Rani Lakshmibai

Rani Lakshmibai famously known as 'Jhansi Ki Rani' was the queen of the princely state of Jhansi in North India currently present in Jhansi district in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Updated: June 16, 2022

Rani Lakshmibai famously known as 'Jhansi Ki Rani' was the queen of the princely state of Jhansi in North India currently present in Jhansi district in Uttar Pradesh, India. She was one of the leading warriors of India's First War of Independence. She surprised the British by showing extraordinary fighting spirit and valor in battles fought at Jhansi, then Kalpi and lastly at Gwalior. 


The fearless and brave death she chose was an inspiration to the patriots, thus becoming immortal in history. She was born on November 19th, 1828 and died on June 18th, 1858.


Childhood of Rani Lakshmibai:

She was born on November 19th, 1828 in Kashi (present day Varanasi) to Moropanth Tambe, a court adviser, and his wife, Bhagirathi Sapre, an intelligent and religious lady. Her parents belonged to the Maharashtrian Brahmin community.


Her childhood name was Mannikarnika (Manu). She lost her mother at the age of four and the complete responsibility of young Manu fell on her father. She grew up with Nana Sahib and Tatya Tope. The three of them would eventually become active participants in India's first war of independence. The peshwa called her 'Chhabili', which means 'playful'. 


Education of Rani Lakshmibai:

She was educated at home and was more independent in her childhood than others of her age. Her studies included shooting, horsemanship, fencing and mallakhamba with her childhood friends Nana Sahib and Tatya Tope.


Her horses included Sarangi, Pavan and Baadal. 


Family of Rani Lakshmibai:

In 1842, she married Raja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, Maharaja of Jhansi, and was named as ‘Lakshmibai’. In 1851, they were blessed with a child, Damodar Rao, but he died when four months old. Later, they adopted Anand Rao, the son of Raja Gangadhar Rao's cousin, and renamed him Damodar Rao. After the death of Raja in November 1853, the British East India Company, under Governor-General Lord Dalhousie, applied the 'Doctrine of Lapse'. As Damodar Rao was an adopted son, he was declined the throne of Jhansi and the British company annexed the state of Jhansi to its territories through deceit. 


Some facts about Rani Lakshmibai:

  • Jhansi under her rule during the period of August 1857-January 1858 was at peace. But the non-arrival of British forces strengthened her party and encouraged Indian troops to fight for independence from British rule. When the company forces arrived and demanded her to surrender the city, she refused to hand it over and defended her kingdom. Thus, the battle of Jhansi began on March 23rd, 1858.
  • She, along with her troops, fought courageously for the kingdom of Jhansi. But the British forces overpowered her army and she was forced to flee with her son to Kalpi, where she was joined by additional rebel forces, including Tatya Tope.
  • On May 22nd, 1858, the British forces attacked Kalpi and defeated the Indian troops again which forced the leaders, including Lakshmibai, to flee to Gwalior. The rebel army was able to occupy the Gwalior city without any opposition. A British attack on Gwalior was imminent but she was unable to persuade other leaders to prepare for it.
  • On June 16th, 1858, the British forces attacked the city where she was killed in a fierce battle.
  • On June 18th, 1858, she died in Gwalior in the battle, at the hands of the British army. She fought with undying patriotism till her last breath and achieved martyrdom upon her death.
  • Statues of Lakshmibai are seen in many places of India, which show her and her son tied to her back.
  • Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education in Gwalior, Laksmibai National College of Physical Education in Thiruvananthapuram, Maharani Laxmi Bai Medical College in Jhansi are named after her.
  • Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University in Jhansi was founded in 2013. The Rani Jhansi Marine National Park is located in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
  • A women's unit of the Indian National Army was named the Rani of Jhansi Regiment.
  • In 1957 two postage stamps were issued to commemorate the centenary of the rebellion.
  • A number of patriotic songs have been written about the Rani. The most famous composition about Rani Lakshmi Bai is the Hindi poem Jhansi ki Rani written by Subhadra Kumari Chauhan.



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