Famous Indian Leaders

The land of Vedas, India has been the home to many great political minds. The likes of Chanakya, Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi have been born on this ancient land. The ideologies of these leaders have inspired millions across the globe. Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of non-violence and Satyagraha served as the two important pillars on which the country won its independence. The contribution of other famous freedom fighters like Subash Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Sarojini Naidu, is engraved in golden letters in the Indian history. While Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is referred to as the ‘Iron Man of India’ was involved in the formation of the states which constitute the present India, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the brains behind the mammoth constitution of the country. The legacy of Gandhi was carried forward by the leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jayprakash Narayan and Indira Gandhi, The leaders had a mammoth task of leading the country on the path of economic sustainability and it was only under their guidance that the country steered onto the path of advancement. Explore our collection of biographies of some of the famous Indian leaders and learn all about their lives, timeline and achievements. You will also find some interesting facts and trivia about these 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 Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi
102
Famous As: Leader of Indian Independence Movement
Birthdate: October 2, 1869
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British Indian Empire
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.

 2 A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
12
Famous As: Former President of India, Missile Man of India
Birthdate: October 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
Died: July 27, 2015
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th president, had earlier been an aerospace scientist at DRDO and ISRO. Known as the “People’s President” and the “Missile Man of India,” he was instrumental in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests. He died of a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.

 3 Shivaji

Shivaji
22
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.

 4 Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda
33
Famous As: Indian Monk
Birthdate: January 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day Kolkata, West Bengal, India)
Died: July 4, 1902

The founder of the Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math, Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk, philosopher, and spiritual leader. He is credited with introducing the Indian philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta to the Western world. He is also credited with elevating the status of Hinduism as a major religion in the modern world by raising interfaith awareness.

 5 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
7
Famous As: Iron Man of India
Birthdate: October 31, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nadiad
Died: December 15, 1950

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an Indian politician who played an influential role in the Indian independence movement. Dubbed the Iron Man of India and Unifier of India, Sardar Patel played an important role in integrating various princely states into a united, independent nation. In 2018, the world's tallest statue called the Statue of Unity was dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

 6 Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee
12
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: December 25, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gwalior
Died: August 16, 2018

Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the 10th Prime Minister of India and was the first prime minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress. The BJP politician had been a journalist and an RSS member. He was a noted poet, too. During his tenure as prime minister, he carried out Pokhran II nuclear tests in 1998 and declared India as a country with nuclear weapons capability.

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 7 Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak
7
Famous As: Sikh Guru
Birthdate: April 15, 1469
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nankana Sahib
Died: September 22, 1539

Guru Nanak was the founder of one of the most popular monotheistic religions of the Indian subcontinent, Sikhism. Widely regarded as the first of the ten Sikh Gurus, Nanak contributed 974 hymns to the religion's sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak is worshipped by Sikhs around the world and his birth is celebrated as Guru Nanak Gurpurab.

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 8 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
6
Famous As: Confident, Ambitious
Birthdate: September 5, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Thiruttani
Died: April 17, 1975

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the second President of India and served from 1962 to 1967. He is regarded as one of India’s most eminent scholars and wrote extensively on Indian philosophy and religion. Lifelong he defended Hindu traditions and culture against criticism from the West. September 5, his birthday, is observed as Teachers Day in India, in his honour.

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 9 Subramanian Swamy

Subramanian Swamy
1
Famous As: Economist, Politician, Author
Birthdate: September 15, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mylapore

Indian politician Subramanian Swamy, who is a BJP MP, has also been the president of the Janata Party earlier. Known for his far-right views, he was previously a professor economics at IIT, Delhi. He boasts of a PhD from Harvard and has penned several books, such as Terrorism in India.

 10 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
2
Famous As: Independence Activist, Reformer
Birthdate: May 28, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bhagur
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 Guru Gobind Singh

Guru Gobind Singh
4
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.

 12 Paresh Rawal

Paresh Rawal
1
Famous As: Television producer, Actor, Politician
Birthdate: May 30, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mumbai

Paresh Rawal is a renowned National Film Award- and Padma Shri-winning Indian actor who has entertained audiences in Hindi films such as Hera Pheri and Sir. He is also a well-known villain in Telugu films. Married to former Miss India Swaroop Sampat, Rawal has also previously been a BJP MP.

 13 Bal Thackeray

Bal Thackeray
1
Famous As: Politician, Journalist, Painter
Birthdate: January 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mumbai
Died: November 17, 2012

Legendary Indian politician Bal Thackeray, or Balasaheb Thackeray, was the patriarch of one of the most influential political families of India and the founder of the Shiv Sena. He went from being a cartoonist to the godfather of Maharashtra, though his overtly regional and Hindu nationalist ideals were often criticized.

