Lakshmi Bai

Lakshmi Bai



c.1828–58, maharani of Jhansi. Born into a Brahmin family of Benares (now Varanasi) and named Manakarnika, she had an unconventional childhood, receiving an education and martial training. After marrying Gangadar Rao, the maharaja of Jhansi, a princely state in N British India, she took the name Lakshmi Bai. Upon her husband's death in 1853 she became regent for their adopted son. The British refused to acknowledge him as the legitimate heir, and the British East India Company annexed Jhansi. Her appeals of the decision were unsuccesful. In the Indian MutinyIndian Mutiny,
1857–58, revolt that began with Indian soldiers in the Bengal army of the British East India Company but developed into a widespread uprising against British rule in India. It is also known as the Sepoy Rebellion, sepoys being the native soldiers.
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, she raised an army to defend Jhansi, ultimately fighting tenaciously against the British and dying in battle at Gwalior.


See R. Jerosch, Rani of Jhansi (2007).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lakshmi Bai


Born 1835; died June 17, 1858. Princess (rani) of the Jhansi principality; participant in the Indian Popular Uprising of 1857–59; national heroine of India.

In 1854 the Jhansi principality was annexed by British colonialists. In June 1857, when the sepoys there revolted, routed the English, and moved on Delhi, Lakshmi Bai assumed control of the principality; at the same time she announced to the colonial authorities that she considered herself in their service and would return control of the principality. However, the authorities accused Lakshmi Bai of murdering Englishmen. This forced her to defect to the rebel camp. Lakshmi Bai courageously headed the defense of Jhansi against the British army of General Rose, and then, at the head of a cavalry detachment, she heroically fought in the forces of Tantia Topi and fell fighting near Gwalior.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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He fought the legal case for Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi, against annexing her estate under the Doctrine of Lapse policy.
Roy is particularly astute in her analysis of the role of the Rant of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai. The Rant has become a mythical figure in Indian history, a South Asian Joan of Arc, leading her troops into battle against the British.