Famous Indian Intellectuals & Academics

India has never had a dearth of people who possess powers of logical reasoning and remonstration. The world’s first university at Takshashila was founded by a group of Indian intellectuals. It is because of Aryabhatta, that India can proudly lay claim to ‘Zero’, a mammoth contribution to the number system. India’s freedom from the shackles of colonial rule would not have been possible, if not for intellectuals like Gandhi and Tagore. The country’s economy would have continued to suffer had it not been for economists like Amartya Sen or Bimal Jalan. Indian intellectuals and academics are recognized globally for their contribution to the society in general. Many of them have made their mark on Indian and foreign soils alike. Be it philosophers, writers, professors, researchers, film and theatre personalities, activists or scientists, the Indian society needs such people at every step. These are the people who have been paving the way for India to touch the peak of holistic development. Here we bring you a collection of biographies of some of the most famous Indian intellectuals and academicians. Read on and find out all about their life stories, timelines and also some interesting facts & trivia related to their lives.

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 Jaggi Vasudev

Jaggi Vasudev
12
Famous As: Yoga Guru
Birthdate: September 3, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Indian

The recipient of Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of India, Jaggi Vasudev is a mystic, yogi, and author.  His spiritual program called inner engineering is famous all over the world, particularly in the Western world. Popularly known as Sadhguru, Jaggi Vasudev's yoga programs, environmental initiatives, and educational and social initiatives have earned him celebrity status in India.

 2 Chanakya

Chanakya
7
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0371 BC
Nationality: Indian
Died: 0283 BC

Chanakya was an ancient Indian philosopher, teacher, jurist, economist, and royal advisor. Widely regarded as the pioneer of economics and political science in India, Chanakya is believed to have played a key role in the formation of the great Maurya Empire. He authored the ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra, which is considered as one of the seminal texts on statecraft.

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 3 Vallabhbhai Patel

Vallabhbhai Patel
0
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Economist
Birthdate: October 31, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Indian
Died: December 15, 1950

 4 Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti
0
Famous As: Public Speaker & Philosopher
Birthdate: May 12, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Died: February 17, 1986

Jiddu Krishnamurti was an Indian philosopher, speaker, and writer. Many years after his death, Krishnamurti's supporters oversee several schools based on his views and ideas. The Krishnamurti Foundation runs several schools in India and foreign countries. Among those who were influenced by his works were Toni Packer, Dada Dharmadhikari, and Achyut Patwardhan.

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 5 Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen
4
Famous As: Economist & Philosopher
Birthdate: November 3, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Indian
Indian economist Amartya Sen was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory. Sen is known for his development of more sophisticated measures of poverty, and also for his work on the causes and prevention of famines. He is considered an important contemporary liberal thinker for his views about the nature and primacy of liberty. 

 6 Adi Shankara

Adi Shankara
0
Famous As: Advaita Philosopher
Birthdate: 0788 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 0820 AD
Indian philosopher and theologian Adi Shankaracharya, or Adi Shankara, promoted the Hindu philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. His Sanskrit works talk about concepts such as the Ātman and Nirguna Brahman. He criticized the Mīmāṃsā school and explained the differences between Hinduism and Buddhism. He also established four "mathas," or monasteries.
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 7 Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
0
Famous As: Social Reformer, Philosopher
Birthdate: September 26, 1820
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Indian
Died: July 29, 1891
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 8 Urjit Patel

Urjit Patel
0
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 28, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Indian

 9 Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
0
Famous As: Founder of Aligarh Muslim University
Birthdate: October 17, 1817
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Indian
Died: March 27, 1898
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University. He is accredited as the father of Two-Nation Theory and is regarded as the originator of Muslim nationalism in India. A proponent of freedom of speech and democratic ideals, he propelled social and educational reforms.

 10 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
2
Famous As: Independence Activist, Reformer
Birthdate: May 28, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Indian
Died: February 26, 1966

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian politician and independence activist. He formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. He was known for his strong oratory skills and was an eloquent writer. He was initially charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.

