Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is an upcoming Indian epic biographical film based on the life of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi. Kangana Ranaut plays the title role of Rani Laxmibai.

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While there have been quite a few protests going on against the movie, the makers have made it quite clear that they aren’t distorting any historical facts. Rani Laxmibai was unlike any other Queens. She inspired generations of women to take up a stand and walk courageously.

Here are some interesting facts about Rani Lakshmi Bai you probably never heard of.

1. She was born in November 1828 at Varanasi to a family of Maharashtrian Brahmins.

2. Gangadhar was a very able ruler who significantly improved the financial condition of Jhansi

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3. In 1851, she gave birth to a baby boy, named Damodar Rao. Unfortunately, he died when he was just 4 months old.

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4. Rani Lakshmi Bai later adopted the son of the Maharaja’s cousin, who was then named Anand Rao.

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They renamed him Damodar Rao, one day before the Maharaja’s demise.

5. Manu was an excellent horse rider and known to be a good judge of horses.

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It is said that she used to ride with Nana Sahib, the adopted son of the Peshwa and Tatya Tope.

6. The British had added quite a few princely states as part of the policy of “lapse”.

As per the policy, the British could take control over those states in which the ruler died without a natural heir. In spite of the Rani’s arguments for the legality of the adoption and Ellis’ statements on her behalf, Dalhousie refused to acknowledge Damodar Rao as Gangadhar Rao’s heir.

7. In 1858, General Hugh Rose arrived in Jhansi leading his forces. It is then that Rani Laxmibai decided to take up arms to arms to defend her state.

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8.  Lakshmi Bai lashed her 10-year-old adopted son to her back and, with four followers, escaped from the fortress.

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9. British newspapers proclaimed Lakshmi Bai the ‘Jezebel of India,’ but Sir Hugh Rose compared his fallen adversary to Joan of Arc.

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Rose said to Duke of Cumberland: ‘The Rani is remarkable for her bravery, cleverness, and perseverance; her generosity to her subordinates was unbounded. These qualities, combined with her rank, rendered her the most dangerous of all the rebel leaders.’

10. After a consultation with British counsel John Lang, during which she declared ‘Mera Jhansi nahi denge’

11. General said with quiet admiration that if even 1% of women in India were like her, then the British would have to leave the country defeated.

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Although she was a lady,’ Rose wrote,’she was the bravest and best military leader of the rebels. A man among the mutineers.’ His praise is echoed in the most popular of the folk songs about her: ‘How well like a man fought the Rani of Jhansi! How valiantly and well!’ (Source)

I am quite interested to see the movie now!