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Greatest Hindu and Buddhist kings in Indian History
There were many great hindu and buddhist kings throughout the history of India.But who was the greatest Indian king in terms of military

successes and contributions to the community.I have made a list of several Indian kings who could fulfill the conditions.

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He founded the Maurya Empire in 321 BC and defeated Seleceus.

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He unified almost whole India under the Maurya Empire in 3th Century BC.He sponsored the construction of thousands of roads and canals.


The king of Kalinga conquered almost whole North and Central India in 200 BC.

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He is considered to be one of the greatest military geniuses in Indian history as he expanded the Gupta Empire at its zenith in 4.Century

Harsha Vardhana

He was able to unify whole North India after the collapse of the Gupta Empire in 7.Century.He was a great patron of Buddhism and literature and he built several stupas.

Bappa Rawal

He defeated the arabs in 738 AD in the famous battle of Rajasthan and protected whole India


He was the greatest ruler of the Pala Dynasty as he ruled whole North and Central India in 9.Century. He built the biggest Buddhist Vihara of India.

Raja Bhoja

He defeated Salar Masud and protected whole India in 11.Century.Additionally he was a great philosopher king and wrote 84 books.

Rajendra Chola

He was the greatest king of the Chola Empire in 11.Century.He unified South India and conquered Sri Lanka.And he built several

hindu temples during his reign.

Vikramaditya VI

He was the greatest king of the Chalukya Empire in 12.Century.He was famous for his patronage of art and literature and his military

successes against several kingdoms.

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Prithviraj Chauhan

He is commonly known as the last hindu king of Delhi in 12.Century.Even though he lost the second battle of Tarain against Ghori.He was still able

to defeat him in the first battle and he was famous for his victories against several Indian kings.

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Veera Ballala

He was perhaps the greatest monarch of the Hoysala Dynasty in 13.Century.He was famous for his patronage of hindu literature and

temple constructions.


The Eastern Ganga Dynasty flourished and reached its zenith in 13.Century under his rule.He built several hindu

temples like the famous sun temple of Konark.

Singhana the Second

The greatest ruler of the Yadava dynasty expanded his dynasty until it reached its peak in 13.Century.During his reign he

established the college of astronomy and patronized several important poets.

Rana Kumbha

The ruler of Mewar never lost a battle against the muslim invaders in 15.Century during his reign and protected his kingdom.

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Sri Krishnadevaraya

The Vijayanagara Empire expanded and reached its zenith in 16.Century under his rule.Its said that he never lost a battle during his reign.

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Maharana Pratap

The immortal hero of the Rajputs fought against the Mughals in 16.Century and was able to protect his kingdom.

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Shivaji Chatrapati

The founder of the Maratha Empire won several battles against the Mughals and conquered almost half of India in 17.Century.

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Peshwa Baji Rao

The Maratha Empire was at its zenith during his rule in 18.Century

Tukojirao Holkar

He defeated the British in the first Anglo-Maratha War in 18.Century
You missed one do the greatest, and my favriot

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Raja Raja Chola the Great.
Perhaps you are right.But I thought that Rajendra Chola was even a greater king than Raja Chola.

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Why is the list limited to Hindu and Buddhist kings only?

What about Maharaja Ranjit Singh? He has to be credited for putting an end to Afghan problem for India.

What about Jain kings?
I think Chattrapati Shivaji and Maharana Pratap are the 2 best military kings. They were able to completely defend their empires from the Mughals. Not only that, they served as a focal point for unity and developement. The unity installed by Shivaji is still seen in Marathas and Marathi speaking populations today. Buildings built during Maharana Pratap's time are some of the best I've seen.
Kharavela was a Jaina Raja.

Mahendravarman & Narasimhavarman were also great Raja's. They are responsible for the beautiful art at Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram.

