Maharani Sunity Devi

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Suniti Devi (Sen)

Birthplace: Calcutta, WB, India
Death: November 10, 1932 (67-68)
Ranchi, Bihar, India
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Keshub Chandra Sen and ?? Sen
Wife of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan
Mother of Raj Rajendra Narayan; Sukriti Devi; Maharaja Jitendra Narayan; Victor Nityendra Narayan; Hitendra Narayan and 3 others
Sister of Sujata Sen; Sunanda Chunder Sen; Karun Chandra Sen; Savitri Devi Narayan; Private and 5 others

Occupation: Maharani of Cooch Behar
Managed by: Dev Khare
Last Updated:

About Maharani Sunity Devi

Suniti Devi (or Sunity Devi) CIE was the Maharani of the Princely state of Cooch Behar, India.

She was a daughter of the renowned Brahmo Samaj reformist, Keshub Chandra Sen of Calcutta. She was married to Nripendra Narayan, the Maharaja of Cooch Behar in 1878, when she was only fourteen years of age. She stayed at her father's place for two years after marriage, as the Narayan left for London for higher studies immediately after their marriage.

She was the mother of four sons and three daughters: sons Rajendra Narayan, Jitendra Narayan, Victor Nityendra Narayan, and Hitendra Narayan, and daughters Pratibha Devi, Sudhira Devi, and Sukriti Devi.

Her daughters Sudhira and Pratibha married two brothers, Alan and Miles Mander, of Wightwick Manor in England. The Manor is part of the National Trust and open to visit. Of her sons, Rajendra Narayan and Jitendra Narayan later became Maharajas of Cooch Behar. Gayatri Devi and Ila Devi were daughters of her son Jitendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur.

In 1887, her husband, Nipendra Narayan was awarded GCIE and she was awarded CIE. Suniti Devi became the first Indian women to be awarded CIE. She attended the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria in 1898 and Delhi Durbar of 1911 with her husband, the Maharaja of Cooch Behar. She along with her sister, the Sucharu Devi, were noted for their elegant style dressing.

Her husband had set up in her name a girls school named Suniti College in 1881 which was later named Suniti Academy. Suniti Devi was the brain behind the establishment of the school.

She was an educationist and a women's rights activist at heart, gave annual grants for the institution, exempted the girl students from paying tuition fees and also rewarded the successful students. She had arranged for palace cars to ferry the girl students from home to school and back. In a further effort to avoid any controversy she ordered that the windows of the cars carrying the girls to school to be covered by curtains.

She along with her sister Sucharu Devi also financed the foundation of Maharani Girls' High School at Darjeeling in 1908. She was the President of State Council and also the first President of All Bengal Women's Union in 1932 and worked along with other women's right activist from Bengal like Charulata Mukherjee, Saroj Nalini Dutt, T. R Nelly and her sister Sucharu Devi, the Maharani of Mayurbhanj.

She died suddenly in the year 1932 at Ranchi.

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Maharani Sunity Devi's Timeline

Calcutta, WB, India
April 11, 1882
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
December 20, 1886
Cooch Behar, West Bengal, India