50 Unique Indian Baby Girl Names
Dolly? Sony? Bubbly? Sweety? – sorry – these names don’t cut it anymore. If you want to get beyond the run-of-the-mill names for your little angel – take a look at these beautiful and unique names!
By Siddiqha Naseem
"What are little girls made of? What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice, That's what little girls are made of…” - Lyrics from a 19th century nursery rhyme.
There is no denying that all babies are adorable, but there is something extra special about those teeny weeny bundles of 'pink' joy – pure unadulterated joy that lasts a lifetime.
But naming your precious little princess can be a mind-boggling and daunting task. Is there a name on this planet that perfectly describes your beautiful baby girl? Perhaps not – after all, she is all that and more.
So, should you name her after a famous princess? Or a Greek or Indian Goddess? A name that describes her beauty? Or a word that encompasses her personality? How about a celebrity baby name? Or something nobody has thought of – like christen her Lychee, your absolute favorite fruit? How about half of the mother’s name and half of the father’s? Or should you simply give her your grandmother’s name? The choices are aplenty. And how do you put it down to just one word?
“Both my husband and I were ecstatic when we had a baby girl. We searched the Internet for the perfect name for her, but could not find anything unique. We also looked up mythological names, but nothing fit the bill. Finally, an aunt who is also a writer and very well read came up with the name Viprathi which means treasure in Kannada. Our baby girl is most precious to us, so it was the perfect choice,” said Chaithali Dakshath recounting how she chose her daughter’s name.
Thus, selecting the perfect name for your daughter is no easy feat. The constant choosing and crossing out of names in search of the perfect one, and not to forget the never-ending suggestions from friends and relatives, only makes the entire process more confusing.
But, hold on. As beautiful as you want your little one’s name to be, shouldn’t it be inspiring too? Here are some handpicked beautiful names from things and people that inspire us – names from rivers, goddesses, celebrities, nature, sport stars, movies and more. All you have to do is read and pick one.
Here you go!
1. Celebrity baby girl names
Meaning and Inspiration: Iqra means to ‘read or recite’. It is believed that this was the first word sent down by God. The name is inspired by Iqra Dutt, daughter of Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt.
Meaning and Inspiration: The name Nitara means ‘having deep roots’ or ‘deeply rooted’. It is quite a popular name in the northern parts of our country. This name is inspired by Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna’s daughter Nitara Khanna Bhatia.
Meaning and Inspiration: Who doesn’t know this little social media star? Ziva, cricketer Dhoni’s daughter, is forever all over the Internet with her cute videos and pics. Many parents have since named their daughters Ziva too. The name means ‘light, brightness and radiance’.
Meaning and Inspiration: A traveller knows how much beauty the Earth holds. Mountains, rivers and forests are all beautiful in their own way. This name means Earth, and it is perfect for travellers who love exploring the world. Further, this name is inspired by Arjun Rampal’s daughter Mahikaa Rampal.
Meaning and Inspiration: Adira means ‘strong’. It is a rare and exotic name. No wonder Rani Mukherjee gave her daughter this unique and beautiful name.
2. Nature-inspired baby girl names
Meaning and Inspiration: The name Soha means ‘beautiful’ or ‘amazing’. It is the name of a star, Al-Soha, in the Ursa Major constellation.
Meaning and Inspiration: Yamini means ‘night’. Nothing quite as beautiful as the night sky, serene and beautiful.
Meaning and Inspiration: The name Ahaana is derived from the Indian word meaning Dawn. It means ‘the first ray of the sun’.
Meaning and Inspiration: Damini is one of the few favourite names in India. It means ‘lightning’. It is believed that people with this name are urged to be fair and just, to everyone.
Meaning and Inspiration: Himani means ‘glaciers’. According to the holy Hindu books, this name also means Goddess Parvati.
3. Mythological baby girl names
Meaning and inspiration: The name Gargi belongs to an Indian philosopher from the Vedic literature. From a young age, she demonstrated a clear interest in Vedas and the field of philosophy. The name Gargi means ‘the person who inspires to think’ or ‘name of a learned woman’.
Meaning and inspiration: Hidimba is the name of one of the characters from the epic Mahabaratha. It is the name of the wife of the Pandava Bheem. She was so deeply in love with Bheem that she accepted a strange condition – Bheem will leave her once she bears a child. She was a fanatic lover and a single mother of Ghatotkach who was raised without claiming his father’s rights.
Meaning and inspiration: Shika is inspired by the famous Hindu mythology character Shikandi who was born as a girl child named Shikandini to King Drupada. While Shikandi slightly sounds strange or is too long, many Indians name their baby girl Shika.
