With the release-date of Jodha Akbar coming near, let’s look upon those leading ladies of Bollywood who portrayed the traditional faces of India on-screen.

Take a look:

Hema Malini: Razia Bano in Razia Sultan


The Dream Girl becomes a part of history with Kamal Amrohi’s lavish period drama, Razia Sultan.

Laced in Khayyam’s mellifluous tunes and inspiring performances from Hema Malini and Dharmendra, Razia Sultan tells the saga of heartache, betrayal, politics and discrimination and the first woman to succeed to a throne.

Madhuri Dixit: Rajkumari Vishaka in Rajkumar


Anil Kapoor’s attempt to do a Robin Hood, a la Kevin Costner didn’t quite hit bull’s eye. In any case, Pankaj Parashur’s costume fantasy is best remembered for Madhuri Dixit prancing to the hit beats of Aankhon ke aage peeche, Payal meri and Yeh khubsoorat badan.

Sonia Jehan: Mumtaz Mahal in Taj Mahal


Mumtaz Mahal is a precious inspiration to the besotted Shah Jahan (Zulfikar Syed) in this enterprise.

Unfortunately for newcomer Sonia Jehan and other crowned ladies — Manisha Koirala (as Jahan Ara) and Pooja Batra (playing the scheming Noor Jehan), the movie sank without a trace.

As an aside, Sonia boasts of an interesting heritage herself. The Khoya Khoya Chand beauty is the granddaughter of legendary Pakistani singer Noor Jehan while her mom’s French.