18 Famous People from Maharashtra India Is Thankful For!

As the richest state in India, it isn’t just the GDP that Maharashtra contributes greatly to. Maharashtra is also home to a number of extremely important people who have made enormous contributions to their respective fields – be it science, sports, politics or cinema. Here are 18 famous people from Maharashtra we are thankful for!

Also read: 15 Heroes From West Bengal Who Changed The Course Of History!

Now, onto our list of the most famous people from Maharashtra

1. Anna Hazare

Born & brought up in Bhingar, Mumbai, Anna Hazare is a social activist. He was the most prominent leader in the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement, which ultimately led to an enormous upheaval in the political scenario of the country. Hazare started his career as a driver in the Army. After serving in the army for 12 years, he was discharged in 1975. He built a village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahamad Nagar district, Maharashtra, a hopelessly impoverished village, and eventually turned it into one of the richest of the country. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the government of India in 1992.

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

2. Madhuri Dixit

One of the most popular actresses in the history of Indian cinema, Madhuri Dixit was  born in Mumbai, Maharashtra to a Marathi family. She has 35+ years worth of experience in Indian Cinema having won six Filmfare awards in her career, four of which were for best actress. She has appeared in more than 70 Bollywood films. She was awarded Padma Shri in 2008.

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

3. Lata Mangeshkar

Born in a Marathi-speaking Gomantak Maratha family in Indore, MP, Lata Mangeshkar’s family later moved to Mumbai. An Indian Singer and composer, Lata Mangeshkar is one of the most popular names in the history of Indian music. Mangeshkar started her career in 1942 and has spent seven decades of her life singing. Mangeshkar was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1969, the Padma Vibhushan in 1999, Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1989 & the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. She received the Bharat Ratna in 2001.

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

4. Bal Keshav Thackeray

Born in Pune, Maharashtra, Bal Keshav Thackeray was one of the most prominent leaders in Maharashtra in Independent India. He was the founder of Shiv Sena, an ethnocentric party that is currently in power in the Maharashtra state government. Fondly called the Hindu Hriday Samrat, which means Emperor of the Hindu Hearts, Bal Thackeray was greatly adored by his followers. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

5. Dhanraj Pillay

Born in Khadki, Pune, Dhanraj Pillay is a former Indian field hockey player who resides in Mumbai. He is the former Captain of Indian hockey team. He is a member of Adhoc committee of hockey federation of India. Pillay received the Padma Shri in 2001 and the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award in 1999.

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

6. Sachin Tendulkar

Born in Mumbai, Maharashtra to a Rajapur Saraswat Brahmin Maharashtra family, Sachin Tendulkaf is an Indian Cricketer is widely known as one of the best batsmen in the one day international. Tendulkar was part of the team that won the 2011 Cricket World Cup. He was awarded the player of the tournament in 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, is the highest run scorer of all time in international cricket, and was the first batsman to score a double century in an ODI. He was honored with Padma Shri in 1999, Padma Vibhushan in 2008, and the Bharat Ratna in 2018. Not only is Tendulkar one of the most famous people from Maharashtra, he is also one of the most famous Indians in the world of sports. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

7. Anil Kakodkar

Born in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh and brought up in Mumbai, Anil Kakodkar is a nuclear scientist. He was the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India and was also formerly Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Trombay. He played a major role in the nuclear tests conducted in India, using thorium as fuel for nuclear energy. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1998, Padma Bhushan in 1999 & Padma Vibhushan in 2009. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

8. Vikram Pandit

Born & brought up in Dhantoli, Nagpur Vikram Pandit is an Indian-born American banker & the former CEO of Citigroup. He currently lives in New York City. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2008. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

9. Khashaba Jadhav

Born in a village called Goleshwar Tal in Satara district in Maharashtra, Khashaba Jadav is an Indian wrestler who won a bronze medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. He is one of the First athletes from India to win a medal in the Olympics. He received the Arjuna Award posthumously in 2001, more than 15 years after his death in 1984. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

