Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu (born 3 March 2000)[2] is an Indian actress, model, and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Universe 2021. She had been previously crowned Miss Universe India 2021 and is the third entrant from India to win Miss Universe.

Harnaaz Sandhu
Sandhu in 2022
Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu

(2000-03-03) 3 March 2000 (age 23)
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Beauty pageant titleholder

Sandhu was previously crowned Femina Miss India Punjab in 2019, and placed as a semifinalist at Femina Miss India 2019 pageant.

Early life and education

Sandhu was born in the village of Kohali in Gurdaspur district, Punjab, to parents Pritampal Singh Sandhu and Rabinder Kaur Sandhu.[3] Her father is a realtor and her mother is a gynecologist. She also has one sibling.[3] Sandhu was raised in a Punjabi Jat Sikh family.[4][5]

In 2006, she moved to England, before returning to India two years later and settling in Chandigarh.[6][3] She attended Shivalik Public School and the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, both in Chandigarh. Prior to becoming Miss Universe, Sandhu was pursuing a master's degree in public administration.[7] In addition to her native language Punjabi, Sandhu is also fluent in Hindi and English.[8]


Sandhu began competing in pageantry as a teenager, winning Miss Chandigarh 2017 and Miss Max Emerging Star India 2018. She participated in Miss Diva 2018 and a finalist.[9]

After winning Femina Miss India Punjab 2019, Sandhu competed in Femina Miss India 2019, where she was placed in the top 12.[10][11]

Miss Diva 2021

During the preliminary competition held on 22 September, Sandhu won the Miss Beautiful Skin award and became a finalist for Miss Beach Body, Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Photogenic, and Miss Talented.[12][13]

She was one of the top 10 semifinalists at the main contest. During the opening statement round, she said:

From a young girl with fragile mental health who faced bullying and body shaming to a woman who emerged like a phoenix, realizing her true potential. From an individual who once doubted her own existence to a woman who is aspiring to inspire the youth. Today, I stand proudly in front of the Universe as a courageous, vivacious, and compassionate woman who is all set to lead a life with a purpose, and to leave behind a remarkable legacy.[14][15]

During the final question and answer round, as one of the top 5 contestants, she had selected "Global Warming and Climate Change", to which she said:

One day, life will flash before your eyes, make sure it's worth watching. However, this is not the life you want to watch, where the climate is changing and the environment is dying. It is one of the fiasco[s] that we humans have done to the environment. I do believe that we still have time to undo our irresponsible behavior. Earth is all we have in common and our small acts as individuals when multiplied by billions can transform the whole world. Start now, from tonight, switch off those extra lights when not in use. Thank you.[16]

At the end of the event, Sandhu was crowned as the winner by the outgoing titleholder Adline Castelino, and went on to represent India at the Miss Universe 2021.[16]

Miss Universe 2021

Sandhu in 2021

Sandhu represented India at Miss Universe 2021 on 13 December 2021 in Eilat, Israel.[17] [18][19] In the national costume round, Sandhu wore a pink royal lehenga with matching pink umbrella adorned with mirrors.[20]

During the top 5 question and answer round, Sandhu picked Rena Sofer, who asked her "many people think climate change is a hoax, what would you do to convince them to take it seriously?" She answered:

Honestly, my heart breaks to see how nature is going through a lot of problems and it is all due to our irresponsible behavior and I totally feel that this is the time to take actions and talk less because our each action could either kill or save nature. Prevent and protect is better than repent and repair, this is what I am trying to convince you guys today. Thank you. [21]

Advancing to the top 3, in the final question and answer portion, host Steve Harvey asked: "What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?" Sandhu replied:

Well I think the biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves. To know that you are unique and that is what makes you beautiful, stop comparing yourselves with others and let's talk about more important things that's happening worldwide. I think this is what you need to understand, come out, speak for yourself because you are the leader of your life, you are the voice of your own. I believed in myself and that's why I am standing here today. Thank you.[22]

Sandhu was announced Miss Universe 2021 by host Steve Harvey and crowned by the outgoing titleholder Andrea Meza of Mexico.[23][24][25]

As Miss Universe, Sandhu traveled to Israel,[26] various cities within the United States,[27] the Philippines,[28] Indonesia,[29] Vietnam,[30] South Africa, Colombia, Thailand,[31] and her home country of India.

On January 14, 2023, Sandhu crowned R'Bonney Gabriel of the United States as her successor at Miss Universe 2022 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.[32]


Sandhu at Grazia Millennial Awards 2022


Year Title Role Language Ref.
2021 Yaara Diyan Poon Baran Unknown Punjabi [33]
2022 Bai Ji Kuttan Ge Harleen Punjabi


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2019 Miss India 2019 Herself/Contestant [34]
2021 Udaariyaan Manika Suri Cameo role [35]
Miss Diva Universe 2021 Herself/Contestant/Winner National pageant [36]
Miss Universe 2021 Herself/Contestant/Winner International pageant [37]
Good Morning America Herself Guest appearance
2022 India's Got Talent Herself Guest appearance
Miss Universe Vietnam 2022 Herself Judge [38]

Music videos

Year Title Singer(s) Label Ref.
2019 Tarhthalli The Landers Sony Music India [39]


Year Association Category Result Ref.
2022 Grazia India Global Millennial of the Year Won