Raja Raja Chozha was not just a great conqueror, he was also responsible for building the Brihadeeswarar Koyil at Thanjavur. He was also said to have begun the practice of inscribing his deeds on copper plates thus providing us with valuable primary sources of history. He also had Nambiandar Nambi collect the writings of the various Nayanmar's that were rotting away on palm leaves, had them inscribed on copper plates & sung in all the Sivan Koyils.

The iconic Nataraja sculpture was said to have been first created under the Pallava's & attained its final form under RajaRaja.

Lalitaditya of Kashmir was also a great ruler, responsible for building the famous Sharada Mandir I think.
[quote name='Bharatvarsh2' date='21 January 2010 - 07:59 AM' timestamp='1264040460' post='103636']

Kharavela was a Jaina Raja.

Mahendravarman & Narasimhavarman were also great Raja's. They are responsible for the beautiful art at Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram.

Raja Raja Chozha was not just a great conqueror, he was also responsible for building the Brihadeeswarar Koyil at Thanjavur. He was also said to have begun the practice of inscribing his deeds on copper plates thus providing us with valuable primary sources of history. He also had Nambiandar Nambi collect the writings of the various Nayanmar's that were rotting away on palm leaves, had them inscribed on copper plates & sung in all the Sivan Koyils.

The iconic Nataraja sculpture was said to have been first created under the Pallava's & attained its final form under RajaRaja.

Lalitaditya of Kashmir was also a great ruler, responsible for building the famous Sharada Mandir I think.


The Wiki page on Lalitaditya claims that his kingdom extended until the borders of Turkey. I explored a bit on this topic and do not find any source which backs this claim. Can anyone throw light on this?
Quote:The Wiki page on Lalitaditya claims that his kingdom extended until the borders of Turkey. I explored a bit on this topic and do not find any source which backs this claim. Can anyone throw light on this?

Sorry didn't see this before.

I am not sure about the veracity of that claim but from what I remember he conquered several Central Asian states & Tibet.

Here is one of the older posts made by Bodhi about him:

Quote:What Rajeev has not mentioned in the above superb article are a few facts of history.

RC Majumdar in Ancient India describes how the boundaries of Lalitaditya Karkota of Kashmir included Tibet.

Oft forgotten and ignored fact remains the immensely significant contribution of Lalitaditya in checking the Islamic expansion. For more than five decades in mid 700s, Lalitaditya had effective control over all the western passes of Himalayas - all the way from Afghanistan, Northern Iran, Turkey, baltistan, dardistan, other central Asian procinces in west and with tibet in the east.

His control over these routes is what must have effectively stopped the arabic/islamic expansion towards North, and even china. Rajtarangiri pays tributes to him, and describes in detail how the center of power in India shifted with Lalitaditya gaining control over a vast kingdom - from central asia in west and tibet-bhutan-assam in east and most of aryavarta till Vindhya in south.

But for this great warrior of India, who knows, chinese would be a muslim group of countries today. chinese were very weak and disunited at that very time. All Islam needed was physical access to them.

Imagine how Lalitaditya aborted a Chairman Mao-hammad-ze-dong before he was conceived!


Centuries later, Mugals (esp Shahajahan), with claims of Mongol bloodline in them, had sent armies towards Tibet and at least conquered the mountains of Leh/Laddakh from Tibetan control.


And from HH:

Quote:Countercase: lalitAditya the great kArkoTaka monarch inducted many central Asian tribes into the army for the defence of the land against Moslems after enmasse converting them to the Hindu fold. The Rajput clans known as agnikula have descended from central Asian converts to the Hindu fold and were some of the greatest defenders of the Dharma against the Moslem violence.


But note that this agnikula legend only applies to certain Rajput clans & even then I am not sure about whether its believable.
As shamu had mentioned Maharaja Ranjit Singh was probably the last great monarch who subdued the Afghans & wanted to get rid of Muslim rule from Sindh but couldn't due to Brit expansion.

