16 Famous People from Himachal Pradesh We Should Know About

Without a doubt, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful states in the country. But Himachal brings so much more to the plate – especially when it comes to talented and capable people of all kinds. Here are 16 famous people from Himachal Pradesh we all should know about.

Also read: 19 Interesting Facts About Himachal Pradesh

1. Anupam Kher

Born & brought up in Shimla in a Kashmiri Pandit family, Anupam Kher is a Bollywood actor. He was part of the Oscar-winning movie, Silver Linings Playbook in 2013. Kher has also acted in Bend It Like Beckham which was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2002. Kher has also held the post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and National School of Drama. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004 & and has received Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role five times. He was honoured by Walk of the Stars as his handprint was preserved for posterity at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

2. Captain Vikram Batra

Born in a small village called Ghuggar in the Palampur region of Himachal, Captain Vikram Batra joined the Indian Army as Lieutenant of 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in Sopore, J&K in 1997 and was eventually made Captain. A brave army officer who showed his valour and died on duty during the Kargil war in ’99, Captain Vikram Batra was awarded the Param Veer Chakra posthumously. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

3. Priety Zinta

Born in the small town of Rohru in Shimla, Preity Zinta is a Bollywood actress, who has also worked in Telugu, Punjabi and English movies. She was awarded the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress at the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival for the movie Heaven on Earth. She co-owns the Indian Premier League (IPL) team that plays for Punjab, Punjab Kings. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

4. Mohit Chauhan

Born in the Nahan town of Sirmaur district in Himachal, Mohit Chauhan is a leading playback singer, who achieved fame as a pop singer & then rose as a playback singer in Bollywood. He is especially popular for his love songs. Chauhan has won the Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer (Male) twice, apart from several other awards. 

Source: Flickr

5. Major Somnath Sharma

A brave soldier of the Indian Army from the Kumaon regiment, Major Somnath Sharma was the proud recipient of the first Param Veer Chakra ever given in our country. He was awarded Param Veer Chakra posthumously for his courage and dedication shown in the Kashmir operations in the year 1947. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

6. Charanjit Singh

Born in the Nehari town of Himachal Pradesh, Charanjit Singh served as the captain of the Indian Hockey team that won the gold medal in the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan. 

Source: Twitter

7. Ruskin Bond

A popular children’s author & one of the most defining writers of the present era, Ruskin Bond was born in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh- Kasauli region (then a part of Punjab). Bond was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2014 and the Padma Shri in 1999. His major works include Room on the Roof, A Face in the Dark and The Blue Umbrella among others. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

8. Sanjay Kumar

Born in the village of Bakain in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, Sanjay Kumar is an Indian Army soldier, a Junior Commissioned Officer & rifleman part of the 13th Battalion of J&K Rifles who faced rival camps under sub-zero circumstances. He was injured by gunshots while attempting to recapture the Mushkoh valley situated 17,000 ft above ground. He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his heroic actions during the Kargil war, 1999.

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

9. Kangna Ranaut

Born in Bhambha in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, Kangana is an Indian film actress popular for her roles in Gangster, Fashion, Queen, Revolver Rani and Tanu weds Manu among others. She has won four National Awards and five Filmfare Awards. In 2020, the government of India awarded Kangana the Padma Shri. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

10. Dalip Singh Rana

World-famous wrestler better known by his ring name The Great Khali, this 7 feet 3 inches tall wrestler hails from Dhiraina, Himachal Pradesh. Khali is a semi-retired professional wrestler, actor and powerlifter, best known for his time with WWE. Known for his indomitable frame and unique fighting moves, he became the World Heavyweight Champion in 2007 and has appeared in four Hollywood & two Bollywood movies. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

11. Lt. Saurabh Kalia- Indian military personnel

Born in Amritsar and brought up in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, Lt. Saurabh Kalia was an officer of the Indian Army who was killed during the Kargil War. Kalia was captured alive, tortured & then killed by the Pakistani Army. The government of Himachal Pradesh raised a memorial park named ‘Saurabh Van Vihar’ in Palampur in his memory and renamed a street in the town ‘Capt Saurabh Kalia Marg’, and the locality as ‘Saurabh Nagar’ in his honour. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

12. Shiva Keshavan

Five-time Olympian and the first Indian representative to compete in luge at the Winter Olympics. He held a World record for being the youngest ever Olympian in Luge (At 16 years) in 1998. He has won 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals in the Asian Luge Cup. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

13. Prem Chopra

Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Prem Chopra is an Indian actor best known for his work in Hindi movies. After the partition, Chopra’s family moved to Shimla. Chopra, popular for playing antagonistic characters, did 19 films as the villain with Rajesh Khanna as the lead.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

14. Shyam Saran Negi

Born in Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh, Shyam Saran Negi is an Indian educator who is the first Indian citizen to have ever voted in the republic of India. Negi cast the first vote in the 1951 general elections, the first election since it became independent of British rule in 1947. He is also believed to be the oldest voter as well. In 2014, he appeared in a Google PSA where he reminded viewers of the importance of voting.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

15. 14th Dalai Lama

Born in Taktser, Amdo, in Tibet, as Lhamo Thondup, Tenzin Gyatao is the 14th Dalai Lama, the highest spiritual leader of Tibet. During the 1959 Tibetan Uprising, he escaped to India, where he first went to Mussoorie, and then moved to Dharamshala, where he now lives in exile. Because of him, Himachal Pradesh became an unexpected spiritual hub for Buddhists. In 2011, he retired as a political leader to accommodate a democratic government. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and the US Congressional Gold Medal in 2006.

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

16. Bipin Chandra

Born in Kangra, Punjab, in British India (now in Himachal Pradesh), Bipin Chandra was an Indian historian, specialising in the economic and political history of modern India. He was considered to be one of the leading scholars on Mahatma Gandhi, and was an emeritus professor at JNU. He became a member of UGC in 1993, and the chairman of National Book Trust in 2004 – a post he held until 2012.

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

Did you like our list of famous people from Himachal Pradesh? If you think we missed someone out, comment below to let us know!

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