The rich history of India has a lot to offer to movie makers. Intriguing stories, ingrained melancholia of the past, the prosperous kingdoms, the foreign invasions! The subsequent British colonial rule and the pathos of partition have also provided plenty of material for movies on freedom fighters to even ordinary people who were victims of the same. These Indian historical movies can range from big-budget extravaganza to low-budget delight of a watch. Let’s have a look at some of the best Indian historical movies that have done justice to history.
1. Jodhaa Akbar
The epic love story between the Mughal emperor Akbar and Rajput princess Jodhaa was brilliantly presented on screen by ace director Ashutosh Gowariker. The movie moves at a comforting pace, the music is brilliant, and the setting is magnificent. It is a treat for all history and romance film enthusiasts.
Although the movie faced a lot of backlash regarding its historical accuracy, this adaptation of the life of King Asoka and his inspirational change from a ruthless king to the propagator of the Buddhist religion is a cinematic treasure.
3. Viceroy’s House
This is the story of Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of colonial India who is entrusted with the duty of disbanding the British rule in India and helping the Indian leaders form a stable independent nation. But what he was not ready for was the demand for Partition.
4. Mohenjo Daro
Another attempt at the hands of Ashutosh Gowariker to dive into history, this time into the ancient civilization of Mohenjo Daro. Although the story is fictional, the setting is as true to historical facts as it can be. The great bath, the division of the city, the architecture, pottery, etc., are drawn to near perfection in this movie.
The quest of Alauddin Khalji to get one glimpse of queen Padmaavati and the subsequent war that erupts and destroys an entire kingdom is presented with such artistic intricacy in this movie that one cannot help but be blown away by this film. The acting is brilliant, the direction is top-notch (C’mon, it’s Bhansali after all), and the music will give you goosebumps.
The movie is based on the famous Battle of Saragarhi, where 21 Sikh soldiers fought against an army of 10000 Pashtun invaders with sheer bravery and vigour.
The grandest movie in the history of Bollywood, Mughal-E-Azam is the love saga of Prince Salim and dancer Anarkali that is frowned upon by the emperor Akbar. This tragic love story is eternal and this movie is a must-watch.
8. Mangal Pandey: The Rising
The First War of Independence, 1857, began with the sepoy mutiny that ensued when Mangal Pandey refused to bite off the cartridge of the greased Enfield rifle. Although he was later hanged for it, this started the long-running quest for independence in India. The movie brilliantly portrays the same.
9. The Attacks of 26/11
A lot of movies have been made on the tragic 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, but none is as true-to-life and poignant as this one.
10. The Legend of Bhagat Singh
This biographical film follows the life of fearless freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and his important and unforgettable contribution to the Indian freedom struggle.
11. Harishchandrachi Factory
This Marathi biographical film is about the life of Dadasaheb Phalke, the Father of Indian Cinema. It follows the story of how he strived to produce the first-ever feature film in India Raja Harishchandra. It is a heartwarming tribute to the man who made his dreams his life.
12. Raag Desh
The Indian National Army led by Subhash Chandra Bose gets its due credit in the form of this brilliant movie. The sacrifices and contributions of those brave hearts can never be forgotten and more and more media representations of the same should be made.
This 1982 movie is, like the name suggests, a biographical representation of the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation. It is considered a masterpiece in cinematic history.
14. Rang De Basanti
A group of young college-goers, find themselves filled with a newfound sense of patriotism when they participate in the making of a film based on the Indian freedom struggle. This fervour gives them the power to rebel against the oppressive powers of the present world. This movie is a masterpiece.
15. The Ghazi Attack
This movie is a pictorial representation of the 1971 Indo-Pak war when an Indian submarine intercepted a Pakistani submarine and thwarted its mission to destroy INS Vikrant.
So, these were some of the best Indian historical movies. What are your favourite picks? Do let us know in the comments section.