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Jhansi Lakshmi Bai became the queen of Jhansi through her marriage in her early years. She proved to be one of the most spirited rebel leaders of India against British rule, when her husband died and the kingdom was threatened. Her career as a Queen of Jhansi and her leadership and courage in fighting display her exemplary personality and philosophy in life. As a woman, she achieved distinction for her courageous fight against British and her name is immortalized in Indian History.

Early Years

Lakshmi Bai was born on November 21, 1835 at Varanasi, the holy city of North India. She had been named Manikarnika, after one of the bathing Ghats (banks of the River Ganges) in the city. Her mother fondly called her ‘Manu’. Manu’s father worked as a courtier in the court of the then Maratha ruler Peshwa Baji Rao II and she spent a great part of childhood in the court. She was a strong willed and brave girl and soon became a great favourite with the Peshwa. Her life took an unexpected turn when a proposal came from the royal family of Jhansi for Manikarnika to marry the ruling scion of the family - Gangadhar Rao. Jhansi was a small kingdom in state of Uttar Pradesh and Gangadhar Rao had just lost his wife. He sent his priest Tantia Dikshit in search of a girl from a noble family and Dikshit came across Manu in the court of Baji Rao. He consulted her horoscope and told her father that his daughter would become a queen and bring great honour to her husband’s family through her deeds. Thus the marriage was settled and Manikarnika, became Lakshmi Bai, the queen of Jhansi.

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