Pooja Batra Shah (born 27 October) is an Indian-American[5] actress and model who primarily works in Hindi films. She was crowned Femina Miss India International in 1993.[6]

Pooja Batra
Pooja Batra.jpg
Born27 October
  • Actress
  • model
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)[3][4]
  • Sonu S. Ahluwalia
    (m. 2002; div. 2011)
  • (m. 2019)
Beauty pageant titleholder
TitleFemina Miss India International 1993
Femina Miss India
(Miss India 3)
(Miss India International)
Miss International 1993

Early life and backgroundEdit

Batra was born on 27 October[7] to Ravi Batra, an army colonel[8] and Neelam Batra, a Miss India (1971) participant.[9] She lived in Ludhiana with her extended family while she was young.[10] While in school, she was an athlete and competed in the 200 and 400-meter dash.[9] She is related to Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal.[11]

She graduated in Economics[12] from Fergusson College, Pune[13][9] and holds an MBA in marketing[12] from Symbiosis, Pune.[13] She has two brothers.[12] She participated at the Miss International in 1993.[14]


At a young age, she started modelling as a part-time job. She was best known for her Liril soap commercial.[15] She was the first Indian face to launch and be a spokesperson for Head and Shoulders in India. She has participated in over 250 modeling events and ad campaigns. She shot to fame when she was crowned Miss India International in 1993.[16] She went on to become one of the top models in India. She walked the ramp for over 250 fashion shows in India and overseas.[13] She is an ambassador for Parag Sarees.[17]

Batra turned down many offers to complete her education before signing a contract with the Virasat Film Studio. The first film she signed was Virasat in 1997 followed by another hit movie Bhai.[18] She went on to work in over 20 films including Haseena Maan Jayegi, Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya and Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye. One of her films, Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story, a historical epic, was shown at the Cannes film festival in 2004.[19] She is a life member of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television, Noida.

Batra has also appeared in South Indian films, including three Malayalam films[20] and two Tamil films, including a cameo in the 1995 film Aasai.

Batra has acted in theater and toured North America, which earned her considerable acclaim.

She appeared at the 2009 Academy Awards in Los Angeles, where she reunited with her Virasat costar, Anil Kapoor.

She is set to appear as Nandini Rajput in the upcoming movie Squad.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Batra was married to orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Sonu S. Ahluwalia in Los Angeles, California from 2002 to 2010.[1] In January 2011 she filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.[22]

Batra revealed her relationship with actor Nawab Shah in June 2019.[23][24] They got married on 4 July 2019 in Delhi according to Arya Samaj traditions.[25][26]


Batra has volunteered time and money to charitable causes including AIDS (Mukti Foundation),[27] homeless children, the Bombay Police Department and injured soldiers in the Kashmir war.

She did pro bono work in the film My Little Devil (Bas Yari Rakho), subtitled in Hindi, English, and French, to raise funds for the poor children in India. The film was co-produced by NFDC-La Fete (Canada) and directed by Gopi Desai. It was screened at the 24th Annual Montreal World Film Festival, 2000; Chicago International Children's Film Festival, 2000; 10th Annual Philadelphia Film Festival of World Cinema, 2001; and the Indian Film Festival in Malaysia, 2005.


Year Film Role Language
1995 Aasai Guest appearance Tamil
Sisindri Herself Telugu
1997 Vishwavidhaata Poonam Hindi
Virasat Anita Hindi
Bhai Pooja Hindi
Chandralekha Lekha Malayalam
1998 Sham Ghansham Roopa Hindi
Saazish Rachel Hindi
Greeku Veerudu Sirisha Telugu
1999 Megham Swati Malayalam
Oruvan Kalpana Tamil
Haseena Maan Jaayegi Pooja Verma Hindi
2000 Bas Yaari Rakho Pratibha Hindi
Daivathinte Makan Sonia Malayalam
Kandukondain Kandukondain Nandhini Varma Tamil
Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye Mona Hindi
2001 Ittefaq Roshni Hiranandani Hindi
Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya Sonia Chopra Hindi
Farz Seductress Hindi
Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi Savitri Hindi
Jodi No.1 Casino dancer Hindi
Nayak: The Real Hero Laila Hindi
2003 Talaash: The Hunt Begins Kamini Hindi
Parwana Parwana's associate Hindi
2005 Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story Noor Jahan Hindi
2011 August 15 Mrs.Devi Perumal Malayalam
Hum Tum Shabana Puja Hindi
2012 Karmayodha Radhika Madhava Menon Malayalam
2015 ABCD 2 Pooja Kohli Hindi
2016 Killer Punjabi [28] Rita Walia Punjabi
2017 One Under the Sun Kathryn Voss English
2017 Mirror Game Shonali Hindi
2021 Squad Nandini Rajput Hindi

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year[a] Award Category Film Result Ref.
1998 Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Virasat Nominated [29]
Best Female Debut Nominated [29]
Screen Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated [30]
Most Promising Newcomer – Female Nominated [30]
Zee Cine Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Female Nominated [31]
Best Female Debut Nominated [31]
2006 Screen Awards Best Actress Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story Nominated


  1. ^ Refers to the year in which the ceremony was held.


