Miss India contests: History

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This is a patchwork of articles selected for the excellence of their content.

Some of the rare pictures, facts and anecdotes on this page were sent in by
the beauty queens or their friends as messages to the Facebook community
Indpaedia.com. Information/ pictures that do not lower the dignity of
South Asia's beauty queens will be acknowledged in the sender's name.

Readers can also send text and photographs about regional/ diaspora/ college
beauty contests. (Example Miss Wokha, Miss Tokhu).

Miss India Contestants in the late 1960s
Lakshmi Pandit


Miss India contests: History

The use of the title Miss India is not trademarked. Any organisation can use it. Over the years the three main organisations that have awarded the Miss India title have been Femina/ BCCL, Eve's Weekly and I am She. Others that have held Miss India contests have included journalists' collectives.

Firsts and international crowns

1947 Miss India Victoria Abraham [Khan?] (Pramila): First Miss India

1952 Miss India Indrani Rahman-- First Miss India Universe

1966 Miss World Reita Faria 1966 First Miss World From India Reita Fariya

1994 Miss Universe Sushmita Sen--first Indian Miss Universe

1994 Miss World Aishwarya Rai

1997 Miss World Diana Hayden

1999 Miss World Yukta Mookhey

2000 Miss Universe Lara Dutta

2000 Miss World Priyanka Chopra

Miss Indias who won International Pageants

The Times of India

1966 Reita Faria: She was crowned Miss India World in 1966 and later went on to clinch the coveted Miss World honour, held at the Lyceum Theatre in London, UK.

1970 Zeenat Aman: She was crowned Miss India Asia Pacific 1970 and she went on to won the the title of Miss Asia Pacific, held in Philippines

1994 Aishwarya Rai: Mangalore beauty Aishwarya Rai won the Miss India and Miss World pageants of 1994. The international event was held in Sun City, South Africa.

1994 Sushmita Sen was crowned as Miss Universe 1994 at the 43rd edition of the Miss Universe Pageant, held at the Philippine International Convention Center, in Manila, Philippines in 1994.

1997 Diana Hayden: She won the Femina Miss India contest in 1997 and was crowned as Miss World 1997 at the age of 24 by her predecessor Miss World 1996 Irene Skliva at Baie Lazare, Seychelles.

1999 Yukta Mookhey: She was crowned Miss World in December 1999 at the Olympia theatre in London at the age of 22. She was crowned by her predecessor, Miss World 1998 Linor Abargil from Israel at the Olympia Hall, London.

2000 Dia Mirza was a second runner up at Femina Miss India 2000 and was subsequently sent to Miss Asia Pacific, where she won the beauty pageant. When she won the Miss Asia Pacific title on 3 December 2000 in Manila, Philippines, she became the first Indian contestant to win this title in 29 years!

2000 Lara Dutta entered the 1997 Miss Intercontinental Pageant in which she was ranked first. Later, she was crowned Femina Miss India Universe in 2000 in Cyprus.

2000 Priyanka Chopra: Now an A-list actress of Hindi film industry, Priyanka Chopra was crowned Miss India 2000 and later that year, Miss World at London, United Kingdom.

2010 Nicole Faria, who represented India at Miss Earth 2010 beauty pageant in Vietnam, was successfully crowned as Miss Earth 2010.

2013 Purva Rana participated in the Femina Miss India 2012 pageant and in Miss United Continent 2013 was crowned the Vice Queen United Continent 2013. The event was held at Guayaquil, Ecuador.

2017 Manushi Chhillar: Miss World

India's international record

[Till 2013] Miss Indias had won 34 international titles, making the country the second-most successful participant at beauty pageants around the world.

Aishwarya Rai (now Bachchan) and Lakshmi Pandit (in 2004) are the two Miss Indias who have won two important 'sub'titles which were Miss 10 and Miss Photogenic respectively.

Kanistha Dhankhar and Manasvi Mamgai won maximum subtitles which is 6 each.

In 1998, none of the Miss Indias won any subtitles. Priyanka Chopra,Sushmita Sen & Yukta Mookhey , none of them won any subtitle in their Miss India beauty contest. Miss Indias Hasleen Kaur,Puja Gupta and Sara Corner have never won any subtitle during Miss India stint.

International Pageant Winners, till 2010

International Pageant Winners | Aug 17, 2009 | IndiaTimes/ The Times of India

Meet the winsome beauties that heralded a new dawn of beauty pageants in India... They made the world sit up and take notice of their charm, beauty and intelligence.

Here are the winners who brought home the three international beauty pageant titles — Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Earth (earlier Miss Asia-Pacific).

Miss World 1966

Miss India World 1966

This young medical student from Mumbai created history in 1966 by becoming the first Indian to be crowned Miss World. After enjoying a year of fame, she quit modeling and decided to concentrate more on her medical studies.

In an interview Reita said, "I don't regret my decision. I was just six months away from qualifying as a doctor when I won the Miss World title."

Married to David Powell, Reita now lives in Dublin, Ireland. She is a mother of two girls and has become a grandmother now.

In 1977-78, Reita took a break from her career, assuming that she would resume her job after sometime. However, she changed her mind later on, as she loved spending time with her kids. "We did so many exciting things together. I learned the piano with them and even taught them cooking," she said.

Reita was one of the jury members at the Miss India pageant 1998. On a few occasions, she has also judged the Miss World competition.

Miss Asia Pacific 1970

Miss India Asia Pacific 1970

In 1970, Zeenat made India proud by bringing in the crown of Miss Asia Pacific International. She stood second in the Miss India contest that year. She is still remembered for her 'bold & the beautiful' onscreen image.