  1. ^ Bhagchandani, Umesh (15 December 2021). "Meet Miss Universe 2021, Harnaaz Sandhu: the pageant's third Indian winner is a yoga addict, stans Priyanka Chopra and won in a dress by trans designer Saisha Shinde". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 21 February 2022. Retrieved 21 February 2022. During the competition, the five-foot-nine (1.75-metre) model wowed the audience with her performance ...
  2. ^ "Birthday girl Harnaaz Sandhu shares her favourites, from cuisine to dream destination". The Indian Express. 3 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "Once a small-town girl, Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu capturing hearts across globe". Hindustan Times. 14 December 2021.
  4. ^ Rohtaki, Hina (14 December 2021). "'Harnaaz means everyone's pride, she proved that today'". The Indian Express.
  5. ^ "Harnaaz Sandhu is the first Sikh woman to win Miss Universe title". 15 December 2021.
  6. ^ "मिस यूनिवर्स के लिए ऐसे तैयारी कर रही हैं हरनाज संधू, तीनों ही स्टार्स ने खोले जिंदगी के राज". Times Now (in Hindi). 11 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Who is Harnaaz Sandhu? The Miss Universe 2021 from India". Hindustan Times. 13 December 2021.
  8. ^ "Harnaaz Sandhu, Miss Universe 2021 From Punjab (The Land of Farmers) Makes India Proud". Krishi Jagran. 14 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Miss Diva 2018: Chandigarh Auditions". Beautypageants.in. 8 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Crowning the winners of Miss India North 2019". The Times of India. 7 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Miss India 2019 Contestants". beautypageants.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 13 December 2021
  12. ^ "Unveiling of LIVA Miss Diva 2021 Top 50 Contestants!". beautypageants.indiatimes.com.
  13. ^ "Presenting the winners of LIVA Miss Diva 2021 sub-contest". beautypageants.indiatimes.com.
  14. ^ "'Want to make India proud at Miss Universe 2021': Harnaaz Sandhu". The Indian Express. 11 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Chandigarh's Harnaaz Sandhu crowned winner of LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021". The Tribune. 1 October 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Chandigarh's Harnaaz Sandhu crowned LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021". beautypageants.indiatimes.com.
  17. ^ "Miss Universe 2021 to be held in Israel, Steve Harvey to return as host". USA Today. 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  18. ^ "LIVE UPDATES: 70th Miss Universe coronation". CNN Philippines. 13 December 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  19. ^ "India's Harnaaz Sandhu is crowned Miss Universe 2021". CNN. 12 December 2021.
  20. ^ "All the outfits Harnaaz Sandhu wore for Miss Universe 2021". The Times of India.
  21. ^ "Watch: Miss Universe 2021 winner Harnaaz Sandhu's response to the final question". 13 December 2021.
  22. ^ https://beautypageants.indiatimes.com/miss-universe/miss-universe-2022-top-3-finalists-qa/articleshow/97001145.cms?from=mdr. 15 January 2023
  23. ^ "India's Harnaaz Sandhu wins Miss Universe 2021". Philippine Star. 13 December 2021.
  24. ^ "Harnaaz Sandhu of India named 70th Miss Universe". San Francisco Chronicle. 12 December 2021. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  25. ^ "India's Harnaaz Sandhu Brings Home Miss Universe Crown After 21 Years". NDTV.com. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Miss India wins Miss Universe held in Israel amid boycott calls". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 17 January 2023.
  27. ^ "Harnaaz Sandhu is the real show stealer at the Miss USA 2022 event in a glamorous thigh-slit gown: Watch videos". Hindustan Times. 4 October 2022. Retrieved 17 January 2023.
  28. ^ "Harnaaz Sandhu takes over Philippines in gorgeous printed halter neck dress: All pics inside". Hindustan Times. 24 April 2022. Retrieved 17 January 2023.
  29. ^ FOLLOW ME: Harnaaz Sandhu Visits INDONESIA! | Miss Universe, retrieved 17 January 2023
  30. ^ "Harnaaz Sandhu is a vision in nude sequin gown for Miss Universe Vietnam red carpet, sends love and respect to Vietnam". Hindustan Times. 27 June 2022. Retrieved 17 January 2023.
  31. ^ "Harnaaz Sandhu says goodbye to Thailand after attending Miss Universe Extravaganza event, shares glam pics and video". Hindustan Times. 8 November 2022. Retrieved 17 January 2023.
  32. ^ "Miss USA 2022 Winner: R'Bonney Gabriel — Miss Texas Wins". TVLine. 4 October 2022. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  33. ^ "Harnaaz Sandhu: 'Would love to be a part of, not just Bollywood, but Hollywood too'". The Indian Express. 14 December 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  34. ^ "It's so much more than just glamour, says Harnaaz Sandhu". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  35. ^ "Did you know Harnaaz Sandhu had a cameo in Udaariyaan?". India Today. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  36. ^ "Harnaaz Sandhu crowned winner of LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021". The Indian Express. 1 October 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  37. ^ "'Harnaaz means everyone's pride, she proved that today'". The Indian Express. 14 December 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  38. ^ "Hoa hậu Ấn Độ đến Việt Nam". VNExpress (in Vietnamese). 23 June 2022. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  39. ^ "Must-watch movies and music videos of LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu". Beauty Pageants - India Times. Retrieved 1 January 2022.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Miss Universe
Succeeded by
Preceded by Miss Diva Universe
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Anna Kler
Femina Miss India Punjab
Succeeded by
Karuna Singh