10 Must-Read Inspiring Indian Biographies & Autobiographies

best biography and autobiography books india

Needless to say, this carefully chosen list of Best biography & autobiography books of great personalities from India, will help seekers of all ages. Especially young generation students. Young students can learn a few things to lay the foundation for their future. Also, it is said that this kind of motivational and inspiring book also passes on a fraction of the positive energy of these great people to the readers.

How these biographies could help us?

Let’s have a look at the case of M.K. Gandhi.

We might know many things about Mahatma Gandhi, but do you know how this man became a noble soul, his journey in his own words seems to be the words of God himself. Once you read the book – ‘ My Experiment with Truth by M.K. Gandhi’, you will realize that this is altogether a new world, new learning, a new horizon, witnessing the unthinkable. He frankly admits and reveals that while his father was extremely ill and dying on the bed, he was so lustful that even then he was thinking about sexual intimacy. How this lustful MK Gandhi transformed into the person who retaliated against the British cruelty in South Africa for a cause and how he became a powerful source of energy for 32 crores Indian Population.

We only know his extraordinary ethics, values, and principles, we think of a man who must’ve been perfect, without any flaws!

You would see in this book that he had his own flaws and how his determination, discipline, routine, and improvement on small things overcame his flaws.

Similarly, most of the below-mentioned books show that “winners are not born, they are made!”

Why read Biographies and autobiographies?

autobiographies of famous indian personalities

Each and every biography book will help you become more flexible, determined, visionary, inspirational, and above all a great human being.

The beauty of reading is that you can imagine the story in your own way of fascination. Reading also helps us to become better human beings and smart people.

Best Biography & Autobiography books of Great Personalities of India

If you’re from India and an avid reader of autobiographies, you’ll probably recognize the best and most overwhelming Indian biographies & autobiographies books listed here.

The below mentioned list is the result of my reading habit and a little bit of research, so don’t waste your time verifying the details about these books:

#1. My experiment with truth by M. K. Gandhi

best Indian biographies and autobiographies - my experiment with truth by Mahatma Gandhi

Irrespective of many controversies we have heard about M. K. Gandhi, “My Experiment with Truth” by Mahatma Gandhi himself is a must-read. In his autobiography, at times, he is brutally honest in describing his experiments and incidents.

Without any doubt, I can say that this book is among the best biography and autobiography books in India.

Also, it provides an invaluable insight into one of the 20th century’s most iconic characters whom Albert Einstein once said “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a person as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. (said for Mahatma Gandhi)”.

If such are the words of the greatest scientist in the world, then what more do you need to get excited to read this wonderful book?


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#2. Vivekananda: A Biography – by Swami Nikhilananda

best Indian biographies and autobiographies  swami vivekananda a biography

I recommend this ultimate book to energize and rejuvenate yourself, as I think this book carries the part of himself – Swami’s power. Many have already been energized by just reading him. Remember his famous quote:” Arise, awake and stop not, till the goal is reached”.

Many publications have released the biographies & autobiographies of Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest modern-day yogi of India. Be careful in selecting the books on his life.

Since you have reached here, it means you have come here with a purpose. This one of the best biography books is worthy enough for your all due diligence in searching for such great books. Surely you will get inspired after reading this. This biography book from India is about a man with a clear vision and mind, a brilliant speaker, who has clearly inspired our lives for over a century. His superhuman accomplishments in the 1890’s America with unbelievable odds worked against him. Yet what he did in 1893 in Chicago will be heard for centuries.

Apart from your own read, this is one of the finest biographies to gift your near and dear ones of all age groups and this will surely help students.


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Also, check this one:

We Indians have one of the greatest role models from modern Indian saints India has ever produced, Swami Vivekananda. Swami made Indians believe that “strength is life weakness is death” and one should be strong enough (from both perspectives – physically and mentally) to fight any battle. How can we forget his message to goal-seekers “Arise, awake and stop not, till the goal is reached”? But reading Vivekananda is not only any single topic but this is more related to enlightening ourselves, personality development, and knowing the spiritual aspect of life.

Parents or elders wish to make their children – strong and brave enough to fight against any odd situation in life, sensitive enough to feel the pain of deprived classes, intelligent enough to understand and respond brilliantly to any situation or talk, and knowledgeable enough to accept and learn from the world but at the same time never forget the greatness of our own great culture. In order to help your young kids get a part of the energy, Swami Vivekanand’s persona emits, do one thing. Give them the option to read this set of complete works by Swami Vivekananda, which was written largely by himself.

Apart from Swami Vivekananda’s biography, one should read the complete works of Swami Vivekananda. This set of 9 books was largely written in his own words. This could also be gifted to children in your family, which could also change their lives in a positive manner.

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (set of 9 volumes):
Swami Vivekananda Amazon Setof 10 books
Image courtesy – Amazon


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Also check this collection in Indian languages – Hindi, Kannada.

#3. Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of Abdul Kalam

best Indian biographies and autobiographies  - wings of fire by APJ AbdulKalam

If you are expecting a story about his life, then this is not that. This is more than an autobiography. With very few resources and only dreams, hopes, and aspirations, the man of excellent character changed the defense scenario of India. He later achieved the highest honor in the country and reached the highest position in the country.