Zeenat's father was a Muslim and mother a Hindu, who was a German citizen. It seems Zeenat was destined to land in Bollywood as her father was one of the writers of some successful movies like Mughal-e-Azam. Zeenat and her mother shifted to Germany after her father's death when she was in her early teens. She came back to India and did her graduation from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. She took up her first job as a journalist in Femina.

After winning the Miss Asia Pacific title and enjoying her stint as a successful model, Zeenat decided to take the plunge in Bollywood. It was not too easy for her to establish herself in the industry. However, her fate changed after Dev Anand offered her Hare Rama Hare Krishna. Dum Maro Dum... this song, pictutrised on her, became her calling card.

In an era where most actresses preferred roles of a loyal lover or submissive wife, Zeenat picked up some really unconventional roles. Her stunning looks just added to the characters she played on the silver screen.

Miss Universe 1992, 2nd runner up

Miss India Universe 1992

Madhu's long legs, toned body, her duskiness and attitude made her one of the most coveted models of the Nineties. She represented India at the Miss Universe 1992 pageant and finished third.

The final three contestants at the pageant were asked, 'What is the first thing you would do if you were the head of your country?' To this, Madhu answered, "I think the first thing I'll do is, I'll open up a big, the biggest sports track and field ground in India because I think we are lacking that and that's the first thing I'll do!"

Madhu doesn't regret losing the Miss Universe crown just by an inch and stands by what she said at the pageant. "Being a sports person I had suffered because we don't have the equipment and the grounds in India. Officials told us to be truthful while answering the questions and I did."

After Zeenat Aman in 1970, Madhu Sapre put India back on the victory path. Several Miss India winners bagged international titles after Madhu.

She is married to Gian Maria, who lives in Italy. Madhu also keeps shuttling between Italy and India and is a prominent face in the glamour industry today.

Miss Universe 1994

Miss India Universe 1994

She stunned the universe. And shone on Manila. Euphoria gripped India on May 21, 1994, when for the first time ever an Indian girl was crowned Miss Universe, at Manila, Philippines. And, she was there at the pageant weeping, when she was being crowned the most beautiful woman in the universe. That's Sushmita Sen, Miss Universe 1994.

It is not every day that an 18-year-old speaks of downtrodden children or explains the essence of womanhood. But this young belle from Delhi had the most compelling combination of beauty and brains.

The young lady made a powerful impact in the first round itself by introducing herself as, "Namaste, I am Sushmita Sen from India, where love is the essence of life."

In the final round of the beauty pageant, the question put to her was, "What is the essence of a woman?" to which she very craftily replied, "Just being a woman is God's gift". Followed by a spontaneous notion: "The origin of a child is a mother, a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring, and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman."

The judges were enchanted with her replies. And they chose her, the youngest among the 77 contestants.

Sushmita likes instrumental music, writes poetry and is fond of children. Today, she has directed her brilliance, energy and talent towards the Indian film industry.

She made her debut in Dastak followed by Zor. But it was with her comic role in David Dhawan's Biwi No.1 that she caught movie buff's attention. Her biggest films so far has been Main Hoon Na, in which she was paired opposite Shah Rukh Khan and Main Aisa Hi Hoon in which she played a lawyer.

Her life at present revolves around her adopted daughter Renee. Sushmita has taken the bold step of adopting a daughter and says her man will have to accept her daughter along with her.

Miss World 1994

Miss India World 1994

Aishwarya Rai conquered the world, by claiming the Miss World title, in South Africa. Immediately after being crowned Miss World 1994, Aishwarya Rai spoke of her dream for peace for this world, and her desire to be an ambassador of peace during her one-year reign.

What qualities should the Miss World 1994 embody? To this question at the pageant, she replied, "The Miss Worlds that we have had to date have been proof enough that they must have compassion for the underprivileged and not only to the people who have status and stature. We have to look beyond the barriers that man has set for ourselves — of nationality and colour. That would make a true person, a real person."

Looking back at her life we find, her face launched a thousand shoots and almost as many ad campaigns. This constant quest for fresher, newer pastures has taken this ravishing beauty to where she is today — on top of the world.

She finally entered films and stormed the silver screen. The best actress award for the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was the turning point of her film career. Then came Devdas for which she once more won the Filmfare Best Actress Award. Dhoom 2, Jodhaa Akbar, Sarkar Raj are some of her other successful films. No wonder she has maintained her place in the top league of actors for so many years. And with several big banner projects in her kitty, she is definitely going to be in the news for long.

Fondly called Ash in the film circuit, she is married to actor Abhishek Bachchan.

Miss Universe 1995, Ist runner up

Miss India Universe 1995

Manpreet won the Miss India contest in 1995 and justified her win by becoming the first runner up at the Miss Universe 1995. Miss USA Chelsi Smith won the Miss Universe title that year.

Vivacious Manpreet Brar graduated from Lady Irwin College, Delhi. She was an honours student of Community Resource Management and Extension and also became the college president in the final year.

After Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen's win in the previous year, everyone had high expectations from Manpreet. After the pageant she said, "I was going the very next year after Sushmita had won. Being the first runner up was the closest that I could have come to winning and for me that was a big achievement because I was going there against tremendous odds."

Along with some live shows and television, Manpreet took up a lot of modeling assignments after Miss Universe. Bollywood was never on her list and she says, "I never saw myself as that kind of person. Moreover it never excited me."

Manpreet, who believes in 'surrender and acceptance, not struggle', is a very spiritual person. For her, money is something that gives sense of security while it lasts. Manpreet is married to business tycoon Arjun Walia is truly enjoying marital bliss.

