(real name Ramchandra Panduranga). Born circa 1814; died Apr. 18, 1859, in Sipri. A leader of the Indian Popular Uprising of 1857–59.
Tantia Topi joined the uprising together with Nana Sahib; he became Nana Sahib’s adjutant and commanded a military detachment. After the fall of Kanpur, one of the centers of the uprising, in July 1857, Tantia Topi assumed the leadership of a detachment of rebels, chiefly from Gwalior, and made the city of Kalpi his military base. From there, he repeatedly dealt serious blows to the British troops sent to quell the uprising. Together with Princess Lakshmi Bai and other military chiefs, he carried on a skillful war of maneuver in the area of Kalpi, Kanpur, and Gwalior. In the autumn of 1858, Tantia Topi, himself of Maratha descent, attempted to break through to the Deccan and incite the Marathas to rebellion. He was forced, however, to retreat. In Gwalior, he was handed over by a traitor and executed.