10. Murlidhar Devidas Amte (Baba Amte)

Born in Hinganghat in Wardha District of Maharashtra, Baba Amte was an Indian social worker and social activist popularly known for his work in the rehabilitation & empowerment of poor people suffering from leprosy. He founded 3 ashrams for treatment & rehabilitation of leprosy & disabled patients in Maharashtra. Baba Amte was awarded the Padma Shri in 1971, Padma Vibhushan in 1986 & Gandhi Peace Prize in 1999. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

11. Shantanurao Laxmanrao Kirloskar

Born in Sholapur, Maharashtra, Shantanurao Laxmanrao Kirloskar was an Indian businessman who played an instrumental role behind the rapid growth of the Kirloskar Group, creating a business empire that enjoyed one of the highest growth rates in Indian history. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1965. In May 2003, PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee released a commemorative postage stamp marking Kirloskar’s 100th anniversary. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

12. B.R. Ambedkar

Born in Mhow (now officially known as Ambedkar Nagar and in Madhyapradesh) to a Marathi family, Ambedkar was born into a Malhar family. As a Dalit, Ambedkar and his family were subjected to much discrimination. Despite being a brilliant student, he received little to no help from his teachers at the school, where he was made to sit apart from the rest of his peers. He eventually made it to Columbia University and the London School of Economics, earning doctorates from both. Back in India, he inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and worked towards correcting the systemic oppression that had kept his community away from equal opportunities. He was the chief architect of the Constitution of India and was the first Minister of Law and Justice of independent India. In a poll conducted in 2012 by History TV18 and CNN IBN, Ambedkar was voted “The Greatest Indian”, making him one of the most famous people from Maharashtra.

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

13. Yashwantrao Chavan

Born into a Kunbi Maratha family in Satara district of Maharashtra, Yashwantrao Chavan was an Indian politician. He was the first chief minister of Maharashtra and the last chief minister of Bombay state. He is often regarded as the architect of modern Maharashtra, and held several significant posts until his death in 1984, including that of the 5th Deputy Prime Minister in India. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

14. Rohit Sharma

Born in Nagpur, Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma was born in a low-income family and was brought up by his uncles and grandparents and could only meet his parents on weekends, who lived in a one-room house in Dombivli. Despite hardships, Sharma was able to rise through ranks with sheer determination, and finally made it to the Indian national team. He is currently the vice captain of the Indian national team and captains Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

15. Sunil Gavaskar 

Born in Mumbai to a Marathi family, Sunil Gavaskar is a former Indian cricketer widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in test cricket history. He was also part of the team that won the cricket world cup in 1983. He set several records during his cricketing career, including most test runs and most test centuries scored by a batsman. He was the first person to score centuries in both innings of a test match three times. He was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009 and has received the Padma Shri as well as the Padma Bhushan. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

16. Nana Patekar

Born in Murud-Janjira in present day Raigad district in Maharashtra, Nana Patekar is an Indian actor primarily known for his work in Hindi and Marathi movies. He is the only actor other than Irrfan Khan to have won Filmfare Awards in Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Villain categories. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

17. Nanaji Deshmukh 

Born in a Marathi speaking household in Parbhani district, Hyderabad state (present day Maharashtra), Chandikadas Amritrao Deshmukh, fondly called Nanaji Deshmukh, was a social reformer and politician. He worked in the fields of education and health, and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1999. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 2019.

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

18. Homi Jehangir Bhabha

Born in a Parsi family in Mumbai, Homi Jehangir Bhabha was an Indian nuclear physicist. He was the founding director and professor of physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). Bhabha is often referred to as the father of the Indian nuclear programme. He also founded the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay (AEET) which was renamed to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre after his death. Bhabha received the Padma Bhushan in 1954. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1951 and 1953-1956. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

Did you like this list of famous people from Maharashtra? If you think we missed someone out, tell us below in the comments!

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