Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi


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I last checked these links on the 19th June 2003, if any have died since then or you have some new ones please let me know! I hate sites with dead links.

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On Lakshmibai

NY Times Obituary of the Rani
The Rani is included in the NY Times's series of 'overlooked' obituaries.
Letters of Rani of Jhansi
A couple of letters written by Lakshmibai to the Raja of Banpur from 'Camp Jhansi' and 'Camp Kalpi'. The script is in Devanagari but thanks to Dr. Mithi Mukherjee of the Univ. of Colorado and Sanjay K. Gautam of the Univ. of Chicago we have these translations:
Laxmi Bai
A good look at Lakshmibai, the woman, and includes a transcript of her first letter to the British. The author while pleading that we consider the woman rather than the myth, does her the injustice of describing her as 'fragile'. Women, by and large, are not fragile; if they were there would be no human race. This one, in particular was fit and, undoubtedly, tough. Like beauty, strength has more than one dimension, and, like beauty, isn't just about the shape of your body.
History of India - British: Rani Lakshmibai
A rather muddled and inaccurate account, and it includes the account of Godse taken from this site but does at least retain the credit to Tahmankar.
Introduction - Jhansi Lakshmi Bai
A more decorative version of the story of Lakshmibai which has her instigating the mutiny, and doesn't mention the massacre.
Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai
A biography which stops just short of her death. Rather hagiographic and inaccurate with many statements for which there is no evidence. One gross example has the Rani sheltering the British women and children in her palace during the mutiny. Really a propaganda piece.
The Road to Morar
An Economic Times (of India) column by Raghu Krishnan contemplating the legend of the Rani and Gwalior.
A poem in Hindi about the Rani credited to Subhadhra Kumari Chauhan
I am not a Hindi speaker, or reader, and so cannot comment on it, or if it even is really about the Rani.
An article from the British Daily Telegraph on the Rani, Jhansi and Gwalior

Not all together accurate but it's a newspaper, and the travel section at that ... :)

Flags of Bundelkhand
An Italian site showing the flags used by the states of Bundelkhand including that of Jhansi in 1857/1858.
British Cemeteries in India

Jhansi Cantonment Cemetery in particular. It's a sad site but also see this article about the British Cemeteries in India and Jhansi and the work of Mrs Peggy Cantem in Jhansi.

Collect Britain, a British Library site
Despite the title this site includes images from India and elsewhere. In particular, it includes photos taken in and around Jhansi in the latter part of the 19th C.. These are mostly of temples but includes the Jhansi and Gwalior forts.
Univ. of Pennsylvania South Asian Picture Archive: Jhansi
A couple of pictures of the internal decoration of Lakshmibai's Palace. They look sadly dilapidated. A fact mentioned by Devi writing in 1956 and corroborated by this speech from India's Lower House, the Lok Sabha. Surely India can do better for one of her great figures?
Jhansi Fort 1882-1884
A photograph taken by Lala Deen Dayal included in an exhibition, India through the Lens: Photography 1840-1911, at the Smothsonian Freer Gallery. There is a site dedicated to Lala Deen Dayal.
Photographs of India pre 1947
This site has a number of different subjects but of particular interest here is the collection of photographs taken before 1947, mostly Victorian but all after 1858. Jhansi does not feature, as yet, but Gwalior does.
Details of the Architecture of Lakshmibai's Palace.
From Legacy of India
Another short account of her life
Itihaas: Contribution: Itihaas of Sepoy Mutiny
Quotes 21-40
Actually about Women in Hinduism but includes another copy of the Danuta Dubois story, as well as John Lang's description of her.
Includes a short and inaccurate story
INDOlink Kidz-Korner - Story of RANI LAKSHMIBAI
Debts of Honor
A slightly biased telling of the siege of Jhansi from the Indian point of view
Family tree of the rulers of Jhansi
Has Lakshmibai's birthdate as 15th June 1834 in Bithur rather than earlier and in Varanasi. The main site has details of other princely states.
The movie - Jhansi Ki Rani
Made in 1952, with Mehtab in the title role. I have not seen this movie and would welcome comments on it.
Postage Stamps Commemorating Great Women of India
Including the Rani, and Jhalkari. The short account of the Rani is inaccurate and misleading.
Rani of Jhansi Postage Stamp (Indian Post)

Boudicca (Boadicea)

The Rani is called the Indian Joan of Arc but her case more clsely resembles that of the Celtic queen Boudicca, though whether the Rani would have been so vengeful as Boudicca is debatable.

Bear in mind that the only accounts we have of Boudicca are Roman.

Boudicca on Wikipedia
Boudicca at the Univ. of Chicago

On Jhalkari

Jhalkari was said to resemble Lakshmibai and was taken by the British after the fall of Jhansi thinking they had taken the Rani. However as few, if any, of the British knew what the Rani looked like the resemblance would not have to be very close to fool them.
The Story of Jhalkaribai
Jhalkari was one of the women in Lakshmibai's women's unit. She was captured by the British thinking that she was Lakshmibai. I have no definite word of her fate.
DKPNA: Stamps issued in 2001
One of these stamps featured Jhalkari and a short bio is given. The author believes she was released.
The Tribune: When Jhalkari Bai fought as Lakshmi Bai
A longer bio which also has her being released and dying, possibly, in 1890.
Jhalkari Bai, a little known chapter on a woman's courage in colonial India
A bio that emphasises the legend more than the others.