 11 Girish Karnad

Girish Karnad
0
Famous As: Linguist, Author, Film director, Actor, Translator, Screenwriter
Birthdate: May 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian

 12 Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 18, 1836
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Indian
Died: August 16, 1886

 13 Vyasa

Vyasa
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Nationality: Indian

 14 Abhijit Banerjee

Abhijit Banerjee
0
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: February 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Indian, American

 15 Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 30, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Indian
Died: April 14, 1950

 16 Patanjali

Patanjali
0
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 0150 AD

 17 Basava

Basava
0
Famous As: Hindu religious leader
Birthdate: 1105 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 1167 AD

 18 Ramanuja

Ramanuja
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1017 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 1137 AD

 19 Abul A'la Maududi

Abul A'la Maududi
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Indian, Pakistani
Died: September 22, 1979

 20 Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi
0
Famous As: Islamic Scholar, Reformer
Birthdate: June 14, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Indian
Died: October 28, 1921

 21 Tiruvalluvar

Tiruvalluvar
0
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Indian

 22 Nagarjuna

Nagarjuna
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0150 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 0250 AD

 23 Jnanadeva

Jnanadeva
0
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1275 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 1296 AD

 24 Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva
0
Famous As: Philosopher, Physicist, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: November 5, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Indian

 25 Pampa

Pampa
0
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0902 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 0975 AD

 26 Pranav Mistry

Pranav Mistry
0
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: May 14, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian

 27 Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi
2
Famous As: Leader of Indian Independence Movement
Birthdate: October 2, 1869
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Indian
Died: January 30, 1948

An Indian lawyer and anti-colonial nationalist, Mahatma Gandhi was a major figure in India’s fight for independence from British rule. He is renowned for his employment of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience methods. Despite his popularity, he had numerous detractors as well and was assassinated in 1948. He is widely considered the Father of the Nation in India.

 28 M. N. Roy

M. N. Roy
0
Famous As: Indian Revolutionary
Birthdate: March 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Indian
Died: January 25, 1954

 29 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
0
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: February 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Indian

 30 Rajmohan Gandhi

Rajmohan Gandhi
0
Famous As: writer, university teacher
Birthdate: 1935 AD
Nationality: Indian

 31 Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha
0
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian

 32 Satish Dhawan

Satish Dhawan
0
Famous As: Aerospace engineer, Engineer
Birthdate: September 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Indian
Died: January 3, 2002

 33 Shah Waliullah Dehlawi

Shah Waliullah Dehlawi
0
Famous As: Muslim Scholar
Birthdate: February 21, 1703
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Indian
Died: August 20, 1762

 34 Mahadev Govind Ranade

Mahadev Govind Ranade
0
Famous As: Judge, Social Reformer
Birthdate: January 18, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Indian
Died: January 16, 1901

 35 Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar
0
Famous As: Historian, University teacher
Birthdate: November 30, 1931
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Indian

 36 Akka Mahadevi

Akka Mahadevi
0
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Indian

 37 E.M.S. Namboodiripad

E.M.S. Namboodiripad
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 13, 1909
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Indian
Died: March 19, 1998

 38 Swami Sivananda

Swami Sivananda
0
Famous As: Spiritual & Yoga Teacher
Birthdate: September 8, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Indian
Died: July 14, 1963

 39 Chinmayananda Saraswati

Chinmayananda Saraswati
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 8, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Died: August 3, 1993

 40 Pandurang Shastri Athavale

Pandurang Shastri Athavale
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 19, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Indian
Died: October 25, 2003

 41 William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple
0
Famous As: historian, writer
Birthdate: March 20, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Indian

 42 Ramchandra Gandhi

Ramchandra Gandhi
0
Famous As: Author, Philosopher, University teacher, Writer
Birthdate: June 9, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Indian
Died: June 13, 2007

 43 Anandamayi Ma

Anandamayi Ma
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 30, 1896
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Died: August 27, 1982

 44 Ashraf Ali Thanwi

Ashraf Ali Thanwi
0
Famous As: Mufassir, Theologian
Birthdate: August 19, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Died: July 4, 1943

 45 Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh
0
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: April 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Indian

 46 Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio
0
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 18, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Indian
Died: December 26, 1831

 47 Maithili Sharan Gupt

Maithili Sharan Gupt
0
Famous As: Linguist, Poet, Politician, Translator
Birthdate: August 3, 1886
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Died: December 12, 1964

 48 Nanabhoy Palkhivala

Nanabhoy Palkhivala
0
Famous As: Jurist
Birthdate: January 16, 1920
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Indian
Died: December 11, 2002

 49 Ramananda

Ramananda
0
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1380 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 1475 AD

 50 K. Pattabhi Jois

K. Pattabhi Jois
0
Birthdate: July 26, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Died: May 18, 2009