Miss World 1999

Miss India World 1999

Her serenity and calm shone throughout the pageant. After winning the Miss World 1999 title, she told the media, "It is the best day of my life because I had this as a beautiful dream as a child and now it's come true...

When asked whom she would like to emulate as a role model, she replied that she would like to be born as Hollywood actress, Audrey Hepburn, whom she admired for her "inner beauty, compassion and great aura. She told the judges that Thai food was her favourite and that she would love to go to France as, "It's a country of models and that's the place where I would like to be."

The twenty-year-old girl from Mumbai was studying zoology at Kelkar College, prior to winning the crown. She has also studied classical music for three years.

Yukta is an active member of BJP and contributes a lot for social causes. Yukta also tried her luck in films and did some Hindi and regional films. In 2008, Yukta tied the knot with Prince Tuli, a businessman.

Miss Universe 2000

Miss India Universe 2000

Lara Dutta describes her winning the Miss Universe title as being "a culmination of a dream."

Lara impressed the judges with her answer to the final question of the contest: "What would you say to those who condemn the contest as an affront to women?" To which she replied, "Pageants like Miss Universe give us young women a platform to foray in the fields that we want to and forge ahead, be it entrepreneurship, be it the armed forces, be it politics". And added, "It gives us a platform to voice our choices and opinions and it makes us strong and independent that we are today."

She was born in 1978, Ghaziabad, to Wg. Cdr. L.K. Dutta (retired) and Jennifer Dutta. In 1981, she moved to Bangalore with her parents, where she completed her schooling, and then shifted to Mumbai where she obtained a degree in economics.

She enjoys outdoor sports like rock climbing and bungee jumping. She is trained in Indian classical dance and loves to read autobiographies. Before winning the crown, Lara was a leading fashion and print model.

This dusky beauty is making waves in Indian film industry these days. Her maiden flick was Andaaz with Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar. On her filmi career, Lara says "I've always wanted to do documentary films. That is what I plan to do eventually".

Lara bagged the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award for the same. No Entry, Billu, Blue, Do Knot Disturb are some of her other popular flicks.

Miss World 2000

Miss India World 2000

Not only was she the audience's hot favourite, even the judges were impressed by the way, she spoke so effortlessly on behalf of humanity and charity. The eighteen-year-old girl from Bareilly beat 94 other lovely ladies to claim the Miss World 2000 title.

As an answer to one of the questions asked at the pageant, she said, that she would use her success as "a platform to influence people's thoughts, minds and actions".

Mother Teresa, she said, was someone "I admire from the bottom of my heart for being so considerate, passionate and kind ... giving up her life to put smiles on people's faces". In reply to another question that she was asked, she said, "I work best under pressure...."

Priyanka was born in the family of doctors, Capt. Dr. Ashok Chopra & Dr. Madhu Chopra. She has a penchant for Indian music and dance, a flair for writing poetry and short stories, enjoys reading and theatre, and has worked for several social welfare programmes.

Priyanka seems to have a mantra for success. Her career got off to a good start in Bollywood too. She made her debut in Anil Sharma's The Hero opposite Sunny Deol. Then came Andaz along with Lara Dutta and Akshay Kumar.

Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Aitraaz, Waqt, Bluffmaster, Krrish, Don, Fashion, Dostana, Kaminey...her list box office hits in Bollywood seems endless. For her role in Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion Priyanka swept the Best Actress award at all the prominent award ceremonies in the country.

Miss Asia Pacific 2000

Miss India Asia Pacific 2000

Dia Mirza, a heavenly beauty from Hyderabad, won the prestigious Miss Asia Pacific title at the beauty pageant held in the year 2000, in Manila.

Dia's victory created history. She is the second Indian contestant to be crowned Miss Asia Pacific and the first in 29 years. Lara Dutta bagged the Miss Universe title and Priyanka Chopra was declared Miss World in the same year. Dia's win completed the hat trick, a rare record to match. Dia also won the Femina Miss Beautiful Smile title.

The final and decisive question that was put to Dia was, "What are the three most important values that matter to you?" to which she replied, "Love, Honesty and Friendship", and with that answer, she had almost the entire audience rooting for her.

Dia always dreamt of becoming a lawyer before winning the crown. She wanted to pursue her graduation in Arts but she had to postpone that. It became difficult for to strike a balance between traveling, modeling and preparing for her international pageant. To enhance her acting skills Dia took up a film course at the New York University.

She likes dramatics and poetry, and is fond of Hyderabadi food. She is skilled in Urdu, Bengali, Hindi, English.

Diya Mirza after winning the crown got a number of offers from Bollywood and made her foray into films. After beginning her Bollywood career with glamorous roles, Dia wants to do offbeat films as well.

The audience really appreciated her work in films like Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, Dus, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd, Shootout at Lokhandwala and Dus Kahaniyaan.

Miss World 2008, Ist runner up

Miss India World 2008

Parvathy Omanakuttan represented India at the 58th Miss World pageant and finished first runner up. At the pageant, Parvathy earlier won the Miss World 2008 Beach Beauty contest.

She also stood second at the Miss World Top Model contest the same year. Even as Femina Miss India 2008, she won various accolades before being crowned the eventual Miss India World. She won sub-titles like Miss Photogenic, Miss Personality & Miss Beautiful Hair.

As the first ever Pantaloons Femina Miss India South 2008, she gained direct entry into the top 10 finalists at the Femina Miss India contest. She was crowned as PFMIS 2008 by South Indian actress Ramya Krishnan.

