10 Greatest Warriors in Indian History You Should Know About!

The Indian soil has birthed many brave soldiers who have fought, sometimes to acquire new land to expand their empires and at other times to defend their own lands from foreign invasions. Most of these people were also efficient rulers and shrewd tacticians who resolved and curbed internal rebellions and helped their kingdom to flourish. Written below are 10 of the greatest warriors in Indian history, who were responsible for many events that happened in the history of India.

1. Emperor Ashoka

Referred to as Chakravarti Samrat Ashoka, Ashoka belonged to the Maurya dynasty and was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the dynasty. He ruled almost the entire Indian subcontinent, with his empire stretching from present-day Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east. Once known for his ferocious warfare and merciless killings, Ashoka had a change of heart after witnessing the casualties of the Kalinga War, which he won, and converted to Buddhism. He spent the rest of his life preaching Buddhism and spreading the message of peace to the entire world. The Ashoka Chakra in the tricolour today is there in honour of Ashoka. The national emblem of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of the emperor.


Image source: Wikimedia

2. Chandragupt Maurya

The founder of the Maurya dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya defeated the last Nanda ruler, Dhanananda, with the help of Parvartaka and Chanakya. He defeated Seleucus Nikator, the general of Alexander the Great, in 305 BC. They then formed a matrimonial alliance between them. Under his reign, trades, agriculture, road systems and irrigation systems improved.


Image source: Wikipedia

3. Prithviraj Chauhan

There are varying accounts of Prithviraj Chauhan’s exploits by various historians. A king from the Chauhan dynasty, he ruled much of the present-day Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi; and some parts of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The most notable wars during his reign were with Mohammad Ghori, who was defeated in The First Battle of Tarain, but came back stronger to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan in The Second Battle of Tarain. Though not backed by historical evidence, Prithviraj Chauhan is said to be the last major Hindu king of India, and Ghori’s conquest is termed as laying the foundation to the Islamic conquest in future years.


Image source: Wikipedia

4. Maharana Pratap

Maharana Pratap is regarded as the epitome of Rajput valour on display. He belonged to the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs, and ruled Mewar, a part of present day Rajasthan. In his lifetime, he had a continuing battle against Akbar, who defeated him at the Battle of Haldighati, but couldn’t capture him. He continued to trouble Akbar through the tactics of guerilla warfare. He is said to have been a fearless warrior and an ingenious strategist. He was hailed by his people, including Chhatrapati Shivaji, as an inspirational figure for exemplifying gallantry and resourcefulness.


Image source: Chittorgarh.com

Also read: The Story Of Maharana Pratap’s Life & Valour In 17 Posters

5. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

The founder of the Maratha dynasty in India, Chatrapati Shivaji is regarded as one of the most valiant warriors who dared to stand up against the mighty Mughals, and defeated them several times. The murder of Afzal Khan with tiger paws is a story for the history textbooks, the story of an immensely brave and clever tactician who stopped at nothing to protect his Maratha empire from Mughal invasion. He was crowned in 1674 and assumed the title of Haindava Dharmodharak, and Chhatrapati. He formed the first Hindavi Swarajya, which accounted for the complete Hindu rule.


Image source: Wikimedia

Also read: 15 Interesting Facts About The Fearless King-Chhatrapati Shivaji

6. Chandragupta II Vikramaditya

Chandragupta II from the Gupta dynasty ruled from AD 380 to AD 415. His period of prominence is often referred to as “The Golden Age of India.” He extended his empire by conquests and matrimonial alliances. He conquered Western Malwa and Gujarat, which gave him the Western Sea Coast, famous for its trade and commerce, thus making his empire even more prosperous.


Image source: Wikimedia

7. Akbar

After Humayun’s accidental death, Akbar ascended the throne of the Mughal emperor at the age of 14 in 1556. Under the able guidance of Bairam Khan, Akbar grew up to be a talented statesman, and a brave warrior. He ran several successful conquests and ruled over a humongous area, covering almost all of the Indian subcontinent north of the Godavari river. He also was responsible for the construction of many Islamic monuments in India.


Image source: Wikidata

8. Rani Lakshmi Bai

The young Rani of Jhansi led the forces to battle at the tender age of 18, to protect her people at any cost. She participated in the Mutiny of 1857 against the British, and though martyred by bullets, remained alive as an inspiration to the generations of freedom-fighters to come after her.


Image source: Wikipedia

9. Tipu Sultan

Tipu Sultan, or the Tiger of Mysore as he was called, was the Sultan of Mysore. He resisted the East India Company’s efforts to invade Mysore till the very end. Tipu Sultan applied his military training to war for the first time at the age of 15, when he accompanied his father, Hyder Ali, to the invasion of Malabar. His favourite animal was the tiger, and strewn across his belongings were tigers, with six of the real ones. In 1799, Tipu Sultan’s Seringapatam was invaded by the British, and he was killed by the forces, after having put up a brave fight. As a warrior, he was unparalleled and can be called India’s equivalent of the “Last Samurai.”


Image source: Wikipedia

10. Bajirao Ballal (Bajirao I)

The Peshwa to the Maratha government, Bajirao Ballal is considered to be the most important factor in the expansion of the Maratha empire after Shivaji Maharaj and one of the greatest warriors in Indian history. Under his leadership, the Marathas compelled the Mughals to give them the right to collect chauth of the vast areas. He was adept at guerilla warfare and conquered Salsettle and Bassin from the Portuguese. He also defeated the Nizam-ul-Mulk near Bhopal and received Malwa and Bundelkhand in 1737.


Image source: Wikipedia

These great warriors in Indian history expanded their empires and gave the subcontinent the shape that it has today. After them, the British took over the reins and stayed till the independence and partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. History didn’t forget the great fighters under whose reigns India flourished and reached its zenith.

Let us know from your comments who according to you were the greatest warriors in Indian history before the British Raj began.

 

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