Purnima Devi

Purnima Devi

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Category: Royal

Purnima Devi Profile

  • Name:
  • Purnima Devi
  • Other Name:
  • Sudakshina Devi
  • Born:
  • May 13, 1884
  • Died:
  • November 24, 1972
  • Father:
  • Hemendranath Tagore
  • Spouse:
  • Sir Jwala Prasada

Purnima Devi Biography

Purnima Devi, also known as Sudakshina Devi and Purnima Jwala Prasada was a member of the famous intellectual family of Tagore. She was the youngest child of noted Brahmo Hemendranath Tagore, the youngest brother of Rabindra Nath Tagore. She got married into a Zamindar family of Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, which included many prominent political leaders associated with Indian National Congress. Her husband Sir Jwala Prasada served as the Zamindar of Shahjahanpur and an Imperial Civil Service (ICS) officer. Purnima Devi is a recipient of Kaiser-i-Hind Medal by the British Raj. Her elder grandson Jitendra Prasada (deceased) and great grandson Jitin Prasada are prominent Congress politicians from Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh.


She was born in Kolkata into Tagore family 13 May 1884. Hemendranath Tagore was her father. Debendranath Tagore – the founder of Brahmo Samaj was her grandfather. She studied at Loretto Convent, a school for European Girls Kolkata. She learnt many languages including English and French, and also learnt music instruments, Piano and Violin. She also completed the Cambridge Trinity College Music.  She was an expert in horse riding. She got married to Zaminder Pandit Jwala Prasada and became the first lady from Bengal to marry and get settled in the United Provinces.


After her marriage she took keen interest in women empowerment, and she supported education for girls. She started 'The Pandit Jwala Prasad Kanya Pathshala' at Shahjahanpur in memory of her husband. She also helped in the set of many schools for girls in United Provinces. She started Pardah Clubs at Shahjahanpur and Muzaffarnagar. She owned several beautiful villages and hill stations in UP. She was the first Indian lady exempted from the operation of the Arms Act. She published a Hindi publication titled "Unki bunat ki PrathaiJi Siksha”. She passed away on 24 November 1972 aged 88.


Her son Jyoti Prasada got involved with politics and was a Congress party member who was associated with local body. Since then her family has a strong link with politics and Congress party. Jitin Prasada – a prominent young leader of congress party is a member of 4th generation of her family.

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Updated: June 26, 2016

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