India is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of history and heritage. Many great rulers in the history of the World have been born in our country. This list includes Indian kings and rulers of India who have ruled in India, from the BC era to modern India. There may be some names in this list who were not kings in the traditional sense, but who played an important role in their kingdoms.
India boasts a vibrant history full of fascinating stories of empires and rulers. Here’s a list of a greatest Indian Kings with images and names. These powerful rulers and their style of governance showcase a glimpse of India’s turbulent yet glorious past. Our great nation came under fire from many wannabe emperors as well, including the Persian Achaemenid under Cyrus the Great, and, of course, Alexander the Great. Over the years, various kingdoms flourished here some of which have the remains till today. And among these kingdoms, there are a few that hugely impacted the history and culture of India.
Shivaji Bhonsale (c. 1627/1630 – April 3, 1680) was an Indian warrior-king and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned as the chhatrapati (emperor) of his realm at Raigad.
Over the course of his life, Shivaji engaged in both alliances and hostilities with the Mughal Empire, Sultanate of Golkonda and Sultanate of Bijapur, as well as European colonial powers. Shivaji’s military forces expanded the Maratha sphere of influence, capturing and building forts, and forming a Maratha navy. Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with well-structured administrative organisations. He revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of Marathi language and Sanskrit, rather than the Persian language, in court and administration.
Shivaji’s legacy was to vary by observer and time, but nearly two centuries after his death, he began to take on increased importance with the emergence of the Indian independence movement, as many Indian nationalists elevated him as a proto-nationalist and hero of the Hindus.
Chandragupta Maurya (reign: 321–297 BCE) was the founder of the Maurya Empire in ancient India. He was taught and counselled by the philosopher Chanakya, who had great influence in the formation of his empire. Together, Chandragupta and Chanakya built one of the largest empires on the Indian subcontinent. According to Jain sources, he later renounced his empire and became a Jain monk. Chandragupta’s life and accomplishments are described in ancient Greek, Hindu, Buddhist and Jain texts, but they vary significantly. In Ancient Greek and Latin accounts, Chandragupta is referred as Sandrokottos or Androcottus.
Chandragupta Maurya was a pivotal figure in the history of India, laying the foundations of the first government to unite most of South Asia. Chandragupta, under the tutelage of Chanakya, created a new empire based on the principles of statecraft, built a large army, and continued expanding the boundaries of his empire until ultimately renouncing it for an ascetic life in his final years.
Prior to his consolidation of power, Alexander the Great had invaded the North-West Indian subcontinent before abandoning his campaign in 324 BCE due to a mutiny caused by the prospect of facing another large empire, presumably the Nanda Empire. Chandragupta defeated and conquered both the Nanda Empire, and the Greek satraps that were appointed or formed from Alexander’s Empire in South Asia. Chandragupta first gained regional prominence in the Greater Punjab region in the Indus. He then set out to conquer the Nanda Empire centered in Pataliputra, Magadha. Afterwards, Chandragupta expanded and secured his western border, where he was confronted by Seleucus I Nicator in the Seleucid-Mauryan War. After two years of war, Chandragupta was considered to have gained the upper hand in the conflict and annexed satrapies up to the Hindu Kush. Instead of prolonging the war, both parties settled on a marriage alliance between Chandragupta and the daughter of Seleucus I Nicator instead.
Chandragupta’s empire extended throughout most of the Indian subcontinent, spanning from modern day Bengal to Afghanistan across North India. As well as making inlays into Central and South India. According to historical Jain accounts, Chandragupta would renounce his throne to become a Jain monk, and would travel away from his empire to South India and committed sallekhana or fasting to death. Chandragupta’s’s reign, and the Maurya Empire, set an era of economic prosperity, reforms, infrastructure expansions, and tolerance. Many religions thrived within his realms and his descendants’ empire. Buddhism, Jainism and Ajivika gained prominence alongside Vedic and Brahmanistic traditions, and minority religions such as Zoroastrianism and the Greek pantheon were respected. A memorial for Chandragupta Maurya exists on the Chandragiri hill along with a 7th-century hagiographic inscription.
Ashoka The Great
Ashoka, also known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE. The grandson of the founder of the Maurya Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka promoted the spread of Buddhism across ancient Asia. Considered by many to be one of India’s greatest emperors, Ashoka expanded Chandragupta’s empire to reign over a realm stretching from present-day Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east. It covered the entire Indian subcontinent except for parts of present-day Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The empire’s capital was Pataliputra (in Magadha, present-day Patna), with provincial capitals at Taxila and Ujjain.
Ashoka waged a destructive war against the state of Kalinga (modern Odisha), which he conquered in about 260 BCE. He converted to Buddhism after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga War, which he had waged out of a desire for conquest and which reportedly directly resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and 150,000 deportations. He is remembered for the Ashoka pillars and edicts, for sending Buddhist monks to Sri Lanka and Central Asia, and for establishing monuments marking several significant sites in the life of Gautama Buddha. Beyond the Edicts of Ashoka, biographical information about him relies on legends written centuries later, such as the 2nd-century CE Ashokavadana (“Narrative of Ashoka”, a part of the Divyavadana), and in the Sri Lankan text Mahavamsa (“Great Chronicle”). The emblem of the modern Republic of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka. His Sanskrit name “Aśoka” means “painless, without sorrow” (the a privativum and śoka, “pain, distress”). In his edicts, he is referred to as Devānāmpriya (Pali Devānaṃpiya or “the Beloved of the Gods”), and Priyadarśin or Priyadarshi (Pali Piyadasī or “He who regards everyone with affection”). His fondness for a tree is the reason for his name being connected to the “Ashoka tree” or Polyalthia longifolia, and this is referenced in the Ashokavadana.
In The Outline of History (1920), H.G. Wells wrote, “Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Ashoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star.”
Prithviraja III (reign. c. 1178–1192 CE), popularly known as Prithviraj Chauhan or Rai Pithora was a king from the Chahamana (Chauhan) dynasty. He ruled Sapadalaksha, the traditional Chahamana territory, in present-day north-western India. He controlled much of the present-day Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi; and some parts of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. His capital was located at Ajayameru (modern Ajmer), although the medieval folk legends describe him as the king of India’s political centre Delhi to portray him as a representative of the pre-Islamic Indian power.
