You must have read about Lakshmibai, the queen of Jhansi who was one of the greatest warriors of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. She was so brave, fearless and resolute that even the Britishers admired her during the Great Indian Mutiny.
“She was a man among mutineers” – these were the words of Sir Hugh Rose who was leading British forces against her.
Rani Lakshmibai was born on 19 November 1828 in a Maratha Brahmin family in the Varanasi town. Her father’s name was Moropant Tambe while her mother was Bhagirathi Sapre.
Lakshmibai remained devoid of motherly love as her mother died in her very childhood.
Moropant Tambe was in the services of Baji Rao II who was Peshwa of Bithoor district.
Rani Lakshmibai got her education at home and she was more independent than any other peers.
Here we provide some informative facts about Rani Lakshmibai. We hope these facts not only increase your knowledge about her but also increase your curiosity to know more about her.
Life journey From Manu to Lakshmibai
Her formal name was Manikarnika. Her parents lovingly called her Manu. Peshwa Baji Rao loved her so much. He called her Chhabili as she was very naughty and playful.
Manu also got weaponry education like shooting and horse-riding. Nana Sahib and Tatya Tope were her childhood friends with whom she practised these pieces of training.
Three horses namely Sarangi, Pawan and Baadal were her favourites. While escaping from the fort in 1858, she rode Baadal.
Manikarnika was married to Gangadhar Rao Newalkar who was the king of Jhansi. After her marriage, she was named Lakshmi Bai in honour of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi.
Only one foreigner could see her face to face
In any movie or serial drama of Rani Lakshmibai, she is shown as being face to face with Britishers.
But in fact, no Britishers could have ever seen her. The reason is that she remained behind Pardah on the arrival of British persons as per the present custom.
However, one foreigner had a chance to look her for a moment. That was Australian Lawyer John Lang who petitioned in London Court for Rani Lakshmi Bai.
The British Company had ordered Lakshmi Bai to leave her palace according to The doctrine of Lapse.
But, Rani was not ready for that and she hired an Australian Lawyer John Lang to file a petition against British Company.
When John Lang arrived at Rani’s palace to discuss the matter, Rani with her adopted son was behind a pardah. During the conversation, Rani had quoted her historical line-
“Mai apni Jhansi nahi dungi.”
Suddenly, the child removed the curtain and John Lang could have a glimpse on Rani Lakshmi Bai.
John Lang could not stop looking at her and said- “If the Governor-General had been fortunate to have a look on her, he certainly would have returned Jhansi to this most beautiful queen”.
Lakshmi Bai accepted this compliment with great simplicity.
John Lang later mentioned her beauty in his book ‘Wondering of India’.
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