Famous Indian Historical Personalities

India as a nation boasts of a rich and varied heritage that spans several millennia and dates back to the ancient times. The country saw a succession of powerful dynasties and empires for several centuries throughout various geographic areas of the subcontinent and also witnessed the development of spirituality the subcontinent is well known for. The emergence of the likes of Magadha, Mahavira and Gautama Buddha during the fifth and sixth century BCE marked Indian history significantly. The establishment of the Maurya Empire by Chandragupta Maurya who was assisted by Chanakya was another significant historical event. The reign of Mauryan emperor Ashoka lasted for almost four decades before he was succeeded by his grandson Dasharatha. The Mughal invaded India in the 16th century and Babur established the Mughal Empire. Among his descendents, Akbar is credited to have been a great emperor whose reign was instrumental in shaping the modern history of India. The Mughal Empire began to decline after the death of Aurangazeb and India fell under British colonial rule before gaining independence in the mid-20th century. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Indian historical personalities.

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 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.
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 3 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.

 4 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.

 5 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.

 6 Rani Lakshmibai

Rani Lakshmibai.
Famous As: Queen of Jhansi State
Birthdate: November 19, 1828
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Varanasi
Died: June 18, 1858

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.

 7 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.

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 8 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.

 9 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.

 10 Porus

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

 11 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.

 12 Razia Sultana

Razia Sultana.
Famous As: First Female Sultan of Delhi
Birthdate: 1205 AD
Died: October 14, 1240

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.

 13 Rani Padmini

Rani Padmini.
Famous As: Queen of Chittor
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Died: 1303 AD
Legendary Indian queen Padmini, or Padmavati, wife of 13th–14th century king Ratan Sen, was the queen of the kingdom of Mewar. Smitten by her beauty, Alauddin Khalji beseiged Chittor Fort to gain her. However, Padmini and the other women of her kingdom immolated themselves to protect their honor.

 14 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..

 15 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.

 16 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. 

 17 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.

 18 Harshavardhana

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

 19 Alauddin Khilji

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

 20 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.

 21 Samudragupta

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

 22 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.

 23 Rana Sanga

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

 24 Raja Raja Chola I

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

 25 Muhammad bin Tughluq

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

 26 Rajendra Chola I

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

 27 Mariam-uz-Zamani

Famous As: Akbar's Third Wife
Birthdate: 1542 AD
Died: May 19, 1623

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.

 28 Ajatasatru

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

 29 Guru Gobind Singh

Guru Gobind Singh.
Famous As: Warrior
Birthdate: December 22, 1666
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Patna
Died: October 7, 1708
Guru Gobind Singh, the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, became the 10th guru, or spiritual leader, of the Sikhs after his father was killed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. He established the concept of the “Five Ks” of Sikhs and formed the Khalsa community. He also finalized the Guru Granth Sahib.

 30 Pulakeshin II

Pulakeshin II
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Veerapur, Karnataka, India
Died: 0642 AD

 31 Balaji Baji Rao

Balaji Baji Rao.
Famous As: Maratha Peshwa
Birthdate: December 8, 1720
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pune
Died: June 23, 1761

 32 Sambhaji

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

 33 Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana.
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 17, 1556
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Delhi, Mughal empire
Died: October 1, 1627

Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana was an Indian poet who served in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was counted among the Navaratnas, Akbar's nine important ministers. Rahim is best remembered for his couplets and books on astrology.

 34 Bharata

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

 35 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.

 36 Kanishka

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

 37 Hyder Ali

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

 38 Bahadur Shah I

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

 39 Tarabai

Famous As: Regent of Maratha Empire
Birthdate: April 14, 1675
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Satara
Died: December 9, 1761

 40 Shah Alam II

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

 41 Chandragupta II

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

 42 Bimbisara

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

 43 Siraj ud-Daulah

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

 44 Mīr Jaʿfar

Mīr Jaʿfar
Famous As: Bengali ruler
Birthdate: 1691 AD
Birthplace: Cumilla, Bangladesh
Died: February 5, 1765

 45 Rajaram Chhatrapati

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

 46 Varahamihira

Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: 0505 AD
Birthplace: Avanti Region, Malwa, India
Died: 0587 AD

Best known for his treatise on mathematical astronomy, Pancha-siddhantika, Indian philosopher, astronomer, and polymath Varahamihira was well-versed in Western astronomy. He had also penned Brihat-Samhita and is believed to have been one of the Navaratnas, or Nine Jewels, of the court of Indian king Yashodharman Vikramaditya.

 47 Janamejaya

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: India

 48 Chandra Gupta I

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

 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