Famous Indian Emperors & Kings

When it comes to heritage and legacy, not many countries can assert of a rich and vibrant history as India. Home to several rulers, dynasties, emperors, conquerors, kings and monarchs, the opulence and grandeur of India reached new heights under different dynasties and empires. Be it Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of Mauryan Empire and the first ruler of unified India or his grandson Samrat Chakravartin Ashoka who globally spread Buddhism and gave modern India its emblem, Akbar, the greatest Mughal Emperor who led way for cultural integration or Privithiraj Chauhan who ruled the kingdom of Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana, each of them added to the lustrous heritage of the country. While some contributed as great warriors the others became connoisseurs of art, some proved to be generous in their rule and others were known for their bravery and chivalry. At different phases, India was ruled by different rulers before coming under the British rule, and finally gaining its independence in 1947. Chronicling through the pages of history, one can only marvel at how the country became a hotbed for some of the greatest monarchs and kings. Check out this section to know about the life and works of some of the greatest Indian emperors and kings.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Shivaji

Famous As: King
Birthdate: February 19, 1630
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shivneri
Died: April 3, 1680

Shivaji was an Indian warrior-king. He is credited with founding the Maratha Empire, which became a force to reckon with during the 18th century. He is also credited with creating his own navy. Considered one of the most important Indian kings and a hero of the Hindus, Shivaji's life and work have inspired several works of art, including films.

 2 Ashoka

Famous As: Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty
Birthdate: 0304 BC
Birthplace: Pataliputra
Died: 0232 BC
Ashoka the Great of the Maurya Dynasty was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and ruled the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE. Following the death and destruction caused by the Kalinga War, which was part of his expansion plan, he converted to Buddhism and propagated the faith.
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 3 Chandragupta Maurya

Chandragupta Maurya
Famous As: Founder of the Maurya Empire
Birthdate: 0340 BC
Birthplace: Pataliputra
Died: 0298 BC

Chandragupta Maurya established the Maurya Empire in India. He was mostly advised by philosopher Chanakya. He conquered the Nanda Empire and fought the Seleucid-Mauryan War, too. His reign was marked by religious tolerance, and cultural and economic prosperity. He later relinquished his throne and became a Jain monk.

 4 Maharana Pratap

Maharana Pratap
Famous As: Ruler of Mewar
Birthdate: May 9, 1540
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kumbhalgarh
Died: January 19, 1597
Maharana Pratap, son of Maharana Udai Singh, ruled the Indian region of Mewar, in modern-day Rajasthan, from 1572 to 1597. Also known as “Mewari Rana,” he is best remembered for his exploits at the Battle of Haldighati, against the Mughal army of Akbar, led by Man Singh I of Amer.

 5 Sambhaji

Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: May 14, 1657
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Purandar fort, India
Died: March 11, 1689

 6 Prithviraj Chauhan

Prithviraj Chauhan
Famous As: Rajput king of the Chauhan dynasty
Birthdate: 1149 AD
Birthplace: Ajmer
Died: 1192 AD

A king from the Chahamana dynasty, Prithviraj Chauhan ruled Sapadalaksha in present-day north-western India. The son of king Someshvara and queen Karpuradevi, he ascended to the throne when he was just a child. As a young man, he became known as a brave warrior and an excellent military commander. Various sources differ on the exact circumstances of his death.

 7 Porus

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Punjab, Indian
Died: 0321 AD
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 8 Akbar

Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: October 14, 1542
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Umarkot, Pakistan
Died: October 27, 1605

Akbar, the third Mughal emperor, played an important role in inculcating Persian culture into the Indian subcontinent. Akbar is considered one of the most important rulers of the Mughal Empire, an empire that seeped foreign ideas and culture into medieval India, the effects of which are still visible in modern-day India, especially in the northern parts of the country.

