Who were the greatest Buddhist, Hindu and Jain kings in Indian history in terms of military accomplishments or cultural achievements.
I have made a list of perhaps the greatest Buddhist, Hindu and Jain kings in Indian history.
Choose the king who deserves to be called as an great Indian king.
I am surprised that most of the Indians dont know about the achievements of Nagabhata Pratihara and Bappa
Rawal. They were the famous rulers who defeated the arabs in the famous battle of Rajasthan in 738 CE
and protected practically whole India. The Pratihara Dynasty was responsible for stopping the Arab expansion.
Of course the Arabs were also later defeated by the Chalukya King Vikramaditya.
Seriously though, any comparison is difficult. As they say in cricket when they talk about the greatest cricketer of all times and they say it's difficult to judge players of different eras and it won't be fair to anyone.
Though they say the Don was the greatest, but just a batsman.
Chandragupta Maurya is always spoken with high regards. Samudra Gupta led what is known as the Golden Age.
Kanishka is one no one has mentioned. Be was a great military leader. His empire stretched till central Asia.
Harshavardhan, Raja Raja Chola.
The Vijaynagar Empire was great as well under Krishnadevaraya.
Personally, I love the majestic stature of king Shivaji. Though far from being a Marathi, I believe he had style. Totally innovated special forces tactics, gave hell to the Mughal invaders, fought for his land's culture and stood firm against outsiders. If there was ONE man of his caliber ruling today (in central government), we'd see the entire Asia bow down to us.
He's not an Indian. Descendant of an Uzbek invader, I don't think he'd ever be considered one. No matter how much you try to blend in for generations, if you still migrate to Europe you'd be considered an Indian. Something like that. Liberal or not, that can be debatable, but he's not Indian.
His ancestor Babur was from Samarkhand, yes, but he is descended from the Buryat Mongols; Mongols, but from a place that is currently in Russia.
In any case, Akbar was very much an Indian. If he is not, then, going by the school of thought that some Rajputs were migrants, are also not Indian.
When people migrate, they are assimilated, but they also bring in culture that gets assimilated into the people of their new homeland.
Anyways, this is debatable, and basically a futile one. Perhaps this is merely a coincidence, but there is an uncanny similarity of faith among all the persons listed.
P.S.: I find it rather weird that we do not hesitate to tout the Taj Mahal to get foreign tourists to visit India, yet, we are debating whether a Mughal Emperor, that too one who was born here, is considered non-Indian by some.
The Top 5 Greatest Kings in Indian history, in my opinion:
5. Kanishka (r. 127-151 C.E.) - for creating perhaps the most diverse and internationalist state in Indian history. Kanishka himself was a Buddhist of Central Asian origin, but within the borders of his empire virtually every philosophy and religion of the known world flourished, including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Hellenism. His empire stretched from North India to Persia and Central Asia, being one of the only Indian kings to rule such a territory; as a consequence the Kushanas directly controlled the lucrative Silk Road trade between East and West and reaped immense profits. The arts flourished and wealth was in abundance.
4. Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (r. 375-415 C.E.) - for restoring the imperial splendor of Magadha and ushering in India's Golden Age. His campaigns against the Sakas, Hunas, and Kambojas, as well as his marital alliances with other Indian powers like the Vakatakas, extended Gupta power and influence over much of the subcontinent. He also patronised the arts and sciences, paving the way for India's greatest thinkers and scholars like Aryabhata; the highly prestigious centres of learning at Nalanda, Varanasi, Takshasila, and others drew migrants and pilgrims from all over the world. It also during this time that extensive cultural and commercial links began to be established with Southeast Asia, eventually leading to the rise of Indianised kingdoms in that region.
3.Shahanshah Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar (r. 1542-1605) - for pioneering modern liberal secularism and universal tolerance in an age that badly needed it. The Ibadat Khana, or house of worship, hosted a wide diversity of philosophers and scholars from all religions, where they debated various matters regarding life and universe before the emperor. The abolition of the jizya and other discriminatory taxes and a policy of equality towards all regardless of belief allowed the empire to prosper. India's cultural achievements, especially in architecture, reached their zenith. The empire was also incredibly wealthy; it was said that Akbar's annual revenue in 1600 exceeded in value Britain's entire treasury in 1800.
2. Chandragupta Maurya (r. 320-298 B.C.E.) - for uniting Bharatvarsha into a single entity for the first time, and becoming an inspiration for countless Indians of the past, present, and future. With the assistance of Chanakya, perhaps the greatest statesman to be born in this part of the world, he first overthrew the corrupt Nanda dynasty of Pataliputra, reinstated a new dynasty in his name, and went on to unite the various peoples of India. His career culminated with the conquest of Afghanistan and defeat of Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander's own generals.
1. Samraat Asoka Maurya the Great (r. 274-232 B.C.E.)