‘It’s good to be the King.’ India has been home to some of the greatest rulers in the world. Be it top-notch administrative capability or skilled warfare, we had it all. History is about people who have shown strength & character. It doesn’t have any place for the mediocre. Some of the great kings in India had the potential to conquer the entire world. India boasts of some of the greatest warriors in world history. When we look back at our illustrious history, there are a lot of names that crop up. Let’s take a look at some of these greats that created a place for themselves in Indian & World History.
- Rajendra Chola (son of Rajaraj Chola) 1012-1044 CE
Rajendra Chola was one of the strongest rulers in the history of Tamil Nadu. He was an able administrator & supremely talented warrior. His empire extended to the coast of Burma, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Maldives &Pegu Islands. During his reign, Cholas became one of the most powerful dynasties in Indian History.
- Sher Shah Suri (1486-1505)
Sher Khan, Farid Khan or Sher Shah Surifounded the Suri Empire after defeating the Mughals. He was considered to be the most capable army general in Indian History and a great strategist in military warfare. His physical strength is also remembered in connection with him tearing into a tiger without the use of any weapon, just using his bare hands.
- Harshavardhana (7th century)
Harshavardhana ascended to the throne after the death of his brother. The powerful emperor of Central India consolidated most parts of Southern India & also led to the downfall of the Gupta Dynasty. A highly respected ruler from the Vardhana Empire, he successfully preventedthe advance of emperors from the south such as Pulakesin in the north.
- Krishnadevaraya (Vijayanagar Empire)
One of the greatest South Indian kings of all time, Krishnadevaraya united all the southern kingdoms. He repelled the Mughal Invasions & also built beautiful temples in southern India.
- Samudragupta (4th century AD)
The son & successor of Chandragupta I of Gupta Dynasty, Samudragupta was the greatest ruler of the dynasty. He was also called the “Napoleon of India.”He conquered the entire Indian sub-continent during his reign he marked the Golden Age of India. He led many military campaigns and annexed the entire subcontinent for which he earned the title of ‘Rajadiraja.’ He was chosen to succeed his father though he wasn’t the eldest son. His ascension to the throne was purely on the basis of merit.
- Chandragupta Maurya (340 BC)
The first emperor in Indian History, Chandragupta was the grandfather of Ashoka. He united the various kingdoms & territories within India & defended it from foreign invasion. He is remembered in history books even today. He defeated the Prime Minister of Alexander &earned a distinction for that in Greek & Latin records. One of the greatest scholars in Indian History, Chanakya, was his advisor. Chanakya devised methods and strategies for Chandragupta to defeat his enemies. He founded the Mauryan Empire.
- Maharana Pratap
A brave Hindu Rajput ruler from Rajasthan, he fought against the Mughal Kings & even took on Akbar. He is remembered for saving his homeland from the clutches of the foreigners. Eventually, he sacrificed his life while protecting the motherland. His legendary horse, Chetak supported him in all his ventures.
- Prithviraj Chauhan
A king from the Hindu Chauhan dynasty, Prithviraj defeated Ghauri in the First Battle of Tarain. He ruled the Kingdom of Ajmer & Delhi during the 12th century. After defeating Ghauri, Prithviraj let him go as a free gesture.
- Shivaji (1627-1680)
The Founder of the Maratha Empire, Chhatrapati Shivaji was a gallant ruler whose empire enclosed the entire Indian sub-continent at one point of time. He was one of the few brave Indian rulers to resist the Mughals. He also formed the HindaviSwarajya& for the first time called for a complete Hindu rule. He was famous for introducing guerrilla warfare tactics in India.
- Emperor Ashoka (304 BC)
He ruled over an area of 3 Million sq. Km, one of the largest territories Indian emperors ever held. He later had a change after the war of Kalinga& embraced Buddhism. He spread Buddhism outside Indian borders. The wheel in our National Flag is attributed to Ashoka. It is called the Ashoka Chakra. He is said to have influenced several Asian countries.