Rani Lakshmibai

Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi

 (19 November 1828  – 17 June 1858)


The queen of Jhansi was one among the great hindu nationalists india had  produced. She was also a leader of  the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and was  a symbol of resistance to the rule of the British East India Company in India.

The queen Lakshami bai  was born as Manikarnika Tambe into a Marathi family.  She married Raja Gangadhar rao the King of Jhansi in 1842  and became the Rani of Jhansi. After her marriage Manu-bai became Lakshmibai Newalkar.. 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, she 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.

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 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.


During the Indian Mutiny in 1857, many lives were lost and innocenct people were killed and the mutiny failed. However  Rani Jhansi did win back her Jhansi and thereafter  created the state to its former glory having a full treasury and army of women matching the army of men.

Sir Hugh Rose attacked Jhansi on 17th March 1858. The next day’s battle was the Rani’s last. Her death was heroic, her army had declined as they were out numbered by the opposition forces. The British Army had encircled her and her men. There was no escape. After a great fight  the Rani died muttering quotes from  Bhagvad Gita.
When she went to War and took up arms she was the very embodiment of the War Goddess Kali. She was beautiful and frail. But her radiance made men diffident. She was young in years, but her decisions were mature. Such a confident and dominant woman she was !

 British General Sir Hugh Rose who fought against the brave maharani several times and was defeated time and time again had great opinion about the Rani

His statement after the war was

Of the mutineers the bravest and the greatest commander was the Rani”.  In a battle in which the British forces commanded by Sir Hugh Rose conquered Gwalior, fought on 17 and 18 June 1858, she died but stayed in the hearts of millions of Indians and became inspiration for the freedom fighters of india.


Leave a comment