A favourite for the Miss India title, her answer during the question-and-answer rounds in the finals won her fresh praise. When asked, "The rate of divorce in India is on a rise. Is Western influence the cause of this or something else?", Parvathy's forthright reply was, "Divorces are not a result of Western influence. At the end of the day, it is we who decide our worth. Marriage is not when one completes the other but is when both share their completeness."

Born on 13 March 1987 at Kottayam in Kerala, her parents shifted base to Mumbai when she just seven months old. Other noted Keralites at the Miss India pageant have been Shweta Vijay (Femina Miss India Earth 2003), Annie Thomas (Femina Miss India World 1998), Nafisa Joseph (Femina Miss India Universe 1997), Mini Menon (Femina Miss India Asia Pacific 1996) and Shweta Menon (Femina Miss India 1994 2nd Runner Up).

At the Miss World pageant, her reply to the question, "What does being in South Africa mean to you?" was that it was like home to her. She added that the people of South Africa were hospitable like Indians and that both nations have given the world respected leaders like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. She also pointed out that both nations shared a wonderfully diverse culture.

Miss World subtitle 2009: Beauty With A Purpose

Miss India World 2009 Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2009 Pooja Chopra may not have made it to the Miss World finals, with the crown going to Miss Gibraltar, Kaiane Aldorino, but she did bag the prestigious Beauty With A Purpose tag at the contest.

Earlier, the title of Beauty With A Purpose won Pooja a fast-track entry into the Miss World 2009 Semi Finals. This special annual award programme chooses Miss World contestants who have shown, through charitable works, to have made a real difference to people in need in her country. Pooja was supporting a campaign to save the girl child back home.

At the Miss World '09 pageant, where all the contestants walked down the ramp confidently in high heels, Pooja appeared on the stage with a cast on. Bursting into tears after she was announced as a semi-finalist, she hugged anchor Angela Chow and said, "I am speechless at this moment."

Pooja Chopra was crowned Pantaloons Femina Miss India World 2009. Young and good-looking, Pooja has a long history of winning titles to her credit - ranging from Miss Residency, Miss Pune, Miss Personality and more! Pooja also did a cameo in Madhur Bhandarkar's film "Fashion".

Miss Earth 2010

Miss India Earth 2010

Nicole Faria represented India at the 10th Miss Earth pageant in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Not only did she win the international pageant, she also won the Miss Talent title with her superb belly dance performance.

This Bangalore-born beauty attended Mount Caramel college in the same city. She has been modelling since the age of 15 and thus had the advantage of being at home on the ramp. Nicole is half-Christian, half-Punjabi and has embraced both sides of her cultural heritage.

This 20-year-old beauty has also learnt Bharatnatyam, belly dance, martial arts and kickboxing, and credits dance as the secret behind her toned body and mental fitness. She enjoys singing, dancing, listening to music and traveling. Nicole has an adventurous streak too.

Nicole believes it is her strong personality and determination to conquer all odds, that won her the Miss Earth crown. As green ambassador for the pageant, the beauty will now focus on championing for environmental causes around the world, such as conservation of fossil fuels, forests and natural resources.

The Top 10 countries in beauty pageants

The Times of India As in Dec 2015

The countries have been listed below in the same order as The Times of India/ IndaTimes had listed them.

Venezuela has won a total of 12 titles and have 21 runner ups. Venezuela is known around the world as the "Land of Beauty".They even have beauty schools where teens train to become future beauty queens.

USA has won a total of 14 titles and have 58 runner ups.

United Kingdom has won a total of 7 titles and have 20 runner ups.The United Kingdom is home to Miss World as it was founded in the country by Eric Morley back in 1951.

Sweden has won a total of 6 titles and have 14 runner ups.

Philippines has won a total of 12 titles and have 21 runner ups.The Philippines is the proud home of 2015’s Miss Universe crown.

Puerto Rico has won a total of 4 titles and have 11 runner ups.They have five Miss Universe (1970, 1985, 1993, 2001, 2006) titles.

India has won a total of 8 titles and have 15 runner ups.

Colombia has won a total of 5 titles and have 22 runner ups.The country first won the Miss Universe back in 1958.

Brazil has won a total of 6 titles and have 36 runner ups. It was the first country to win all four major international pageant titles.

Australia has won a total of 7 titles and have 23 runner ups.Australia has two Miss Universe (1972, 2004), two Miss World (1968, 1972), and three Miss International (1962, 1981, 1992) titles.

India at the Miss Universe contest

2 winners (1994,2000)

1 first runner up (1995)

1 second runner up (1992)

1 third runner up (1966)

1 fourth runner up (2001)

12 semi finalists (1972,1973,1974,1990,1993.1996,1997,1998,1999,2002,2004,2006,2007)

4 national costumes awards (1978,1980,1984,1987)

India at the Miss World contest

The contest started, internationally, in 1951.

1951-1958: India did not participate.

1959 onwards: Details later on this page.

Note: The 1st runner up at the Femina Miss India contest was India's delegate at the Miss World contest, in all the years when Femina selected the Indian representative to Miss World.

Year-wise charts of the Indian representative for the crown of

For Indian representative in subsequent years, please see the Indpaedia page for that year. Links to all years all have been given at the bottom of this page.