Meaning and inspiration: The name Shyena meaning ‘hawk’ or ‘falcon’, belongs to the divine hawk identified with Agni, the god of fire. It is believed the Shyena ascended to heaven in search of soma (a ritual drink mentioned in the ancient myths) to rejuvenate all things that exist on earth.
Name and inspiration: Vishpala is the name of a woman from Rigveda. She was known to be a strong female warrior who lost her leg in a Khela’s battle. The name likely means ‘protecting the settlement’.
Naming tip: You could try coming up with a unique and beautiful baby name, by merging yours and your spouse’s names creatively together. Interesting right?
4. Indian rivers-inspired baby girl names
Meaning and inspiration: River Tapti flows from the eastern Satpura to South Madhya Pradesh. So, the name Tapti means ‘river’. According to Hindu Mythology, Tapti was created by Surya (Sun God) to save himself from his own heat.
“I love my name Tapti because it is short and stylish. Mommy told me stories about how my name belonged to a river and all the myths around it. We also had a small picnic along the banks of Tapti for one of our weekend getaways.”, says 12-year-old Tapti.
Meaning and inspiration: The name Chena is derived from the River Chenab. The river forms in the upper Himalayas, near a place called Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. It is believed that many famous love stories brewed on the banks of this river. Hence, it bears the name ‘river of romance’.
Meaning and inspiration: Although, the Kaveri dispute kindles the emotions of states in South India, yet, the river is the livelihood for many. River Kaveri flows from Kodagu (tala Kaveri) into the Bay of Bengal covering three states and one union territory. It is one of the longest rivers of India.
Meaning and inspiration: Flowing from the western Himalayas, Ganga is regarded as the most sacred river in India. It is also referred to as Mokshadayini, the goddess who washes away your sins.
Meaning and inspiration: The river Yamuna is sometimes called Jamuna. This river comes with an old tale that apparently Lord Krishna fought with a huge serpent that had made the river toxic. He asked the serpent to leave the river thus making Yamuna clean again.
5. Hindu Goddess names for baby girls
Meaning and inspiration: Aryahi is one of the names of goddess Durga. She is one of the most worshipped deities of Hinduism. She is known to be the warrior goddess who battles demons.
Meaning and inspiration: This classic name belongs to goddess Saraswati and literally means ‘the one who rides a swan’. She is believed to be the goddess of knowledge, art, nature and wisdom.
Meaning and inspiration: Loukya is another name of goddess Lakshmi. The name means ‘worldly-wise’. Lakshmi is known to be the goddess of fortune, wealth and prosperity.
Meaning and inspiration: The name Shaila is associated with goddess Parvati. While the name means ‘a hill or daughter of a hill’, she is the goddess of love, fertility, marriage and children.
Meaning and inspiration: Gauri means ‘the fair one’. The name belongs to goddess Parvati who symbolises strength, valour and courage.
6. Sports-inspired baby girl names
Meaning and inspiration: The name Mithali means ‘a bond between friendship and love’. It is inspired by Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s cricket team. Mithali has the highest score in International cricket and she is the only female player to have gone beyond the 6000 runs mark in One Day Internationals.
Meaning and inspiration: The name Geeta means ‘holy book’. Geeta Phogat is the inspiration behind this baby girl name suggestion. In 2010, Geeta Phogat bagged the gold in wrestling in the Commonwealth Games.
Meaning and inspiration: Over the years Sania Mirza has inspired many young Indians in the country. Kickstarting her career at the age of 16, she held the number one position for about 91 weeks. The name Sania means ‘radiant’.
Meaning and inspiration: Another name that is spoken much about in the field of Indian wrestling is Sakshi Malik. She started her training from the time she was 12 years of age. She is the first female wrestler in India to win a medal in the Olympics.
Meaning and inspiration: The name Deepika means ‘light’. It is inspired by the unsung star Deepika Kumari. Archery is one of our country’s bigger strengths and she is the former world number archer.
7. Royal names for baby girls
Meaning and inspiration: The name Gayathri means ‘the chant of salvation’. It is inspired by the famous Indian queen Gayathri Devi. She was the third Maharani of Jaipur from the year 1940-1949. She was celebrated for her beauty and was a fashion icon in her time.
Meaning and inspiration: Samyukta means goddess Durga. Rani Samyukta was the wife of Prithviraj Chauhan. She is said to be charming and beautiful, with the smartest of brains. It is believed that Prithiviraj Chauhan had fallen in love with her without even looking at her once.