Early in his career, Prithviraj achieved military successes against several neighbouring Hindu kingdoms, most notably against the Chandela king Paramardi. He also repulsed the early invasions by Muhammad of Ghor, a ruler of the Muslim Ghurid dynasty. However, in 1192 CE, the Ghurids defeated Prithviraj at the Second battle of Tarain, and executed him shortly after. His defeat at Tarain is seen as a landmark event in the Islamic conquest of India, and has been described in several semi-legendary accounts. The most popular of these accounts is Prithviraj Raso, which presents him as a “Rajput”, although the Rajput identity did not exist during his time.
Kanishka I, or Kanishka the Great, an emperor of the Kushan dynasty in the second century (c. 127–150 CE), is famous for his military, political, and spiritual achievements. A descendant of Kujula Kadphises, founder of the Kushan empire, Kanishka came to rule an empire in Bactria extending to Pataliputra on the Gangetic plain. The main capital of his empire was located at Puruṣapura in Gandhara, with another major capital at Kapisa.
His conquests and patronage of Buddhism played an important role in the development of the Silk Road, and in the transmission of Mahayana Buddhism from Gandhara across the Karakoram range to China. Around 127 CE, he replaced Greek by Bactrian as the official language of administration in the empire.Earlier scholars believed that Kanishka ascended the Kushan throne in 78 CE, and that this date was used as the beginning of the Saka calendar era. However, historians no longer regard this date as that of Kanishka’s accession. Falk estimates that Kanishka came to the throne in 127 CE.
Samudragupta (Gupta script: Sa-mu-dra-gu-pta, r. c. (350-375 CE) was a ruler of the Gupta Empire of Ancient India. As a son of the Gupta emperor Chandragupta I and the Licchavi princess Kumaradevi, he greatly expanded his dynasty’s political power.
The Allahabad Pillar inscription, a prashasti (eulogy) composed by his courtier Harishena, credits him with extensive military conquests. It suggests that he defeated several kings of northern India, and annexed their territories to his empire. He also marched along the south-eastern coast of India, advancing as far as the Pallava kingdom. In addition, he subjugated several frontier kingdoms and tribal oligarchies. His empire extended from Ravi River in the west to the Brahmaputra River in the east, and from the Himalayan foothills in the north to central India in the south-west; several rulers along the south-eastern coast were his tributaries.
Samudragupta performed the Ashvamedha sacrifice to prove his imperial sovereignty, and according to his coins, remained undefeated. His gold coins and inscriptions suggest that he was an accomplished poet, and also played music. His expansionist policy was continued by his son Chandragupta II.
Pratap Singh I (9 May 1540 – 19 January 1597), popularly known as Maharana Pratap, was the 13th king of Mewar, a region in north-western India in the present-day state of Rajasthan. He was titled as “Mewari Rana” and was notable for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Mughal Empire.
Maharana Pratap was born in a Hindu Rajput family. He was born to Udai Singh II and Jaiwanta Bai. His younger brothers were Shakti Singh, Vikram Singh and Jagmal Singh. Pratap also had 2 stepsisters: Chand Kanwar and Man Kanwar. He was married to Ajabde Punwar of Bijolia and he had married 10 other women and was survived by 17 children including Amar Singh I. He belonged to the Royal Family of Mewar. After the death of Udai Singh in 1572, Rani Dheer Bai wanted her son Jagmal to succeed him but senior courtiers preferred Pratap, as the eldest son, to be their king. The desire of the nobles prevailed. Udai Singh died in 1572, and Prince Pratap ascended the throne as Maharana Pratap, the 54th ruler of Mewar in the line of the Sisodia Rajputs. Jagmal swore revenge and left for Ajmer, to join the armies of Akbar, and obtained the town of Jahazpur as a Jagir as a gift in return for his help.
Krishnadevaraya was a emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire who reigned from 1509–1529. He was the third ruler of the Tuluva Dynasty and is considered to be its greatest ruler. He possessed the largest empire in India after the decline of the Delhi Sultanate. Presiding over the empire at its zenith, he is regarded as an icon by many Indians. Krishnadevaraya earned the titles Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana (lit, “Lord of the Kannada empire”), Andhra Bhoja (lit, “Andhra Scholar King”) and Mooru Rayara Ganda (lit, “King of Three Kings”). He became the dominant ruler of the peninsula of India by defeating the Sultans of Bijapur, Golconda, the Bahmani Sultanate and the Gajapatis of Odisha, and was one of the most powerful Hindu rulers in India. Indeed, when the Mughal Emperor Babur was taking stock of the potentates of north India, Krishnadevaraya was rated the most powerful and had the most extensive empire in the subcontinent.Portuguese travellers Domingo Paes and Fernao Nuniz and syed ahmedalso visited the Vijayanagara Empire during his reign. Travelogues indicate that the king was not only an able administrator but also an excellent general, leading from the front in battle and even attending to the wounded.On occasion, the king changed battle plans abruptly, turning a losing battle into victory.The south Indian poet Muku Timmana praised him as the destroyer of the Turkics. Krishnadevaraya benefited from the able prime minister Timmarusu, who was regarded by the emperor as a father figure and was responsible for his coronation. And an intelligent advisor who guided him to success
Maharaja Ranjit Singh (13 November 1780 – 27 June 1839), popularly known as Sher-e-Punjab or “Lion of Punjab”, was the leader of the Sikh Empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. He survived smallpox in infancy but lost sight in his left eye. He fought his first battle alongside his father at age 10. After his father died, he fought several wars to expel the Afghans in his teenage years and was proclaimed as the “Maharaja of Punjab” at age 21. His empire grew in the Punjab region under his leadership through 1839. Prior to his rise, the Punjab region had numerous warring misls (confederacies), twelve of which were under Sikh rulers and one Muslim. Ranjit Singh successfully absorbed and united the Sikh misls and took over other local kingdoms to create the Sikh Empire. He repeatedly defeated invasions by outside armies, particularly those arriving from Afghanistan, and established friendly relations with the British.Ranjit Singh’s reign introduced reforms, modernisation, investment into infrastructure and general prosperity. His Khalsa army and government included Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and Europeans. His legacy includes a period of Sikh cultural and artistic renaissance, including the rebuilding of the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar as well as other major gurudwaras, including Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Bihar and Hazur Sahib Nanded, Maharashtra under his sponsorship. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was succeeded by his son Maharaja Kharak Singh.
