The 38-year-old will always be remembered for his magical spell against Pakistan here in 1999 when he became only the second bowler after Englishman Jim Laker to grab 10 wickets in a Test innings.
He will also be known for putting the team before himself, bowling with a broken jaw against the West Indies in the 2002 Antigua Test and then trapping Brian Lara leg-before.
No bowler has won as many matches for India at home and away as leg-spinner Kumble, known for his perseverance and courage in adversity during an illustrious 18-year career.
India are now left with just one experienced spinner in Harbhajan Singh, Kumble's partner for more than a decade. The "spin twins" were instrumental in scripting many Test and one-day victories.
Kumble was a spinner with a difference, defying convention and odds on way to 619 wickets in 132 matches - the third highest in Tests after Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan (756) and retired Australian Shane Warne (708).
He claimed five or more wickets in a Test innings 35 times and 10 or more in a match eight times.
Kumble was not a big turner of the ball like off-spinner Muralitharan and leg-spinner Warne, but was second to none when it came to probing batsmen's credentials with shrewd variations.
He was faster in the air and his forte was discipline. He was capable of bowling long spells without losing his concentration, unsettling batsmen with his accuracy and bounce.
His biggest contribution was he kept alive a rich tradition of spin bowling which was at its peak in the 1960s and 1970s, thanks to Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan.
Kumble, who made his Test debut in 1990 in England, was not without his critics in his initial years as they claimed the spinner had the ability to succeed only at home on low, slow and wearing pitches.
The critics were forced to eat their words as Kumble played key roles in many away victories.
He bagged seven wickets in India's win in the 2002 Headingley Test which helped his team square the four-Test series. He took 24 wickets in three Tests to help his side draw a tough four-match series in Australia in 2004.
Kumble was the key to India's Test series win in Pakistan four years ago when he grabbed 15 wickets in three matches, including eight at Multan.
India won their first Test series in the West Indies in 2006 after 35 years, with Kumble playing a vital role. He took six wickets in the second innings at Kingston which saw the hosts crash to 219 chasing a 269-run target.
Kumble was named captain in the twilight of his career - against Pakistan at home last year - and gave a good account of himself.
He kept his cool during the ill-tempered Test series in Australia earlier this year, ruffling the hosts' feathers when he said "only one team was playing in the spirit of the game".
Kumble, a gutsy lower-order batsman, had to wait for 17 years to score his only Test century - an unbeaten 110 against England at the Oval last year. He scored 2,506 runs with one hundred and five half-centuries.
He quit one-day cricket last year with 337 wickets in 271 matches.