From the kings of the past to the celebrities of today, India has a rich history of everlasting real life love stories. Some are well known and some have been lost or forgotten in the sands of time. In her books, Kiran Manral brings to you some of India’s most intriguing true love stories.

Salim and Anarkali

The tragic story of the exquisite Anarkali and the impossible love she had for Prince Salim, the apparent heir to the Mughal emperor Akbar, which has captured our collective imagination for years. This epic love story has also been filmed as one of the evergreen movies of Indian cinema Mughal-e-Azam. You can read their epic love story here.

Mrignayni and Man Singh Tomar

There was once a young girl, raised wild in the forests. She won the heart of the bravest king of the time and became his queen. Would you believe they were brought together by a wild buffalo? Not very romantic at all, but such is the tale of Raja Man Singh Tomar of Gwalior and the beautiful and brave doe-eyed girl who would go down in history as Queen Mrignayni. You can read this unlikeliest of love stories here.

Dilip Kumar and Madhubala

Mughal-E-Azam popularized the epic love story of Salim and Anarkali on screen. The real-life romance of its legendary actors, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala, met with a similar, tragic end. You can read their tale of love here.

Mirza and Sahiba

The doomed love story of Mirza and Sahiba who were nurtured by the same woman during infancy. Though they were not related by blood, their love was deemed forbidden by society and brought devastation to them as well as their families. You can read the tragic tale of their love here.

Raj Kapoor and Nargis

A film-maker who was the darling of the masses, and the heroine who was his muse, inspiration and partner. It was a relationship that defied all moral censure and social norms. Theirs was a love story that set the screen ablaze in every frame they shared. You can read the love story of the blue-eyed showman, Raj Kapoor, and the feisty Nargis here.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sakshi Rawat

He was the most eligible bachelor in the country. She was an intern at a hotel hosting the Indian cricket team. When they got married, a million hearts broke. After all, Captain Cool had more fans than he could count. Read the love story of former Indian cricket-team captain MS Dhoni and his wife Sakshi, here.

Bajirao and Mastani

This was a love story that shocked people as it defied social and religious barriers. But neither he, a Maratha warrior who had not lost a battle in twenty years, nor she, a Persian beauty, feared anyone. Their story endures, albeit as an addendum in the history of the great Maratha Empire – a tale of a brave warrior and his ethereally beautiful wife, Mastani. You can read their shrouded-in-mystery love story here.

Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri

The love story of Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri is as much filled with drama as the movies which have been King Khan’s journey to stardom. Find out how the King of Romance like a true king wooed the queen of his heart here.

Edwina Mountbatten and Jawaharlal Nehru

She was a beautiful English aristocrat married to one of the most powerful people at the time, Lord Mountbatten. He was a dashing and cultured politician who was slated to become prime minister of India. Theirs was a relationship that defied time, geography, and circumstances. One that could never be, but would continue to be spoken about in hushed whispers decades after Edwina and Nehru were no more. You can read more about their love here.

Gayatri Devi and Sawai Man Singh II

She was twelve and he was twenty-one. He was a king and a champion polo player, she a young princess, one of the most beautiful in the world. Theirs was a love story that captivated the world. You can read their enthralling love story here.

Kiran Manral has published several novels. She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, Chair of the Women Unlimited Series of the Taj Colloquium, a mentor with Sheroes, Qween and Back 2 The Front, and is an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi. To read the full series of her ‘True Love Stories‘ click here.


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