Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi Biography | Life, Death and Photos

Alternative titles: Rani Lakshmi Bai Biography, Rani Laxmi Bai, Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi

Rani Lakshmi Bai Biography

The Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai (or Laxmi Bai), was the ruler of the Maratha princely state of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmi Bai was famous for her bravery in the Revolt of 1857. She was one of the notable leaders of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Many British journalists called Rani Lakshmi Bai the "Jezebel of India."

General Hugh Rose once commented that Rani of Jhansi is clever, personable and beautiful. Also, she is the most dangerous leader of all Indian leaders. The following parts of Rani Lakhsmi Bai’s biography will cover all the questions about her history.

Biography on Rani Lakshmi Bai consists of:

1) Early Life of Rani Lakshmi Bai
2) From Manikarnika to Rani Lakshmi Bai (1842-1858)
3) Rani Lakshmi Bai and Jhalkari Bai
4) Rani Lakshmi Bai and Revolt of 1857
5) Rani Lakshmi Bai and Siege Of Jhansi
6) Death Of Rani Lakshmi Bai

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Rani Lakshmi Bai Real Photo


Early Life of Rani Lakshmi Bai

On 29th November 1928, Rani Lakshmi Bai was born  in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, into the Marathi Family. Her birthname was Manikarnika Tambe. Her childhood name was "Manu." Her father, Moropant Tambe, worked in the court of Baji Rao II, the Peshwa of Bithoor and her mother, Bhagirathi Bai (Bhagirathi Sapra), worked in household activities. Manu's parents came from Maharashtra in the 1820s. Manikarnika (Rani Lakshmi Bai) was fondly called "Chhabili," which means playful by the Peshwa of Bithoor. 

Her childhood friends include Tatya Tope, Nana Saheb and Azimullah Khan. Baji Rao II raised Manikarnika Tambe like his own daughter. She was greater unbiased in her adolescence than others of her age. She started learning shooting, horsemanship, fencing and Mallakhamba with the boys in the Peshwa court.

From Manikarnika to Rani Lakshmi Bai (1842-1858)


Manikarnika Tambe was married to Gangadhar Rao Newalkar (the king of Jhansi) in May 1842. Soon after marriage, she was proclaimed as the Rani Lakshmi Bai in honour of the Hindu goddess Devi Lakshmi. Her horses included Pavan, Sarangi and Baadal. In September 1851, Rani Lakshmi Bai gave birth to Damodar Rao. Unfortunately, Damodar Rao died four months later. It was believed that Damodar Rao was killed by the British administrative of Jhansi with the help of snakebite. 

After the death of his only son, Gangadhar Rao's health deteriorated. On 20th November 1853, He adopted the child Anand Rao, the son of Gangadhar Rao's relative. Anand Rao was later renamed Damodar Rao. On 21th November 1853, Gangadhar Rao died. After the death of Maharaja, the Governor-general Lord Dalhousie applied the Doctrine of Lapse, therefore rejecting Damodar Rao's claim as the next Maharaja of Jhansi. After this, Rani Lakshmi Bai said that "Main Apni Jhansi Nahi Doongi." Thus, Jhansi was annexed by the British administration in 1853. In March 1854, Rani of Jhansi was given an annual pension of Rs 60,000.

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Rani Lakshmi Bai Equestrian Statue in Solapur

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Rani Lakshmi Bai and Jhalkari Bai

Jhalkari Bai was duppelganger of Rani lakshmi Bai. Jhalkari Bai played a pivotal role in the 1857 revolt. She was one of the prominent advisors to Rani Lakshmi Bai. On 4th April 1858, he impersonated her as the Rani of Jhansi, thus, allowing Rani Lakshmi Bai to escape through Bhanderi Gate. This led to confusion for the British Army for one day. She was killed in battle on 4th April 1858.

Rani Lakshmi Bai and Revolt of 1857 

On 10th May 1857, the Revolt began in Meerut. In the summer of 1857, Rani Lakshmi Bai performed a Haldi kumkum rite with pomp in front of all of the girls of Jhansi to offer a guarantee to her subjects and to persuade them that the British were cowards and no longer to be fearful of them. In June 1857, the 12th Bengal Native Infantry seized the Jhansi Fort. 40 to 60 British sepoys were killed in this massacre, including British officers. Rani Lakshmi Bai's involvement during this massacre remains a subject matter of debate. Sepoys threatened to gust up a Rani Mahal where she lived. 

Rani Lakshmi Bai wrote a letter to Major Erskine, requesting him to control the administration of Jhansi. On 2th July 1857, Major Erskine granted her to manage the administration of Jhansi on the arrival of a British officer. On the other hand, the Rival Prince Sadashiv Rao (relative of Gangadhar Rao) began claiming the throne of Jhansi. But later, he was imprisoned.

