Lakshmi Bai or Laxmibai, 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 Mutiny, 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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