At the recent Miss Universe contest held in Israel, Harnaaz Sandhu, who is from Chandigarh, was named the winner on December 12. She was the third Indian woman to win the crown at home. She does not, however, deserve our pride. There are plenty of other stunning Indian women who made history while maintaining their beauty. Let’s look at the Indian winners of Miss Universe and Miss World.
Indian Beauties Who Made Us Proud, Check Out
Sushmita Sen – First Indian To Win Miss Universe
After winning the title in 1994, Sushmita Sen became the first Miss Universe from India. Sushmita was born on November 19, 1975, in Hyderabad to a Bengali Baidya family. Her mother Subhra Sen was a jewellery designer, while her father Shubeer Sen was a former Indian Air Force Wing Commander. Sush adopted Renee and Alisah, two infant daughters, and is not yet married.
She was crowned “Femina Miss India Universe” in 1994, the same year that she also competed in and won the Miss Universe pageant.
Lara Dutta – Miss Universe 2000
Did you know that the current Miss Universe, Harnaaz Sandhu, was born the same year Lara Dutta received the title of Miss Universe? In the history of the pageant, Lara Dutta was the second Indian woman, following Sushmita Sen, to take home the crown. Lara made her Bollywood debut in the year 2003 with the film Andaaz. Since then, she has worked on other Bollywood productions.
Lara graduated from the University of Mumbai with a degree in economics and a minor in communications on April 16, 1978. She was born in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Mahesh Bhupathi, an Indian tennis player who was one of the greatest doubles players in the history of the game, married Lara Dutta.
After waiting 21 years, Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, created history on December 12, 2021, when she was crowned Miss Universe 2021 at the 70th Miss Universe 2021 pageant held in Israel. She was the third Indian woman to win the crown at home. A model and performer from Chandigarh who has been in various Punjabi films are working toward her master’s in public administration. She received the title of “Times Fresh Face” in 2017, which marked the start of her participation in beauty pageants. Additionally, she was crowned LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021.
Reita Faria – First Indian Miss World 1966
In 1966, Reita Faria, just 23 years old, became the first Indian and Asian woman to win the Miss World title. Reita received numerous modelling and acting opportunities after winning the title of Miss World in 1966, but she turned them all down in favour of pursuing her passion of becoming a doctor, earning her MBBS from King’s College and being the first Miss World to do so. In 1966, Faria also took home the titles of Miss Bombay and Miss India from Eve’s Weekly.
Faria, an endocrinologist, was born on August 23, 1943, to Goan parents in Mumbai’s Matunga. She married David Powell, her mentor, in 1971, and moved to Dublin to begin her medical career.
Faria made fashion history by being the first Indian to walk the runway in a bathing suit. She also won awards for “Best in Evening Wear” and “Best in Swimsuit” for standing out in a saree. Two daughters and five grandchildren belong to Faria.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – Miss World 1994
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, one of the most well-known Indian celebrities worldwide, won the coveted Miss World crown held in Sun City, South Africa in 1994. Aishwarya worked in a number of popular Bollywood films after she was crowned Miss World, including Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Taal, Mohabbatein, Devdas, Chokher Bali, Jeans, Bride & Prejudice, Raincoat, Dhoom 2, Guru, and Jodha Akbar. Aishwarya has contributed to a number of Hollywood movies in addition to Bollywood. She gave birth to her daughter Aaradhya in 2011 after being married to Abhishek Bachchan in 2007.
In 2003, Aish became the second Indian actor, after her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan, to have a wax statue of herself at Madame Tussauds. She also became the first Indian actor to ever serve on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
Diana Hayden – Miss World 1997
After Aishwarya won the title of Miss World three years earlier, Diana Hayden became the third Indian woman to win the pageant in 1997 at the 47th edition of the competition, which was held in Baie Lazare, Seychelles. Diana is the only Miss World winner who also won Miss World-Asia and Oceania, Miss Photogenic, and Spectacular Swimwear during the competition. Diana, who was born in Hyderabad, began her work as an event manager before moving on to handle the careers of well-known artists as a public relations officer for a well-known organisation.
In 2001, she made her acting debut in South Africa’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello. In addition, she is the author of A Beautiful Truth, a book that is described as “an encyclopaedia on grooming and also deals with personality development and confidence building.”
Yukta Mookhey – Miss World 1999
Yukta Mookhey, who was 22 at the time, was named Miss World in 1999 by Linor Abargil, who had previously won the title in 1998 and was the fourth Indian or Asian woman to do so. She was crowned “Asia & Oceanian Queen of Beauty” at the competition.
Yukta was born to a Sindhu family on October 7, 1977, in Bangalore. Her mother Aroona Mookhey ran a grooming parlour in Mumbai, and her father Inderlal Mookhey served as managing director of a garment firm. She studied biology and received a certificate in computer application.
In 2008, Yukta wed Prince Tuli, a businessman with roots in New York, and the couple welcomed a son into the world. After she accused her spouse of domestic abuse and harassment, the pair split in 2014. Yukta made his Bollywood debut in 2002 with the box office failure “Pyaasa.” Later, she contributed to other films like Insaaf: The Justice, Kab Kyon Kahan, and Hum Teenu.
Priyanka Chopra – Miss World 2000
Priyanka Chopra, the fifth Miss India to hold the title, was named Miss World in 2000 at the age of 18. In the same year, Priyanka was also named Miss World Continental Queen of Beauty of Asia & Oceania. Priyanka was born on July 18, 1982, in Jamshedpur, India, to the late Captain Dr Ashok Chopra and Dr Madhu Chopra, two Indian Army doctors. After winning Miss World in 2000, Priyanka made her acting debut in the Tamil film Thamizhan in 2002. The following year, she appeared in The Hero in Bollywood starring Preity Zinta and Sunny Deol.
She also contributed to a number of South Indian and Hollywood movies. Purple Pebble Productions, her own production firm, was founded. She was given the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award in 2017 for her status as an international icon, as well as the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honours, in 2016. At the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Priyanka and Nick Jonas were married in 2019 at two ceremonies, one following Christian tradition and the other a Hindu ritual.
Manushi Chhillar – Miss World 2017
Manushi Chhillar, a woman from Haryana, became the sixth Indian beauty to win the Miss World crown, returning the trophy to India after a seventeen-year absence, in the Sanya City Arena in 2017. The Haryana girl won the 54th Femina Miss India Title that year, beating out 29 other contenders. At a big event, she had to battle against 108 other competitors. She participated in an effort named “Project Shakti” for her “Beauty with a Purpose” project for Miss World 2017, where she raised awareness about menstruation hygiene. She visited roughly 20 communities as part of her campaign, and she improved the lives of 5,000 women.
Manushi was born on May 14, 1997, to Dr Neelam Chhillar, head of the Department of Neurochemistry at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, and Dr Mitra Basu Chhillar, a scientist at the DRDO. She is preparing for her Bollywood debut with Prithviraj while studying MBBS at the Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat, Haryana.