This image does not show an Indonesian queen converting to Hinduism

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

A photo has been shared thousands of times in Facebook and Twitter posts that claim it shows Sukmawati Sokarnoputri, an "Indonesian queen", converting from Islam to Hinduism, along with 30,000 of her supporters. This claim is false: the posts show a photo of a different woman — a Javanese noblewoman — in a Hindu conversion ceremony in Indonesia. Neither women has a queen's title in the country. 

The photograph  was published here on Facebook on October 27, 2021.

It has been shared more than 4,700 times.

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on November 29, 2021

The post's Hindi-language caption translates to English as: "Indonesian queen Sukmawati Sukarnoputri is legally leaving Islam with her 30,000 supporters and adopting Hinduism, showing the formula for a big change. Without swords, without fear, without greed, people become children of Sanatan...After all, we all have to return to our roots some day. Hail Shri Ram."

"Sanatan", or Sanatana Dharma, refers to "eternal religion", and is a Hindi-language expression often used as an alternative name for Hinduism.

"Shri Ram", also known as Rama, is a widely worshipped Hindu deity. 

The post was shared a day after Sukmawati, an Indonesian politician and a daughter of the country's late first president Sukarno, converted from Islam to Hinduism on October 26, 2021, as reported here and here.

The image has been shared more than 900 times after appearing on Facebook here, here and here; and on Twitter here and here

The claim, however, is false.

Noblewoman's Hindu conversion

A reverse image search followed by keyword searches on Google found the photograph in a report by Bali Express, a local news outlet from the Indonesian province of Bali, on 18 July 2017.

The report's headline reads: "After Officially Converting to Hinduism, a Solo Noblewoman Intends to Open a Pasraman."

Solo, also known as Surakarta, is a city in Indonesia's Central Java province and the seat of the Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace

A "pasraman" is an educational institution that offers Hindu teachings.

The first paragraph of the report reads: "A noblewoman from the Solo Palace, K.R.A Mahindrani Kooswidyanthi Paramasari, officially embraced Hinduism after undergoing the Sudhi Wadani ceremony at the Luhur Catur Kanda Pat Sari Temple, Peguyangan, Denpasar, on Monday, July 17."

The report also explains that Mahindrani was born in Rome, Italy, and currently works as a musician.

The photo's caption says: "SUDHI WADANI: K.R.A Mahindrani Kooswidyanthi undergoes the procession of a Hindu conversion ceremony at the Luhur Catur Kanda Pat Sari Temple, Peguyangan, Denpasar, Monday, July 17."

"Sudhi Wadani" is a Hindu conversion ceremony. 

The Luhur Catur Kanda Pat Sari Temple is a Hindu temple in Denpasar, the capital  of Bali, Indonesia's predominantly Hindu island province.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the photo in the Bali Express news report (R):

Screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading posts (L) and the photo in the Bali Express news report (R)

The 56-year-old Surakarta noblewoman's conversion to Hinduism was also reported by several other local news outlets in July 2017, such as Tribun Bali here and Nusa Bali here.

Mahindradani is a daughter of composer Trisutji Djuliati Kamal, herself of noble birth, and Achmad Badawi Kamal. 

Sukmawati's Hindu conversion

A video of Sukmawati's Hindu conversion ceremony was published by Indonesian news outlet on YouTube here on October 26, 2021.

The post's caption reads: "A daughter of President Soekarno, Sukmawati Soekarnoputri, underwent a conversion ritual from Islam to Hinduism. The ritual was held at the Sukarno Center's Heritage Site at Bale Agung Singaraja, Buleleng, Bali, on Tuesday, October 26, 2021."

Photos and footage of Sukmawati's Sudhi Wadani ceremony were also published by other Indonesian media, such as and

Sukmawati said in a press conference that she converted to Hinduism, the faith of her Balinese paternal grandmother, on her 70th birthday.

She was once married to the late Mangkunegara IX, but they divorced years before he ascended the throne of the Mangkunegara Palace in Surakarta in 1987.  

There are no reports that suggest 30,000 of Sukmawati's followers also converted to Hinduism, as claimed in the misleading posts.