Unveil Indian History with Vikram Sampath

Vikram Sampath is well-known for his books on Indian history. He is known for telling deep stories from Indian history and doing extensive research to dig them out. Who is Vikram Sampath and what kinds of riches are in his books? Let’s learn more to find out what makes his work interesting!

Background on Vikram Sampath, the Historian:

Vikram Sampath is a famous author who comes from Karnataka, India, which has abundant culture. Sampath was born and raised in this culturally rich area. His formative years were filled with history, music, customs, and stories. So, his upbringing developed a strong interest in history, culture, and heritage. 

Other than writing books, he is 

  • a historian, 
  • trained in Carnatic music,
  • an ex-banker,
  • an eloquent speaker, 
  • a scholar.

His mother is Maharashtrian and father, a Tamilian. Intrigued by Indian history and trained in Carnatic music, Vikram is multi-faceted and talented.

Vikram Sampath was born in Bengaluru, Karnataka, with a natural love for telling stories and a strong desire to learn. His journey is just as interesting as the stories he tells. 

Vikram was educated at prestigious schools and educational institutions such as BITS Pilani. His corporate career included working at GE Capital, Citibank, and Hewlett-Packard in the past.

Though he is well-qualified in engineering, mathematics and finance, and worked in the banking and finance corporate sector, he eventually wrote interesting nonfiction books on Indian history due to his innate passion for researching history.

He has also earned a Fellowship at the Royal History Society.

Also read: Dulha Rais Conquest of Dausa the Early History of Kachwahas (Non-Fiction)

Vikram Sampath’s Works: A Look at the Tapestry

Intrigued by the Wadiyar dynasty of Mysore, Vikram researched on the royal family. Later, he published a book on them in 2008.

Next, he published his second book in 2012 on a significant Indian classical singer and dancer. 

This second book is about Gauhaar Jaan who lived through the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century but was ahead of her time in terms of learning various styles of singing.

“My Name is Gauhar Jaan” got him critical acclaim and the Yuva Puraskar award from the Sahitya Academi which gave him a boost to take writing more seriously.

This put him on a roll as he published another book in 2013, on noted music composer S. Balachander. After receiving a positive response for his writing, he quit his full-time job in 2013 and pursued further studies at the University of Queensland.

Also read: Kavita Kane Mythological Fiction Books

There he completed his PhD in both history and music. Then, he authored a two-part biography series on Veer Savarkar.

Sampath’s writing covers a wide range of topics, and each one gives an interesting look into different parts of Indian culture and history. 

Vikram’s works are authentic, based on primary sources of information and have a lot of detail, from biographies that shed light on the lives of famous people to carefully researched historical accounts.

His books have old photographs, and maps, wherever he could make them available for his readers.

In an interview, Vikram says that as an adolescent he began watching a serial “The Sword of Tipu Sultan”, made by Sanjay Khan for television. This serial got into controversy in Karnataka because the Wodeyars were portrayed wrongly.

Video credit Ajeetbharti.

This ignited curiosity and a passion to discover the truth about the Wodeyar dynasty. Thus began his journey of rediscovering, unlearning and relearning Indian history and sharing his learnings with the world.

Books of Vikram Sampath

Waiting for Shiva

The holy place of Kashi has been a refuge for Hindus and a target for the cruelest attacks on Hindu idols and traditions for centuries. 

Every time someone tried to tear down the temple, it got stronger and better. The perseverance, persistence, and resolve of Hindus followed every iconoclastic storm.

The Shivaling kept resurfacing and Hindus rebuilt temple from the ruins and raised shrines once again.

Varanasi, a sacred city, symbolizes our culture and our resilience throughout centuries of adversity and the deadly attacks of the invaders. 

Nowadays, Varanasi/Kashi is closely associated with Gyanvapi in the news.

Video credit India Today

Even then, many people are not aware of the historical facts of Kashi Vishwanath mandir and Gyanvapi. So, if you are a patriot of Indian civilization then this book will give you research-based facts.

Unearthing the truth of Kashi’s Gyan Vapi, “Waiting for Shiva” recounts the true history.

Savarkar: Echos from a Forgotten Past (part 1)

Some understand Savarkar while others are curious about his ideology. Overall, there is interest and debate around what Savarkar said as a prominent figure in India’s struggle for freedom.

Savarkar disagreed with Gandhi, the Indian National Congress, and nonviolence. He criticised Gandhi’s ideology and was in favour of Akhand Bharat. Savarkar studied law in London to empower support for India’s independence from Britain. 

Video credit Raj Shamani

He was wrongfully convicted of sedition, and severely and inhumanly tortured for eleven years at the Andaman Cellular Jail. This was when he described “Hindutva” and what it means to be a Hindu. All together, Savarkar spent 27 years (longest as an Indian freedom fighter) in jail including his imprisonment at Ratnagiri.