Meaning and inspiration: The name Sita belongs to the famous Sita Devi of Kapurthala. It means ‘goddess of the land’. She was the daughter of a Zamindar who then, with her ebullient beauty and pleasant nature, married the Prince of Kapurthala. She is known to have made fashion statements of her own with long gowns and necklaces of rich jewels. She is also one of the few royals to speak fluently in various European languages.
Meaning and inspiration: Avanti means ‘modest’. Rani Avanti Bai of Ramgarh was well-known for her bravery. When the British declared her husband insane and her two sons infit to sit on the throne, she threw the British administrator out of Ramgarh and quickly gathered an army of four thousand along with the neighbouring kings.
Meaning and inspiration: Noor means ‘light’, inspired by Nur Jahan, the twelfth begum of Mughal emperor Jahangir. She was a beauty with brains and often referred to as the real power behind the throne, by historians. She proactively became the most influential person in the king’s court when the Mughal empire had reached its peak of glory.
8. Flower-inspired baby girl names
Meaning and inspiration: The name Zahra means ‘to bloom or blossom’. The name can stand for all the ‘blossoming’ success you daughter will achieve as she grows up.
Meaning and inspiration: Alyssa is derived from the name of the lovely Alyssum flower. The name means ‘rational’.
Meaning and inspiration: Juhi means ‘a scented flower’. The name Juhi is derived from the favourite Indian flower Jasmine.
Meaning and inspiration: The word Pahi means ‘petal of a flower’. It makes for a short and beautiful name for baby girls.
Meaning and inspiration: The name Lunasha means ‘as beautiful as a flower’. Because of its difficult pronunciation, the name Luna and Lunash can be chosen for baby girls.
9. Movie-inspired baby girl names
Meaning and inspiration: Nala means ‘water in the desert’. Inspired by the true friend and mate of Simba in the popular movie The Lion King. She rebels against the villainous Scar and the hyenas, alongside Simba, to help him claim his throne.
Meaning and inspiration: With the meaning ‘boundless and entire’, Aditi was the character name of Genelia D’Souza in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. She was celebrated for her innocent yet brilliant acting. She had the perfect balance of emotions and was the perfect choice for that role.
Meaning and inspiration: If you read this name and didn’t think of Aditya Roy Kapoor screaming in the stands ‘Aarohi! Aarohi!’ then you are not a true Bollywood fan. Aarohi means ‘Ascending’ and is the character name of Shraddha Kapoor in Aashiqui 2.
Did you know? Marking the sixth anniversary of Aashiqui 2, Shraddha Kapoor changed her username to Aarohi.
Meaning and inspiration: Pia is another spelling for Piya which means ‘beloved’. Did you not guess the movie already? Yes! It’s the name of the female character played by Kareena Kapoor Khan, who rides a scooter in a bridal costume in Aamir Khan’s dream, in the famous movie 3 idiots.
Meaning and inspiration: Naina means ‘eyes’. Naina was also the name of Deepika Padukone’s character in the movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. The character is beautifully written about a girl who breaks out of her shell, little by little.
10. Universal names for baby girls
Meaning and inspiration: Zaina means ‘beauty and grace’. It is considered to be a universal name although it has Persian roots.
"I am a Christian married to a Muslim. And when we had a baby girl, we were quite unsure how to name her. Add to this, my husband's family were quite particular that the baby's name has an Arabic/Persian origin. Thus, began my hunt for a name that is universal yet adhered to my in-laws wishes. Thankfully, I loved Z sounding names, and the Persian origin ones had quite a few good choices. After talking to friends for ideas and scouring the Internet for unique names, we finally chose the name 'Zaina'. It means beautiful. Perfect for my beautiful baby girl." - Deepthi B, mother of 7-year-old Zaina Shakir.
Meaning and inspiration: Putting happiness in your child’s name is close to putting happiness in her life. In that case, you can go with the name Farrah meaning ‘happy’.
Meaning and inspiration: Samantha is a universal name. It means ‘God heard’ in Hebrew, a ‘listener’ in Aramaic and ‘flower’ in Greek.
Meaning and inspiration: Ayra is slowly popularising across the globe. Although the name has its roots in Arabic, every country seems to love the name.
Meaning and inspiration: Pronounced as Hana or Hannah, this name means ‘favour or grace’. It also means ‘God has favoured me with a child’.
Geeta or Gayathri, Sania or Zaina, whatever be the name, make sure you tell your child the story behind what inspired you to pick her name. It is a story your daughter will share with her friends when she grows up. Don't we all? May you find the perfect name that brings joy to you and your family.
About the author:
Written by Siddiqha Naseem on 19 August 2019.
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