 14 Baji Rao I

Baji Rao I
2
Famous As: Peshwa of Maratha Empire
Birthdate: August 18, 1700
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: April 28, 1740

Baji Rao I was a peshwa, or chief minister, of the Maratha empire in India. His conquests led a massive blow to the Mughal Empire. In spite of being married to Kashibai, he took a second wife, half-Muslim Mastani, a story that was retold in several movies later.

 15 Chandra Shekhar Azad

Chandra Shekhar Azad
4
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: July 23, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bhavra
Died: February 27, 1931

 16 Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak
3
Famous As: Indian teacher
Birthdate: July 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ratnagiri, British India (present-day Maharashtra, India)
Died: August 1, 1920
Indian nationalist and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, also known as Lokmanya Tilak, promoted the concept of Swaraj, or self-rule. He was part of the freedom-fighter trio know as Lal Bal Pal, along with fellow Indian National Congress members Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal.

 17 Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti
1
Famous As: Public Speaker & Philosopher
Birthdate: May 12, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Madanapalle
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.

 18 Mahavira

Mahavira
2
Famous As: Last tirthankara of Jainism
Birthdate: 0599 BC
Birthplace: Vaishali
Died: 0527 BC
Mahavira, or Vardhamana, was the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. Ancient texts suggest that he was a contemporary of Buddha. Mahavira renounced all worldly possessions at age 30. Following a long life of austerity, he attained Kevala Gyan and Moksha. His teachings came to be known as the Jain Agamas.

 19 Prithviraj Chauhan

Prithviraj Chauhan
1
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.

 20 Adi Shankara

Adi Shankara
3
Famous As: Advaita Philosopher
Birthdate: 0788 AD
Birthplace: Kalady
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.

 21 Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley
5
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Spokesperson, Strategist
Birthdate: December 28, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Delhi

BJP member Arun Jaitley had led ministries such as finance, defense, and law and justice. The Indian politician was a skilled lawyer and had been part of cases such as the 2002 Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola case in the Supreme Court. He was awarded a Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

 22 Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh
2
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.

 23 Ramakrishna Paramhamsa

Ramakrishna Paramhamsa
3
Famous As: Spiritual & Religious Leader
Birthdate: February 18, 1836
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kamarpukur
Died: August 16, 1886

The widely revered Hindu religious leader and saint who had a large following was known for promoting the ancient Indian philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and Bhakti. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was a devotee of Goddess Kali who he worshipped as the universal mother. His marriage to Sharada Devi was never consummated. Swami Vivekanada was the most famous disciple of the Bengal-born mystic.

 24 L. K. Advani

L.K. Advani
1
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Karachi

L. K. Advani is a retired Indian politician who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of India from 2002 to 2004. A co-founder of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he has also been the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha on two occasions. He is a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honor.

 25 Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh
6
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: September 27, 1907
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Banga, Punjab, British India
Died: March 23, 1931

Bhagat Singh is one of the most revered freedom fighters of Indian Independence movement. His execution by the British rulers at a young age of 23 inspired many young people to join the freedom struggle. His life’s mission was to free India from colonial rule and his legacy as a symbol of bravery and patriotism continues to live on.

 26 Neem Karoli Baba

Neem Karoli Baba
1
Famous As: Guru
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Akbarpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: September 11, 1973

 27 Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai
1
Famous As: Freedom Fighter
Birthdate: January 28, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dhudike, India
Died: November 17, 1928

Lala Lajpat Rai was an Indian politician who played a major role in the Indian Independence movement. He is credited with inspiring many young men, including Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad, to join the freedom struggle through journalistic writings and activism. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari

 28 Sam Manekshaw

Sam Manekshaw
0
Birthdate: April 3, 1914
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amritsar, Punjab
Died: June 27, 2008
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the Indian Army’s Chief of the Army Staff during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, in which India emerged victorious. He had started his military career with the British Indian Army during World War II. He had also been awarded the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan.

 29 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
1
Famous As: Founder of Transcendental Meditation Technique
Birthdate: January 12, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: India
Died: February 5, 2008

Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is best remembered for pioneering the concept of Transcendental Meditation. A disciple of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, he started the TM-Sidhi program, founded the Natural Law Party, and launched the non-profit Global Country of World Peace. He also set up TM teaching centers worldwide.