He could not foresee the long term threat Europeans represented & after his death the kingdom came apart very soon. Dilip Singh his son was taken by Brits & converted to Xtianity.
Quote:Yes, as Shri GSub/Kaushal stated Maharaja LalitAditya of the KarkoTaka

dynasty defeated the turushkas and wrested the regions of central

Asian that were under their control (not Turkey for heaven's sake). My

brother and I attempted a fairly detailed analysis based on the

original text of KalhANa's, reconstructing the actual extant of LAs

empire and feel that it was genuinely large and at least larger than

what Stein makes of it. I think the translation of the rAjatarangini

by Shri Pandit, Nehru's relative is a little more accurate one and is

useful in this regard for those not wanting to delve into the

sanskrit original. In any case I will post my condensed

reconstruction of the history of LA once I find it on one of my old


Briefly (of the top of my head), when he came to power he found

Kashmir drawn into the conflict of the Central Asian circuit. He faced

invasion from the Tibetans expanding into the Zingkiang region under

Khri ngyan tsongpa. He entered into an alliance with the Chinas

against the Tibetans but the Chinese failed to deliver him any aid. So

he single handed demolished the Tibetan army near Ladakh and put and

end to their aspirations of westward expansions. He then smashed a

Darada army in the west-location not exactly known. After this he

conducted a series of campaigns in inner India crushing yashovarmA

king of much of northern India, and treacherously overcame the Kings

of Bengal. He also reduced Orissa and the surrounding territory to

vassalage. Then in a successful alliance with the Chinas he routed the

Arab chief Ma'moun who invaded from the northwest. He inflicted two

independent defeats on the Arabs thereafter and one in alliance with

the shahi king in Gandhara. Finally he said to have defeated the

'Tocharians' in an invasion of centra Asia where he appointed his

agent Shri Mangala who seized Kunduz and established an Indian colony

there. He then was confronted with China- Tuergish turk confedration

which he successfuly defeated, grabbing Turkic and Chinese territory

in Central Asia probably right upto the four Garrisons region (Not

Bejing). This is supported by several Indic names appearing here well

after fall of the Karkotakas. Finally he is said to have been murdered

in an internal power struggle with local feudal lords in Kashmir. In

the Turkic campaign he captured a Turk called Sengun who loyally

served him and even helped him build a temple of Nrisimha.

One unsubstantiated statement in the Kashmirian histories is the claim

that he defeated the Queen of Karnataka! We have very little data to

verify what this actually means (any suggestions are welcome).


PS Shri Sitaram Goel is one of the few who gave LA his due- no doubt

we have a 'Kashmir problem' if so many Indians are unaware of him.

I have been meaning to make this post for a while but kept putting off.

The greatest Hindu ruler of all time IMO is none other than Shivaji and I will give my reasons.

Of all the Hindu rulers he alone had a pan Indian vision that he acted upon. Let us remember that even Vijayanagara at its height under Krishnadeva Raya with its vast resources never had the vision of destroying Muslim rule in Delhi itself and planting the saffron flag at Attock.

Second he realised the Christian threat and the importance of raising a navy to counter them, the foundations he laid were to bear fruit under Kanhoji Angre.

Third he made great efforts to check forcible conversions of Hindus by Muslims and Christians, one may check the Shivaji thread for info about this. Not only that he set a good precedent by personally overseeing the shuddhi of Netaji Palkar and Balaji Nimbalkar (to whose son he gave one of his daughters in marriage to show full acceptance back into Hindu society).

He rightly foresaw the evil's of jagirdari and abolished it, this wise policy was later abandoned and would later prove to be the ruin of the Marathas with the Shinde's, Holkar's etc engaged in intercine struggles while the British swallowed them up one by one.

