There have been a whole lot of historic landmarks in Indian history in the last one hundred years. From gaining independence to making scientific advancements, from sports to economics, from entertainment to politics, we sure have come a long way. India’s greatness has allured countries the world over and the change has been gradual but progressive. The nation has a promising future ahead but how about we take a moment to revisit the glorious past?

Here are 50 iconic photos that’ll take you through landmark events that contributed to India’s glory and greatness in the last century:

1. Rabindranath Tagore wins the Nobel Prize for Literature, 10th December, 1913.


2. Dadasaheb Phalke’s first movie Raja Harishchandra releases, 3rd May, 1913.


3. CV Raman wins Nobel Prize for Physics, 10th December, 1930.


4. Mahatma Gandhi’s statue is inaugurated at Madame Tussaud’s, 1939.


5. Hindustan Motors begins production. First car manufacturer of India, 1942.


6. Jawaharlal Nehru declares India as a free country, 15th August, 1947.


And addresses a large gathering as the nation celebrates.


7. India’s first President, Dr Rajendra Prasad, is the last to sign the constitution and India is born as a republic two days later on 26th January, 1950.


8. India holds first general elections and voters turn out in plenty, 1951.


9. India hosts the first Asian Games, 4th March, 1951.


10. Manohar Aich wins the Mr Universe title, August, 1952.

He is 103 years old as of now and still going strong.


11. Mihir Sen becomes the first Indian to swim across the English Channel, 1958.


12. Arati Saha became the first Asian woman to swim across the English Channel, 29th September, 1959.


13. Sunil Dutt’s ‘Yaadein’ wins Guinness Book of World Records for least characters in a film, 1964.

He was the only actor in the film apart from Nargis and that too in a silhouette in the final scene.


14. Reita Faria becomes first Indian to win the Miss World crown, 1966.

15. India liberates Bangladesh as Pakistani forces surrender, 16th Dec, 1971.


16. The Chipko Movement comes into effect and saves trees, 26th Mar, 1974.

Tree-huggers embraced trees to save them from contractors who wanted to cut them down.


17. 1st Nuclear test carried out at Pokhran by India, 18th May, 1974.

‘Smiling Buddha’ made India a peace-loving nuclear power.


18. Mother Teresa wins Nobel Peace Prize, 10th December, 1979.


19. Launch of Aryabhatta satellite, 19th April, 1975.


20. Bhanu Athaiya wins the first Oscar for India, 11th April, 1983.

Bhanu Athaiya was awarded the Academy Award for best Costume Design in the film Gandhi.


21. India wins the Cricket World Cup for the first time, 25th June, 1983.

hindustan times

22. Rakesh Sharma becomes first Indian to travel in space, 2nd April, 1984.


23. Bachendri Pal climbs Mount Everest, 23rd May, 1984.


24. First TV series Hum Log is launched, 7th July, 1984.

The soap opera that left streets empty as everyone stayed home to watch.


25. Viswanathan Anand becomes Chess Grandmaster, 1988.

He was only 18 years old when he accomplished this magnificent feat.


26. Liberalisation is introduced by Finance Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, 24th July, 1991.

It opened India to the global market.


27. Satyajit Ray is awarded the Lifetime Achievement Oscar, 30th March, 1992.


28. Sushmita Sen is crowned Miss Universe, 20th May, 1994.


29. And Aishwarya Rai becomes Miss World on 19th November, 1994.

In 1994, after Sushmita and Aishwarya won their respective crowns, India had announced itself on the world stage.


30. Amartya Sen wins Nobel Prize for Economics, 10th December, 1998.

31. India recaptures Tiger Hill in Kargil, 3rd- 7th July, 1999.

The capture of Tiger Hill was vital in India’s victory of The Kargil War.


32. Karnam Malleswari wins Bronze for weightlifting in Sydney Olympics, 19th September, 2000.

She was the first Indian woman to step on the podium.


33. Koneru Humpy becomes youngest woman Chess Grandmaster at the age of 15. She is felicitated with the Arjuna Award in 2002-03.


34. Sania Mirza wins Grand Slam junior title in doubles at Wimbledon, 6th July, 2003.


35. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore wins Silver for Double Trap Shooting at the 2004 Athens Olympics, 17th August, 2004.

36. Pratibha Patil becomes the first lady President of the country, 25th July, 2007.


37. India wins inaugural T20 World Cup, 24th September, 2007.


38. Tata acquires Jaguar and Land Rover, 2008.


39. India puts 10 satellites in one launch into Earth’s orbit, 28th April, 2008.


40. Abhinav Bindra fetches Gold in 10m Air Rifle event at Beijing Olympics, August, 2008.

He is the first Indian individual gold medalist in Olympic history.


41. A.R. Rahman wins double Oscar from Slumdog Millionaire, February 22nd, 2009.


42. India hosts Commonwealth Games for the first time, October, 2010.

43. India wins Cricket World Cup for the second time, 2nd April, 2011.


44. Sucheta Kadethankar crosses the Gobi Desert in 51 days, 11 hours and 40 minutes, 2011.

45. London Olympic medal winners (with the President): Mary Kom- Bronze, Vijay Kumar- Silver, Sushil Kumar- Silver, Gagan Narang- Bronze, Saina Nehwal- Bronze, Yogeshwar Dutt- Bronze in August, 2012.


46. Malavath Purna became the youngest woman in the world to climb Mt Everest, 25th May, 2014.

She was only 13 years old when she scaled to the top of Everest.


47. Mangalyaan Mission makes India first country to enter Mars orbit on first attempt, 24th September, 2014.


48. Kailash Sathyarthi wins Nobel Peace Prize, 10th December, 2014.


49. Indian Blind Cricket Team wins the World Cup, 7th December, 2014.


50. Saina Nehwal becomes World Number 1 in badminton, 28th March, 2015.

She was also crowned the winner of India Open Super Series.


Like I said, it is impossible to mention all of India’s finest hours from the last decade in 50 photographs. Let us know in the comments section and we’ll feature them in part two of the series.