1952 Indrani Rehman

1964: Meher Mistry

1965 : Persis Khambatta

1966 Yasmin Daji (4)

Yasmin Daji

1967 Nayyara Mirza

1968: Anjum Mumtaz Baig

1969 Kavita Bhambani

1970 Veena Sajnani

1971 Raj Gill

1972 Roopa Satyan (SF)

1973 Farzana Habib (SF)

1974 Shailini Dholakia (SF)

1975: Meenakshi Kurpad

1976 Nafisa Ali

1977 Nalini Vishwanathan

1978 Alamjeet Kaur Chauhan

1979 Swaroop Sampat

1980 Sangeeta Bijlani

1981 Rachita Kumar

1982 Pamela Chaudry Singh

1983Rekha Hande

1984: Juhi Chawla

1985: Sonu Walia

1986 Mehr Jessia

1987 Priyadarshini Pradhan

1988: Dolly Minhas

1989: no contest

1990 Suzanne Sabloak (SF)

1991: Christabelle Howie

1992 Madhu Sapre (3)

1993 Namrata Shirodkar (F)

1994 Sushmita Sen (W)

1995 Manpreet Brar (2)

1996 Sandhya Chib (SF)

1997 Nafisa Joseph (SF)

1998 Lymaraina D’Souza (SF)

1999 Gul Panag (SF)

2000 Lara Dutta (W)

2001 Celina Jaitley (5)

2002 Neha Dhupia (SF)

2003 Nikita Anand

2004 Tanushree Dutta (SF)

2005Amrita Thapar

2006 Neha Kapur (SF)

2007 Puja Gupta (SF)

2008 Simran Kaur Mundi

2009 Ekta Chowdhary

2010 Ushoshi Sengupta

2011Vasuki Sunkavalli

2012 Urvashi Rautela


1959: Fleur Ezekiel

1960: Iona Pinto

1961: Veronica Tore Cato

1962 Ferial Karim (SF)

1963-65: No delegates sent; Eve's Weekly did not hold the contest

1966: Reita Faria (W)

1967: No delegates sent; Eve's Weekly did not hold the contest

1968: Jane Coelho (BHARAT SUNDARI)

1969: Adina Shaelhim (BHARAT SUNDARI)

1970 Heather Faville (SF) (BHARAT SUNDARI)

1971: Prema Narayan (From Femina)

1972 Malathi Basappa (BHARAT SUNDARI) (5)

1973: No delegate sent by India

1974: Kiran Dholakia - FEMINA

1975 Anjana Sood (SF) (BHARAT SUNDARI)

1976: Niana Balsavar (Now onwards: from FEMINA)

1977: Veena Prakash

1978 Kalpana Iyer (SF)

1979: Raina Winifred Mendonica

1980 Elizabeth Anita Reddi (SF)

1981: Deepti Divakar

1982: Uttra Mhatre

1983: Sweety Grewal

1984: Suchita Kumar

1985: Sharon Clark

1986: Maureen Lestourgen

1987: Manisha Kohli

1988: Anuradha Kootor

1989: No delegate sent by India, because the contest shifted to Hong Kong.

1990: Neveeda Mehdi

1991 Ritu Singh (SF)

1992: Shyla Lopez

1993: Karmindar Kaur

1994 Aishwarya Rai (W)

1995: Preeti Mankotia

1996 Rani Joan Jeyraj (4)

1997 Diana Hayden (W)

1998: Annie Thomas

1999 Yukta Mookhey (W)

2000 Priyanka Chopra (W)

2001: Sara Corner

2002 Shruti Sharma (SF)

2003 Ami Vashi (4)

2004: Syali Baghat

2005 Sindhura Gadde (SF)

2006 Natasha Suri (SF)

2008 Parvathy Omanakuttan (2)

2009 Pooja Chopra (SF)

Answers that won the Miss World crown for India

From 1966 to 2017: Answers that made India win the Miss World crown| November 23, 2017 | IndiaTimes/ The Times of India

Miss World 1966 Reita Faria

The question that was asked to Reita Faria in personality round was why she wanted to be a doctor. Reita told in an interview, describing her answer for that question, “When I replied that India needed more obstetricians and gynecologists, they said India has lots of babies. I said that that was something we needed to discourage, which got a lot of applause,”

Miss World 1994 Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

The beautiful woman who stunned the entire world by her exquisite beauty was asked the qualities a Miss World 1994 should embody. According to her, "The Miss Worlds that we have had up to date, have been proof enough that they have had compassion. Compassion for the underprivileged, and not only for the people who have status and stature. We have had people, who can look beyond the barriers that man has set up - of nationalities and colour. We have to look beyond those and that would make a true Miss World. A true person. A real person."

Miss World 1997 Diana Hayden

The answer which made Diana Hayden shine than the rest countries was, “I draw inspiration from a famous writer and poet William Butler Yeats who once wrote in ‘With Dreams begins responsibility’. Well for me, this title is that dream and the responsibility it brings,I cherish that in small way I could make a difference and help the dreams of others. Thank you” This has is considered the most gracious answer during 1997 Miss World contest.

Miss World 1999 Yukta Mookhey

Yukta was asked multiple questions, but the one answer that stood out, when she was asked “If you could be anyone in the world who would you be?” She replied, “Audrey Hepburn. It was her inner beauty, compassion and her aura. The calm that she had inside her reflected”

Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka was asked who she considered the most successful woman alive during the year 2000 and why? "There are a lot of people who I admire and believe in, but what I think one of the most successful women who have achieved not lot for just herself or other countries I think would be Mother Teresa. I admire her from the bottom from my heart for being so considerate, compassionate, kind and giving up her life for people in India to give up everything that she ever had to make others life beautiful, to bring a smile on people’s face and that’s what I believe in. Thank you very much”

Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar

Manushi was asked what is that particular profession according to her deserves the highest salary and why? To everyone’s surprise she gave a heartfelt answer which almost made the entire world remember their birth giver.“Since I'm very close to my mother, I think a mother deserves love and respect, I don't think it's just about salary but about love and respect you give to someone and I think my mom has always been the biggest inspiration in my life and all mothers they sacrifice so much for their kids. So I think the profession of highest respect and salary should be that of a mother."