He laid out a policy to be followed by the later Marathas, they were to liberate all of India from Muslim rule, rebuild the Kashi mandir, and Europeans were to be checked and only allowed to trade. This is found in the ajnapatra of Ramachandra Amatya who worked as Panta Amatya for Shivaji and saw the rule of Shivaji, Sambhaji, Rajaram, and Sambhaji II (second son of Rajaram and Rajasbai), this was composed at Sambhaji II's behest around 1715 and talks about Shivaji's policies. In it he says about the Europeans:

Quote:Their masters, every one of them, are ruling kings. By their orders and under their control these people come to trade in these provinces. How can it happen thatrulers have no greed for territories? These hat-wearers have full ambition to enterinto these provinces to increase their territories, and to establish their own opinions [religion]. Accordingly at various places they have already succeeded in their ambitious undertakings. Moreover this race of people is obstinate. Where a place has fallen into their hands they will not give it up even at the cost of their lives.

However, while great care was to be taken in allowing them to build something, they should be allowed to carry on their trade, considering the importance of commerce to the prosperity of the kingdom: "If they live inthis way by accepting the above conditions it is well; if not, there is no need of them. It is enough if they occasionally come and go, and do not trouble us; nor need we trouble them."


It is thanks to his vision and the foundations he laid that the Marathas not only survived his sudden death and Sambhaji's death but triumphed at the end of the 27 year war during which Aurangzeb descended on them with the entire might of the Mughal army and tried to crush them.

He may never have built magnificent temples like the Pallavas or Cholas, nor written beautiful poetry or accomplished in the arts like Bhojadeva or Krishnadeva Raya but he accomplished much more than any of them. In fact he most likely was illiterate. For the first time in centuries an attempt was made by the Marathas to bring all of India under Hindu rule thanks to his vision.

Unlike the suicidal Kesariya Bana charges of Rajputs which may make for good heroic poetry but are militarily stupid, he was practical and knew his limitations. He surrendered when hemmed in by Mirza Jai Singh and knew that the fight could always be resumed in the future under more favorable circumstances.

He inspired Chhatrasal Bundela and told him to liberate his own lands which he set about doing. He tried to make the servile Hindu fools like Mirza Jai Singh see the light and the need for a united Hindu front, one may read his letter to Jai Singh regarding this.

The way he slew Afzal Khan, his commando raid on Shaista Khan and his escape from imprisonment at Agra were a stuff of legend in his own lifetime.

He forbade camp followers and women in the army, the penalty for the latter offense was death. This made his forces much more mobile than the cumbersome Mughal army with its thousands of camp followers and unnecessary burdens. One may contrast this with the later Maratha army that fought the disastrous Panipat war under Bhau, in this Maratha army camp followers and women on pilgrimage outnumbered the actual fighting men. Even the great Baji Rao seems not to have been as strict in this regard for he took Mastani with him on his campaigns.

He also forbade the slave trade in South India between Muslims and the Europeans (mainly Dutch), so much for the claim that he only went to South India for plunder.

Quote:A final example of the intimate connection of Shivaji’s ideologies

to his practices, or of the nigh impossibility to separate the two, is the

following passage from his qaul granted to VOC ambassador Herbert de

Jager in 1677.
In it Shivaji puts his proscription of the slave trade discussed

above in the context of a radical (and ideological) break with the past:

In the days of the Moorish government it was allowed for you to buy male slaves

and female slaves here [the Karnatak], and to transport the same, without anyone

preventing that. But now you may not, as long as I am master of these lands, buy

male or female slaves, nor transport them. And in case you were to do the same,

and would want to bring [slaves] aboard, my men will oppose that and prevent it in

all ways and also not allow that they be brought back in your house; this you must

as such observe and comply with.

Even if Shivaji’s measure was motivated, as Herbert de Jager suggests, by a

concern about revenues (which would be less if there were fewer

inhabitants) rather than a concern for the welfare of the potential slaves, it

is quite impossible to distinguish in this passage the practical measure from

the patriotic appeal conveyed by it, directed as it is against Muslim rulers

allowing the slave trade and Europeans carrying slaves off to foreign parts,
unless one would want to argue that Shivaji was not planning to enforce the

measure despite his assurance that his men would do so “in all ways.”


