34 Famous Literary Personalities of India

Famous Literary Personalities of India

Abul Fazl

Abul Fazl was a sixteenth century Muslim scholar and historian. He was one of the most respected scholar in the court of Akbar the Great.

Assadullah Khan Ghalib

Mirza Ghalib was a great Urdu poet of the nineteenth century. He is famous for his ghazals and diwans.

He also wrote a history of the Mughal dynasty, Dastanbo, an account of events during the 1857 Revolt and literary criticism, Qati Burhan.


Born as Abu Rihan Mohammad, he came to India with Sultan Mahmud. His Tarikh-i-Hind gives much information about the Hindus, their thoughts and customs.


Sixth century Sanskrit poet who wrote Kiratarjuniyam.


Sanskrit writer of seventh century who is credited with three Satakas. He was also a philosopher and grammarian.


Probably a poet of the 6th-7th centuries, Bhatti’s Bhattikavya or Ravanavadha was written mainly to illustrate rules of grammar and rhetoric.


A Sanskrit writer of 11 th-12th centuries, he was at the court of the Chalukyan king where he wrote Vikramankadeva-charita. He also wrote the poem Chaurapanchasika.

Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

Nineteenth century pioneer in Bengali novel, his Ananda Math provided India’s national song—Vande Mataram. Other novels- Devi Chaudharani, Sitaram, Kamala Kanta.


Seventh Century Sanskrit writer who is famous as a literary critic. He also wrote Avantisundari, a novel, a part of which has been circulated separately as Dasakumaracharita.


Writer of 1st or 2nd century, his Brihat­katha in Paisachi dialect is a collection of stories which are amusing. It became a prototype of many romantic tales.


First century Satavahana king and San­skrit poet who wrote Saptasati.

Jadunath Sarkar

A historian whose main interest was the reign of Aurangzeb, his works of notes are The Study of Aurangzeb, Shivaji and his Times and The fall of the Mughal Empire. He also completed William Irwin’s study of Later Mughals.


Fifteenth century mys­tic poet he wrote his poems in a mixed dialect and evolved a rich vocabulary which included Perso-Ara­bic words.


Poet of 12th cen­tury who’s Rajatarangini in Sanskrit gives the history of Kashmir’s kings.


Associated with Vikramaditya of Ujjain, Kalidasa was a Sanskrit dramatist and lyric poet. His Meghadoota is a fine piece of poetry. Raghuvamsa and Kumara Sambhava are ep­ics. His work shows a re­markable ssensitivityto beau­ty and has fine descriptions of nature.


A Sanskrit gram­marian of great repute who wrote around the 3rd or 2nd century BC, his Vartika is a commentary on the Ashtadhyayi.


Also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta, he was the Chief Minister of Chandragupta Maurya (4th century BC) and writer of Arthashastra, a treatise on administration which gives righteousness an important role in the king’s duties. Kautilya is often called the Indian counterpart of the Italian Machiavelli who wrote The Prince.

Kumaran Asan

A follower of Sri Narayana Guru, he was a staunch op-poser of casteism and social injustice. He wrote brilliantly; his poems, Nalini and Leela and the Fallen Flower are well- known.


Seventh century Sanskrit poet who wrote the epic Sisupala Vadham which is striking for its lyrical passages.


Sanskrit scholar who wrote Ashtadhyayi, the earliest extant grammar in the world. The discovery of the work by Europeans in the 18th century gave impetus to the new science of philology.


Sanskrit scholar whose Mahabhashyam is an erudite commentary of Panini’s work. He was instrumental in bringing Sanskrit back as the language of literature.


Renowned Hindi and Urdu writer of modern India, Dhanpat Rai (Premchand) was a government official who left service to join the freedom struggle. Works: Rangabhumi, Godan,
Gaban, Premashram.


Sanskrit poet whose Katha-saritasagara is a famous collection of stories.

Sarat Chandra Chatterjee

Social thinker and Bengali novelist of the 19th- 20th centuries, his work is marked by humanism and critical analysis of age-worn social customs. His major novels: Srakanta, Palli Samaj , Pandit Mashai, Sesh Prashna.

Subhra Kujmari Chauhan

The first woman to take part in the satyagraha at Mahakoshal, this poetess is most famous for her stirring ballad, Jhansi ki Rani. She was awarded the Seksaria Prize for her collection of poems. Mukul and for her short stories, Bhikre Moti.


7th century Sanskrit poet who wrote vasavadatta.


Blind poet of the 16th century who wrote in Braj-bhasha with deep de­votion and love for Lord Krishna. His Sur Sagar and Sur Saravati are highly respected and appreciated.


Poet-philosopher of the early Christian era in Tamil. His Kural, a poetical wok on ethical and other issues of the day, is a Tamil classic free of caste and class prejudices.

Suryakant Tripathi,

Called ‘Nirala’ for his innovative poetic style, this Hindi poet was a mystic observer of nature. Bold natural descrip­tion and deep emotional response colour his poems such as Juhi Ki Kali and Shefalike. Works: Anamika, Geetika, Apsara, Sakhi.


8th century San­skrit poet, he wrote Gandavadha which de­scribes the exploits of Yasovarman, king of Kanyakubja.


7th century writ­er, he summarized the 8 sections of the original Ayurveda.


Legend has it that he was a brahmin who lived as a robber but changed his way of life on the advice of some sages. It is said that the sight of a heron, grief-stricken at the loss of its mate short by a hunter, in­spired him to poetic expres­sion, and he created the sloka which form he used for his epic Ramayana.


5th century San­skrit writer, his Kama Sutra is a world-famous treatise on the amorous arts.


17th century Telugu poet, he had a keen social and ethical vision and criticized social discrimination with humor. Work: Vemanasatakam.

Mahadevi Verma

One of the Chhayavadi poets, she wrote poetry of a high liter­ary quality in which roman­ticism and mysticism are combined. Themes are hu­manity, nature, separation, union and ecstasy.


Bhakti poet who wrote in Maithili, his works are Kirthilatha, Kirthipa­thaka, and a manual of let­ter writing in Sanskrit, Likhanavali.