APJ Kalaam always wanted to fuel every Indian with the same pride, which he carries. ‘Wings of Fire’ is one of the best-selling biography books of India.


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#4. The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel

best Indian biographies and autobiographies - the man who knew infinity :Ramanujan

Born poor in India in 1887, this rigorously orthodox Hindu, exemplary mathematician rose to the heights before he died at the very young age of 32 years. This is a well-researched book and a fascinating account of the short but outstanding life of the enigmatic and extraordinary mathematician Ramanujan.

Ramanujan could be easily compared with the greatest of any subject or he could be described as the mathematical equivalent of a Mozart.

Everyone would surely find Ramanujan fascinating, even if you have no interest in mathematics.


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#5. Nani A. Palkhiwala: A life M V Kamath

Mr. Nani Palkhiwala was one of the most admired lawyers in India. A must-read biography book for all young brains, who aspire to become legal professionals or lawyers in India. There are two books on the life of Nani Palkhiwala, truly a legal legend of India, and both books are among the best Indian biographies/autobiographies list. Believe me, you won’t resist reading both. I rate this book on top.

Mr. Nani A. Palkhivala is regarded as one of the best lawyers, India has ever produced. His life is a teacher in itself for all legal professionals. Mr. M. V. Kamath, through this book, made Nani alive by telling the story of his life in an impressive manner. His courage, intellect, brilliance, and knowledge were unmatchable.


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Also, I would like to recommend the second book on his life – Nani Palkhivala: The Courtroom Genius by Soli J. Sorabjee and Arvind P. Datar.

best biography books india

#6. The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time

best Indian biographies and autobiographies - the z factor by Subhash Chandra

This is for sure that you won’t regret spending every single penny. Entrepreneurs would love to read this.

An inspiring story of a 17-year-old boy who decided to turn around the family business, who defeated bankruptcy to become one of the richest people in the country with an estimated wealth of around USD 70 Billion. Entered into the media business at the best-ever favorable time to enter. The book shows the risk-taking, courageous character of Subhash Chandra.

You will surely learn a lot. With easy language, this is a must-read!


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#7. I Too Had a Dream by Verghese Kurien (Author)

best Indian biographies and autobiographies - I too had a dream by Verghese Kurien

This is one of the best biography/autobiography books of India. While writing the autobiography, Verghese Kurien would have easily mentioned interesting stories about his sacrificed personal life and hobbies. Rather he was very much focused on showing us how he made Amul a brilliant success story.

This book shows us his legendary role in making the AMUL. It is more important to realize how he drove the success of the cooperative movement and the white revolution.

There are many similarities with another Gujarati Sardar Patel, he was really an Iron Man, whose strength was indispensable when the great work of nation-building was underway.

Indeed, this book deserves to be read by every Indian. One of the best Indian Memoirs!


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#8. Karmayogi: A Biography of E. Sreedharan by M.S. Ashokan

best autobiographies - Karmayogi by e sreedharan

India needs more such examples of bureaucrats & engineers who have spent their lives in the service of fellow human beings. This is truly remarkable that projects of E. Sreedharan have been carried out with the highest degree of efficiency.

The book may influence to Stay humble even though you are such a highly accomplished person like Sreedharan.


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#9. Beyond the Last Blue Mountain by R. M. Lala

best Indian biographies and autobiographies - beyond the last blue mountain by R.M. Lala

J R D Tata: “What is good for India is good for Tatas”

A book written with utmost detail and the personal side of JRD is explained well.

It’s a very inspiring read about JRD to understand the passion and desire that has gone behind setting up and establishing the airline industry and TATA empire in India.


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#10. Not Just an Accountant by Vinod Rai (Author)

best Indian biographies and autobiographies - Vinod Rai-Not Justan Accountant

The book gives insights into the official communication between entities of the governments. How various warning bells have been neglected during the series of scams by UPA Govt. and Congress leadership. The way he addresses the criticism is impeccable.

The best part of the books is the clear and straightforward presentation of facts without any unnecessary storytelling.

He is surely just not an accountant, but more as a leader how he performed the duty with the power of audit is phenomenal.


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#11. The Journey Home by Radhanath Swami

best autobiographies - the journey home by Radhanath Swami

An outstanding story of a young American man, Radhanath Swami who travels to India seeking God and truth. Especially this book is an incredible adventure described in touching detail, which truly mesmerizes.

‘The Journey Home’ gives much deeper insights into the mysterious lives of true Sadhus. In particular, reading this book makes swami, Sadhu’s life quite understandable as well as the devotion path. His life takes him on a journey path from the United States to Europe, the Middle East, and finally to India.

I recommend this magnificent book to everyone.

This inspiring book spreads a positive attitude and shows a new way to look at life.


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Some other notable & Best Indian Biographies and autobiographies from India

As well said by Walt Disney “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”

If you want to read about the Best Indian Biography and autobiography books in Hindi language, click here.

So enjoy this great treasure!

Your opinion really matters, we want you to register your voice about your favorite Biography/ Autobiographies of India, and let others benefit from your opinion on these books : (Pls note, this poll is closed now)

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Poll Question: Do let us know which are your favorite Biographies.

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best biography and autobiography books india

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