India is remarkable for a lot of reasons, one of which is the fact that it contains so many cultures-within-a-culture. The country is home to so many different religions, languages and legends, all of which provide fertile ground for wonderful and unique names.
In many Indian cultures, naming schemes are based on the astrological sign the cute little bachcha (baby) happens to land on. According to Hindu philosophy, for example, you can use the star under which a child is born — plus this handy calculator — to determine the most auspicious way to start your child's name.
Many of the names I've listed below have origins in the ancient Sanskrit language, which is similar to Latin in that it is the root of most modern Indian languages. Many Indian names can be modified to specify gender by adding or removing suffixes, and there are also plenty of unisex names; in fact, the majority of names in the Sikh tradition are unisex.
So whether you're searching for a name that will please your daadee ma (grandmother) or just love Indian culture and symbolism, here are some beautiful ideas for Indian baby names that are truly meaningful — courtesy of a few actual expert sources, and, well, my grandfather.
Devya: divine power
Hanima: a wave
Ladli: loved one
Maalai: flower garland
Nandini: bringer of joy
Pallavi: new leaves
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