Bollywood has given us many hits over the years be it comedy, drama or action movies. One of the most-watched variety of films in Bollywood is historical movies that are inspired by our history. These movies also have so magical performances and characters that stay with you for a long time. If you are looking for such movies, we have curated a list of the best historical movies made in Bollywood.
Here is a list of the best Bollywood historical movies that are a must-watch for you:
One of the most controversial yet memorable historical Bollywood movies is Sanjay Leela Bhansali produced Padmaavat featuring Deepika, Ranveer and Shahid Kapoor in key roles. The movie is based on a poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi that tells the story of a 13th century Queen of Chittorgarh named Padmini and Alauddin Khilji who is an evil sultan of Delhi. It is one of the most expensive historical Bollywood movies ever been made.
2. Jodhaa Akbar
Bajirao Mastani is based on a Marathi novel Rau by Nagnath S. Inamdar that showcases the love story of the Maratha Peshwa Bajirao I (1700–1740 AD) and his second wife, Mastani. This film is also directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and features Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Tanvi Azmi in key roles. A wartime love story that keeps you engaged with dialogues as well as music.
3. Bajirao Mastani
As the name of this film suggests, the story of this movie is set at the time of the Indus Valley civilization (2016 BC). The story of the film revolves around Sarman who is a poor farmer and gets in rivalry with a tyrant who killed his family. On this journey, he also falls in love with the daughter of a priest. The cast of the film includes Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde, Kabir Bedi and Nitish Bharadwaj in key roles.
4. Mohenjo Daro
Jodhaa Akbar was a historical romantic drama movie that was released in 2008 featuring Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonu Sood and Ila Arun in key roles. The story of the film is about a believed historic event where the Mughal Emperor married a Hindu woman of another kingdom for a strategic alliance. As time passes, the arranged marriage starts to become more of a love story. The music of AR Rahman in this movie just adds a cherry on top.
5. The Legend of Bhagat Singh
The Legend of Bhagat Singh is a historical biography drama movie that showcases the life of our freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. This movie was released in 2002 and features Ajay Devgn, Sushant Singh, Amrita Rao and Raj Babbar in key roles. The story of the film revolves around Bhagat who witnesses the British rule in India that made people miserable. This leads to him becoming a fearless freedom fighter for the Independence of the country.
6. Mangal Pandey
Mangal Pandey: The Rising is a film based on the life of an Indian soldier named Mangal Pandey who lead the Revolt of 1857 against the Britishers in India. The movie features super talented actors like Aamir Khan, Toby Stephens, Ameesha Patel and Rani Mukherji in key roles. Mangal and William Gordon had become friends during a war in Afghanistan but when the East India Company takes some evil actions, it leads to the fire that Mangal lit for The First War of Indian Independence.
Panipat is a 2019 released historical drama action movie that is based on the Mughal-Maratha war popularly known as the third battle of Panipat. The movie shows how Ahmad Shah Abdali raised an army from the Pashtun and Baloch tribes to destroy the Maratha army commanded by Sadashivrao Bhau. The cast of the film includes Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon and Zeenat Aman in key roles.
Kesari is a historical drama-action movie based on the Battle of Saragarhi that was fought in 1897. In this battle, 21 Sikh soldiers fought 200-600 Afghan tribesmen. The entire battle was narrated by Sepoy Gurmukh Singh who was the only survivor during the battle. The music of the film is also soulful and charismatic with singers like B Praak, Arijit Singh and Jazzy B on board. The cast of the film includes Akshay Kumar, Parineeti Chopra, Vikram Kocchar and Edward Sonnenblick in key roles.
Tanhaji is a 2020 released period drama film that is based on the life of a Maratha warrior who was a trusted lieutenant in the Maratha army. The story shows how Tanhaji made sacrifices and reclaimed the Kondhana fort that was earlier invaded and conquered by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. This movie features Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Saif Ali Khan and Neha Sharma in key roles. A great historical Bollywood movie to watch with your friends and family.
Asoka movie featuring Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor as leads is a period action drama. It is based on the life of Asoka who was heir to the Maurya Empire. This film showcases how Asoka a known killing machine Mauryan emperor who killed his brother went from killing to transforming into a teacher of Buddhism. During this journey, he also fells in love with the princess of Kalinga named a Kaurwaki.
Lagaan is not based on a true story but what makes this Bollywood film historic is that it is one of the oscar-nominated Indian movies to ever release. It revolves around the story of a bunch of villagers who accept an invite to a cricket match by Britishers. This match can remove taxes (Lagaan) on their farming incomes. If the villages win, they don’t have to pay tax for the next three years but if they lose, they will have to double. The movie features Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh Rachel Shelley, Yaspal Sharma, Raghubir Yadav and many more talented actors.
Raazi is an action spy movie featuring Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal and Jaideep Ahlawat in key roles. The story of the film is based on the true life of an Indian spy named Sehmat, who is married to a Pakistani officer. The movie shows how she used to send classified information back to India during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
13. Mission Mangal
Mission Mangal is another true story based historic Bollywood drama movie that showcases the story of a group of scientists at ISRO to accomplish the Mars Orbiter Mission. The cast of the film is star-studded including Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha Kirti Kulhari and many more. The movie also beautifully portrays how we can relate our everyday life to our challenges and overcome them.
Manikarnika is a historical action drama movie based on the life of the Queen of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai. The cast of the film includes Kangana Ranaut, Ankita Lokhande, Rimi Sen and Atul Kulkarni in key roles. This movie shows how Queen Lakshmi Bai refuses to bow down to the British East India Company and brings a fiery revolution against them. A great historical movie showcasing the brave women in the history of our beautiful motherland.
15. Netaji Shubhash Chandra Bose
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is a Bollywood war-drama biography based on the life of Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose. The film showcases how he played a pivotal role in India’s freedom struggle during the Second World War. The movie features iconic actors like Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Sachin Khedekar, Divya Dutta and Rajit Kapur in key roles.
We hope you had fun exploring these historical movies from Bollywood. Happy binging!