Lesser known facts about Indians who won at Miss World

Indians who won at Miss World: Lesser known facts| June 20, 2016 | IndiaTimes/ The Times of India

Former Miss World, Aishwarya is believed to be of Kurgi origin. Kurgis are fabled to be the descendants of the Shakas from Afghanistan or Central Asia or Kyrgyzstan. [Almost all authorities say that she is a Bunt, which, too, is a community from Karnataka]

Reita Faria's name has been inscribed in the history of beauty pageants as the first Indian and Asian to win the Miss World pageant in the year 1966.

Priyanka Chopra, Miss World 2000, is the only Indian in the USA to have been selected at the state level for the National Opus Honor Choir, for her extensive charity work in India and the USA. She has also joined the CAF and CII in their literacy program and is their ambassador.

Aishwarya Rai lost the title to Sushmita Sen in the Miss India contest. It was reported that many contestants had dropped out of the contest as Aishwarya was too beautiful and they felt that they didn't stand a chance.

Diana is the only Miss World to have won a hat-trick at the event. She won Miss Photogenic, Miss Beach-wear/swimsuit competition and also the Miss World 1997 title.

Very few people are aware of the fact that Priyanka Chopra had lent her voice for Hollywood flick, Planes. Her character was called Ishani.

Reita Faria Powell is the only beauty queen who qualified as a doctor during her reign. She’s therefore known for her brains, more than her beauty. She now resides in Dublin with her husband.

In 2005, Mattel released a series of Barbie dolls modelled on Aishwarya Rai.


1968 Anabella Crawford

1969 Tasneem Fakir Mohammed

1970 Zeenat Aman (W)

1971 Urmila Sanandan

1972 Samita Mukherjee (Miss International '71)

1973 Tara Anne Fonseca (W) Miss India Asia Pacific

1974 Marilyn Theresa Ferreira (Queen of the Pacific '74)

1975 Seema Marwaha

1976 Anna Bredemeyer (3)

1977 Marianne D'Souza (2)

1978 Preeti Koppikar Best national costume Miss Talent

1979 Maureen Lestourgeon (2)

1980 Upneet Pannu

1981 Mehjabeen Ayub Khan Miss Talent

1982 Aparna Sharma

1983 Monica Lakhmana

1984 The contest was held on November 10 when India was very tense

1985 Seema Malhotra Semifinalist

1986 Ana Vasan

1987 Jasleem Kaur

1988 Viola Antony

1989 Anuradha Ramani

1990 No contest due to natural disasters in the Philippines

1991 No contest due to natural disasters in the Philippines

1992 Mehroo Jal Mistry

1993 Namrata Shirodkar (2) 1st Runner-up Best in Evening gown

1994 Shwetha Menon (SF) Top 10 semifinalist

1995 Ruchitra Malhotra (2) 1st Runner-up Best in Evening gown

1996 Mini Menon (SF) Top 10 semifinalist

1997 Divya Chauhan (2) 1st Runner-up Best in Evening gown

1998 Vikkitha Aggarwal

1999 Shivangi Parikkh

2000 Diya Mirza (W) Miss Asia Pacific 2000 Miss Close-Up Smile Miss Avon

2001 Maheshwari Thiagarajan

2002 Tina Chhatwal (3) 2nd Runner-up Miss Internet

2003 Shonal Rawat (2)1st Runner-up Miss Friendship Miss Talent Miss Congeniality

2005 Simran Chandok


2001 Shamita Singha (SF)

2004 Jyoti Brahmin (SF)

2006 Amruta Patki (2)

2007 Pooja Chitgopekar (2)

2009 Shriya Kishore (SF)


2005 Sonal Chauhan Singh (W)

2007 Priyanka Shah (W)


2003 Elitra Coelho (SF)


The Miss Tourism International pageant was inaugurated in 1994 in Malaysia.-Barkha Madan was India's representative at this inaugural edition was crowned 3rd Runner Up.

1994 Barkha Madan (4)

1995, 1998, 1999, 2000: India did not compete in the pageant.

2001 Candice Pinto (W: the first Indian to win the crown)

2005 Shriya Singh (3)

2006 Tanya Vakil (2)

2008 Manasvi Mamgai (W: the second Indian to win the crown)

2001 to 2010: The Indian representative was sent by the Gladrags Manunt and Megamodel Contest.

2011 onwards: India's representative has been chosen and sent by Indian Princess.


2004 Zabina Khan (W)

2006 Rupali Suri (SF)


1960 Iona Pinto (2) 1st Runner Up

Iona Pinto, 1st Runner Up MISS INTERNATIONAL

1968 Sumita Sen (SF)

Sumita Sen in the national costume round. She made it to the semi-finals of MISS INTERNATIONAL. She was in the top 15 among contestants from 49 countries.

