India’s Most Beautiful Women: A Compilation of Beauties with Brains

You google for India’s most beautiful women and you have a list of lists. Beauty is such a thing; everyone has his own parameters to judge it. When I am asked of beauty, I can not just keep it to looks and color and dress and appearance. Beauty to me is always much more than outer appearance. I would say it lies in the warmth of the smile, in the kindness of the eyes, in the dignity of the walk and the simplicity of the drapes.

The list below may well disappoint a few readers who classify beauty and personality separately but to erase any possible areas of conflict and arguments, I have titled the post as ‘A compilation of beauties with brains’.

This is my personally picked list and you are free to add or remove your takes.

1. Sonia Gandhi

sonia gandhi
Undoubtedly she is one of the most beautiful Indian women and probably the most powerful too. In the hot season of elections, it may not be appropriate to discuss about her but I am here solely talking about the dignity and soberness this fair woman exhibits. Always clad in white, creamy cotton sarees, she hardly talks and whenever she does, it is quite sensible. In the playground of dirty politics, we have a woman who, despite several allegations, have always managed to remain dignified and has always made womanhood proud.

Arundhati roy

2. Arundhati Roy

I like her long, dark curls as much as I love ‘The God of Small Things’. Having written a cult book like the one mentioned here, she has written many essays that have been time to time published in various leading newspapers and magazines. She holds strong opinions on things and this is what I like about her the most. What makes her truly beautiful is the coyish, shy-ish way she smiles and speaks her mind, thus never crossing the minimum decibel level.

3. Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal

sania mirza
Many would immediately pick Sania over Saina in the area of beauty but I have put them at the same post deliberately. While Sania is a star in her appearance (remember the glasses and the nose ring), Saina is our sweet, bubbly girl-next-door. Both of them have taken sports to a next level altogether much like the way P.T. Usha and Malleshwari did. While Sania increased the sale of eye glasses (she really did) and those funky T-shirts, Saina silently made sports a respectable subject in academics.

rati beauty ad

4. Aishwarya Rai

Often cited as the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’, she has been criticized for being too plastic and fake. But her beauty lies in the fact that no list of beautiful women in the world is complete without our Aish and that’s the truth. She took Indian beauty to an international stage and is rightly India’s ambassador. She has achieved a position and acclaim that no other woman in the industry has managed to touch. Being put up in Madame Tussauds to frequent visits to Cannes and Torontos and many respectable talks shows world wide is her real beauty.

nita ambani

5. Neeta Ambani

Though many may not like the plump figure but I am a big fan of hers. India’s most influential business tycoon reaches out to her in case of every small and big decisions and that is her beauty. She had advised Mr. Ambani to wait for few months before launching Reliance Telecom and we all now know how intelligent that suggestion was. Neeta runs the chain of schools and spends a lot of time with NGOs and yes, she speaks warmth, politeness and class.

6. Kiran Bedi

When I was growing up i.e. in 1990s, most of the girls of my age called Kiran Bedi as their role models. I was no exception. Though I have few grunts against her recently but I must admit that I was truly inspired by her boy cut and the kurtas and the khadi jacket. India’s first IPS officer and Remen Magsaysay award winner has a personality full of confidence that many envy of.

7. Madhuri Dixit

When I added Aishwarya Rai to this list and called her as the true ambassador of Indian film fraternity, I thought for a while that if I had to pick another actress for the list, who it would be. And pat came the reply – our Chief Smile Officer, Mrs. Nene. Madhuri is one actress who is what no other actress can be, not even Aishwarya. Her million dollar smile and graceful dancing moves gave her a stature of magnanimous respect and awe. A super intelligent woman who took break from a career to build a family life, she is still our pretty, beautiful, polite Madhuri who we love to watch. Hers is a smile that is contagious. She smiles and the world smiles with her.

8. Lata Mangeshkar

Budding singers kind of worship Lataji. Such is her aura. There was a time when even the scientists thought of researching on her cuckoo voice. Never married, she hardly makes public appearances but whenever she does, you usually find her with head slight bent down, a smile on the face and hands folded. This is her beauty.

9.Aruna Roy and Medha Patkar

medha patkar
These two women who embody the picture of middle aged women in cotton sarees and a big bindi on forehead exuberate an indomitable spirit. I often look at them and then look at myself in a mirror and wonder, can I ever look so calm, peaceful and beautiful after years of hardwork, struggle, sun and dust? And I disgustingly move away from the mirror. Beauty is in what you say and what you do.

10. Gauri Khan

Okay, I am ready for brick bats if there are any. But I have to put her on the list. In this compile, I wanted to pick women from all genres and areas. So, I thought let me pick some housewife as well and that’s when I thought of Gauri Khan. The man whose name is synonymous with romance is deeply in love with this woman, so we can imagine she must definitely be something. See her on the cover page of Vogue magazine and we know why SRK is still mad about her. Gauri is married to the Badshah of Bollywood and brings up two kids and also takes care of her sister in law. Always dressed in stylish attires, she looks very confident and composed. Good thing is she has got them on her own!

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46 thoughts on “India’s Most Beautiful Women: A Compilation of Beauties with Brains

  1. nice compilation..btw, Saina nehwal is literally next door for me :)..we live in the same building (she is 1 floor above me) and I have bumped into her many times in the lift and her mom keeps coming to my place to check on the maid..:)

    but i am really glad to see Gauri Khan on this list..i think she does deserve a lot of praise being married to a superstar and knowing the reputations these guys have. no brickbats from me..

