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VOTE: Who is your favourite Miss India?

Last updated on: May 20, 2014 19:00 IST

From Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen to Neha Dhupia and Priyanka Chopa -- vote for your favourite!

This is the 20th year of Sushmita Sen's and Aishwarya Rai's crowning. As part of a series, celebrating India's success at the two prominent international pageants -- Miss Universe and Miss World -- we start by looking back at some of the most prominent faces who've represented the country at various global pageants since 1994.

Shall we begin?

Don't forget to vote for your favourite at the bottom of each page.

Kindly click NEXT to continue...

Sushmita Sen

Image: Sushmita Sen
Photographs: Courtesy Lakme Fashion Week

She was the dark horse at the 1994 Miss India pageant who managed to sweep the crown right from under Aishwarya Rai's nose.

Since then Sushmita Sen has dabbled in movies, been involved in charitable work and has been a poster girl for adoption -- both her daughters are adopted.

Occasionally when she isn't being a rockstar in real life, she takes to the runway and makes us skip a heartbeat.

Doesn't she deserve your vote?

Please click on NEXT to continue...

Aishwarya Rai

Image: Aishwarya Rai
Photographs: Eamonn M McCormack/Getty Images

She was tipped to win the Miss India crown in 1994. 

In fact, the organisers had been trying to persuade her to participate the previous year and the year before. 

On hearing the news of her participation, several models backed out of the contest.

Then Sushmita Sen won.

But life didn't turn out so badly for Aishwarya Rai either.

After a slightly bumpy ride in Bollywood, she not only got a foothold in the business but also went on to become the highest paid actresses in the business.

Two decades after shooting into the limelight, Ash continues to remain the face of top international cosmetic brands and a much-sought-after brand ambassador.

Not bad for someone who hasn't had a single release in the last four-odd years eh?

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Priyanka Chopra

Image: Priyanka Chopra
Photographs: Courtesy Perfect Relations

In the final round of Miss World 2000, when she was asked to name the living person she admired the most Priyanka Chopra named Mother Teresa, who had passed away good three years ago.

She was, nonetheless, crowned.

Like her predecessors, Chopra also had a dubious start at the box office. Most of her initial films flopped but she stuck on.

Today, Priyanka reigns supreme in Bollywood. 

She has, over the years, also made a mark for herself in the music business, having collaborated with international musicians including and Pitbull.

And in 2010, she joined the ranks of Michael Jordan and Bono among others as UNICEF's goodwill ambassador for Child Rights.

How's that for someone who goofed up in the final question at an international pageant?

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Gul Panag

Image: Gul Panag
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

From winning Miss India (1999) to fighting the Lok Sabha elections, Gul Panag has done it all. 

Along the way, she has also fought for several causes including gender equality and education among others and has been an active participant in the India Against Corruption movement.

She also happens to be a marathoner and looks a million bucks.

Does she get your vote?

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Diana Hayden

Image: Diana Hayden
Photographs: Rediff Archives

She was the third Indian to win Miss World (1997) after Reita Faria and Aishwarya Rai.

She never went on to achieve the star status of Rai or Priyanka Chopra but Diana Hayden remains as stunning as she was 17 years ago when we first saw her.

So will you vote for her?

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Dia Mirza

Image: Dia Mirza
Photographs: Rediff Archives

From the moment she won Miss India Asia-Pacific in 2000, comparisons were drawn between Dia Mirza and Aishwarya Rai, even though the two looked very, very different from each other (and Ash towered over Dia).

Dia may not have seen great success as an actress but she continues to remain active in spreading awareness on various social issues including female foeticide, animal welfare among others and has lent support to PETA, CRY and the Naramada Bachao Andolan.

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Lara Dutta

Image: Lara Dutta
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

India began the new millennium with a bang.

Priyanka Chopra won Miss World, Dia Mirza, Miss Asia-Pacific and Lara Dutta walked home with the Miss Universe crown.

Neither could match the success of Chopra who remains one of the busiest actresses in the business.

After trying out her hand at acting in movies, Dutta eventually moved to producing (Chalo Dilli and its upcoming sequel Chalo China) them.

She's also starred in a prenatal yoga video, which we assume is the reason why she looks the way she does even after delivering a baby!

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Yukta Mookhey

Image: Yukta Mookhey
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

Yukta Mookhey won the Miss World pageant in 1999.

When she crowned her successor, Priyanka Chopra the following year, she was only the third beauty queen in the pageant's history to crown her fellow citizen.

Prior to this, Miss World 1951 Kerstin Hakansson from Sweden crowned May-Louise Flodin the following year and 1964 winner Ann Sidney from the United Kingdom and crowned Lesley Langley the following year.

Like most other beauty queens, Yukta too tried her hand at films but failed.

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Celina Jaitly

Image: Celina Jaitly
Photographs: Vickky Idnaani

When she won Miss India in 2001, Celina Jaitly seemed like she'd had the Miss Universe pageant locked down.

Sadly, she ended fifth.

The grey-eyed beauty never made it big in the movies either but has been a vocal supporter of various causes including equal rights for the LGBT community in India and the ethical treatment of animals among others.

Now married to an Austrian businessman, Celina is a mother of twin boys.

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Neha Dhupia

Image: Neha Dhupia
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

Neha Dhupia, the 2002 Miss India Universe, like the others, also tried her hand at the movies soon after her win.

While she's received moderate success at the box office, Dhupia is active on Twitter and manages, somehow, to stay in the news.

Does she get your vote?

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Esha Gupta

Image: Esha Gupta
Photographs: A still from Jannat 2

Next, we have the 2007 Miss India International, Esha Gupta who delivered two-back-to-back hits with Jannat 2 and Raaz 3D.

Gupta also happens to be a Kingfisher Swimsuit model so we really don't know what more to say to get you to vote for her.

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Manasvi Mamgai

Image: Manasvi Mamgai
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

After being crowned Miss India in 2010, Manasvi Mamgai went on to represent the country at Miss World but was unplaced.

Mamgai, who is a regular on the Lakme Fashion Week runway, is now looking forward to her big screen debut -- Prabhudeva's Action Jackson in which she stars opposite Ajay Devgn.

ALSO READ At six she dreamt of being Miss World

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Sarah Jane Dias

Image: Sarah Jane Dias
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

The spunky model-turned-actress was crowned Miss India in 2007.

It would however be a good few years before she'd make her big screen debut in the Tamil romantic comedy, Theeradha Vilaiyattu Pillai (2010) and some more time before her Bollywood film Game (2011) hit the screens.

Though her film career may not necessarily be anything to speak of, we do quite like some of her runway appearances. Like this one for instance. Don't you agree?

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Parvathy Omanakuttan

Image: Parvathy Omanakuttan
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

Yet another Miss India who's been hoping to make it big in Bollywood is the 2008 winner -- Parvathy Omanakuttan.

While success has largely eluded her, we're quite looking forward to her upcoming film, Pizza a remake of the eponymous Tamil hit produced by the maverick filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar.

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Nicole Faria

Image: Nicole Faria
Photographs: Atul Kasbekar for Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar

Miss India 2010, Nicole Faria went on to win Miss Earth, made her Bollywood debut with Yaariyan recently AND was featured in the latest Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar.

If that doesn't make the cut for you, we really don't know what does!

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Rochelle Maria Rao

Image: Rochelle Maria Rao
Photographs: Atul Kasbekar for Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar

Rochelle Maria Rao won Femina Miss India in 2011 and was probably the secret reason why many of us watched the previous season of IPL, wasn't it?

Alsoe see: Meet IPL hottie Rochelle Maria Rao