1970 Patricia D’Souza (SF)

1975 Indira Maria Bredemeyer (3)

1976 Nafisa Ali (3)

1984 Nalanda Bhandari (SF)

1987 Erika Maria de Souza (SF)

1991 Preeti Mankotia (SF)

1993 Pooja Batra (SF)

1997 Diya Abraham (2)

1998 Shvetha Jaishankar (3)

2000 Gayatri Joshi (SF)

2001 Kanwal Toor (SF)

2003 Shonali Nagrani (2)

2004 Mihika Varma (SF)

2006 Sonali Sehgal (SF)


1994 Rajat Bendi (5)

1995 Dino Morea (2)

1997 Zulfi Syed Ahmad (5)

1998 Balbir Meena

1999 John Abraham (2)

2000 Reji Varghese

2001 Rajeev Singh (W)

2002 Nitin Singh (SF)

2006 Aryan Beruah (SF)

2007 Abhimanyu Jain (5)

2008 Romeo Gates (SF)


1996 Bikram Saluja (SF)

2007 Kawaljit Singh (SF)


1978 Elizabeth Anita Reddi (W)

1997 Lara Dutta (W)

1999 Anchal Kumar (SF)

2001 Koena Mitra (SF)

2002 Rakhee Chowdhury (SF)

2003 Deepti Gujral (4)

Miss United Continent

2013: Purva Rana (2)

The major international contests

Miss World pageant is an international beauty pageant founded in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Miss World has grown to be the most sought after and prestigious title in beauty pageantry. It is the most widely attended and broadcasted of such events, with over a hundred delegates in competition. The winner spends a year traveling the globe representing the Miss World Organization in its various causes. Traditionally, Miss World lives in London during her reign and uses it as her base for world travel.

Miss Universe is an annual international beauty contest and the title for the winner of the contest is founded in 1952 by California clothing company Pacific Mills. The pageant became part of. Kayser-Roth and then Gulf and Western Industries, before being acquired by Donald Trump in 1996. Despite its historical rivalry with the Miss World contest, Miss Universe retains unparalleled prestige in many parts of the world, particularly Asia and Latin America.

Miss Asia-Pacific International: India has been represented since 1968 and this continued till 2005.

Miss United Continent used to be called Miss Continente Americano but the name was changed in 2013 to attract countries beyond the Americas. India struck gold in its first ever foray into the Miss United Continent pageant as Purva Rana won the second position (in 2013)!

Miss India trademark

HC: Misuse of trademark `Miss India' not allowed

The Times of India, Sep 05 2015

HC: Misuse of trademark `Miss India' not allowed

The Delhi high court passed an interim injunction against misuse of the `Miss India' trademark, a registered trade mark of the Times Group. The Times Group had instituted a case against the organisers of a “Miss India Worldwide“ event, who were in the process of holding a contest similar to Miss India.

“Till further orders, the defendants, their directors, partnersproprietor, organizers, assigns in business, licensees and franchisees are restrained from using mark `Miss India' and `Femina Miss India' as part of event,“ Justice AK Pathak said, while granting an interim injunction in favour of Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited, the owner of The Times of India.

While addressing the possible misuse of the `Miss India' trademark by the organisers of the `Miss India Worldwide' event, the court also observed, “In case the injunction order is not passed, the plaintiffs would suffer loss and injury and balance of convenience is also in favour of the plaintiff.“

A history of the various Miss India contests

Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Asia-Pacific, Miss Earth

Miss India has been participating in the Miss Universe and Miss World Pageant since 1952 and 1959 respectively. Indrani Rehman was the first one to represent it in Miss universe and Fleur Ezekiel in Miss World.

India has a great record at Miss Universe. India participated in the year 1952 with the stunning Indirani Rehman after a gap of 12 years India again started to send its delegates to Miss Universe, India didn't participate in between

The 1940s to the early 1960s

The Miss India title was bestowed by the Indian Press in 1940s and 1950s, through a small and conservative contest. In 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962, Miss India was selected by Eve's Weekly, a Bombay-based women's magazine.

However, in 1964, the Femina Miss India competition was organized as a small, closed-off event. From that year, Femina gained the local license to the international Miss Universe competition. Towards the end of the 1960s, it picked up licenses to both Miss World and the Miss Asia-Pacific Quest. In the early 1990's, it finally picked up the license for Miss International. Femina Miss India is an annual, national beauty pageant held in India and organized by Femina, a women's magazine published by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, a media group that also houses the Times of India and Filmfare magazine.

For many years, there were two parallel contests. Femina's Miss India would represent India at Miss Universe. Eve's Weekly's winner would go to Miss World.

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 is a title given to the winner(s) of the Miss India beauty pageant held each year.

In 1947 and 1952, the winners were chosen by some Indian (mainly Bombay-based) magazines and newspapers.. In the 40s and 50s, a contest was held by the press where a title was bestowed. From 1959, for several years, Eve's Weekly, held a Miss India contest. Star TV, one of India's largest channels, has held a TV based Miss India contest.

Before 1964, the only Miss India was selected by Eve's Weekly in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962 (for Miss World). Starting from 1964, the pageant was also held by Femina magazine for Miss Universe. For many years there were two parallel contests.

Over time, Eve's Weekly, the magazine, ceased to be published--and also stopped holding the contest. As far back as in 1967 Eve's Weekly did not hold the contest, which is surprising because the previous year the magazine's delegate to Miss World had created history not only for India but for all of Asia by winning the crown. This should have given Eve's Weekly a huge boost. Instead, we find that 1968 to 1975 the winner of a shortlived title called Bharat Sundari (Indian beauty) represented India at Miss World.

On the other hand the Femina Miss India pageant got firmly established, and took over both contests. The practice began to send the winner to the Miss Universe pageant and the 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

1966 and 1994: India's first international crowns

Reita Faria is the first Miss India to be crowned Miss World in 1966. This was the first major international beauty crown won by an Indian.

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, Diana Hayden won the title in 1997, Yukta Mookhey in 1999 and Priyanka Chopra in 2000.

Sushmita Sen was the first Indian to win the Miss Universe crown. Nicole Faria became the first Indian to win the Miss Earth title.

