Check out the list of 20 greatest and most renowned kings of India across centuries from various parts

Over the centuries, several kings ruled different regions of the Indian subcontinent. Strong, brave, courageous, they displayed their skill and valor several times. Here we share a list of the greatest kings of India starting from the ancient times.


Dynasty – Haryanka

Reign – c. 544 – c. 492 BCE

The son of Bhattiya, Bimbisara was the king of Magadh and belonged to the Haryanka dynasty. He was Gautam Buddha’s friend as well as protector. Rajgir, the place famously talked about in Buddhist text was made by him. It was also his first capital. He is known for annexing Anga.

bimbisara king 20 Greatest Kings of India!


Dynasty – Haryanka

Reign – c. 492 – c. 460 BCE

The son of King Bimbisara, he was a contemporary of both Mahavir Jain and Gautam Buddha. Under his rule, Magadha became the most powerful region in north India.

ajatashatru 20 Greatest Kings of India!

King Porous

House – Puru tribe/Paurava

Birth – Not known

Death – Sometime time 321 BCE and 315 BCE

King Porous is known for fighting bravely with Alexander the Great. Though King Porous couldn’t win against Alexander, the Macedonian king was so impressed by his adversary that he not only reinstated him as a satrap of his own kingdom but also granted him dominion over lands to the south-east extending until the Hyphasis (Beas).

kibg porous 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Chandragupta Maurya

Dynasty – Maurya

Reign – c. 321 – c. 297 BCE

Chandragupta Maurya with the help of his guru and mentor laid the foundation of the Maurya empire. Before his reign, the subcontinent of India was largely composed of independent states, with the exception of the Magadha kingdom. However, post he succeeded to the throne he began the process of unifying India for the very first time in history.

chandragupta maurya the greatest ruler in indian history 20 Greatest Kings of India!


Dynasty – Maurya

Reign – c. 297 – c. 273 BCE

Bindusara, the son of Chandragupta Maurya consolidated the Mauryan Empire founded by his father. He was also the master of all the territory between the western and the eastern sea (Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal) after the Mauryan army with the help of Chanakya was successful in winning over all the 16 territories.

bindusar 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Ashoka the Great

Dynasty – Maurya

Reign – c. 268 – c. 232 BCE

The son of Bindusar and grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka was successful in ruling almost all of the Indian subcontinent. He expanded his empire from the Hindu Kush mountains in the north to the current state of Bangladesh in the east. His kingdom covered almost the entire Indian subcontinent except areas of present-day, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

ashoka the great 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Chandragupta I

House – Gupta Empire

Reign – c. 320 – c. 335 CE

Chandragupta I, the son of king Ghatotkacha was a king of the Gupta Empire during 320 CE. He was the grandson of Sri Gupta, the first ruler of the Gupta house. His kingdom comprised the west area of the present-day city of Allahabad and included the present-day Ayodhya as well as southern Bihar.

chandragupta samudragupta 20 Greatest Kings of India!


House – Gupta Dynasty

Reign – c. 336 – c. 380 CE

The son of Chandragupta I, Samudragupta ruled for four decades and expanded his kingdom greatly starting from his immediate neighboring states. Samudragupta exerted direct or indirect control over kingdoms in Nepal and the Punjab in the north and to the Pallava kingdom at Kanchipuram in the south-east.

Raja Bhoj

Dynasty – Paramara Dynasty

Reign – c. 1010-1055 CE

Raja Bhoj is one of the most celebrated kings of India. His kingdom encompassed the Malwa region in central India. At the peak of his reign, Raja Bhoj’s kingdom extended from Chittor in the north to Konkan in the south, and from Vidisha in the east to the Sabarmati River in the west.

raja bhoj 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Vijayalaya Chola

Dynasty – Chola Dynasty

Reign – c. 850 – c. 870 CE

During a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya rose out of obscurity and captured Thanjavur in South India and laid the foundation of the Chola Empire. He ruled over Thanjavur to the north of the river Kaveri.

vijalaya chola 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Raja Raja the Great

Dynasty – Chola Dynasty

Reign – 985 and 1014 CE

Raja Raja Chola I or Raja Raja the great was a renowned Chola king who ruled over the regions of southern India. During his reign, the Cholas expanded their kingdom from Sri Lanka in the south to Kalinga in the north. The king also launched various naval campaigns and captured the Malabar Coast along with the Maldives and Sri Lanka

rajendra chola 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Rajendra Chola

Dynasty – Chola Dynasty

Reign – c. 1014 – c. 1044 CE

The son of Raja Raja Chola I, Rajendra Chola is considered as one of the greatest rulers and military generals of India. During his reign, he extended the Chola empire to the banks of the river Ganga in North India and across the Indian ocean to the West which made Chola Empire one of the most powerful empires of India.

raja raja chola 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Mahendravarman I

Dynasty – Pallava Dynasty

Reign – c. 600–630 CE

Mahendravarman I  was a Pallava king who ruled the Northern regions of what forms present-day Tamil Nadu in India in the early 7th century. He was the son of Simhavishnu, who defeated the Kalabhras and re-established the Pallava kingdom.

mahendravarman 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Narasimhavarman I

Dynasty – Pallava Dynasty

Reign – c. 630 – c. 668 AD

Mahendravarman I was succeeded to the throne by his son Narasimhavarman I. He avenged his father’s death, defeated the Chalukya king Pulakeshin II and ransacked the Chalukyan capital city Badami (Vatapi). The city of Mahabalipuram is named after him.

narishmavarman 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Pulakeshin II

Dynasty – Badami Chalukya

Reign – 610–642 CE

Pulakeshin II was the most famous ruler of the Chalukya dynasty. During his reign, the Chalukyas of Badami saw their kingdom extend over most of the Deccan.


Dynasty – Pandya

Reign – 590–620 CE.

Kadungon was the Pandya king who revived the rule of the Pandyas in South India. He along with the Pallava king Simhavishnu is credited for ending the Kalabhra rule. Thus, marking the beginning of a new era in the Tamil speaking region.

Prithviraj Chauhan

Dynasty – Chahamana Dynasty

Reign – reign. c. 1178–1192 CE

Prithviraj Chauhan or Rai Pithora was an Indian king from the Chahamana (Chauhan) dynasty. He ruled Sapadalaksha, the traditional Chahamana territory, in present-day north-western India. He controlled much of the present-day Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi; and some parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. His capital was located at Ajayameru (modernday Ajmer)

prithviraj chauhan 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Maharana Pratap

Dynasty – Sisodia Rajput

Reign – 28 February 1572 – 29 January 1597

Maharana Pratap one of the greatest Rajput during the medieval times is known for keeping his fight against the Mughal Emperor Akbar. His bravery and valor is well-known even in modern day.

maharana pratap singh 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Maharaja Ranjit Singh

From the Sikh Empire

Reign – 12 April 1801 – 27 June 1839

Maharaja Ranjit Singh united the 11 small Sikh kingdom and formed the Sikh empire. He fought with the Afghan and Muslim rulers of that time. He however was a secular king and people of different religion lived happily and peacefully in his kingdom.

maharaja ranjit singh 20 Greatest Kings of India!

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

From the Maratha Empire

Reign – 1674–1680 CE

Shivaji Bhonsle also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was an Indian warrior king who carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire. His guerilla warfare against the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and his huge army is quite famous, showing his intelligence, capability and courage.

shivaji maharaj 20 Greatest Kings of India!

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