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Kamla Devi, 56, sustained multiple bites, cuts and fractures during the half-hour battle, BBC said.
She had been fetching water in northern Uttarakh and state when the leopard pounced on her from nearby bushes - she fought back with a sickle and spade.
"I thought I was dead but I did not lose patience and courage," she told reporters after her lucky escape.
Ms Devi was carrying water from a canal to her field near the village of Sem Nauti in Rudraprayag district when she was attacked on Sunday.
She said she managed to smash some of the animal's teeth during the struggle.
"I fought head on with it for almost half an hour. Then I came to know it was dead," she told reporters from hospital in the nearby town of Srinagar Garhwal.
Doctors were surprised she had survived.
Pankaj Bist, one of the villagers who helped take Ms Devi to hospital, said: "It was around 10 in the morning when she went to the field. A leopard pounced on her."
Villagers say leopards are now more visible around human settlements as the big cats' habitat is increasingly encroached upon by humans.