 30 Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo
2
Famous As: Political and Spiritual Leader
Birthdate: August 15, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kolkata
Died: December 5, 1950

Sri Aurobindo was an Indian philosopher, poet, yogi, teacher, and nationalist. He was one of the most influential leaders of the Indian independence movement before becoming a spiritual reformer, focusing on spiritual evolution and human progress. He is credited with founding the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, which continues to serve spiritual aspirants from all over the world.

 31 Tulsidas

Tulsidas
1
Famous As: Poet & Saint
Birthdate: 1497 AD
Birthplace: Rajapur
Died: 1623 AD
Tulsidas was a 16th-century Vaishnava saint and poet, who was devoted to the Hindu deity Rama. His most popular works are the Ramcharitmanas, which retells the Sanskrit Ramayana in Awadhi, and the Hanuman Chalisa. He established the Sankatmochan Temple in Varanasi and also began the tradition of Ramlila plays. 

 32 Venkaiah Naidu

Venkaiah Naidu
1
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nellore

 33 Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj
6
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 14, 1952
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Delhi, india
Died: August 6, 2019

Supreme Court lawyer and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj had held several ministries, such as external affairs and information and broadcasting. Named India’s “best loved politician” by Wall Street Journal, Swaraj was known for her prompt assistance to Indians in emergency situations abroad and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

 34 Kirron Kher

Kirron Kher
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 14, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chandigarh, India

 35 Mangal Pandey

Mangal Pandey
3
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: July 19, 1827
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nagwa
Died: April 8, 1857
Indian soldier Mangal Pandey was a significant figure in the Indian rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, or First War of Independence. Pandey was a sepoy of the British East India Company’s 34th BNI Regiment. His life inspired the Bollywood movie Mangal Pandey: The Rising

 36 Ravi Kishan

Ravi Kishan
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Uttar Pradesh

 37 Rajiv Dixit

Rajiv Dixit
1
Birthdate: November 30, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aligarh
Died: November 30, 2010

 38 Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal
1
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 13, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

 39 Nandamuri Balakrishna

Nandamuri Balakrishna
1
Famous As: Actor, Politician
Birthdate: June 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chennai

 40 Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy

Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
1
Famous As: Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
Birthdate: December 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jammalamadugu, Andhra Pradesh, India
Indian politician Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy is currently serving as the chief minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Son of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, he has also been the leader of the opposition in the state Legislative Assembly earlier.

 41 Amit Shah

Amit Shah
7
Famous As: politician
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: Mumbai

Indian home minister and former BJP president Amit Shah was born into a family of Gujarati Baniyas in Mumbai. Initially a businessman and a stockbroker, he was also an RSS volunteer and met current Indian prime minister Narendra Modi through the organization. He is known for his far-right Hindutva agenda.

 42 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
3
Famous As: Founder of Ahmadiyya Sect
Birthdate: February 13, 1835
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Qadian
Died: May 26, 1908

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was an Indian religious leader. He is credited with founding the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which is an Islamic revival movement. A prolific author, Ghulam Ahmad wrote over 90 books on various theological, moral, and religious subjects. He continues to be revered as a subordinate prophet by Ahmadi Muslims, which is often debated by mainstream Muslims.

 43 Yogi Adityanath

Yogi Adityanath
7
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 5, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Garhwal division

Yogi Adityanath renounced his family at age 21 and became the high priest of Gorakhnath Math. The Indian monk-turned-BJP-politician has been a five-time MP from Gorakhpur and is now the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in India. Critics have accused him of polarizing the public with his radical Hindutva agenda.

 44 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
2
Famous As: Spiritual & humanitarian leader
Birthdate: May 13, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Papanasam, Tamil Nadu, India

 45 Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi
1
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 30, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tiruchuzhi, Virudhunagar, India
Died: April 14, 1950

 46 Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda
1
Birthdate: January 5, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gorakhpur
Died: March 7, 1952

 47 Dadabhai Naoroji

 Dadabhai Naoroji
1
Birthdate: September 4, 1825
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bombay, British India
Died: June 30, 1917

 48 Roopa Ganguly

Roopa Ganguly
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 25, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

 49 Kabir

Kabir
5
Famous As: Saint and Mystic Poet
Birthdate: 1440 AD
Birthplace: Varanasi
Died: 1518 AD

Kabir was an Indian saint and mystic poet whose works influenced Hinduism's Bhakti movement, which in turn played a key role in the formation of Sikhism, the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Kabir is an important figure in both Hinduism and Islam and his legacy continues to live through a religious community known as the Kabir panth.

 50 Vasundhara Raje

Vasundhara Raje
1
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, India