      1. yeah and she is so sweet..usually very quiet. the kids used to bother her initially for autographs and stuff but now its quietened down and even this babe used to be a hurry initially always dashing to her car when she got out of the lift but now she is more relaxed. her parents are maha nice.

    1. Hi Aru..

      Wow.. Saina is next door to you.. nice 🙂 I really like her..

      And about Gauri.. yeah you are right. She does deserve accolades.. I think I like her more for her balanced and dignified behaviour..

      Thanks for liking..

  2. I love Arundhati Roy too. Thumbs up for any female athlete! And I adore all women who rock their grey hair.

    Thanks for the unusual list! Nita Ambani is pretty slim now, btw.

  3. i am soooooooo glad u put gauri khan on the list!!!! i am soo soo soo in love with her yar…..she is smart, calm, straight forward, glam glam glam and still so real!!!!
    loved the list!!!!

  4. Well written Surabhi..i have recently become a fan of saina nehwal and like her a lot 🙂 Love that you added Madhuri Dixit, Gauri Khan and Neeta Ambani! all these three women have a lot of character and love them for that!

        1. Rati.. you can read more about Nira Radia’s tapes and Barkha Dutt and you will know what I mean. She is political in her ideology.. and was supposedly a supporter of Raja.

          When I watch Her debates and debates of other senior journalists, I feel she hardly makes a point. Can not compare her with Pranav, Karan Thapar, Rajdeep Sardesai or the likes.

          I was also in awe of her after her Kargil trips.. but now with my hubby, who is an IAS, I get to notice many things. Will tell you lots sometime over a cuppa coffee..!!! bolo kab..? 😉 😉

          1. oh! I dont follow news much and i was still under the kargil impression only so have always been super impressed with her. Dint know the other stories. 🙂 Will catch up some time. 🙂

            1. Wasn’t Barkha Dutt also responsible for one of the biggest security gaffes during Kargil War? I remember it vaguely that she foolishly revealed the army activity and location information on the news and it was intercepted by the Pakistanis. Crazy. :spank:

              1. Jabberwocky, that’s right. That being said she is extremely biased – on We the People she seldom lets anyone speak if their views clash with hers, or says ‘let’s take a break’ if someone challenges her views. She started out well, but has gotten completely absorbed into the mess that is Indian journalism now.

                1. Yeah, I’ve noticed that on ‘We the People’ too. I don’t watch it too often now. Give me Karan Thapar or Rajdeep Sardesai anyday. Or even that Vikram Chandra guy. At least they make sense and seem unbiased.

  5. Awesome compilation
    I dnt knw much abt Aruna Roy and Medha Patkar but what you said abt them is making me think the same too nw 🙂
    So loved this post it wud have been gr8 if it wud have had cum up on Women’s day na
    so inspiring 🙂

    1. Vish..

      I wanted it to be up on W-day and had sent it around the time.. but it got delayed. I hope you like my blog too and become a fan! 🙂

      Btw, your smile comes quite captivating in this pic.

  6. Nice compilation..but i guess sania mirza is tht way up u be with these great women.i personally didnt liked her wen she got married to paki cricktr shoib malik admist of all strong one.he was such a dumb guy(read his name here on the list where post was about the guys u shuld not marry) any gal shuld refuse to marry.but sania went ahead n proved she is a dumb gal too.
    If there is already another gal claiming to be shoib’s wife then u shuld better keep aside.shoib dumped his first wife cz she was stupid..
    Well i dont thinnk so madhuri dixit nene also deserves to be in this list.
    Smile is not only parameter to decide tht she is a generous person.her PAs,directors ,producers many times have comlained tht she is very proudy and have rude behaviour and show starry tantrums.
    Instead,u might have include HEMA Malini, or rekha….the living legend….or the ccurrent hot kareena kapoor and how she proved herself in movies and how crazyily gals wanna be like her….

    1. Hi Khush..

      Here I tried to pick women who excelled in their areas. Sania undoubtedly brought women’s tennis to forefront and was the first Indian till date to get below 50 rank in tennis. About her marriage with Shoiab, I think it was her personal decision.

      But I respect your opinions. 🙂

  7. I love this post! :woot: I am a major fan of brainy beauties (including Hermione Granger) and this post has some awesome women. Don’t really agree with Arundhati Roy’s views though because I find her to be a total cause junkie. I find the whole supporting-a-cause-only-when-it-becomes-famous-enough thing pretty sick and most of her political articles just make you wonder what on earth was she smoking when she gave her immature views.

    Love the other choices though, especially Gauri Khan and Saina Nehwal. I would also add Chanda Narang and Indira Nooyi. I don’t think corporate India had female role models before them. Ooooh! And my personal favourite is Leila Seth. She’s low key but being India’s first woman high court chief justice is a super big deal. :toothygrin:

    Okay, soooooper long comment. Must zip up now. :tongue: But great post, Surabhi! :yes:

  8. Hey JW..

    I wanted to include Indira Nooyi but guess shes settled in US.. so ommitted her just because of that. And yeah.. Chanda deserves to be here and so does Leila Seth..

    I should have included them.. and yeah even I dislike Arundhati for what you mentioned but dunno I love GOST, her novel, and that urges me to put her on top of every list.. 🙂

  9. i am totally loving this post and the views from you all. so interesting to get different perspectives. Thanks Surabhi for this one.

  10. Amazing post!!!! 🙂 :yes: & I’m soooooooo glad u dint include B Dutt. :high5: odr wise she is always on anu indian women list! too much drama around her is i feel.

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