India boasts of a rich literary history dating from the ancient times. The Hindu sage and Sanskrit poet Valmiki, the author of the epic ‘Ramayana’, played a crucial role in the development of Classical Sanskrit literature in the first millennium BCE. Over the next few centuries, accomplished writers in several other regional languages came up, further enriching Indian literature. The 5th century playwright Kalidasa is widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language, while 15th century poets Kabir and Tulsidas were major figures in Hindi literature. Devaki Nandan Khatri, a 19th century writer belonged to the first generation of popular novelists in the modern Hindi language. Early in the 20th century, Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore became India's first Nobel laureate. India has 22 officially recognized languages, and each language has produced its own talented writers who have done the country proud. Coming to the contemporary era, Indian writers are making a mark in not only traditional Indian languages, but in English literature as well. Writers like R. K. Narayan, Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Raja Rao, and Amitav Ghosh are among the more popular writers of the late 20th and early 21st century. Read on to discover about the life and works of famous Indian writers.
Rabindranath TagoreRabindranath Tagore
07 May 1861
Poet and Author
Amrita PritamAmrita Pritam
31 August 1919
Writer

Ruskin BondRuskin Bond
19 May 1934
Writer

Sarojini NaiduSarojini Naidu
13 February 1879
Poet and Freedom Fighter

Padma LakshmiPadma Lakshmi
01 September 1970
Model

R. K. NarayanR. K. Narayan
10 October 1906
 
KabirKabir
1440 AD
Saint and Mystic Poet

Ishwar Chandra VidyasagarIshwar Chandra Vidyasagar
26 September 1820
Social Reformer, Philosopher

Khushwant SinghKhushwant Singh
02 February 1915
Novelist, Lawyer, Journalist & Politician

TulsidasTulsidas
1497 AD
Poet & Saint
Spike MilliganSpike Milligan
16 April 1918
Comedian

Amir KhusrowAmir Khusrow
1253 AD
Sufi Poet
Kazi Nazrul IslamKazi Nazrul Islam
24 May 1899
National Poet of Bangladesh

Mulk Raj AnandMulk Raj Anand
12 December 1905
 

Vikram SethVikram Seth
20 June 1952
Writer
William Makepeace ThackerayWilliam Makepeace Thackeray
18 July 1811
Author & Novelist

Sarat Chandra ChattopadhyaySarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
15 September 1876
Writer
Munshi PremchandMunshi Premchand
31 July 1880
Novelist and Author

MirabaiMirabai
1498 AD
Bhakti Saint

Nirad C. ChaudhuriNirad C. Chaudhuri
23 November 1897
Indian writer

Sir Syed Ahmad KhanSir Syed Ahmad Khan
17 October 1817
Founder of Aligarh Muslim University
Mirza GhalibMirza Ghalib
27 December 1797
Poet

Varun GroverVarun Grover
26 January 1980
Writer, Lyricist, Stand-up Comedian

Girish KarnadGirish Karnad
19 May 1938
Linguist, Author, Film director, Actor,

RajneeshRajneesh
11 December 1931
Teacher, Writer, Autobiographer, Guru
Crazy MohanCrazy Mohan
16 October 1952
screenwriter
Kalki KoechlinKalki Koechlin
10 January 1984
Actor, Screenwriter, Writer

Shashi TharoorShashi Tharoor
09 March 1956
Writer, Politician, Diplomat

Zakir NaikZakir Naik
18 October 1965
Physician, Writer, Intellectual, Preacher

Shreya GhoshalShreya Ghoshal
12 March 1984
Singer, Writer, Actor, Composer
MammoottyMammootty
07 September 1951
actor, film producer, screenwriter, film actor

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Vinayak Damodar SavarkarVinayak Damodar Savarkar
28 May 1883
Poet, Philosopher, Politician, Playwright

Nathuram GodseNathuram Godse
19 May 1910
Politician, Journalist

Arundhati RoyArundhati Roy
24 November 1961
Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Essayist

Chetan BhagatChetan Bhagat
22 April 1974
Writer, Screenwriter
Sajid NadiadwalaSajid Nadiadwala
18 March 1966
film producer

GulzarGulzar
18 August 1936
film director, film producer, screenwriter,
PremchandPremchand
31 July 1880
Novelist, Screenwriter, Writer

Javed AkhtarJaved Akhtar
17 January 1945
Screenwriter, Politician, Writer, Poet, Lyricist,

Sudha MurthySudha Murthy
19 August 1950
Author, Social worker, Computer scientist,
Madhur JaffreyMadhur Jaffrey
13 August 1933
Actor, Television actor, Film actor, Writer, Film

Syed Ahmad KhanSyed Ahmad Khan
17 October 1817
Judge, Philosopher, Knight, Lawyer
Meher BabaMeher Baba
25 February 1894
 