  1. ^ a b "A Healthy Mantra – Pooja Batra". 10 January 2009. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Where is Miss India winner, 'Virasat' actor Pooja Batra now? Find out". DNA India. 28 October 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Pooja Batra Gets the Royal Ignore at Cannes 2016, Even After Having 'Influential' Friends. Surprising!". dailybhaskar. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  4. ^ "The Tribune - Windows - Featured story". www.tribuneindia.com. 1 April 2000. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  5. ^ @iampoojabatra (7 November 2018). "#electionday #ivoted #MidtermElections2018" (Tweet). Retrieved 26 February 2022 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Basu, Nilanjana (4 February 2021). "Pooja Batra's Miss India Memories - A Throwback To What Made 1993 Special". NDTV. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Happy birthday Pooja Batra: How Virasat actor found love with Nawab Shah". Hindustan Times. 27 October 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  8. ^ Tiwari, Nimisha (13 August 2009). "What's Pooja Batra doing in Mumbai!". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "'I'm not his ex, Akshay Kumar is my ex'". Rediff. 25 June 1997. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  10. ^ Vashisht-Kumar, Divya (7 March 2016). "Pooja Batra Makes Heads Turn in Action Thriller 'Killer Punjabi': Watch Trailer". India-West. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  11. ^ "I never really toot the horn about my family or my lineage but this I gotta.. So proud to be related to #shaheed #secondlieutenant #arunkhetarpal #pvc #posthumous #aka The bravest officer of the Indian Army. #mydadscousin #battlefieldofbasantar #indopakwar71 As someone once said 'Wars are created by politicians, compounded by bureaucrats and fought by soldiers.'". Instagram. Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  12. ^ a b c ""To those interested in entering the entertainment world: believe in yourself, have the chops, and be ready to work hard."—Pooja Batra" (PDF). Roshni Media Group. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "Biography". Poojabatra.com. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Miss Indias who made it to Bollywood". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  15. ^ "40 Years Ago and now: The Liril Girl showed how to target a state of mind". Rediff. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Pooja Batra – 2000-1991! – Miss India Winners 2009-1964 – Archives – Femina Miss India". Indiatimes. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  17. ^ Srinivasan, V S (18 March 1997). "Beguiling babe". Rediff. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Good show". India Today. 31 May 1997. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  19. ^ Ruhani, Faheem (9 September 2005). "Mughal premiere for 'Taj Mahal' in London". DNA. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  20. ^ Gupta, Rakhee (18 January 2001). "Pooja Batra: Back to Bollywood". The Tribune. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  21. ^ "Pooja Batras film Draupadi Unleashed to release theatrically in US". Outlook. 23 September 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  22. ^ "Pooja Batra wants out". Mid-Day. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  23. ^ "Pooja Batra finds her soulmate in Tiger Zinda Hai actor Nawab Shah. See their pics here". Hindustan Times. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Actors Pooja Batra and Nawab Shah find soulmates in each other! See photos". DNA India. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Pooja Batra confirms marrying Nawab Shah: 'He is the man I want to spend rest of my life with'. See pics". Hindustan Times. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Pooja Batra on marriage with Nawab Shah: He was ready to propose to me right after we met". India Today. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  27. ^ Verma, Sukanya (15 December 2000). "Mukti foundation AIDS concert". Rediff.com. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  28. ^ "Pooja Batra makes debut in Punjabi films". The Indian Express. Press Trust of India. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  29. ^ a b "43rd Filmfare Awards 1998 Nominations". Indian Times. The Times Group. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  30. ^ a b "The 4th Screen Awards Nominations: Bollywood's best to vie for Screen-Videocon awards". The Indian Express. 9 January 1998. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  31. ^ a b "1st Zee Cine Awards 1998 Popular Award Categories Nominations". Zee Television. Zee Entertainment Enterprises. Archived from the original on 19 February 1998. Retrieved 6 August 2021.

External linksEdit