Remembered for her heroics against the British, the Indian Joan of Arc Rani Lakshmibai remains an icon of the 1857 Indian Rebellion. The wife of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, she is known for leading the fight against the British after her husband’s death. She also inspired the legendary lines Khoob Ladi Mardani.
Razia Sultana is known for being the only female Muslim ruler of Delhi. She ruled the Delhi Sultanate in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent from 1236 to 1240. She was the daughter of Mamluk Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish. Upon her ascend to the throne, she was challenged by rival nobles, many of whom she defeated.
Mariam-uz-Zamani, or Jodha Bai, was the wife of Mughal emperor Akbar. She was a Hindu Rajput princess and the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber. Mariam’s marriage to Akbar signified her father’s submission to the Mughal emperor. She was symbolic of the gradual rise of multiculturalism in the Mughal era.
Nur Jahan was the chief consort of Mughal emperor Jahangir. She reigned as Badshah Begum of the empire from 1620 to 1627. Nur Jahan is often credited with influencing Jahangir's decisions for much of his reign. She is also remembered for her strength and courage and her skills in hunting ferocious tigers. Her life has inspired many books and movies.
Ahilyabai Holkar was the Queen of the Maratha Empire who reigned from 1767 to 1795. A great pioneer, Ahilyabai is credited with building hundreds of temples throughout India. She is best remembered for rebuilding the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple which had been plundered, desecrated, and converted into a mosque by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Tarabai reigned as the Queen Regent of the famous Maratha Empire from 1700 to 1708. The queen of Rajaram Bhosle I, Tarabai played an important role in fending off the Mughal forces from the Maratha territories after the demise of her husband. Tarabai's life and heroics have inspired films like Shivrayachi Soon Tararani where she was portrayed by Nishigandha Wad.
Rani Durgavati reigned as the Maharani of the Gond kingdom from 1550 to 1564. She is best remembered for defending her kingdom when it was attacked by Mughal General Asaf Khan. Although she knew that the Mughal army was superior to her army, Rani Durgavati refused to surrender and took her own life in the battlefield when defeat was imminent.
Chand Bibi was an Indian warrior and ruler who served as the regent of the Bijapur Sultanate from 1580 to 1590. From 1595 to 1600, she also served as the regent of the Ahmednagar Sultanate. Chand Bibi is best remembered for fending off the Mughal forces of Akbar from Ahmednagar in 1595.
Maha Maya was the mother of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Maya is often depicted as a beautiful queen of the Śakya clan. She is revered in Buddhism and is often mentioned in the stories pertaining to the life of Gautama Buddha.
Rani Karnavati was the queen consort of Rana Sanga, who ruled the Mewar Kingdom. After the death of her husband, Karnavati took up the regency during the reign of her son Vikramaditya. Karnavati is remembered for defending Mewar when the kingdom was attacked by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. When the defeat was imminent, Karnavati immolated herself to protect her honor.