Rani Lakshmibai

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Rani Lakshmibai
Rani of Jhansi
Rani of jhansi.jpg
Birth name Manikarnika
Born 19 November 1828(1828-11-19)
Birthplace Varanasi, India
Died 18 June 1858
Place of death Gwalior, India
Predecessor Rani Rama Bai
Successor British Raj
Consort to Jhansi Naresh Maharaj Gangadhar Rao Newalkar
Children Damodar Rao, Anand Rao

Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi (19 November 1828[1][2]June 17 1858)[3] was an Indian queen and warrior.

She was one of the leaders of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and for Indian nationalists a symbol of resistance to the rule of the British East India Company in India.

Life[change | change source]

Rani was born as Manikarnika Tambe into a Marathi family.[4] She married Raja Gangadhar Rao, the Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842, and became the Rani of Jhansi. After her marriage Manu-bai became Lakshmibai Newalkar. Before her marriage, she was known as Chabeeli because of her jolly ways. Rani Lakshmibai had a son, Damodar Rao, in 1851, but he died at the age of about four months. On the day before the raja's death in November 1853 he adopted a son. His name was Anand, but was renamed Damodar, after their actual son. The raja wrote a letter to the British government of India requesting that his widow should be recognised as the ruler of Jhansi after his death during her lifetime. After the death of her husband the head of the British government of India refused to allow her adopted son to become raja and Jhansi was then ruled by the British.[5]

After all the British in Jhansi had been killed by mutinous Indian troops in June 1857 the Rani took over the administration provisionally until the British returned. However she had to form an army to defeat the invading forces of Orchha and Datia and the British believed she had been responsible for the earlier British deaths.[6] In March 1858 British forces led by Sir Hugh Rose came to Jhansi to take back the city from the Rani who now wanted independence. Jhansi was besieged and finally taken after strong resistance. Many of the people of the city were killed in the fighting and afterwards. The Rani escaped to Kalpi and jointly with the Maratha general Tatya Tope then seized Gwalior. In the battle in which the British forces commanded by Sir Hugh Rose conquered Gwalior, fought on 17 and 18 June 1858, she died.[7]

Statue of a horse ridden by a woman holding a sword
Statue of the Rani of Jhansi in Agra

References[change | change source]

  1. Meyer, Karl E. & Brysac, Shareen Blair (1999) Tournament of Shadows. Washington, DC: Counterpoint; p. 138--"The Rani of Jhansi ... known to history as Lakshmi Bai, she was possibly only twelve in 1842 when she married the .. Rajah of Jhansi ..."
  2. Though the day of the month is regarded as certain historians disagree about the year: among those suggested are 1827 and 1835.
  3. Jhansi Ki Rani Lakshmibai Biography
  4. Allen Copsey (2005-09-23). "Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi - Early Life". Copsey-family.org. http://www.copsey-family.org/~allenc/lakshmibai/early.html. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  5. Edwardes, Michael (1975) Red Year. London: Sphere Books; p. 113-14
  6. Edwardes, Michael (1975) Red Year. London: Sphere Books; p. 116-17
  7. Edwardes, Michael (1975) Red Year. London: Sphere Books; p. 118-25

More information[change | change source]

  • Edwardes, Michael (1975) Red Year: the Indian Rebellion of 1857. London: Sphere; pp. 111-126
  • Meyer, Karl E. & Brysac, Shareen Blair (1999) Tournament of Shadows. Washington, DC: Counterpoint; pp. 138-145

Other websites[change | change source]