Indian Tales of Valour

Nimish Dubey

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For young readers, stories of real people. Indians each one of them. All of whom stood up to defend what they believed. They might not be in history books. But they live on in millions of hearts.

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For young readers, stories of real people. Indians each one of them. All of whom stood up to defend what they believed. They might not be in history books. But they live on in millions of hearts.

About the Book

“Courage comes from the heart, and not from being physically strong.”

‘Courage is the ability to do something that frightens one . . .’

The saffron-clad warriors who preferred death to dishonour . . .  The two Pathans who took on the might of Shah Jahan for the sake of a Rajput . . . The one-armed leader who defeated the British in 1858 . . .

Indian Tales of Valour tells young readers about courage against all odds – when Indians stood up to defend what they believed in. These are stories of real people. Taken from different periods of history.

From the legendary Haldighati to the Brahmaputra to Loos in France, relive the heroism and courage of these amazing people.

Some remembered. Some forgotten. But all inspiring.

For courage has no religion, no language. It is about feeling. And inspiring.

Praise for the previous edition

‘. . . a peek into instances of extraordinary courage of Indian heroes . . . (which) are inspirational and aimed at luring children to take a look at our history, replete with instances of bravery and courage’

The Hindu

‘The stories are riveting’

Hindustan Times


Children’s World

About the Author

Nimish Dubey has been writing on a host of topics, ranging from technology to music to sport, for more than two decades now. He is a regular contributor to a number of publications and has been published in the Indian Express, Mint, The Times of India and Outlook magazine. He is currently the Editorial Mentor at TechPP, one of India’s leading technology websites.

Indian Tales of Valour is an expanded edition of his first book Kesariya Bana and Other Tales of Valour (2007). He has also written Not Out: Heroes from the World of Sport (2010).

Other Books by the Author

Not Out: Heroes from the World of Sport


This book was originally published as Kesariya Bana and Other Tales of Valour almost a decade ago. The idea was simple: to narrate incidents of courage from Indian history to inspire the reader. And in order to do so, I opted to go for a story-telling approach, rather than an academic one. This involved blending in a certain level of fiction with historical narrative, especially when it came to conversations. For, I have always believed that history is something that should inspire, and not just be read for the sake of reportage. As my publisher, Pranav Kumar Singh, said once, ‘If it does not move you, you are unlikely to remember it.’

And that perhaps was the core objective of Kesariya Bana: to move our young readers by making them aware of the deeds of the bravehearts of India, many of whom have alas, received but a cursory mention in their history textbooks. There is the tale of the Pathans who fought for the body of a Rajput, the revolutionary who cut off his arm as he fought for freedom, the general who led his army in spite of being on his sickbed . . . all narrated with as much attention to fact as feeling.

To say that we were overwhelmed by the response to Kesariya Bana would be an understatement. The book received favourable reviews and a fair deal of recognition as well. So much so that we were asked for a sequel. Well, ten years down the line, here it is. Indian Tales of Valour has the original tales from Kesariya Bana, and a few more besides. There are fourteen tales in all, and they are from all parts of India, covering different races, religions and regions. Once again, our objective has been to narrate not just with fact but with feeling.

For courage, too, is not about facts.

It has no religion. It can belong to anyone. It has no language.

It is about feeling.

And it is about inspiring.

If these stories at any stage make you feel just a little braver when the odds seem overwhelming, or make you square your shoulders and smile rather than retreat when faced with adversity, then this book will have served its purpose.


Nimish Dubey

4 March 2017


  1. A Shot in the Dark (Prithvi Raj Chauhan, circa 1200AD)
  2. The Day of the Kesariya Bana (Alauddin Khilji’s Siege of Chittor, 1303 AD)
  3. ‘The Moth That Dances Around the Mughal Flame’ (The Battle of Haldighati fought between the Rajput king Rana Pratap and Mughal Emperor Akbar’s forces led by Raja Man Singh, 1576)
  4. A Rajput Twirls His Moustache (Amar Singh Rathore and Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan)
  5. A Rajput, Two Pathans, and a Cup of Water
  6. Lachit Barphukan: ‘Barpukhan, Barphukan!’ (Battle of Saraighat, Assam, between Lachit Barphukan and Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb’s forces led by Raja Ram Singh)
  7. Tipu Sultan: A Tiger Roars
  8. Hari Singh Ragla: ‘Haria Ragla!’ (Hari Singh Nalwa, 1791 to 1837, in his final battle against the Afghans at the Jamrud fort)
  9. ‘Hang Me!’
  10. ‘Ek Haath Kaafi Hai!’ (Kunwar Singh, 1857)
  11. The Sardars at Sargarhi
  12. ‘He is a Gurkha’ (Kulbir Thapa, First Gorkha to be awarded the Victoria Cross, First World War)
  13. The Cat of Thanedar Askari
  14. Chandrashekhar Azad: Azad . . . Finally (Chandrashekhar Azad, 1906-31)