Amish TripathiAmish Tripathi
18 October 1974
Writer

Honey IraniHoney Irani
25 August 1955
Actor, Writer, Screenwriter

Amitav GhoshAmitav Ghosh
11 July 1956
Writer, Novelist, Journalist

VyasaVyasa
Author
Jyotirao PhuleJyotirao Phule
11 April 1827
Intellectual

Kumar VishwasKumar Vishwas
10 February 1970
Politician

Savitribai PhuleSavitribai Phule
03 January 1831
Poet

Nandana SenNandana Sen
19 August 1967
Actress
Saadat Hasan MantoSaadat Hasan Manto
11 May 1912
Screenwriter, Journalist, Writer

TukaramTukaram
1608 AD
poet, writer
ValmikiValmiki
Poet

KuvempuKuvempu
29 December 1904
Writer, Poet, Professor

Irom Chanu SharmilaIrom Chanu Sharmila
14 March 1972
Poet, Journalist
C. N. AnnaduraiC. N. Annadurai
15 September 1909
Politician, Screenwriter, Writer

Raja RaoRaja Rao
08 November 1908
Author, Writer
Piyush MishraPiyush Mishra
13 January 1963
Screenwriter, Music director, Actor, Singer,

Palak MuchhalPalak Muchhal
30 March 1992
Singer

Tom AlterTom Alter
23 June 1950
Actor
Vandana ShivaVandana Shiva
05 November 1952
Philosopher, Physicist, Writer, University teacher

Ahmed Raza Khan BarelviAhmed Raza Khan Barelvi
14 June 1856
Muhaddith, Translator, Author
Purushottam Laxman DeshpandePurushottam Laxman Deshpande
08 November 1919
Author, Film director, Actor, Composer, Poet,

Shobhaa DeShobhaa De
07 January 1948
Journalist, Writer, Socialite, Model

Ramdhari Singh DinkarRamdhari Singh Dinkar
23 September 1908
Writer, Poet, Politician, Journalist, Literary

B. K. S. IyengarB. K. S. Iyengar
14 December 1918
Writer
Ahmed DeedatAhmed Deedat
01 July 1918
Philosopher, Writer
Mahadevi VarmaMahadevi Varma
26 March 1907
Poet, Author, Writer

KannadasanKannadasan
24 June 1927
Poet, Lyricist, Songwriter

D. R. BendreD. R. Bendre
31 January 1896
 

Bahadur Shah IIBahadur Shah II
24 October 1775
Poet
VairamuthuVairamuthu
13 July 1953
Author, Actor, Poet, Lyricist, Songwriter

Vaikom Muhammad BasheerVaikom Muhammad Basheer
21 January 1908
Novelist, Screenwriter, Essayist, Writer, Diarist,

Anita DesaiAnita Desai
24 June 1937
Novelist

Sujatha RangarajanSujatha Rangarajan
03 May 1935
Writer, Screenwriter

Pankaj MishraPankaj Mishra
1969 AD
author, journalist, literary critic, writer
M. J. AkbarM. J. Akbar
11 January 1951
Journalist, Writer, Politician

Kamal AmrohiKamal Amrohi
17 January 1918
Director
Sagarika GhoseSagarika Ghose
08 November 1964
Author, Journalist

Vikramaditya MotwaneVikramaditya Motwane
12 June 1976
film director, choreographer, screenwriter

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-KhanaAbdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana
17 December 1556
Poet
Tanikella BharaniTanikella Bharani
14 July 1956
writer, film director, actor, journalist

Gayatri Chakravorty SpivakGayatri Chakravorty Spivak
24 February 1942
Writer, Philosopher, University teacher,
Mirra AlfassaMirra Alfassa
21 February 1878
Mystic, Writer

Mahasweta DeviMahasweta Devi
14 January 1926
Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist,

Vijay TendulkarVijay Tendulkar
06 January 1928
linguist, screenwriter, writer, translator

Michael Madhusudan DuttMichael Madhusudan Dutt
25 January 1824
Poet, Writer
Irshad KamilIrshad Kamil
05 September 1971
Poet, Writer, Lyricist, Songwriter

Sahir LudhianviSahir Ludhianvi
08 March 1921
Poet, Lyricist, Songwriter
Soumitra ChatterjeeSoumitra Chatterjee
19 January 1935
Actor

Shiv Kumar BatalviShiv Kumar Batalvi
23 July 1936
Author, Poet, Lyricist, Songwriter
SurdasSurdas
1478 AD
poet

Dibakar BanerjeeDibakar Banerjee
21 June 1969
Film director, Screenwriter
K. Shivaram KaranthK. Shivaram Karanth
10 October 1902
Author, Poet