 9 Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Famous As: Founder of the Sikh Empire
Birthdate: November 13, 1780
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gujranwala
Died: June 27, 1839
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, also known as the "Lion of Punjab" and the “Napoleon of the East,” was a Sikh leader who reigned over the northwest Indian subcontinent in the 19th century. He fought valiantly against the Afghans and introduced many modern reforms. His Khalsa Army included people of all religions.

 10 Krishnadevaraya

Famous As: Emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire
Birthdate: February 16, 1471
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hampi
Died: 1529 AD
Krishnadevaraya, from the Tuluva Dynasty, was the emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1509 to 1529. Named the Lord of the Kannada empire, he was one of the most influential Hindu kings of the Indian peninsula. An able military general and ruler, he also patronized art and literature.

 11 Bindusara

Famous As: Second Maurya Emperor
Birthdate: 0320 BC
Died: 0273 BC

Bindusara, son of Chandragupta Maurya, reigned as the second Mauryan emperor of India. He was the father of Ashoka the Great. Not much is known about his life. It is believed that much of the Deccan had been conquered by him, though there is no concrete proof of the same.

 12 Sher Shah Suri

Sher Shah Suri
Famous As: Founder of the Sur Empire in North India
Birthdate: 1486 AD
Birthplace: Sasaram
Died: May 22, 1545
Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri, the founder of the Suri Empire, established the rupee as the Indian currency. He was initially part of Babur’s Mughal army and then became the governor of Bihar. He is also remembered for developing Humayun's Dina-panah city, reviving Pataliputra, and extending the Grand Trunk Road.

 13 Harshavardhana

Famous As: Indian emperor
Birthdate: 0590 AD
Died: 0647 AD

 14 Bharata

Famous As: Monarch
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: not known

 15 Samudragupta

Famous As: Ruler of the Gupta Empire
Birthdate: 0335 AD
Died: 0380 AD

 16 Kanishka

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0078 AD
Birthplace: Peshawar, Pakistan
Died: 0144 AD

 17 Samudra Gupta

Samudra Gupta
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0335 AD
Birthplace: India

 18 Rana Sanga

Rana Sanga
Famous As: Ruler of Mewar
Birthdate: April 12, 1484
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Malwa
Died: March 17, 1527

 19 Rajendra Chola I

Rajendra Chola I
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: 1014 AD
Birthplace: Thanjavur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Died: 1044 AD

 20 Chandragupta II

Chandragupta II
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0380 AD
Birthplace: India
Died: 0410 AD

 21 Bimbisara

Famous As: King of Magadha
Birthdate: 0558 AD
Birthplace: India
Died: 0491 AD

 22 Ajatasatru

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0492 BC
Birthplace: Rajgir
Died: 0460 BC

 23 Rajaram Chhatrapati

Rajaram Chhatrapati
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: February 24, 1670
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Raigad Fort
Died: March 2, 1700

 24 Janamejaya

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: India

 25 Chandra Gupta I

Chandra Gupta I
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: India
Died: 0335 AD

 26 Raja Raja Chola I

Raja Raja Chola I
Famous As: Sovereign
Birthdate: 0947 AD
Died: 1015 AD

 27 Ranjitsinhji

Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: September 10, 1872
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kathiawar, Vansoj, India
Died: April 2, 1933

 28 Śuddhodana

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Kapilavastu, Shakya

 29 Kumbha of Mewar

Kumbha of Mewar
Famous As: Ruler of Mewar
Birthdate: 1433 AD
Died: 1468 AD

 30 Mahadaji Shinde

Mahadaji Shinde
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: 1727 AD
Died: February 12, 1794

 31 Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar

Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar
Famous As: Poet, Composer, Philosopher, Philanthropist, Musicologist, Politician
Birthdate: July 18, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mysore Palace
Died: September 23, 1974

Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar was the maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1940 to 1971. He was the son of Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar and Yuvarani Kempu Cheluvajamanni. Even though the monarchy was abolished in 1950, he continued to hold the title of maharaja until 1971. He was also known as a philosopher, musicologist, and political thinker.

