Each parent has a different approach when it comes to choosing baby names. Some parents look to pop culture for baby name inspiration choosing pop icons or literary characters as an influence to give a name some heft. Others look back to their ancestors for baby name inspiration pulling names that belonged to great aunts or a beloved grandparent. But Indians, especially Hindus, prefer Hindi when it comes to naming their children.
Hindi, the official language of India, has a huge vocabulary catalog, with the tremendous power of expression. Since the lexicon is derived from four major languages – Sanskrit, Arabic, English, and Persian, we get a wide range of inspiration for baby names as well. The baby names derived from the Hindi language are classic, traditional, and fuse the cultural riches of India with the linguistic ancestry. Here are 25 popular Indian baby girl names that draw on the deep influences of Hindu and Sanskrit.
The name Vela is a girl’s name of Sanskrit origin meaning “shore, coast.” Besides being an Indian girls’ name, Vela is a Southern sky constellation whose name is Latin for “sail.”
The herbaceous name Tulsi is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “basil.” The holy basil plant is sacred in the Hindu religion, used to honor the god Vishnu and representative of his consort, the goddess Tulsi. The Tulsi plant is often planted in Hindu houses and is used for medicinal as well as ceremonial purposes.
The name Aja is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “goat.” Aja is another name for the Hindu god Shiva. Further, in Hindu mythology, Aja is a prince of the Ikshvaku dynasty. In India, this is a popular gender-neutral name.
The name Jaya is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “victory.” Jaya is the core portion of the Mahabharata, a major Sanskrit epic.
The beautiful name Priya is a girl’s name of Sanskrit origin meaning “beloved.” Priya is traditionally given to girls born in August. The name is used in Hindu mythology for at least one daughter of King Daksha who was known for fathering 146 daughters.
Uma is a fabulous name with Sanskrit origins that means “tranquility.” Uma is one of the more than one thousand appellations for the Hindu goddess Sakti.
The name Kali is a girl’s name of Sanskrit origin meaning “black one.” Kali is the Hindu goddess of destruction (of evil forces), the fierce side of the goddess Devi.
The name Anara is a girl’s name of Hindi and Persian origin meaning “pomegranate flower.” If you’re looking for a nature-inspired baby name, look no further than the lyrical beauty of Anara.
Thanks to the Senator and Presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, Kamala is one of the most recognizable Hindi names for girls in the US. The name Kamala is a girl’s name meaning “lotus” or “pale red” or “a garden.” It’s also another name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.
The name Makara is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “Capricorn.” In India, names are often chosen based on Astrology with certain names being chosen for babies born in certain months. Makara is a popular choice for baby girls born in January.
The glowing name Sania is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “pearl.” Sania Mirza is an Indian professional tennis player. A former doubles world No. 1, she has won six Grand Slam titles in her career.
The name Padma is a girl’s name of Sanskrit origin meaning “lotus.” A moniker rich in Hindu tradition as the alternate name for the Goddess Lakshmi, Padma the embodiment of beauty and charm. Food writer and TV personality Padma Lakshmi is a wonderful example.
The name Rani is a girl’s name of Hindi, Sanskrit origin meaning “queen” or “she is singing.” It is a title given to a wife of a Raja. The name can also be spelled Ranee and both are beautiful choices.
The name Akasha is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “ether.” This Hindi name for the fifth element, related to the male Akash which means “open sky.” If you’re an Anne Rice fan, you have gotten a taste of this stunning name.
The name Kerani is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “sacred bells.” Kerani hasn’t taken off in the US despite it not being too far from Karen. Kerani is a beautiful name we hope to see more of.
The name Bala is a girl’s name of Sanskrit origin meaning “young.” This gender-neutral name is going to read more feminine for most Westerners. In its feminine form, Bala is associated with the daughter of the red goddess, Lalitha Parameshwari.
The name Shivani is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “life and death.” Gaura Pant better known as Shivani was one of the most popular Hindi magazine story writers of the 20th Century. She was a pioneer in writing Indian women-based fiction and was awarded the Padma Shri for her contribution to Hindi literature in 1982.
The smart name Veda is a girl’s name of Sanskrit origin meaning “knowledge.” A name with religious resonance, as the Vedas are the most sacred texts of Hinduism. This name is in the top 1000 for babies in the US.
The name Ishana is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “desire.” Ishana is a deity in Indian mythology and guardian of the northeast direction who symbolizes wealth and knowledge.
The beautiful name Sansa is a girl’s name of Sanskrit origin meaning “praise, charm.” For Westerners, Sansa is probably recognizable due to the popularity of Game of Thrones and one of its key players. We expect the mild popularity of this name to continue to grow in the US.
The smart name Sansa is a girl’s name of Sanskrit origin meaning “learned master.” Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati was an Indian social reformer, a pioneer in the education and emancipation of women in India. She was the first woman to be accorded the titles of Pandita as a Sanskrit scholar and Sarasvati after being examined by the faculty of the University of Calcutta.
The bright name Tarana is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “born during the day.” Tarana is also the name of a specific type of Hindustani vocal music composition. In modern times, the Tarana is most commonly associated with the singer Amir Khan, who helped popularize it and researched its origins and the syllables used.
The natural name Daru is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “pine” or “cedar.” This extremely cute name has a double meaning, however, and it might turn some parents off. Daru or daaru, is the colloquial term for alcoholic beverages in Hindi, Punjabi, and many other Indian languages.
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The name Hanita is a girl’s name of Hindi origin meaning “divine grace.” Hanita Bhambri is a musical artist based in New Dehli who was featured in Rolling Stone India for her intense and vulnerable musical stylings.
The pretty name Rohana is a girl’s name of Sanskrit origin meaning “sandalwood.” Coincidentally, Rohana is a genus of butterflies in the family Nymphalidae. It’s a wonderful name that hasn’t taken off in the US, but we’d love to see that change.
There you go! Popular Indian names that have storied Hindi and Sanskrit origins. These names are not only beautiful they each have a unique, and powerful meaning.