This biography of Savarkar combines genuine archive material from India and other nations to offer a new perspective on his life, thoughts, activities, triumphs and failures.

Savarkar:  A Contested Legacy (part 2)

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar still affects Indian politics and mindset.

Savarkar adopted Hindutva in which all those who consider Bharat as their land are Hindus. He said the 1857 revolt was “the first war for India’s independence” and not a “sepoy mutiny” as described by the British.

Savarkar suffered unimaginably and beyond human rights at the Andaman Cellular jail. Despite the suffering in jail, he did not break or give up on his principles. Rather, his ideology became clearer, sharper and stronger. 

A senior All-India Hindu Mahasabha member, Savarkar denounced Congress “appeasement politics”. 

After Gandhi’s murder, Savarkar was blamed. Eventually, Savarkar was free from criminal charges, but many still believe he killed Gandhi.

This biography reveals Savarkar’s life and ideology based on great research from sources that include Indian and foreign archive papers. The biography is available in Indian languages and English.

Bravehearts of Bharat

Indian history is multilayered and some parts of Indian history are unknown simply because they are not included in history textbooks.

No credit was given to the fifteen valiant Indians who refused to give up when attacked. No one recognized or remembered them.

Video credit Indic Talks

Vikram Sampath recounts the undiscovered bravery and accomplishments of fifteen forgotten Indian heroic men and women of the nation who struggled for freedom, traditions, rights, and faith.

These include …

  • Sher Shah Rajarshi Bhagyachandra Jai Singh from Manipur; 
  • Lalitaditya Muktapida from Kashmir; 
  • Chand Bibi from Ahmednagar; 
  • Lachit Barphukan from Assam; 
  • Begum Hazrat Mahal from Awadh; 
  • Rani Abbakka Chowta from Ullal; 
  • Martanda Varma from Travancore; 
  • Rani Rudrama Devi from Warangal; 
  • Rani Naiki Devi from Gujarat; and 
  • Banda Singh Bahadur from Punjab.

You’ll read Bravehearts of Bharat from cover to cover. 

Splendours of Royal Mysore

Vikram Sampath started his book-writing journey with the history of the Wodeyar family of Mysore.

This Indian history book covers the six centuries of the Wodeyar dynasty and tells you step by step, the dynasty’s growth and decline under rulers who let powerful ministers take over. 

Also read: Anand Neelekanthan Indian Mythology Fiction Books

If you are a passionate history buff then this interesting book will tell you the dynasty’s achievements and struggles, especially the turbulent half-century when they nearly lost their realm.

The book is an important document on the true history of the Mysore royal family in recent years in India.

My Name is Gauhar Jaan

Gauhar Jaan (1873–1930) was well-known for her singing and dance, furthermore, her life reveals how she changed societal stereotypes. Her music career violated social norms, despite her courtesan upbringing. This questioned gender norms and inspired subsequent female artists.

Gauhar Jaan was an Armenian Christian but later converted to Islam. She lived in Kolkata in the late 19th century and early 20th century and learnt a variety of singing styles including kirtan.

Interestingly, Gauhar Jaan was a natural singer and had learnt many styles of singing in those days.

She knew …

  • Classical Hindustani vocal 
  • Kathak dancing
  • Dhrupad 
  • Bengali Kirtan
  • Rabindra Sangeet
  • Gazal 

Also read: Historical Fiction books from India for Independent Readers

She was among the first woman vocalists to use gramophone recording methods in 1902. 

Gauhar Jaan wrote approximately 600 songs in 20 languages. She was popular as “the gramophone girl” and the most famous female artist of her time. This novel recounts her transformative life and times.


Unusual facts and details in Indian history books by Vikram Sampath are interesting to read. His meticulously researched books take readers on an intriguing journey through Indian history.

Sampath’s works connect modern people to their ancestors. He unravels India’s intricate history, exposing forgotten heroes and facts with each page.

Ranging from Gauhar Jaan’s pioneering Indian music in the early 1900s, the history of India’s most revered temple in Varanasi, chronicles of the royal family of Mysore to the legacy of Savarkar, Dr Vikram Sampath continues to inform readers with true historical facts and events.

Sampath’s books teach us the value of knowing our distinct roots in today’s fast-paced society. He brings generations together to uphold cultural pride, get clarity, aids closure on issues and fosters patriotism for Indian civilization.

In a world where real history is hard to hear, Vikram Sampath’s books are enlightening. The value of his books is that they demonstrate India’s strength and resilience and will inspire generations. 

An interesting piece of information for his followers is that historian Vikram Sampath is researching his third book on Savarkar.

Vikram Sampath Instagram Handle and Twitter Handle.

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