On The Great Rebellion

The Central India Campaign
A military account of the British campaign to subdue the rebels as related in the Pakistani Defence Journal.
The Indian Revolt by Charles Creighton Hazewell
An account first published in the Atlantic Monthly in December 1857. Also British India by the same author in November 1857.
Reconquest of India
Articles from 17th Oct 1857 issue of Littell's Living Age
An Account of the Opening of the Indian Mutiny at Meerut, 1857 by Elisa Greathed
A letter written by Elisa Greathed of what she witnessed
The Relief of Lucknow by Robert Traill Spence Lowell
A poem on that event
The Indian Mutiny: the Epic of the Race
Remembering 1857-58 War of Indian Independence
Chapter One
A site devoted to the Victoria Cross, including those awarded during the India Campaign and the battles for Jhansi and Gwalior. 3 of the 4 medals awarded in the latter battle were for one action by members of the 8th Hussars on June 17th, presumably the action in which Lakshmibai was fatally wounded, and her companion, Mandar killed.
Map of Central Imperial India
From the Gazeteer at Digital South Asia Library which has a number of other interesting resources including The Imperial Gazetteer of India.
Map of India 1857
Image is 400K, for more maps see Family History in India
Britain-India Research and Resource
A site listing resources on the net for relations between Britain and India. Includes references to this site, including some primary sources, ie electronic versions of original documents.
The Mutiny and the British Press
Part of a more general site on the British Empire
The Sepoy Rebellion(1857)
A consideration of the causes of the rebellion and whether it was a mutiny or war of independence.
The Rebellion of 1857: Origins, Consequences, and Themes
From Teaching South Asia Internet Journal. It includes a survey of attitudes in Britain to the rebellion which were initially against the East India Co.
The Causes Of The Rebellion
From the Pakistan Defence Journal
About History: European Domination of South Asia
A set of links to sites dealing with various aspects of European rule in India
The East India Company
Under Construction

Project Gutenberg and India

Project Gutenberg is a volunteer project of several years standing to put as many out of copyright books on the net as possible. Naturally this includes works published during the 19th C relating to India. This a small selection:-

Includes a piece relating travels in India which includes a visit to Jhansi. Despite the publication date, no mention is made of the Rani or even of the Mutiny.
Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official
William Sleeman's own account of his time in India. Sleeman was responsible for the suppression of the thuggees in the early part of the 19th C. including a perion in the 1840's when he was stationed in Jhansi. He mentions the Rani only in passing and in relation to her role in the Mutiny.
A Journey through the Kingdom of Oude, Volumes I & II
Also by Sleeman on his work in India. Includes a letter by him to Major Malcolm with his thoughts on how the Rani ("Baee") and others dependent on the Jhansi court should be treated after the annexation of Jhansi.
Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems
Poems by Christina Rossetti which includes a short poem on the death of Captain Skene and his wife, "In the Round Tower at Jhansi, June 8, 1857".

On Flashman

Humor of the Flashman Papers - Flashman in the Great Game

Other Related Sites

Women in Hindu civil Society
An essay on women's rights and expectations of women in Hindu society through history.
1911 Encyclopaedia
Compiled 50 years after the Rebellion and when India was still part of the Empire. There is some corruption of the entries, it looks like errors from an OCR, and the entries listed below are not necessarily the first on the page. The Rani is not considered important enough for her own entry, nor is her death noted. Interestingly no accusations are made against her, perhaps reflecting some disquiet about the official line.
Jhansi tourist site, with a brief history of Jhansi, as well Lakshmibai, and some snaps of the Fort and other places around Jhansi
India's Sunday Tribune
A travel writer's account of a visit to Jhansi.
Legacy of India
Look for the section on Jhansi and places close by. Of particular relevance are the photograhs of details of Lakshmibai's Palace.
Univ of Pennsylvania South Asian Archive
Architecture Archive
Includes Jhansi and Gwalior
Persian Manuscript detailing the crafts of Bareilly in 1820
The Introduction looks at the political and economic background to the manuscript which is very pertinent to Jhansi
Internet Indian History Sourcebook
A site listing many source works of India from way back then to today. Excellent site.
Open Directory - South Asian History
US Library of Congress
This is a search engine for their Country Studies and is worldwide, which still includes the countries of the subcontinent.
Images of India
Includes Images of the palace of Datia and the Fort of Gwalior.
Victorian and Pre-Victorian Colonial India
From The Victorian Web
Family History in India
Primarily intended for non-Indians trying to trace their ancestory in India, but, as a consequence, with much other information albeit of a British hue.
Tour India - Forts in India
Forts in India, including Jhansi and a brief retelling of the legend.
A Spunky Sculptor
An article on a sculptor of one of the many statues of the Rani
Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education
Situated in Gwalior. The Rani was fond of physical exercise and so it is not inappropriate that such an institution should be named in her homour.
First Australian novelist, his life in India
An Indian Express article on John Lang, the lawyer who advised Lakshmibai on the annexation

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Last modified: 2007-01-14 14:23:00.000000000