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The Women Who Ruled India

Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | English Non-fiction

The Women Who Ruled India

Author: Archana Garodia Gupta
Publisher: Hachette India

Award Category: English Non-fiction
About the Book: 

The history of India, more often than not, is a history of the men who were in charge. Largely forgotten are the women who, even centuries earlier, shaped the fates of entire kingdoms.

In The Women Who Ruled India, writer and researcher Archana Garodia Gupta revives 20 such powerful figures from the archives, offering us a glimpse of their fascinating lives. Among them are Begum Samru, a courtesan who went on to become the head of a mercenary army and the ruler of Sardhana; Didda of Kashmir, known for her keen political instinct and a ruthlessness that spared no one; Rani Abbakka of Ullal, the fearless queen who took on Portuguese colonizers in their heyday; and Rani Mangammal of Madurai, the famed administrator who built alliances at a time when going to war was the order of the day.

These women and others like them built roads, instituted laws and were generous patrons of the arts and sciences. Their stories of valour and diplomacy, leadership and wit continue to inspire today. Peppered with anecdotes that showcase little-known facets of their personalities, the accounts in this book celebrate heroic rulers who – ‘quarrelsome’ though they might have been – were iconoclasts: unafraid to forge new path


About the Author: 

With a lifelong passion for books, languages, travel and history, Archana Garodia Gupta has a knack for weaving delightful nuggets of information into engaging tales. A leading national quizzer, she has won the ‘Champion of Champions’ title from BBC’s Mastermind India. She regularly writes articles on history and business for magazines, and was seen as a member of the expert panel on Kaun Banega Crorepati. She was the national president of the FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) in 2015–16, where she set up many programmes for the empowerment of Indian women. Archana was raised in New Delhi and holds an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad. She lives in Delhi where she and her husband run a jewellery business under the Touchstone brand.


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