India has been the land of great love stories for many years. This is why even today Bollywood continues to make so many love stories. The Taj Mahal is the symbol of eternal love and embodies the spirit of romantic love that has been part of the Indian history since time immemorial. Although there are many legendary tales of romance in the Indian history and mythology, a lot of them are fictional. However, there are amazing real life stories as well that are just as good as any fictional tale of romance. Here are the top 10 amazing real life Indian love stories.
The story of Sassui and Punnhun is an old Sindhi folktale about the prince of Kech Makran in Balochistan, Mir Punnhun Khan and the princess of Bhambore in Sindh, Sassui. The Raja of Bhambore gave up Sassui on birth as it was foretold that she would bring great shame to the family. She was raised by a washerman and grew up to be immensely beautiful. Punnhun heard of her beauty and came to marry her. But his brothers weren’t happy with him marrying a lowly washerman’s daughter so they took him away with deceit. Sassui ran on foot from Bhambore to Kech and died in the desert in between. Punnhun too ran from Kech and died at the same place in the desert to meet his lover in her grave.
Mirza and Sahiba is another Punjabi folk tale about Mirza, the son of a Kharal Jat land baron and Sahiba, the daughter of the chief of Kheewa of Sial tribe. They grew up together and fell in love. When they grew up Mirza had to go back to his home town and meanwhile Sahiba was forced to marry someone else. She wrote a letter to Mirza to come save her. Mirza went despite of warnings from his family and carried her away during her mehndi ceremony. Sahiba’s brothers chased them and eventually caught up and fought Mirza, killing him with a sword. When Sahiba saw this she killed herself with Mirza’s sword and the lovers became immortalized in folk history.
The story of Dhola and Maru comes from Rajasthan though there are versions from Chhattisgarh as well. The story is of a prince Dhola and a princess Maru who are married in childhood. But when the father of Dhola dies in battle there is no one to remind him of his marriage. He grows up forgetting about Maru and marries Malwani. A group of folk singers from Maru’s hometown of Poogal visit Narwar and remind Dhola of his first marriage. He remembers everything and faces many obstacles, from Malwani and Maru’s admirer Umar Sumar, to get back to Maru. In the end they are able to get back together and live happily every after.
This one is not a typical love story but definitely among the top Indian love stories. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire was married young to Saibai, from the Nimbalkar dynasty. They were married young and Shivaji remained busy in his conquests but they grew close together and Saibai is said to be his favorite wife. They had four children together. It is said that the last word Shivaji said at his deathbed was ‘Sai’.
The story of Prithviraj Chauhan and Samyukta is a popular tale of love and chivalry. Samyukta was the beautiful daughter of a rival of Prthviraj, Jaichand of Kannauj and he didn’t want her to marry him. But both Prithviraj and Samyukta were in love with each other. Jaichand organized a Swayamvara for his daughter and invited every prince except Prithviraj. Instead he had a clay statue made of Prithviraj and placed it outside his door to serve as a doorman. When Samyukta had to choose her husband she went out of the hall and put the garland across the statue of Prithviraj. He was hiding behind his own statue and caught Samyukta and escaped with her. When Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj, Samyukta performed Jauhar and killed herself.
Peshwa Baji Rao was a military general to the fourth Maratha Chhatrapati Shahuji. His love story with Mastani has become a legendary tale. The origins of Mastani are not confirmed. Some say that she was the daughter of a Hindu Maharaja and his Persian wife while others say that she was the daughter of Nizam of Hyderabad. Some even think that she could have been a dancer in the court of the Nizam. Whoever she was, Baji Rao fell in love with her and married her despite great opposition from his family. When Baji Rao died in battle it is said that a grief stricken Mastani committed suicide.
Sohni Mahiwal is another great love story coming out of the Punjabi folk tales. This is the story of Sohni, the daughter of a potter and Mahiwal, a buffalo herder. Sohni was forced to marry another potter but her love for Mahiwal drove her to swim across a river to meet Mahiwal. She used an earthen pot to help her swim across. When her sister in law found out about this she replaced the baked earthen pot with an unbaked one. When she tried to cross the river the unbaked clay dissolved in the water and she drowned. Seeing her drown, Mahiwal also jumped in the river and drowned.
This one is an interesting story because a lot of people still think that Anarkali wasn’t a real person. Salim was the son of Akbar and Anarkali was supposedly a slave girl who dared to love the prince. When Akbar found out about their love he had Anarkali buried alive between two walls. The lack of evidence about the existence of Anarkali makes this story unacceptable to historians but nonetheless it is one of the most iconic love stories of India.
Heer Ranjha is the most popular of the Punjabi folk tales. It’s about Ranjha, a Punjabi Jat who played magical flute. He was forced to leave his home and traveled around till he reached Heer’s village and fell in love with her. Heer gave him the job of taking care of her father’s cattle and she fell in love with his flute playing. They met secretly for many years till they were caught and Ranjha was forced to leave. He went and became a Jogi and renounced the world. Meanwhile Heer was married off to Saida Khera. After a few years the Jogi Ranjha wound up in Heer’s village again. They ended up with each other but on the day of their wedding Heer’s jealous uncle poisoned the food which killed Heer. Ranjha then deliberately ate the poisoned food to commit suicide alongside Heer.
The top Indian love story has to be the one that has been immortalized in the Taj Mahal, a monument built by Shah Jahan in the memory of the love of his life, Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal is one of the 7 wonders of the world and is a symbol of eternal love. Born Arjumand Banu Begum, she was named Mumtaz Mahal by Shah Jahan after marriage as it means the ‘jewel of the palace’. The couple stayed together all the time and shared a great love for each other. Mumtaz Mahal gave birth to 13 children but died while conceiving the 14th.