Five inspiring women rulers in Indian history
In the country where women are considered as the symbol of Goddess Shakti (power), Let us look at some of the most inspirational and powerful woman rulers in Indian history.
World history generally is filled with feats of men: Their wars, their courage and how they fought against the odds. Fortunately, India has its own share of the brave and dynamic female rulers who was no less than a man and stood strong in the face of adversity.
- Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi
One of the prominent figures in the revolt of 1857, Rani Laxmibai became a symbol of resistance and courage against the British. After the death of her husband, British officials refused to recognize her adopted son as a legitimate ruler. This resulted in a fierce battle between her army and the British. She fought till her last breath with her son tied on her back. Her exceptional courage was recognized by both Indians and the British.
- Razia Sultan
Razia Sultan was the first female ruler to sit on the throne of Delhi sultanate. After she ascended to the throne, she used to dress up as a man and went on to become clever and efficient ruler. She was supported and respected by many of her court officials and the masses. Even though her reign was short, but it paved the way for many more powerful woman figures in royal households.
- Rani Durgavati of Gondwana
After her husband passed away, Rani Durgavati took the reins of kingdom in her own hands. She ruled with utmost sincerity and valour. She successfully resisted and retaliated the attack from Baz Bahadur, sultan of Malwa. But Rani Durgavati lost her life fighting valiantly against Mughal army, leaving a legacy of heroism and fearlessness.
- Rani Rudrama Devi
Rani Rudrama Devi was the only female monarch to rule over Andhra. She even assumed a male name on her coronation ’Rudra Dev’. But she too like Razia Sultan faced antagonism and fought patriarchy all her life. She was an able administrator and maintained peace and harmony in her kingdom.
- Ahilyabai Holkar
One of the prominent rulers of Malwa, Ahilyabai Holkar ascended the throne after the death of her husband and her son. Apart from being a capable ruler, she was also a prudent politician. During her 30-year reign, Indore prospered with leaps and bounds. Roads were built, temples, wells, rest houses were constructed. Ahilyabai Holkar took care of weak, orphaned and homeless like her own children.
Even though the tales of heroism of these women are often shrouded in darkness, it’s time we celebrate them!