Ajatashatru (492 to 460 BCE or early 5th century BCE) was a king of the Haryanka dynasty of Magadha in East India. He was the son of King Bimbisara and was a contemporary of both Mahavira (Nigantha Nataputta) and Gautama Buddha. He forcefully took over the kingdom of Magadha from his father and imprisoned him. He fought a war against Vajji, ruled by the Lichchhavis, and conquered the republic of Vesali.
Ajatashatru followed policies of conquest and expansion. He defeated his neighbours including the king of Kosala; his brothers, when at odds with him, went to Kashi, which had been given to Bimbisara as dowry. This led to a war between Magadha and Kosala. Ajatashatru occupied Kashi and captured the smaller kingdoms. Magadha under Ajatashatru became the most powerful kingdom in North India.
He is the inventor of two weapons used in war called rathamusala (Scythed chariot) and mahashilakantaka (engine for ejecting big stones).
Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar (October 1542– 27 October 1605), popularly known as Akbar the Great, (Akbar-i-azam اکبر اعظم), and also as Akbar I, was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. Akbar succeeded his father, Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. Akbar was succeeded as emperor by his son, Prince Salim, later known as Jahangir.
Bappa Rawal, also spelled as “Bappa Raval”, (c. 8th century) was a ruler of the Mewar region in Rajasthan, India. The bardic chronicles describe him as a member of the Guhila (Gahlot) clan (and thus an ancestor of the Sisodia dynasty), and some of these consider him as the founder of the Guhila dynasty. Different historians have identified him with various rulers of the Guhila dynasty, including Kalabhoja, Shiladitya, and Khumana.
According to legends, he captured the Chitrakuta (Chittor) fort, either from the mlechchhas (identified by modern historians with the Arabs) or the Moris.
Chandragupta Vikramaditya ( Chandragupta || )
Chandragupta II (Gupta script: Cha-ndra-gu-pta, r. c. 380 – c. 415 CE), also known by his title Vikramaditya, was one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta Empire in northern India.
Chandragupta continued the expansionist policy of his father Samudragupta: historical evidence suggests that he defeated the Western Kshatrapas, and extended the Gupta empire from the Indus River in the west to the Bengal region in the east, and from the Himalayan foothills in the north to the Narmada River in the south. His daughter Prabhavatigupta was a queen of the southern Vakataka kingdom, and he may have had influence in the Vakataka territory during her regency.
The Gupta empire reached its zenith during the rule of Chandragupta. Chinese pilgrim Faxian, who visited India during his reign, suggests that he ruled over a peaceful and prosperous kingdom. The legendary figure of Vikramaditya is probably based on Chandragupta II (among other kings), and the noted Sanskrit poet Kalidasa may have been his court poet.
Baji Rao I
Baji Rao I (18 August 1700 – 28 April 1740), born as Visaji, also known as Bajirao Ballal, was a general and statesman of the Maratha empire. He was the Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Chatrapati Shahu. In his 20-year military career, he never lost a battle and is generally considered to be one of the most successful conquerors.
Amoghavarsha I (also known as Amoghavarsha Nrupathunga I ) (r.814–878 CE) was a Rashtrakuta emperor, the greatest ruler of the Rashtrakuta dynasty, and one of the great emperors of India. His reign of 64 years is one of the longest precisely dated monarchical reigns on record. Many Kannada and Sanskrit scholars prospered during his rule, including the great Indian mathematician Mahaviracharya who wrote Ganita-sara-samgraha, Jinasena, Virasena, Shakatayan and Sri Vijaya (a Kannada language theorist). Amoghavarsha I was an accomplished poet and scholar. He wrote (or co-authored) the Kavirajamarga, the earliest extant literary work in Kannada, and Prashnottara Ratnamalika, a religious work in Sanskrit. During his rule he held titles such as Nrupathunga, Atishadhavala, Veeranarayana, Rattamarthanda and Srivallabha. He moved the Rashtrakuta regal capital from Mayurkhandi in the Bidar district to Manyakheta in the Gulbarga district in the modern Karnataka state.
Bindusara (r. c. 297 – c. 273 BCE), also Amitraghāta or Amitrakhāda (Sanskrit for “slayer of enemies” or “devourer of enemies”) or Amitrochates (Greek: Ἀμιτροχάτης) was the second Mauryan emperor of India. He was the son of the dynasty’s founder Chandragupta and the father of its most famous ruler Ashoka. Bindusara’s life is not documented as well as the lives of these two emperors: much of the information about him comes from legendary accounts written several hundred years after his death.
Bindusara consolidated the empire created by his father. The 16th century Tibetan Buddhist author Taranatha credits his administration with extensive territorial conquests in southern India, but some historians doubt the historical authenticity of this claim.
Bhagabhadra was one of the kings of the Indian Shunga dynasty. He ruled in north, central, and eastern India around 110 BCE. Although the capital of the Shungas was at Pataliputra, he was also known to have held court at Vidisha. It is thought that the name Bhagabhadra also appears in the regnal lists of the Shungas in the Puranic records, under the name Bhadraka, fifth ruler of the Shungas.
Dantidurga (reigned 735–756 CE), also known as Dantivarman or Dantidurga II was the founder of the Rashtrakuta Empire of Manyakheta. His capital was based in Gulbarga region of Karnataka. His successor was his uncle Krishna I who extended his kingdom to all of Karnataka.
The Ellora record of Dantidurga narrates that he defeated the Chalukyas in 753 and took the titles Rajadhiraja and Parameshvara. The inscription calls him son of Indra II. The Samangad inscription (modern Kholapur district, Maharashtra) states his mother was a Chalukyan princess from Gujarat called Bhavanaga. The same inscription states he defeated the invincible Karnata-Bala of the Badami Chalukyas. Further he defeated the kings of Lata (Gujarat), Malwa, Tanka, Kalinga and Sheshas (Nagas) in central India and performed many sacrifices. Though he conquered the Chalukyan Empire, it is clear from the Vakkaleri inscription of 757 that the Chalukyan Emperor Kirtivarman II retained control over his southern provinces up to the year 757.
