1942 - Joins Quit India Movement, jailed during freedom struggle.
1951 - Becomes founder-member of erstwhile Jana Sangh, a precursor to Bharatiya Janata Party.
1957 - Becomes leader of Jana Sangh; elected to Lok Sabha for first time.
1962 - Elected to Rajya Sabha.
1968 - President, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (1968-1973).
1975 - Placed under house arrest during Emergency.
1977 - Becomes founder-member of Janata Party (1977-1980), External Affairs Minister in Janata Party government.
1980 - President, BJP (1980-1986)
1984 - Loses Lok Sabha election to Madhavrao Scindia from his home town Gwalior.
1992 - Conferred Padma Vibhushan.
1996 - Becomes PM, but government lasts only 13 days.
1998 - NDA comes to power again, sworn in as PM for 2nd time. His govt carries out a series of successful nuclear tests at Pokhran and India declares itself a nuclear weapons state.
1999 - Bus journey to Pakistan in February 1999 was widely appreciated for starting a new era of negotiations to resolve the long-pending dispute between the two countries.
* India wins Kargil war, Vajpayee hailed for successful leadership.
* Resigns after his government loses a parliamentary vote of confidence on April 13, 1999.
* Sworn in as PM for third time on October 13, 1999 after his party and its allies regain control.
2001 - Holds Agra Summit with then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf; talks break down.
2004 - NDA loses polls.
2005 - Announces his retirement from politics.
2015 - Conferred Bharat Ratna.