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.
Birbal was an advisor and chief commander of army in Mughal Emperor Akbar's court. He is best remembered for the folk tales that glorify his wit and intelligence. One of Akbar's most important courtiers, Birbal was part of The Navaratnas, a group of nine extraordinary people in the emperor's court. He has been portrayed in many folk tales and films.
Arjan Singh was an Indian Air Force officer who served as the Air Force Chief from 1964 to 1969. Arjan Singh, who led the Air Force during the Second Kashmir War, was honored with the Padma Vibhushan for his service during the war. He was the first Indian Air Force officer to achieve the Marshal of the Air Force rank.
Sikh warrior Hari Singh Nalwa was one of the most feared army commanders of India and is remembered for his multiple battles against the Afghans. Part of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army, he had also been the governor of Kashmir, Hazara, and Peshawar. He died during the Battle of Jamrud.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is an Indian politician, retired Indian Army officer, and former shooting athlete. He is best known for winning the silver medal in the men's double trap competition at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is the recipient of prestigious sporting honors such as the Arjuna Award and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.
J. F. R. Jacob was an Indian Army officer who played a major role in the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971; the Indian Army helped Bangladesh attain independence from Pakistan. He also saw action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and during World War II. J. F. R. Jacob also served as the governor of Punjab and Goa.
Known as The Liberator of Bangladesh, Jagjit Singh Aurora was an Indian army general who was major figure of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. His campaign led to the defeat of the Pakistan Armed Forces, eventually leading to the formation of Bangladesh. The Padma Bhushan winner later joined politics.
The Indian Army’s first chief of staff in the post-independence era, Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa was a legendary military officer. He transformed the Indian army from its British avatar to a more national military force. He also became one of 2 Indians to earn the Five-star rank of Field Marshal.
Indian Army officer Som Nath Sharma was no stranger to the army culture, being born into an army family. He received the Param Vir Chakra honour posthumously, for defending Srinagar airport during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-1948, and was the first recipient of the award.
Malik Ambar was a Siddi military leader who served as the prime minister of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, later serving as its de facto ruler. Brought into India as a slave, Ambar created a mercenary force and pioneered guerrilla warfare. He then went on to found the city of Khirki, which was later renamed as Aurangabad.
A maternal uncle of Aurangzeb, Shaista Khan was a major figure in Indian history. He not only served as the governor of Bengal but also reigned over Khandesh as its viceroy. He had 3 of his fingers sliced off in a fight with Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji at Lal Mahal.
Bakht Khan is best remembered for his service as the commander-in-chief of the 1857 Indian Rebellion against the British. Initially part of the East India Company army, he served the Bengal horse artillery and gained 40 years of military experience. He eventually died fighting at the age of around 61.
Bengali army man Abu Taher initially worked as an assistant teacher in Chittagong, before joining the Pakistan Army and then the Bangladesh Army. He won the gallantry award Bir Uttom for his contribution in the War of Liberation and later joined the left-leaning Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal.
Victoria Cross- and Param Vishisht Seva Medal-winning Indian Army general Premindra Singh Bhagat was known for his contributions in World War II and the Indo-Pakistan Wars of 1947, 1965, and 1971. Post-retirement, he joined DVC. He died of an allergic reaction to penicillin shortly after.
Tikendrajit Singh was an Indian revolutionary and military commander who played a major role in the events leading up to the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891. A Rajput prince, Tikendrajit Singh fought the British forces which had formed an alliance with Surachandra Singh, the king of Manipur who had been dethroned by Tikendrajit and his brother Kulachandra Singh.
Syed Ahmed El Edroos, a close aide of the Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, participated in World Wars I and II as part of the 1st Hyderabad Lancers. He commanded the Hyderabad State Forces during India’s annexation of Hyderabad. His memoir, Hyderabad of the Seven Loaves, was of immense historical significance.
Raj Mohan Vohra was an Indian military leader who served as a General Officer in the Army. He is remembered for his bravery in the Battle of Basantar, one of the most important battles fought during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Vohra played an important role in India's win in the battle and was honored with the Maha Vir Chakra.
Thalakkal Chanthu was an Indian archer who served as the commander-in-chief of Pazhassi Raja's troop, which fought against the British forces in the early 1800s. Chanthu was recognized by Pazhassi Raja as his most skilled war leader. In 1802, Thalakkal Chanthu and Edachena Kunkan led a group of soldiers and seized the British fort at Panamaram.
James Willcocks was a British Army officer who held high command during World War I. He spent most of his career in Africa and India and saw action in many battles, including the Second Anglo-Afghan War, Second Boer War, and First World War.
Considered a martyr by some and a militant by others, Sukhdev Singh Sukha was a leading member of the Khalistan Commando Force, a group that aimed at creating a separate Sikh state. He was one of the assassins of Congress MP Lalit Maken and, later, of Indian Army chief Arun Vaidya.