Top 10 Famous Female Leaders In Indian History

Patriarchal roles aren’t the problem just in India, they are applied literally everywhere else in the world. But despite that, there were some female leaders throughout Indian history, who had what it takes to become a leader, and particularly the female leaders of India have proved that time and again. Without a doubt, these female leaders are inspirations for many, but still, not a lot of people know what they did and what were their contributions. That’s the very reason why we are here to take a good look at the top 10 famous female leaders in Indian history so that we can appreciate their work and efforts even more. Here we go.

1. Rani Lakshmibai


You see, there is no better way to start our list than with Rani Lakshmibai, the famous Queen of Jhansi. She was born with the name Manikarnika Tambe in 1828 and went from being, you know, just a young girl in Varanasi to a symbol of home and fight against British rule in the country. Though, after her husband died in 1853, she fought the British directly during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 because she wouldn’t accept the Doctrine of Lapse, according to which, her adopted son shouldn’t have been king. All in all, what she did during the Siege of Jhansi when she fought super hard against British troops, is nothing short of epic, which is still taught in our schools.

2. Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu

As the “Nightingale of India,” Sarojini Naidu was more than just a poet, she was a powerful figure in India’s fight for freedom, you know? She was born in Hyderabad in 1879 and was a genius who did very well in school and in writing. She went to school in England and then came back to India and joined the fight for freedom. Later on though, in 1925 to be precise, she became the first Indian woman to lead the Indian National Congress. She became the first female Governor of an independent India because of how well she spoke and how much she cared.

3. Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi

Next on schedule is the legend Indira Gandhi, India’s first and only female prime minister. Born in 1917 to Jawaharlal Nehru, she was early trained for leadership. Massive events like the Green Revolution and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which helped Bangladesh to be born, defined her time as Prime Minister. Her strong-willed leadership and major reforms, in spite of problems during the Emergency period, permanently changed Indian politics.

4. Ahilyabai Holkar

Ahilyabai Holkar

Reigning from 1767 until 1795, Ahilyabai Holkar, the queen of the Malwa kingdom, turned Indore into a bustling city. Born in 1725, she showed extraordinary administrative and military power after her husband’s and father-in-law’s deaths. Her reign is regarded as a golden age distinguished by public works and many temple buildings. Being committed to justice and welfare defined Ahilyabai’s leadership and made her among the most admired people in Indian history.

5. Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule

Born in 1831, Savitribai Phule was a pathfinder for women’s education and rights. She became India’s first female teacher when she and her husband Jyotirao Phule started the first girls’ school in Pune in 1848. Though, her efforts went beyond only schooling; she also worked nonstop to improve underprivileged areas and fight gender and caste inequality. Savitribai’s unwavering pursuit of social change set the stage for further developments in women’s rights, therefore ensuring her position as an unforgettable social reformer.

6. Begum Hazrat Mahal

She was an important part of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and was married to Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh twice. She fought against the British after her husband was sent away. And yes, the way she led the defense of Lucknow showed how smart and brave she was as a strategist. Even though she didn’t have much, she brought together Hindu and Muslim soldiers to fight the British. Though, she was finally sent into exile in Nepal because of her fierce resistance, which was for sure a powerful part of India’s fight for independence.

7. Aruna Asaf Ali

When she raised the Indian National Congress flag at Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay during the Quit India Movement, Aruna Asaf Ali, known as the “Heroine of 1942,” made a big deal. She was born in 1909 and joined the Indian National Congress in 1928. Though, during the Salt Satyagraha, she was very busy. People all over the country knew about her brave deeds and leadership in the fight for independence. Even after India gained its independence, she kept fighting for social causes, leaving a lasting mark on Indian culture.

8. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay was a leader who fought for Indian traditional arts and crafts. She was born in 1903 and had many roles. She took part in the Salt Satyagraha and the Quit India fight as part of the fight for independence, you know? Kamaladevi was very important in setting up artistic institutions like the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the National School of Drama. She was also the first woman in India to run for a legislative spot.

9. Captain Lakshmi Sahgal

Under Subhas Chandra Bose, Captain Lakshmi Sahgal was a key figure in the Indian National Army (INA). She was a rebel leader born in 1914. She was in charge of the all-female Rani of the Jhansi Regiment and was a skilled doctor too. And yes, during the INA’s campaign in Burma, she showed great leadership and devotion. After India got its freedom, she kept up her activism by helping refugees and people who had been hurt by disasters get medical care.

10. Kittur Rani Chennamma

Kittur Rani Chennamma

Kittur Rani Chennamma is the last person on our list. But don’t forget that she was one of the first female rulers to challenge British power. She led a violent revolt against the British East India Company in 1824, against the Doctrine of Lapse. Because of how smart she was at strategy and how quickly she beat the British, she became a symbol of resistance and bravery all across the nation at that time.


There you have it. Sure, there have been many more leader female figures in Indian history, but these are the ones who stand out the most because of their insane popularity as well as what they did for the nation, and the Indian civilization as a whole. Alright, now’s the time for us to sign off, we’ll meet you in the next one.

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