Bukka Raya I
Bukka (reigned 1356–1377 CE), also known as Bukka Raya I, was an emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire from the Sangama Dynasty. The early life of Bukka as well as his brother Hakka (also known as Harihara I) are relatively unknown and most accounts of their early life are based on various theories (see the Vijayanagara Empire article for more extended descriptions of these). The Father heras theory states that Sangama brothers had a great devotion to the Karnataka deities like Virupaksha and Keshava. They signed only in Kannada letters like “Sri Virupaksha” in Sanskrit, Telugu, and Tamil records. Dr. Desai quotes that ferishta called the emperors as “Roise of Carnatic”. Carnatic means “Karnataka” hence shows their origin from Karnataka.
Govinda III (reign 793–814 CE) was a famous Rashtrakuta ruler who succeeded his illustrious father Dhruva Dharavarsha. He was militarily the most successful emperor of the dynasty with successful conquests-from Cape Comorin in the south to Kannauj in the north, from Banaras in the east to Broach (Bharuch) in the west. He held such titles as Prabhutavarsha, Jagattunga, Anupama, Kirthinarayana, Prithvivallabha, Shrivallabha, Vimaladitya, Atishayadhavala and Tribhuvanadhavala. From the Someshvara inscription of 804 it is known that Gamundabbe was his chief queen.
Harihara I, also called Hakka and Vira Harihara I, was the founder of the Vijayanagara empire, which he ruled from 1336 to 1356 CE He and his successors formed the Sangama dynasty, the first of four dynasties to rule the empire. He was Bhavana Sangama’s eldest son.The early life of Hakka and his brother Bukka is relatively unknown and most accounts are based on various theories. Ballappa Dandanayaka, a nephew of the Hoysala emperor Veera Ballala III, had married a daughter of Harihara. This shows that Harihara was associated with the Hoysala Court. Immediately after coming to power, he built a fort at Barkuru, on the west coast of present-day Karnataka. It appears from inscriptions that he was administering the northern parts of present-day Karnataka from his seat at Gooty (Gutti), Ananthpur district in 1339. He initially controlled the northern portions of the Hoysala Empire before taking full control over its entire range after the death of Hoysala Veera Ballala III in 1343.
Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia (26 June 1916 – 16 July 1961) of the Scindia dynasty of the Marathas was the last reigning Maharaja of Gwalior state in central India, and the rajpramukh (appointed governor) of the former state of Madhya Bharat, India. The Maharaja was and still is very popular due to his interest in model railroads. He assembled a toy train of silver in his palace dining table in Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior to serve food, wines and chutneys to the guests.
Ismail Adil Shah
Ismail Adil Shah (1498–1534; reigned 1510–34) was the king of Bijapur who spent most of his time extending his territory. His short-lived reign helped the dynasty establish a stronghold in the Deccan. Ismail Adil Shah succeeded his father Yusuf Adil Shah as the king of Bijapur as a minor. The affairs of the state were managed by the minister Kamal Khan. During this phase, Kamal Khan imprisoned the young king and tried a coup. Punji Khatun the mother of Ismail hatched a counter-plot and Kamal Khan was stabbed to death in the royal palace.
Krishna III whose Kannada name was Kannara (r. 939 – 967 C.E.) was the last great warrior and able monarch of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty of Manyakheta. He was a shrewd administrator and skillful military campaigner. He waged many wars to bring back the glory of the Rashtrakutas and played an important role in rebuilding the Rashtrakuta empire. He patronised the famous Kannada poets Sri Ponna, who wrote Shanti purana, Gajankusha, also known as Narayana, who wrote on erotics, and the Apabhramsha poet Pushpadanta who wrote Mahapurana and other works. His queen was a Chedi princess and his daughter Bijjabbe was married to a Western Ganga prince. During his rule he held titles such as Akalavarsha, Maharajadhiraja, Parameshvara, Paramamaheshvara, Shri Prithvivallabha etc. At his peak, he ruled a vast empire stretching from the Narmada river in the north to the Kaveri river delta in the south. A copper grant of 993 issued by the Shilahara king of Thana claims the Rashtrakuta control extended from the Himalayas in the north to Ceylon in the south and from the eastern sea to the western seas. The grant states that when King Krishna III mobilised his armies, the kings of Chola, Bengal, Kannauj, Andhra and Pandya regions used to quiver.
Mayurasharma (or Mayuravarma) (reigned 345–365 C.E.), a Kannada scholar and a native of Talagunda (in modern Shimoga district), was the founder of the Kadamba Kingdom of Banavasi, the earliest native kingdom to rule over what is today the modern state of Karnataka, India. Before the rise of the Kadambas, the centres of power ruling the land were outside the Karnataka region; thus the Kadambas’ ascent to power as an independent geo-political entity, with Kannada, the language of the soil as a major regional language, is a landmark event in the history of modern Karnataka with Mayurasharma as an important historical figure. The earliest Kannada language inscriptions are attributed to the Kadambas of Banavasi.
Mahendravarman I (600–630 CE) was a Pallava king who ruled the Southern portion of present day Andhra region and Northern regions of what forms present-day Tamil Nadu in India in the early 7th century. He was a scholar, painter, architect, musician. He was the son of Simhavishnu, who defeated the Kalabhras and re-established the Pallava kingdom.
During his reign, the Chalukya king Pulakeshin II attacked the Pallava kingdom. The Pallavas fought a series of wars in the northern Vengi region, before Mahendravarma decimated his chief enemies at Pullalur (according to Pallava grants at Kuram, kasakudi and tadantottam). Although Mahendravarma saved his capital, he lost the northern provinces to Pulakeshin. Tamil literature flourished under his rule, with the rise in popularity of Tevaram written by Appar and Sambandhar. Mahendravarman I was the author of the play Mattavilasa Prahasana which is a sanskrit satire and another play called Bhagavadajjuka.
Mahendravarma was succeeded to the throne by his more famous son Narasimhavarman I in 630 CE.
who defeated Pulakeshin II of Chalukya dynasty and ransacked the Chalukyan capital city of Vatapi (also known as Badami).
