's policy against apartheid

Miss India - Meenakshi Kurpad
Miss India first runner up - Anjana Sood, semi finalist at Miss World

Miss India - Shailini Dholakia, semi finalist at Miss Universe, 1974

Miss India - Farzana Habib, semi finalist Miss Universe
Miss India first runner up - none

Miss India - Roopa Satyan, semi finalist Miss Universe
Miss India first runner up - Malathi Basappa, fourth runner up at Miss World

Miss India - Raj Gill
Miss India first runner up - Prema Narayan

Miss India - Veena Sajnani
Miss India first runner up - Heather Faville, semi finalist Miss World
Miss India second runner up - Zeenat Aman, Miss Asia, 1970.

Miss India - Kavita Bhambani
Miss India first runner up - Adina Shellim

Miss India - Anjum Mumtaz Baig
Miss India first runner up - Jane Coelho

Miss India - Nayyara Mirza, now known as Nalini Patel
Miss India first runner up - none

Miss India (Universe) - Yasmin Daji, third runner up Miss Universe, 1966
Miss India (World)- Reita Faria, Miss World, 1966

Persis Khambatta
Meher Mistry, known as Meher Castelino
Ferial Karim, semi finalist Miss World
Veronica Torcato
Iona Pinto,1st runner up at the 1960 Miss International Pageant.
Fleur Ezekiel, 1st Miss India to participate in Miss World
Peace Kanwal
Indrani Rehman, 1st Miss India to participate in Miss Universe

Esther Victoria Abraham, known as Pramila

India’s Aishwarya Rai and winner of Miss World 1994 title has a Dutch tulip named after her. The orange and yellow edged tulip is one of the Netherlands' most enduring symbols. In 2003, she became the first Indian to make it to the jury of the Cannes Film Festival. The following year she was hailed by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most powerful and influential people the world over.

The year 1994 was a landmark year for the pageant industry in India when coaching institutions were set up to groom girls in pageant participation skills

In 2000 all the Miss India winners happened won their respective international pageants - Lara Dutta (Miss Universe), Priyanka Chopra (Miss World) and Diya Mirza (Miss Asia Pacific).

Though Fleur Ezekiel was the first women to represent India in the Miss World Contest, however, popularity of this event gained ground in post 1994, when the European developed nations were left behind as India won Miss World and Miss Universe titles. After Aishwarya Rai, Daina Hayden won the title in 1997, Yukta Mookhey in 1999 and Priyanka Chopra in 2000.

Persis Khambatta, Miss India 1965 , starred in the highly popular series, Star Trek , for which she is remembered even today. Newsweek magazine called her the ‘Sophia Lauren of India.’

Mini Bio's (Biography's) of famous contestants in Miss India

Sushmita Sen - Miss Universe 1994 and the first Indian to win the crown - attended a Hindi-medium school until the ninth standard and didn’t know a word of English until she was 16. By 18, she had established herself as a model but perhaps not amongst the finest.

Lara Dutta of India is one of the few Miss Universes of recent history to win by unanimous vote at the Miss Universe 2000 contest.
India’s super model, Madhu Sapre and Femina Miss India Universe 1992 was elected only 12 days before heading to the Miss Universe Pageant. She came fourth in the contest.

Diana Hayden- Miss World 1997: (born 1973) is a model from Hyderabad, India.
Starting her career as a model by doing fashion shows in Bangalore and Mumbai, Secunderabadi girl Diana Hayden won the Miss World title in 1997. Miss World title gave her the credentials and she was signed up as the brand ambassador by L’Oreal and Child Relief and You (CRY). However, she failed to make it up to Bollywood following the footsteps of her predecessor Aishwarya Rai.

Nafisa Joseph (March 28, 1978 - July 29, 2004) was an Indian model and MTV video jockey. She was the winner of Miss India Universe 1997 and was a semi finalist in the Miss Universe pageant. She started modelling at age 12 when her neighbour got her an opportunity to model for a Wearhouse ad.

Yukta Mookhey- Miss World 1999:
Born in Mumbai, the dream of Yukta Mookhey was to win the beauty pageant. Her hopes became brighter when she watched Sushmita Sen win the Miss Universe title. Though Yukta too tried her luck at Bollywood but ultimately she failed to make a place there amid the galaxy of stars.

Priyanka Chopra Miss World 2000:
Priyanka Chopra became Miss World in the year 2000. She made a place for herself in the glamour world and has acted in a number of films. Her latest film Krrish was a real hit in the box office. Priyanka has gained great popularity and a huge fan gathering.

Celina Jaitley Miss India in 2001 (born 9 June 1981) an Indian actress. She has appeared in several movies and music videos (including the Bombay Vikings' Zara Nazron Se Kehdo video).

Neha Dhupia Miss India in 2002 (born on August 27, 1980 in Cochin) Indian model and actress. competed at Miss Universe 2002, placing in the top ten. Dhupia was raised in New Delhi and born to Sikh parents. She went to Army Public School.

Tanushree Dutta Femina Miss India title in 2004 (born 1978) is an actress and beauty queen from India. Birthplace Jamshedpur, India

She won the Femina Miss India title in 2004, and placed among the top ten in the Miss Universe 2004 pageant held in Quito, Ecuador.

Tanushree Dutta was born and raised in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand state (then Bihar), and did her graduation in communications in Pune, Maharashtra.

Amrita Thapar Miss India Universe 2005 from Pune awarded title of Miss India Universe 2005 at a March 2005 function in Mumbai, India. She is a post-graduate in fashion design from the School of Fashion Technology in Pune

Amruta Patki is the reigning Pond's Femina Miss India-Earth. She is from Mumbai. She was 20 when she won.

She plans a to do international modelling. She loves reading and travelling. Height : 5 ft11, Shoe Size : 8

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