After 17 long years, India brought home the Miss World title when Miss India Manushi Chhillar was crowned the winner at a star-studded finale on Saturday (18 November) evening in China.
The glitzy event held at the Sanya Arena in China's Hainan province saw 2016's champion, Miss Puerto Rico Stephanie Del Valle, pass on the crown to Chhillar, who battled it out with 108 beauties from across the world. Miss England Stephanie Hill and Miss Mexico Andrea Meza came close as the first and the second runners-up, respectively.
Chhillar, a 20-year-old medical student from the north Indian state of Haryana, has not only ended the 17-year-long dry spell to become the sixth Miss World from her country but also has become a beacon of inspiration for young girls in her home state.
"Manushi Chhillar's victory will help boost the self-confidence of several girls," Women & Child Development Minister of Haryana, Kavita Jain tweeted, congratulating the MBBS student.
"Manushi's victory shows that the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' [A social campaign of the Government of India that aims to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls] campaign is moving forward in the right direction," Jain added, referencing the Indian government's flagship policy to create better opportunities for the girl child.
Accolades continue to pour in for the aspiring Cardiac Surgeon after her success. Former Miss World and Quantico star Priyanka Chopra herself took to Twitter to congratulate Chhillar and wrote: "And we have a successor! Congratulations @ManushiChhillar on becoming #MissWorld2017.. cherish and learn, and most importantly enjoy it. Bravo."
With this, Chhillar joins a long list of talented and celebrated women, who have represented India at the global platform and brought home the prestigious title five times before.
Here's the complete list of all the previous Miss Worlds from India – from Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to Priyanka Chopra.
1966 - Reita Faria
Another medical student, Reita Faria Powell was the first Indian and also the first Asian woman to be crowned at the world-famous pageant in 1966. However, following her big win, Faria concentrated on her career in medicine unlike most of her other successors, who went on to try their luck in the entertainment industry.
1994 - Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Dubbed as one of the most beautiful ladies to represent India on a global platform, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan held the Miss World title in the year 1994. After her win, she went on to forge a successful Bollywood career for herself. Aishwarya has appeared in more than 40 movies till date.
Devdas, Sarbjit, Provoked, Bride and Prejudice, The Pink Panther 2, and Guru are some hits to her credit.
1997 – Diana Hayden
Diana Hayden picked two major titles in the year 1997 – first, she was crowned as the Femina Miss India and next she won the Miss World. After a moderate run in the Indian movie industry, Hayden has authored a book called A Beautiful Guide - a grooming and personality development book.
1999 – Yukta Mookhey
A lesser-known face in the Indian showbiz, Yukta Mookhey was crowned Miss World on 4 December 1999 at Olympia, London. The beauty pageant winner tried her luck in Bollywood but the did not get the success that she would have desired. She also became a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is currently in power at the centre, in 2004.
2000 – Priyanka Chopra
Undoubtedly the most successful and popular Indian to have been recognised in the Western film industry. Priyanka Chopra, at the young age of 18, picked the coveted Miss World title and it was a proud moment for her country with both the reigning and the new champion being Indian.
Since then, the 35-year-old actress hailing from the Indian steel city, Jamshedpur, has worked in over 50 films including Baywatch, Bajirao Mastani, Mary Kom, The Jungle Book and other acclaimed hits.
2017 - Manushi Chhillar
A trained Indian classical dancer and a student pursuing Bachelor's Degree in Medicine and Surgery, Manushi Chhillar is the latest one from India to be crowned Miss World 2017.