Ashapurna Devi was born in a Baidya family on 8 January 1909 in North Calcutta. Her birth name was Asha Purna Devi . Her early childhood was spent in a traditional and extremely conservative family. Female children of the house were not allowed to go to school. Private tutors were employed only for the boys. It is said that as a baby Ashapurna used to listen to the readings of her brothers sitting opposite to them and that was how she learnt the alphabets.Though Ashapurna had no formal education as such, she was self educated.