 32 Harihara I

Harihara I
Famous As: Emporer
Birthdate: 1333 AD
Died: 1356 AD

 33 Bharmal

Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: 1491 AD
Birthplace: Amber
Died: January 27, 1574

 34 Thirumalai Nayak

Thirumalai Nayak
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Madurai
Died: 1659 AD

 35 Mihirakula

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0533 AD

 36 Aurangzeb

Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: November 4, 1618
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dahod
Died: March 3, 1707

Aurangzeb reigned over most part of the Indian subcontinent for 49 years as the sixth Mughal emperor. He helped the Mughal Empire reach its greatest extent and helped India become the biggest manufacturing power and the world's largest economy. He was known for his religious piety and led a very simple life..

 37 Shah Jahan

Shah Jahan
Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: January 5, 1592
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lahore
Died: February 1, 1666

Shah Jahan, emperor Jahangir’s son, ruled as the fifth Mughal emperor, from 1628 to 1658. He is known for commissioning the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, among other contributions to Mughal architecture. He was put under house arrest by his son, Aurangzeb, during his final years.

 38 Tipu Sultan

Tipu Sultan
Famous As: Ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore
Birthdate: November 20, 1750
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Devanahalli
Died: May 4, 1799
Tipu Sultan, or the “Tiger of Mysore,” ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1782 to 1799. Apart from improving his kingdom’s military arrangements, he also established a new calendar, a new land-revenue system, and a coinage system. He died while defending the fort of Seringapatam in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.

 39 Jahangir

Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: August 31, 1569
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fatehpur Sikri
Died: November 8, 1627
Prince Salim, son of Mughal emperor Akbar, ruled as Emperor Jahangir from 1605 to 1627. Jahangir was a patron of the arts and architecture, and focused on expansion through war. Fictional accounts of his relationship with a courtesan named Anarkali were later portrayed in literature and movies. 

 40 Ramanatha

Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: India
Died: 1295 AD

 41 Alauddin Khilji

Alauddin Khilji
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: 1250 AD
Birthplace: Qalat, Zabul Province
Died: 1316 AD

 42 Humayun

Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: March 17, 1508
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kabul
Died: January 27, 1556

Humayun was the second emperor of the Mughal Empire, which ruled over South Asia for nearly two centuries. At the time of his demise, the empire spanned nearly one million square kilometers. The expansion of the empire under Humayun’s reign helped his son Akbar establish a substantial legacy of his own.

 43 Muhammad bin Tughluq

Muhammad bin Tughluq
Famous As: Sultan of Delhi
Birthdate: 1300 AD
Died: March 20, 1351

 44 Bahadur Shah Zafar

Bahadur Shah Zafar
Famous As: Last Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: October 24, 1775
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delhi
Died: November 7, 1862
Bahadur Shah Zafar, son of Akbar II, was the last Mughal emperor. Back then, the Mughals had been reduced to nominal rulers, and his authority extended till the walled city of Old Delhi, or Shahjahanbad. Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, he was exiled to Rangoon by the British.

 45 Shah Alam II

Shah Alam II
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: June 25, 1728
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Delhi, India
Died: November 19, 1806

 46 Hyder Ali

Hyder Ali
Famous As: Ruler of Mysore
Birthdate: 1721 AD
Birthplace: Budikote
Died: December 6, 1782

 47 Bahadur Shah I

Bahadur Shah I
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: October 14, 1643
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burhanpur, India
Died: February 27, 1712

 48 Siraj ud-Daulah

Siraj ud-Daulah
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1733 AD
Birthplace: Murshidabad, India
Died: July 2, 1757

 49 Jahandar Shah

Jahandar Shah
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: May 9, 1661
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Deccan Plateau, India
Died: February 12, 1713

 50 Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII

Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: April 6, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Purani Haveli, Hyderabad, India
Died: February 24, 1967