Mahadaji Shinde (3 December 1730-12 February 1794) also spelled as Mahadji Scindia was a Maratha Statesman and ruler of Ujjain in Central India. He was the fifth and the youngest son of Ranoji Rao Scindia, the founder of the Scindia dynasty. Mahadaji was instrumental in resurrecting Maratha power in North India after the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761, and rose to become a trusted lieutenant of the Peshwa, leader of the Maratha Empire. Along with Madhavrao I and Nana Fadnavis, he was one of the three pillars of Maratha Resurrection. During his reign, Gwalior became the leading state in the Maratha Empire and one of the foremost military powers in India. After accompanying Shah Alam II in 1771 to Delhi, he restored the Mughals in Delhi and became the Vakil-ul-Mutlaq (Regent of the Empire)’. Mahadji Shinde’s principal Advisors were all Shenvis.
Mihira Bhoja (c. 836–885 CE) or Bhoja I was a ruler of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty of India. He succeeded his father Ramabhadra. Bhoja was a devotee of Vishnu and adopted the title of Ādivarāha which is inscribed on some of his coins. One of the outstanding political figures of India in ninth century, he ranks with Dhruva Dharavarsha and Dharmapala as a great general and empire builder.At its height, Bhoja’s empire extended to Narmada River in the South, Sutlej River in the northwest, and up to Bengal in the east. It extended over a large area from the foot of the Himalayas up to the river Narmada and included the present district of Etawah in Uttar Pradesh.
Porus or Poros (from Ancient Greek: Πῶρος, Pôros), was an ancient Indian king, whose territory spanned the region between the Hydaspes (Jhelum River) and Acesines (Chenab River), in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. He is credited to have been a legendary warrior with exceptional skills. Porus fought against Alexander the Great in the Battle of the Hydaspes (326 BC), thought to be fought at the site of modern-day Mong, Punjab, which is now part of Pakistan. Though not recorded in any available ancient Indian source, Ancient Greek historians have described the battle and the aftermath of Alexander’s victory.
Anecdotally, after the defeat and arrest of Porus in the war, Alexander asked Porus how he would like to be treated. Porus, although defeated, proudly stated that he would like to be treated like a king. Alexander was reportedly so impressed by his adversary that he not only reinstated him as a satrap of his own kingdom but also granted him dominion over lands to the south-east extending until the Hyphasis (Beas). Porus reportedly died sometime between 321 and 315 BC.
Pulakeshin II (IAST: Pulakeśin, r. c. 610–642 CE) was the most famous ruler of the Chalukya dynasty of Vatapi (present-day Badami in Karnataka, India). During his reign, the Chalukya kingdom expanded to cover most of the Deccan region in peninsular India.
A son of the Chalukya king Kirttivarman I, Pulakeshin overthrew his uncle Mangalesha to gain control of the throne. He suppressed a rebellion by Appayika and Govinda, and decisively defeated the Kadambas of Banavasi in the south. The Alupas and the Gangas of Talakadu recognized his suzerainty. He consolidated the Chalukya control over the western coast by subjugating the Mauryas of Konkana. His Aihole inscription also credits him with subjugating the Latas, the Malavas, and the Gurjaras in the north.
Rani Lakshmi Bai
Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi (19 November 1828 – 18 June 1858), was an Indian queen of the Maratha princely state of Jhansi in North India currently present in Jhansi district in Uttar Pradesh, India. She was one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and became a symbol of resistance to the British Raj for Indian nationalists.
Maharana Sangram Singh Sisodia (12 April 1482 – 30 January 1528), popularly known as Rana Sanga, was an Indian ruler of Mewar and head of a powerful Rajput confederacy in Rajputana during the 16th century. Sanga succeeded his father, Rana Raimal, as king of Mewar in 1508. He fought against the Afghan Lodhi dynasty of Delhi Sultanate, and later against the Turkic Mughals of Ferghana.
He controlled present-day Rajasthan, North Gujarat and half of Madhya Pradesh. His capital was Chittor
Rajendra Chola I
Rajendra Chola I or Rajendra I was a Tamil Chola emperor of South India Present day of (Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Pondicherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep) who succeeded his father Rajaraja Chola I to the throne in 1014 CE. During his reign, he extended the influence of the Chola empire to the banks of the river Ganga in North India Present day of (Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal) and he Captured and Controlled the Whole Indian ocean and South India Present day of (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives) South East Asia Present day of (Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines) making the Chola Empire one of the most powerful maritime empires of India. Rajendra’s conquests included Sri Lanka, Maldives, and he successfully invaded the territories of Srivijaya in Malay Peninsula, Southern Thailand, Sumatra and Java in South East Asia. The Cholas exacted tribute from Thailand and the Khmer kingdom of Cambodia.
Pushyamitra Shunga (ruled c. 185 – c. 149 BCE) was the founder and first ruler of the Shunga Empire in East India. He was a follower of Hinduism.
Pushyamitra was originally a Senapati “General” of the Maurya Empire. In 185 BCE he assassinated the last Mauryan Emperor, Brihadratha Maurya, during an army review, and proclaimed himself emperor.
Pushyamitra is recorded to have performed numerous Ashvamedha campaigns to legitimize his right to rule.
Inscriptions of the Shungas have been found as far as the Ayodhya (the Dhanadeva-Ayodhya inscription), and the Divyavadana mentions that he sent an army to persecute Buddhist monks as far as Sakala (Sialkot) in the Punjab region in the northwest.
The Buddhist texts state that Pushyamitra cruelly persecuted the Buddhists, although some modern scholars have expressed skepticism about these claims.
Shahu Bhosale I (1682–1749 CE) was the fifth Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire created by his grandfather, Shivaji. Born in the Bhonsle family, he was the son of Sambhaji, Shivaji’s eldest son and successor. Shahu, as a child, was taken prisoner along with his mother in 1689 by Mughal sardar, Zulfikar Khan Nusrat Jang After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, leading Mughal courtiers released Shahu with a force of fifty men, thinking that a friendly Maratha leader would be a useful ally. At that time he fought a brief war with his aunt Tarabai in an internecine conflict to gain the Maratha throne in 1708.Under Shahu’s reign, Maratha power and influence extended to all corners of the Indian subcontinent. He was a powerful ruler of the Maratha samrajya (kingdom) after Shivaji I and Sambhaji I. However, after his death, power moved from the ruling Chhatrapati to his ministers (the Peshwas) and the generals who had carved out their own fiefdoms such as Bhonsle of Nagpur, Gaekwad of Baroda, Sindhia of Gwalior and Holkar of Indore.
Raziya al-Din (r. 1236–1240), popularly known as Razia Sultana, was a ruler of the Delhi Sultanate in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. She is notable for being the first female Muslim ruler of the Indian Subcontinent.
