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Date of Birth 19-11-1835
Nationality Indian
Sunsign Sagittarius
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Lakshmi Bai, the Rani of Jhansi (c.19 November 1835 – 17 June 1858) was the queen of the Maratha-ruled princely state of Jhansi, situated in the north-central part of India. She was one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and a symbol of resistance to the rule of the British East India Company in the subcontinent.

Rani Lakshmibai s Childhood

Lakshmibai was born in the holy town of Kashi. She was named Manikarnika and was nicknamed Manu.Her father was Moropant Tambe and her mother Bhagirathibai Tambe. Her parents hailed from Maharashtra.Her mother died when she was four. Her father worked for a court Peshwa of Bithoor district. The Peshwa brought her up like his own daughter. The Peshwa called her as "Chhabili". The meaning of Chabili is light-heartedness. She was given education at home.She was more independent in her childhood unlike others of her age. She studied archery, horsemanship, self-defence. Tatya Tope, was her mentor.Lakshmibai was married to the Maharaja of Jhansi, Raja Gangadhar Rao, in 1842. After her marriage she was called as Lakshmibai. The Raja was very friendly to her. She gave birth to a boy named Damodar Rao in 1851. However, the child died when it was four months old. After the death of their son, the Raja and Rani of Jhansi adopted a child Anand Rao. Anand Rao was the son of Gangadhar Rao s cousin, and was renamed as Damodar Rao. However, it is said that the Raja of Jhansi never recovered from his son s death, and died on 21 November 1853.Because Damodar Rao was adopted, the British East India Company, under Governor-General Lord Dalhousie, applied the Doctrine of Lapse, rejecting Rao s claim to the throne and annexing the state to its territories. In March 1854, Lakshmibai was given a pension of 60,000 Rs. and ordered to leave the palace and the fort.

First War of Independence in India (1857)

On May 10, 1857 the Indian Rebellion started in Meerut. The rumour that the bullet casings supplied by British to its soldiers were coated with pork and beef began to spread throughout India. Lakshmibai was ruling Jhansi alone and she began leading her troops swiftly and efficiently to quell skirmishes initiated by other princes. The city was relatively calm in the midst of unrest in the region but Jhansi Rani Lakshmibai conducted Haldi Kumkum ceremony with pomp in front of all women of Jhansi to provide assurance to her subjects and to convince them that Britishers are coward and not to afraid of them.
Till this point, Lakshmibai was not hesitant to rebel against the British. Lakshmibai s forces did not kill any east India Company officials and their wives and children on 8 June 1857 but the Britisher malign her in Jokhan Bagh. She fought with British troops when the Sir Hugh Rose besieged Jhansi on 23 March 1858. An army of more 20,000, headed by Tatya Tope, was sent to relieve Jhansi but they failed to do so when they fought with the British on 31st March. Hugh Rose and an Indian general betrayed Rani Lakshmibai . Three days later the besiegers captured the city. Jhansi Rani Lakshmibai escaped in the night with her son, surrounded by guards.With Anand Rao, Jhansi Rani Lakshmibai decamped to Kalpi with her troops, where she joined additional rebel forces, including Tatya Tope. They moved on to Gwalior, where she grouped rebel forces and defeated the army of the Maharaja of Gwalior. They could occupy a strategic fort at Gwalior. However, on 18 June 1858, while battling against 8th (Kings Royal Irish) Hussars in Kotah-ki-Serai 26°12 44.26?N 78°10 24.76?E near the Phool Bagh of Gwalior, she was mortally wounded and a few locals cremated her body. The British captured Gwalior after three days. In the British report of battle, Hugh Rose was reported hurt badly and he commented that the Jhansi Rani Lakshmibai is "perserable, clever and beautiful" and she is "the most dangerous of all Indian leaders".

In fiction

    Flashman in the Great Game by George MacDonald Fraser, a historical fiction novel about the Indian Revolt describing several meetings between Flashman and the Rani.
    La femme sacrée, in French, by Michel de Grèce. A novel based on the Rani of Jhansi s life in which the author imagines an affair between the Rani and an English lawyer.

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