Having said that he had his limitations.

1) His artillery was always weak as was his navy, this prevented his numerous attempts to take Janjira from the Siddis. He relied on the English and the French for artillery, the English usually refused to supply him or sold him defective guns. The artillery of the Marathas continued to be their weak point even as late as Panipat, it was only under Mahadji's rule that some progress made but by then it was too little and too late.

2) While he realised the threat of Europeans he did not seem to have ordered his court intellectuals to study the Europeans in detail, the various groups and their histories which the Europeans had begun to do at that very time about the Hindus.

3) And this was his biggest limitation, he was mostly your typical nice Hindu ruler and did not understand the need for targeting Muslim civilians the way Muslims did with Hindus. One may contrast this with Banda Bahadur who massacred almost all Muslims in his sack of Sirhind and the terror he inspired among the Mughals as a result. The later Marathas too were a failure in this regard. The only one's who showed some initiative in this regard were the Sikhs, so no wonder they were much hated by the Jihadists and feared.

For example:

Quote:By the time of Sodhi Vadhbhag Singh there were complete relations between Akali Nihang Khalsa Panth and Dhirmalias. Around the early 1750s, Nasir Ali the military governor of Jullander, burnt the sacred Sikh shrine ‘Tham Sar’. Vadbhag Singh got together with the deposed Moghal governor of Punjab, Adina Beg, to capture and destroy the Afghans of Jullander.

Rattan Singh Bhangu writes how the Sodhi Guru summoned ‘Dal Khalsa’ (combined forces of Budha and Tarna Dals) to assist him take Jullander:

‘Vadbhag Singh writing said:

“I am Guru you are the true Singhs. Come to do deed of the Guru. Come all Khalsa prepared for war The Nawab [Adina Beg] has prepared. He has called upon the mountain people to help him”.’

‘Pracheen Panth Prakash’, Translated by Baba Santa Singh, Vol. 2, Pa. 3440

The Akali Nihangs drinking ‘Sukha’ writes Ratan Singh, took Jullander. Vadbhag Singh demanded complete the massacre and dishonor of Jullander. Adina Beg and his Moghals did not come to the rescue of their co-religionists. In the past, these Afghans had perpetuated atrocities on Adina Beg. The Jullander Afghans had also been indiscriminately kidnapping and raping Sikh and Hindu women. By order of Vadbhag Singh, those Afghans who had perpetuated these crimes had their women taken away by the Khalsa. The women were made to eat pork, and marry the Khalsa by simple ceremony of circumventing a small Sikh prayer book on top of a spear or given over to low caste Sikh Hindus.

Nasir Ali, who had died, writes Rattan Singh, had his grave desecrated and pig’s flesh put in his dead corpse’s mouth. Nasir Ali had beaten Vadbhag Singh to inch of his life and desecrated the Sikh shrines at Kartarpur by slaughtering cows in them and burning them. Sodhi Vadbhag Singh the extractor of this terrible revenge on Jullander died in 1819.


Quote:However, he was regarded with hatred by the Afghans and Muslims of what became the North West Frontier. It was claimed that the four years in which he was Governor of Peshawar were characterised by looting, vandalism and rapine. For decades after his death, Yusufzai women would say Raghe Hari Singh ("Hari Singh is coming") to frighten their children into obedience.[20]


Believe me had the Marathas implemented that along the lines of the Spanish Inquisition after the reconquista there would be no Pakistan or Beggardesh today. No talk of composite culture, no Imam Bukhari sitting in Delhi thundering "inshallah we Muslims will rule India again", none of that crap. The failure of Hindus always lay in their prediliction for "daya" and "kshama" (mercy and forgiveness) and still does, it is a weakness not something to celebrate as many Hindus think. When people say, look how noble Shivaji was he forbade his followers to destroy mosques etc, I think to myself "ya and look where that got us today, look at Pakistan and Bangladesh which would have never been born had it not been for such foolishness".

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