A daughter of Mamluk Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish, Razia administered Delhi during 1231–1232 when her father was busy in the Gwalior campaign. According to a possibly apocryphal legend, impressed by her performance during this period, Iltutmish nominated Razia as his heir apparent after returning to Delhi. Iltutmish was succeeded by Razia’s half-brother Ruknuddin Firuz, whose mother Shah Turkan planned to execute her. During a rebellion against Ruknuddin, Razia instigated the general public against Shah Turkan, and ascended the throne after Ruknuddin was deposed in 1236.
The Shaishunaga dynasty is believed to have been the third ruling dynasty of Magadha, an empire of ancient India. According to the Hindu Puranas, this dynasty was the second ruling dynasty of Magadha, succeeding Nagadashaka of the Haryanka dynasty.
Shishunaga, the founder of the dynasty, was initially an amatya or “minister” of the last Haryanka dynasty ruler Nāgadāsaka and ascended to the throne after a popular rebellion in c. 421 BCE. The capital of this dynasty initially was Rajgir; but later shifted to Pataliputra, near the present day Patna, during the reign of Kakavarna. According to tradition, Kakavarna was succeeded by his ten sons. This dynasty was succeeded by the Nanda Empire in c. 345 BCE.
Skandagupta (Gupta script: Ska-nda-gu-pta, r. c. 455-467) was a Gupta Emperor of northern India. His Bhitari pillar inscription suggests that he restored the Gupta power by defeating his enemies, who may have been rebels or foreign invaders. He repulsed an invasion by the Indo-Hephthalites (known as Hunas in India), probably the Kidarites. He seems to have maintained control of his inherited territory, and is generally considered the last of the great Gupta Emperors. The Gupta genealogy after him is unclear, but he was most probably succeeded by Purugupta, who appears to have been his half-brother.
Simuka (Dhamma lipi?????, Si-mu-ka) was an Indian king belonging to the Satavahana dynasty. He is mentioned as the first king in a list of royals in a Satavahana inscription at Nanaghat. In the Puranas, the name of the first Andhra (Satavahana) king is variously spelt as Shivmukha, Sishuka, Sindhuka, Chhismaka, Shipraka, Srimukha, etc. These are believed to be corrupted spellings of “Simuka”, resulting from copying and re-copying of manuscripts.Based on available evidence, Simuka cannot be dated with certainty. According to one theory, he lived in 3rd century BCE; but he is generally thought to have lived in the 1st century BCE. Epigraphical evidence strongly suggests a 1st century BCE date for Simuka: Simuka seems to be mentioned as the father the acting king Satakarni in the Naneghat inscription dated to 70-60 BCE, itself considered on palaeographical grounds to be posterior to the Nasik Caves inscription of Kanha (probably Simuka’s brother) in Cave 19, dated to 100-70 BCE. Recent analysis of sources puts Simuka´s reign possibly around 120 – 96 BCE.According to the Puranic lists of future kings, “137 years after the accession of Chandragupta Maurya, the Sungas will rule for 112 years and then the Kanvayanas for 45 years whose last king Susharman will be killed by the Andhra Simuka”.
Vishnugupta Candraditya was one of the lesser known kings of the Gupta Dynasty. He is generally considered to be the last recognized king of the Gupta Empire. His reign lasted 10 years, from 540 to 550 CE. From the fragment of his clay sealing discovered at Nalanda during the excavations of 1927–28, it is revealed that he was the son of Kumaragupta III and the grandson of Narasimhagupta.The last (the Damodarpur copper-plate inscription), in which he makes a land grant in the area of Kotivarsha (Bangarh in West Bengal) in 542/543 CE. This follows the occupation of most of northern and central India by the Aulikara ruler Yashodharman circa 532 CE.According to a Nalanda seal, Vishnugupta was son of Kumaragupta, and grandson of Purugupta.
Vikramaditya VI (r. 1076 – 1126 CE) became the Western Chalukya King after deposing his elder brother Someshvara II, a political move he made by gaining the support of Chalukya vassals during the Chola invasion of Chalukya territory. Vikramaditya’s reign is marked with the abolishment of the Saka era and the start of the Chalukya-Vikrama era. He was the greatest of the Western Chalukya kings and had the longest reign in the dynasty. He earned the title Permadideva and Tribhuvanamalla (lit “lord of three worlds”). He had several queens who ably assisted him in administration. One of his queens, Chandala Devi, a princess from the Shilahara ruling family of Karad was called Abhinava Saraswati for her skills as an artist. Queen Kethala Devi administered the Siruguppa region and Savala Devi was in charge of an Agrahara in Naregal. According to the historian Kamath, Vikramaditya VI was a “great king who ruled over South India” and he finds a “pride of place in Karnataka history”. More inscriptions in Kannada are attributed to Vikramaditya VI than any other king prior to the Vijayanagara era.Vikramaditya VI is noted for his patronage of art and letters. His court was adorned with famous Kannada and Sanskrit poets. In Kannada, his brother prince Kirtivarma wrote Govaidya on veterinary science and the poet Brahmashiva wrote Samayaparikshe (“Analysis of the doctrine”, c. 1125) and received the title Kavi Chakravarti (lit, “Emperor among poets”) Noted Sanskrit scholars such as Bilhana who earned the title Vidyapati (“pundit”) came to his court from faraway Kashmir and wrote a panegyric on the life of his patron king in Vikramankadevacharita. The poet compared his rule to Ramarajya (“Rama’s Kingdom”). Vijnaneshwara the noted jurist in his court wrote Mitakshara, a commentary on Yagnavalkya Smriti (on Hindu family law). Of the king he wrote “A King like Vikramarka is neither to be seen nor heard of”. Vikramaditya VI is known to be a Shaiva by faith. His rule saw prolific temple building activity. Notable constructions include the Mallikarjuna temple, the Mahadeva temple the Kaitabheshvara temple and the Kalleshvara temple. According to historian Sen, the 50-year reign of Vikramaditya VI was overall a peaceful and prosperous one. Sen estimates at his peak Vikramaditya VI controlled a vast empire stretching from the Tumkur district and Cuddapah in the south to the Narmada river in the north, and up to the Khammam district and the Godavari district in the east and south-east.
