Gangadhar died in 1853 Lord Dalhousie the Governor General of India did not accept Damodar Rao as the legal heir. In March 1854 the Rani of Jhansi was granted an annual pension of rs 60000 and was ordered to leave the Jhansi fort.
Lakshmibai was the queen of the Maratha ruled state of Jhansi in the northern part of India. Her father worked at the Peshwa court of Bithoor. She studied self defence horsemanship archery and formed her own army out of her female friends at court.
Lakshmibai was married to the Maharaja of Jhansi Raja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar at the age of 7, in 1842. After their marriage she was given the name Lakshmibai. She gave birth to a son Damodar Rao in 1851. However the child died when he was about four months old. After his death the Raja and Rani of Jhansi adopted Anand Rao. Anand Rao was the son of Gangadhar Rao’s cousin and was later renamed Damodar Rao.
During the 1857 revolt the British were forced to focus their attentions elsewhere and Lakshmibai was essentially left to rule Jhansi alone. British troops arrived under Sir Hugh Rose and laid slege to Jhansi on 23 March 1858.
She was firm on her decision to not give up Jhansi to the British. Rani Lakshmibai assembled an army of 14000 rebels which also included women and many great leaders.
An army of 20000 headed by Tatya Tope came to her rescue but was defeated by the British. Three days later the British wre able to breach the walls and capture the city. The Rani escaped by night with her son.
The Rani joined other rebel forces. They moved to Gwalior. They defeated the army of the Maharaja of Gwalior and occupied a fort there. However o 17th June 1858 while battling against the British in Gwalior she was killed