In 1994, Miss India Universe Sushmita Sen won the Miss Universe title and Aishwarya Rai Miss India runner-up won the Miss World title. And in 2000, all the Miss India winners happened to win their respective international pageants - Lara Dutta (Miss Universe), Priyanka Chopra (Miss World) and Diya Mirza (Miss Asia-Pacific).

After the historic win of Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai at the International pageants, coaching institutes were set up to groom young womens to become Miss Indias.

In 1994, India recorded historic wins at International pageants. So Femina decided that all top three winners would be designated as winners with equal visibility and prizes instead of crowning a single winner.

Therefore, from 1995, the practice of choosing a single winner as "Miss India," and calling the next two winners 'Runners Up' was changed. three winners who receive equal prizes, were chosen, and were called Miss India Winners. They were designated as Miss India Universe, Miss India World and Miss India Asia-Pacific and were sent to respective pageants. From 2002, the third winner is sent to the newly formed Miss Earth pageant.

Femina, the women's magazine of the Times of India group, used to send delegates to Miss Universe till 2009. later Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen's production house Tantra entertainment pvt limited/ 'I am she' acquired the right to choose the delegate . From 2010, Femina Miss India started sending crowned winners to Miss International and stopped sending representatives to Miss Universe pageant entirely.

In 2013 the Digital Diva title was launched

2017: New rules for would-be contestants

Miss India 2017: #WeAreChanging, TNN | Feb 9, 2017

I) A girl has to be in the age group of 18-25 (as of 31 Dec, 2017 ), should be of Indian nationality (have a valid Indian passport) or an OCI card holder (she can only win the runners-up titles). She can apply from:-

Her birth state.

The state she is currently residing/ employed/studying in.

Either of her parent's birth state or from the state they are currently residing in.

II) The height criteria has been reduced to 5'5'

III) The swimwear round has been eliminated from the auditions.

IV) One winner from every state in India, mentored by four celebrities, will participate in fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2017

V) fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2017 will conduct a nation-wide hunt in all the 30 states (including the Capital, Delhi).

VI) The top 3 of every state will be given a golden ticket to the state zonal crowning ceremony, which will be held in Bengaluru (South Zone), Delhi (North Zone), Kolkata (East Zone) and Pune (West Zone). And the state winner will get a chance to represent her state at the grand finale in Mumbai, which will be held in June and aired on Colors.

VII) Each zone will be led by a celebrity mentor who will choose the best talent from their respective states. (In 2017 these were Parvathy Omanakuttan, Neha Dhupia, Dipannita Sharma and Waluscha De Sousa)

VIII) The finalists will go through a holistic and rigorous training programme with the best in the industry. Apart from fame and glory, the winner stands a chance to take home prizes in cash and kind, running over a crore and above. fbb, India's fashion hub, has partnered again to be the title sponsor of the pageant.

IX) The auditions will take place at fbb/Big Bazaar stores and for the first time, will be open to public viewing.

X) The zones are

North Zone - (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi)

South Zone (Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka)

West Zone - (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa and Maharashtra)

East Zone (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Sikkim)

Sources for the Miss India series of articles on Indpaedia include, in the alphabetical order:

Daum DesiHotMasala I AM She IndianAutographs LatestNewsPics MensXp Mid-Day MissIndiaWorldUniverse Missosology Missosology Missosology Oocities Pageantopolis SabreBiade SouthDreamz The Times of India The Times of India The Times of India The Times of India The Times of India Arunima Mazumdar & Richa Barua The Times of India The Times of India Voy.com

Related articles on Indpaedia

Miss India contests: History <> Miss India contests: Behind the scenes <> Miss India winners: 1947-58 <> Miss Ind1a winners: 1959-61 <> Miss India winners: 1962-64 <> Miss India winners: 1965 <> Miss India winners: 1966 <> Miss India winners: 1967 <> Miss India winners: 1968 <> Miss India winners: 1969 <> Miss India winners: 1970 <> Miss India winners: 1971 <> Miss India winners: 1972 <> Miss India winners: 1973 <> Miss India winners: 1974 <> Miss India winners: 1975 <> Miss India winners: 1976 <> Miss India winners: 1977 <> Miss India winners: 1978 <> Miss India winners: 1979 <> Miss India winners: 1980 <> Miss India winners: 1981 <> Miss India winners: 1982 <> Miss India winners: 1983 <> Miss India winners: 1984 <> Miss India winners: 1985 <> Miss India winners: 1986 <> Miss India winners: 1987 <> Miss India winners: 1988-89 <> Miss India winners: 1989/ 90 <> Miss India winners: 1991 <> Miss India winners: 1992 <> Miss India winners: 1993 <> Miss India winners: 1994 <> Miss India winners: 1995 <> Miss India winners: 1996 <> Miss India winners: 1997 <> Miss India winners: 1998 <> Miss India winners: 1999 <> Miss India winners: 2000 <>  Miss India winners: 2001 <>  Miss India winners: 2002 <>  Miss India winners: 2003 <>  Miss India winners: 2004 <>  Miss India winners: 2005 <>  Miss India winners: 2006 <>  Miss India winners: 2007 <>  Miss India winners: 2008 <>  Miss India winners: 2009 <> Miss India winners: 2010 <> Miss India winners: 2011 <> Miss India winners: 2012 <> Miss India winners: 2013 <> Miss India winners: 2014 (regional) <> Miss India winners: 2014 <> Miss India 2015: regional winners <> Miss India winners: 2015 Miss India 2016: regional winners <> Miss India winners: 2016 Miss India 2017: regional winners <> Miss India winners: 2017 <> Miss India Universe/ Diva 2017 <> Miss India 2018: regional winners <> Miss India winners: 2018 <> Miss India Universe/ Diva 2018

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