Soon after this, the Ladai Sarkar (Rani of Orchha) invaded Jhansi; she intended to divide Jhansi between Datia's Rani and herself. However, they both were defeated.

Rani Lakshmi Bai and Siege Of Jhansi

Till January 1858, Jhansi was at peace under Laxmi Bai's rule. Advancing from Mau, Gen. Hugh Rose captured Sagar in February and came towards Jhansi in March 1858. On 22th May 1858, General Hugh Rose besieged Jhansi. During this, Dulha Ju (Incharge of gate of Fort) opened the main gate of Fort, which allowed the British to enter the British massacre in Jhansi. Rani Lakshmi Bai also sent appeals to Tatya Tope for help, but unfortunately, Tatya Tope's Army was failed to do service because they were defeated on the way by the Hugh Rose with the help of Nathe Khan (Deewan of Orchha). After this, Rani withdrew from the fort and decided to join either Tatya Tope or Rao Sahib (Nana Sahib's nephew). With Damodar Rao on her back, she dived on her horse Baadal from the Fort. Rani Lakshmi Bai escaped and then captured Kalpi. On 22th May, the British Army again defeated the Rani's Army in Kalpi.

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Jumping Place of Rani Lakshmi Bai

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The Rani of Jhansi with Tatya Tope and Rao Sahib fled once more. After that, Rani Lakshmi Bai came to Gwalior and occupied its fort without opposition. The Indian Rebels declared Nana Sahib as Peshwa of Gwalior. On the other hand, General Hugh Rose captured Morar on 16th June and then turned towards Gwalior on 17th June.


Death Of Rani Lakshmi Bai

On 17th June in Kotah ki Serai, there was a fierce battle between the Indian Army led by Rani Lakshmi Bai and the British Army led by General Hugh Rose. According to Historical records, Rani Lakshmi Bai put on a sowar's uniform. During this, her son was also tied to her back. She was wounded, probably by his sabre. On this occasion, Rani Lakshmi Bai did not want her body to be captured by the British Army. His bodyguard Gul Muhammad Pathan took him to Gangadas Ashram, where this brave woman died. Ramachandra Rao had poured Gangajal in the mouth of the Rani Lakshmi Bai. She was cremated with whatever wood and grass were available in the ashram.

What happened to Damodar Rao after Rani Lakshmi Bai's death?

According to the memoir, Damodar Rao had survived the battle. Afterwards, he started living in Forest and suffered many problems. In 1860, Damodar Rao, with 11 survivors, joined the other group of 24. Shortly afterwards, Damodar Rao surrendered himself in May 1860. From 1860, the British government gave a pension of Rs 10,000 to Damodar Rao. He was a photographer by passion. His wife died shortly. Afterwards, he was married into the Shivre family. He also had a son named Lakshman Rao Jhansiwale. On 28th May 1906, Damodar Rao died in Indore. This whole memoir was published in Itihasachyaa Sahali in 1959. However, there are different opinions on the life of Damodar Rao after Rani Lakshmi Bai Death. Thus, what actually happened to him remains a mystery. 

FAQs about Rani Lakshmi Bai

1. Did Rani Laxmi Bai burn herself?
Answer: No, Rani Lakshmi Bai did not burn herself. Since she did not want her body to be captured by the British Army, his bodyguard Gul Muhammad Pathan took him to Gangadas Ashram, where this brave woman died. Ramachandra Rao had poured Gangajal in the mouth of the Rani Lakshmi Bai. She was cremated with whatever wood and grass were available in the ashram.

2. How did Rani Laxmibai's real son die?
Answer: It was believed that Damodar Rao was killed by the British administrative of Jhansi with the help of snakebite.

3) Who betrayed Jhansi?
Answer: i) Nathe Khan: On 31st May 1858, Tayta Tope's Army was defeated on the way to Jhansi by General Hugh Rose with the help of Nathe Khan (Deewan of Orchha).

ii) Dulha Ju: During the siege of Jhansi, he opened the fort's main gate, which allowed the British to enter the British massacre in Jhansi.

iii) Jayajirao Scindia: He denied helping Rani Lakshmi Bai when she came to Gwalior, which led to the battle of Morar.

4) Why did Rani Lakshmi Bai participate in the Revolt of 1857?
Answer: Because the Governor-general Lord Dalhousie applied the Doctrine of Lapse, therefore Damodar Rao's claim as the next Maharaja of Jhansi. This forced Rani Lakshmi Bai to participate in the Revolt of 1857.

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