Raja Raja Chola I
Rajaraja I, born Arulmoli Varman, often described as Rajaraja the Great, was a Chola emperor (reigned c. 985–1014) chiefly remembered for reinstating the Chola power and ensuring its supremacy in south India and Indian Ocean.
His extensive empire included the Pandya country (southern Tamil Nadu), the Chera country (Malabar Coast and western Tamil Nadu) and northern Sri Lanka. He also acquired the Lakshadweep and Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean. Campaigns against the Western Gangas (southern Karnataka) and Chalukyas extended the Chola influence as far as the Tungabhadra River. On the eastern coast he battled with the Chalukyas for the possession of Vengi (the Godavari districts).Rajaraja, an able administrator, also built the great Brihadisvara Temple at the Chola capital Thanjavur. The temple is regarded as the foremost of all temples in the medieval south Indian architectural style. During his reign, the texts of the Tamil poets Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar were collected and edited into one compilation called Thirumurai. He initiated a massive project of land survey and assessment in 1000 CE which led to the reorganisation of the country into individual units known as valanadus. Rajaraja died in 1014 CE and was succeeded by his son Rajendra Chola I.
Vikramaditya II (reigned 733 – 744 CE) was the son of King Vijayaditya and ascended the Badami Chalukya throne following the death of his father. This information comes from the Lakshmeshwar inscriptions in Kannada dated 13 January 735 A.D. From inscriptions it has come to be known that even before his coronation, Vikramaditya II, as a crown prince (Yuvaraja), had conducted successful military campaigns against their arch enemy, the Pallavas of Kanchipuram. His most important achievements were the capture of Kanchipuram on three occasions, the first time as a crown prince, the second time as an emperor and the third time under the leadership of his son and crown prince Kirtivarman II. This is attested to by another Kannada inscription, known as the Virupaksha Temple inscription which alludes to the emperor as the conqueror of Kanchi on three occasions and reads Sri Vikramaditya-bhatarar-mume-Kanchiyan-mume parajisidor. The other notable achievement was the consecration of the famous Virupaksha Temple (Lokeshwara temple) and Mallikarjuna Temple (Trilokeshwara temple) by his queens Lokadevi and Trilokadevi at Pattadakal. These two monuments are the centre piece of the UNESCO World Heritage Monuments at Pattadakal. Vikramaditya II was a powerful ruler and was in power for 40 years. In order to maintain peace he entered into marriage alliance with rashtrakutas.
Sambhaji Bhosale (14 May 1657 – 11 March 1689) was the second ruler of the Maratha kingdom. He was the eldest son of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire and his first wife Saibai. He was successor of the realm after his father’s death, and ruled it for nine years. Sambhaji’s rule was largely shaped by the ongoing wars between the Maratha kingdom and Mughal Empire as well as other neighbouring powers such as the Siddis, Mysore and the Portuguese in Goa. In 1689, Sambhaji was captured, tortured and executed by the Mughals. He was succeeded by his brother Rajaram I.
Hemu ( also known as Hemu Vikramaditya and Hemchandra Vikramaditya; died 5 November 1556) was a Hindu king who previously served as a general and Chief Minister of Adil Shah Suri of the Suri dynasty during a period in Indian history when the Mughals and Afghans were vying for power across North India. He fought Afghan rebels across North India from the Punjab to Bengal and the Mughal forces of Humayun and Akbar in Agra and Delhi, winning 22 battles for Adil Shah.Hemu claimed royal status after defeating Akbar’s Mughal forces on 7 October 1556 in the Battle of Delhi and assumed the ancient title of Vikramaditya that had been adopted by many Hindu kings in the past. A month later, Hemu was wounded by a chance arrow and captured unconscious during the Second Battle of Panipat. Akbar’s regent, Bairam Khan beheaded the almost dead Hemu shortly thereafter.
Maharaja Suraj Mal (February 1707 – 25 December 1763) or Sujan Singh was a Hindu Jat ruler of Bharatpur in Rajasthan, India. Under him, the Jat rule covered the present-day districts of Agra, Aligarh, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Etawa, Gurgaon, Hathras, Mainpuri, Mathura, Mewat, Meerut, Rewari, and Rohtak.A contemporary historian had described him as “the Plato of the Jat tribe” and by a modern writer as the “Jat Odysseus”, because of his “political sagacity, steady intellect and clear vision”. The Jats, under Suraj Mal, overran the Mughal garrison at Agra. Suraj Mal was killed in an ambush by the Mughal Army on the night of 25 December 1763 near Hindon River, Shahadra, Delhi. In addition to the troops stationed at his forts, he had an army of 25,000 infantry and 15,000 cavalry when he died.
Alha was a legendary general of the Chandel king Paramardideva (also known as Parmal), who fought Prithviraj Chauhan in 1182 CE, immortalised in the Alha-Khand ballad.
Alha and Udal were children of the Dasraj, a successful commander of the army of Chandel king Parmal. They belonged to the Banaphar community, described as of mixed Ahir and Rajput background. and fought against Rajputs such as Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Mahil. Purana states that Mahil a Rajput and an enemy of Alha and Udal said that Alha has come to be of a different family (kule htnatvamagatah) because his mother is an Aryan Ahir.
Tarabai Bhonsale (1675 – 9 December 1761) was the regent of the Maratha Empire of India from 1700 until 1708. She was the queen of Chhatrapati Rajaram Bhonsale, daughter-in-law of the empire’s founder Shivaji and mother of Shivaji II. She is acclaimed for her role in keeping alive the resistance against Mughal occupation of Maratha territories after the death of her spouse, and acted as regent during the minority of her son. Her efforts for preservation of indigenous culture is widely lauded.
Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma 1706 – 7 July 1758, known as the Maker of Modern Travancore, was ruler of the Indian kingdom of Travancore (Venadu) from 1729 until his death in 1758. He was succeeded by Rama Varma (“Dharma Raja”) (1758–98).Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch (VOC) forces at the Battle of Colachel in 1741. He then adopted a European mode of discipline for his army and expanded his kingdom northward (to what became the modern state of Travancore). He built a sizeable standing army of about 50,000 men, as part of designing an “elaborate and well-organised” war machine, with the role of the Nair nobility (on which kings of Kerala had earlier been dependent for battles), and fortified the northern boundary of his kingdom (Travancore Lines). His alliance in 1757 with the ruler of Kochi (Cochin), against the northern Kingdom of Calicut, enabled the kingdom of Kochi to survive.Travancore under Marthanda Varma made a deliberate attempt to consolidate its power by the use of Indian Ocean trade. It was the policy of Marthanda Varma to offer assistance to Syrian Christian traders (as a means of limiting European involvement in ocean trade). The principal merchandise was black pepper, but other goods also came to be defined as royal monopoly items (requiring a license for trade) between the 1740s and the 1780s. Eventually, Travancore challenged and broke the Dutch blockade of the Kerala coast.Trivandrum became a prominent city in Kerala under Marthanda Varma. In January, 1750, Marthanda Varma decided to “donate” his kingdom to Sri Padmanabha (Vishnu) and thereafter rule as the deity’s “vice-regent” (Sri Padmanabha Dasa). Marthanda Varma’s policies were continued in large measure by his successor, Rama Varma (“Dharma Raja”) (1758–98).
Lalitaditya alias Muktapida (IAST: Lalitāditya Muktāpīḍa; r. c. 724 CE–760 CE) was a powerful ruler of the Karkota dynasty of Kashmir region in the Indian subcontinent.
The 12th-century chronicler Kalhana characterizes Lalitaditya as a world conqueror, crediting him with extensive conquests and miraculous powers in his Rajatarangini. According to Kalhana, Lalitaditya defeated the central Indian king Yashovarman, and then marched to eastern and southern parts of India. He subjugated several more rulers on his way back to Kashmir, and then subdued several northern kings. Based on a reconstruction of Kalhana’s account, art historian Hermann Goetz (1969) theorized that Lalitaditya managed to create a short-lived empire that included major parts of India as well as present-day Afghanistan and Central Asia. Goetz’ analysis was accepted and cited widely by subsequent authors writing on the history of Kashmir. However, Kalhana’s account is not supported by the records of Lalitaditya’s neighbouring rulers; for example, the Tang dynasty chronicles present him as a vassal of the Tang emperor. As a result, several other scholars have dismissed Kalhana’s account as legendary exaggeration.
Despite these exaggerations, Lalitaditya is generally accepted as the most powerful king of his dynasty. He commissioned a number of shrines in Kashmir, including the now-ruined Martand Sun Temple. He also established several towns, including a new capital at Parihasapura, although he also maintained the dynasty’s traditional capital at Srinagara.
Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram ( 5 January 1592 – 22 January 1666), better known by his regnal name, Shah Jahan (Persian: شاه جهان, lit. ‘King of the World’), was the fifth Mughal emperor, and reigned from 1628 to 1658. Under his reign, the Mughal Empire reached the peak of its cultural glory. Although an able military commander, Shah Jahan is best remembered for his architectural achievements. His reign ushered in the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan commissioned many monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal in Agra, in which is entombed his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. His relationship with Mumtaz Mahal has been heavily adapted into Indian art, literature and cinema. He owned the royal treasury and several precious stones such as the Kohinoor, worth around 23% of the world GDP during his time, and he has thus often been regarded as the wealthiest Indian in history.Shah Jahan was considered the most competent of Emperor Jahangir’s four sons. Jahangir’s death in late 1627 spurred a war of succession, from which Shah Jahan emerged victorious after much intrigue. He put to death all of his rivals for the throne and crowned himself emperor in January 1628 in Agra, under the regnal title “Shah Jahan” (which was originally given to him as a princely title).
Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV
Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar; 4 June 1884 – 3 August 1940) was the twenty-fourth maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore, from 1894 until his death in 1940. At the time of his death, he was one of the world’s wealthiest men, with a personal fortune estimated in 1940 to be worth US$400 million, equivalent to $7 billion at 2018 prices. He was the second-wealthiest Indian, after Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nizam of Hyderabad.
He was a philosopher-king, who was seen by Paul Brunton as living the ideal expressed in Plato’s Republic. He has been compared to Emperor Ashoka by the English statesman Lord Samuel. Acknowledging Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV’s noble and efficient kingship, Lord John Sankey declared in 1930 at the Round Table Conference in London, “Mysore is the best administered state in the world”.The vernacular name Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar comes from the word “nalwadi” meaning “the fourth” in Kannada.
Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri (1486 – 22 May 1545), born Farīd Khān, referred to as Sher Khan in the scholarly literature, popularly known also as Hazrat-i-Ala and he belongs to Kakar, Barakzai tribe, was the founder of the Suri Empire in India, with its capital in Sasaram in modern-day Bihar. He introduced the currency of rupee.An ethnic Pashtun ruler, Sher Shah took control of the Mughal Empire in 1540. After his accidental death in 1545, his son Islam Shah became his successor.He first served as a private before rising to become a commander in the Mughal army under Babur and then the governor of Bihar. In 1537, when Babur’s son Humayun was elsewhere on an expedition, Sher Shah overran the state of Bengal and established the Suri dynasty. A brilliant strategist, Sher Shah proved himself as a gifted Muslim administrator as well as a capable general. His reorganization of the empire laid the foundations for the later Mughal emperors, notably Akbar, son of Humayun.During his five-year rule from 1540 to 1545, he set up a new economic and military administration, issued the first Rupiya from “Tanka” and organized the postal system of the Indian Subcontinent.Some of his strategies and contributions were later idolized by the Mughal emperors, most notably Akbar.
Narasimhavarman I or Narasimha Varma I was a king of the Pallava dynasty who ruled South India from 630–668 AD. He shared his father Mahendravarman I’s love of art and completed the work started by Mahendravarman in Mamallapuram. During his reign famous Pancha Rathas Temple was constructed which is Rock Cut Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
He avenged his father’s defeat at the hands of the Chalukya king, Pulakeshin II in the year 642 AD . Narasimhavarman I was also known as Mahamalla (great wrestler), and Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) was named after him.
It was during his reign, in 640 AD, that the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited Kanchipuram.Narasimhavarman I was a devotee of Shiva. The great Nayanar saints like Appar, Siruthondar and Tirugnanasambandar lived during his reign.Narasimhavarman I was succeeded by his son Mahendravarman II in the year 668 AD.
Yashovarman (IAST: Yaśovarman) was a medieval Indian ruler of Kannauj, who founded the Varman dynasty of Kannauj. There are few sources that provide information of his life, although he was indubitably a powerful man.