Some famous Indian teachers who left their mark in history

On Teachers Day, lets remember some of our famous Indian teachers throughout Indian history




Chanakya or Kautilya is the first famous Indian scholar who was a professor of political science and economics at the Takshila University (in the Punjab province of Pakistan). He earned his education from the same ancient university where he later became an Acharya (teacher). He authored two famous books on political thesis Arthshastra and Neetishastra. Kautilya played an important role in establishing the first ever-recorded dynasty in India – the Maurya Empire. In popular texts he found a worthy successor in Chandragupta Maurya and helped him overthrow King Dhana Nanda. He was chief advisor to both Chandragupta and his son Bindusara




Gautam Buddha


Buddha was born near Kapilavastu in Nepalese Terai.

Before he became Buddha, Siddhartha lived a life of luxury until he was 29 years old. After the young prince witnessed old age, sickness and death he renounced his princely life in search of the key to freedom from sorrow. On his teachings, Buddhism was formed. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in Eastern India.

The word Buddha means ‘awakened one’ or ‘enlightened one’.







The great mathematician and astronomer was the head of an educational institute at Pataliputra (Patna, Bihar), where he went for his advanced level studies. It is also believed Aryabhata was the principal head at Nalanda University later in his life.

He is commonly known as the ‘inventor of zero’. He had an observatory, to study terrestrial or celestial events, at both places. His works on mathematics have survived the test of time, especially the ones discussed in Aryabhatiya and Arya-Siddhanta on trigonometry, algebra and arithmetic.


Swami Vivekananda



The valiant monk who proclaimed in America the greatness of Hinduism and of Indian culture at a time when the West regarded India as a land of barbarians.

The beloved disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.He was the living embodiment of sacrifice and dedicated his life to the country and yearned for the progress of the poor, the helpless and the downtrodden.






Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan



The man whose birthday we celebrate as Teachers’ Day in India!

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first Vice President and the second President of the country, was first and foremost a teacher. He held academic positions at Madras Presidency College, Maharaja’s College Mysore,  University of Calcutta, Andhra university Visakhapatnam and Banaras Hindu University amongst other places.





Savitribhai Phule

savitribhai phule

She was the first female teacher of the first women’s school in India.

Savitribai Phule who along with her husband started a school for girls in 1948, it was a cause for outrage in the Bramhin-dominated city of Pune.

As Phule would walk to school, she would be abused;  rotten eggs, cow dung, tomatoes and stones would be hurled at her.She didnt stop and kept going.

By the end of the year, the Phules had opened five more schools for girls.



Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore was aptly titled Gurudev by Mahatma Gandhi.  Rabindranath Tagore’s legacy in the form of Santiniketan is perhaps the most lasting.

At a time when rote learning and classroom teaching was hailed, Tagore took teaching out of the confines of the four walls and formed a school, which he hoped would be ‘the connecting thread’ between India and the world.

Fortunately, a world centre for the study of humanity somewhere beyond the limits of the nation and geography came up. Teaching at this school was often done under trees.



Where the mind is without fear. and the head is held high, where knowledge is free. Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls.”