Facts about ‘Rani of Jhansi’, India’s warrior queen who fought the British

Story of the first woman warrior of India's freedom struggle- Jhansi ki Rani

Chamak uthi san sattavan mein, yeh talwar purani thi, Bundeley Harbolon key munh hamney suni kahani thi, Khoob ladi mardani woh to Jhansi wali Rani thi

These lines by a renowned Hindi poet, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, perfectly captures the bravery of the queen who single-handedly fought the Britishers in an attempt to gain freedom – Rani Laxmibai.

On her birth anniversary, we bring to you the story of one of the most important warriors of India’s freedom struggle.

  • Born to Moropant Tambe and Bhagirathi Sapre in 1828 in Varanasi, she was known as Manikarnika Tambe.
  • Her mother passed away when she was just four and she was raised by her father, who used to work as an advisor in the court of Peshwa.
  • Growing up with the boys in the Peshwa’s court, she was trained in martial arts, sword fighting and horse riding.
  • In May 1842, she was married to the King of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao Newalkar. After marriage, she came to be known as Rani Lakshmibai.
  • Laxmibai gave birth to a son in 1851, who died just four months after being born. Later she and Maharaj adopted Rao’s cousin’s son, Anand Rao, later named Damodar Rao.
  • In 1853, soon after adopting Damodar, Gangadhar Rao died of illness. Taking an advantage of this unfortunate event, East India Company imposed the Doctrine of Lapse.
  • As per this doctrine, any state under the company’s rule will be annexed by the company if the ruler did not have a legal male heir.
  • So, in accordance with this doctrine, the East India Company refused to accept Damodar Rao as the heir of Jhansi.
  • But Rani Lakshmibai was not someone who would take this unjust diktat so, she revolted against the Britishers.
  • With the help of other Indian leaders, she fought battles in Jhansi, then Kalpi and finally at Gwalior.
  • On June 18, 1858, she lost her life in the Battle of Gwalior.

Though the queen lost her life at such a young age, her bravery inspired many youths to come forward and fight for their country’s freedom.

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