History comes down to us through rulers and leaders - it is they who carve out Kingdoms and maintain them. It is through their patronage of poets and historians that we learn of our past. The kings and queens who are still remembered are those whose actions led to the composition of songs and stories, like the 8thcentury king of Kashmir, Lalitaditya, who was immortalised in the Rajatarangini of Kalhana. And those who documented their reign through engravings as did Ashoka, or in memoirs and biographies, as did Badur and Akbar.
The rulers of this collection have been chosen for the qualities that most endeared them to the people - their justice, their chivalry and their loyalty to their subjects. Some were cunning strategists in battle; others were empire builders, endowed with the vision and foresight to unite the people of an area into a new kingdom. They also, all, had the ability to inspire ordinary people and galvanise them into action.
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