Inspirational Indian Women from the Past who still Impact Us

The Style Symphony

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They are the makers, the movers, the marvelous women of the bygone era! They still impact our lives peeping from years of history, drama, achievements and a thousand of other genres. They have the most of their impact still on us, but it seems we are forgetting those unsung heroes (heroines), be it— saints and bitches, queens and commoners, the beautiful and the heroic. Some delved in the era of science, finance, industry and some were creative. Others lead the way to new adventures for the coming generations. All are the women who have left an impact on our lives and still alive around with their specialities.

The Style Symphony women

Today, The Style Symphony presents some of those inspirational women whose achievements still appeal us with the impact they have left on the sands of time.

Meerabai: (Devotee)


It is impossible to separate the myth and legend from the biographical detail. Was she fed poison, which did not affect her? Did her mother really point to an image of Krishna when she asked who her husband would be? Did she wander into the dessert and vanish? Whatever else she may or may not have done, her songs have left a deep impact on the Indian subconscious.

Mumtaz Mahal: (Queen)


She lived the dream of virtually every woman on earth to be loved eternally. What is more, there is a monument of love constructed in her name and actual edifice of moonlit marble and soaring turrets. Mumtaz so captivated her husband Shah Jahan, that today, the Taj stands as breathtaking testimony of that enduring spell and ensures the name of Mumtaz Mahal lives on.

Rani Lakshmi Bai: (Queen Warrior)

womenSometimes the myth tends to obscure the truth, but not in Lakshmi Bai’s case. The Rani of Jhansi really did take to the horse, sword glinting in the sunshine, read to fight the encroaching British to the last. She did all that rather than letting the white rulers annex Jhansi. She made her impact as one of her greatest patriots and a heroic role model for future generations for women.

Umrao Jaan Ada: (Courtesan)

womenOnce in a while, everything comes together… heart stopping beauty, a sense of style, a lyrical bent of words. At the time of the Sepoy Mutiny, ironically enough, all these assets came packaged in one individual, a femme fatale of awesome magnitude, a woman who played on the hearts of kings and commoners alike, with her beauty as well as her poignant ‘nazms’.

Kasturba Gandhi: (Freedom Fighter)


It couldn’t have been easy being married to a Mahatma. However, for that diminutive Ba’s equanimity, she wasn’t to know what a colossus Gandhi Ji would eventually become. She had a hard road to travel and some head-long clashes with her husband before settling down to a life of all giving and no taking, a life she lead with amazing dignity!

Sarojini Naidu: (Poetess)


Frank Moraes paid Naidu a back-handed compliment when he talked to her ‘ruggedly masculine realism’. The way we see it, this is a woman worth emulating for that virtue alone. It is another matter that Naidu possessed a whole lot of other equally sterling virtues. The original Nightingale of India, an evocative poet, brought glory to both womankind and politics.

Indira Gandhi: (Politician)


Whether India was Indira or vice versa, their destinies were interwined. The most potent symbol of woman power modern India has ever produced, she evoked strong reactions. Detractors loathed her, admirers adored her. Imperious, even arrogant and calculating, yes, without doubt, the woman with the distinctive grey streak gave of herself unstintingly to India.


Rajmata Gayatri Devi: (Socialite)


The understated beauty of the Maharani of Jaipur remained as if captured under the bell jar despite the vagaries of age. She won a place in the record books with her unparalleled landslide victory in the country’s third general elections. From royal beauty to politician to dowager, Gayatri Devi crossed all the milestones with fluid ease.

Mother Teresa: (Missionary)


She was the first canonized Saint of our times! The frail, bent figure with the distinctive blue stripe became a world-wide symbol for compassion. She heard the call to serve God when she was 12, came to India, started the ‘Missionaries of Charity’. She reached out to all those whom the world abandoned.



Madhubala: (Actress)


Look behind that lustrous smile, look deep into those eyes and you’ll find pools of pain. The Venus of India, Madhubala learnt early on in her very successful carrier that life is no bed of roses, not for ethereal screen Goddesses. Betrayed by men, mired in a court case, her carrier flagging, her health deteriorating, she died an untimely, lonely death.


Though these names often strike the minds of modern generation, still seems that we are forgetting the glory and impact of these inspirational women from Indian history. The Style Symphony salutes the intrinsic aura of these women from the forgotten pages of history whose impact is still prevalent though not visible on our lives.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

[highlight]Pic Source: Wikipedia[/highlight]

  • Of course Archana. playing beautiful for years is not an easy task. It needs brains too for that ;). Who can know better than women do. 😉

  • Leena Walawalkar

    Everyone has his own source of inspiration, so Im glad you compiled yours :). Well written!

    • Thank you so much Leena. Glad that you liked the post. 🙂

  • This is lovely Sangeeta, an ode to the wonderful women from history and the ounces of inspiration and knowledge we can derive from them 🙂

    • Thank you so much Vinay. Glad that you liked the post. 🙂


    They are truly the greatest inspirations for all of us. Such an amazing post dear. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Deeshani. Glad that you liked the post. 🙂

  • Anjali Sengar

    Lovely post dear.. It’s a true tribute to lovely ladies of our country 🙂

    • Thank you so much Anjali. Glad that you liked the post. 🙂

  • But for Mumtaz rest all inspiring.
    (btw mahal is building, i doubt it is a part of her name.)

    • You are true Indrani. Mumtaz was remembered just being ‘drop dead gorgeous’. And ‘Mumtaz,Mahal’ was not her name, but the title given to her by Snah Jahan, which mean “the chosen one of the palace”.
      You can check the link —

      • Thank you for correcting me. 🙂

  • While I don’t agree with a couple of names here… yes indeed most of these women are a great inspiration…
    very well compiled M 🙂

    • Well, all of the women mentioned here, are not inspirational in terms of their achievements, but being remembered mere for their beauty. They have annexed their places in history as ‘dumb beauties’ still worth mention because ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’.
      Anyways, thanks for commenting. 🙂