Manikarnika was married to the Maharaja of Jhansi, Raja Gangadhar Rao, in 1842, and was afterwards called Lakshmibai (or Laxmibai). She gave birth to a boy named Damodar Rao in 1851, but when he was four months old he died. The Raja adopted a child called Anand Rao, the son of Gangadhar Rao's cousin, who was renamed Damodar Rao, on the day before he died. The adoption was in the presence of the British political officer who was given a letter from the raja requesting that the child should be treated with kindness and that the government of Jhansi should be given to his widow for her lifetime. After the death of the raja in November 1853 because Damodar Rao was adopted, the British East India Company, under Governor-General Lord Dalhousie, applied the Doctrine of Lapse, rejecting Damodar Rao's claim to the throne and annexing the state to its territories. In March 1854, Lakshmibai was given a pension of Rs. 60,000 and ordered to leave the palace and the fort.
Rani Lakshmibai was accustomed to ride on horseback accompanied by a small escort between the palace and the temple though sometimes she was carried by palanquin. Her horses included Sarangi, Pavan and Badal.In the early age of 1857,a rumour that the cartridges supplied by the East India Company to the soldiers in its army contained pork or beef fat began to... [continues]
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