Rani Lakshmi Bai, the fiery Queen of Jhansi, also known as the Rani of Jhansi, one of the great nationalist heroine of the first war of India freedom, a symbol of resistance to the British rule in India was born on 19th November 1835 at Kashi (Presently known as Varanasi). Her father Moropanth was a Brahmin and her mother Bhagirathibai was a cultured, intelligent and God fearing lady. Mannikarnika (Manu) was the name of Rani Lakshmi Bai in her childhood. Manu lost her mother at the age of four. The Complete responsibility of the young girl fell on the father. She completed her education and also learned horse riding, Sword fighting and shooting on a target with a gun.
She was married to Raja Gangadhar Rao, the Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842, and became the Rani of Jhansi. After the marriage She was given the name Lakshmi Bai. The Marriage ceremony was perform in Ganesh Mandir, the temple of Lord Ganesha situated in the city of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmi Bai gave birth to a son in 1851, but unfortunately this child died when he was about four months old. After this tragedy, Damodar Rao was adopted as son. Later on Maharaja Gangadhar Rao also died on 21st November 1853. After the death of Maharajah Gangadhar Rao, Rani Lakshmi Bai was left alone. At this time she was eighteen years old. Rani Lakshmi Bai did not lost her courage, She always remembered her responsibility.
At that time Lord Dalhousie was the Governor -General of India. Though little Damodar Rao, adopted son of late Maharajah Gangadhar Rao and Rani Lakshmi Bai was Maharajah's heir and successor as per the Hindu tradition, but the British rulers rejected Rani's claim that Damodar Rao was their legal heir. Lord Dalhousie decided to annexe the state of Jhansi as Maharajah Gangadhar Rao had left no legal heir. This misfortune of Jhansi was used by the Britishers to expand there Empire.
In March 1854 the British ruler announced 60,000 (Sixty Thousand) annual pension for Rani and also ordered to leave the Jhansi fort. Jhansi was in humiliating condition but it was like a silent volcano before eruption.