Combining strengths with the revolutionary forces of the First War of Independence, she was soon successful in seizing Lucknow from the British. She crowned her son as royal heir of Awadh. Named the 'Lakshmi Bai' of Oudh, she supported fellow mutineers like Nana Saheb immensely, counter-offered the British offers provided to great rulers like Rana Jang Bahadur of Nepal, and greatly motivated the masses to rebel against the British Raj. Such was her devotion and pledge to her people that the Begum even went on to fortify the city of Lucknow against the advancing British troops. After a long siege, Lucknow was again re-captured by the British, forcing Hazrat Mahal to retreat in 1858. She spent the remaining years of her life in Nepal, passing away in 1874 in Kathmandu.
Despite being an icon of India's first Freedom Struggle, Hazrat Mahal's mausoleum lies in a misfortunate shape after vandalism and she was forgotten at the recent centenary of the "First War of Independence" held in Uttar Pradesh, becoming a lost hero in the pages of Indian history. However, for her immeasurable contributions to Indian Independence, the Government of India issued a commemorative stamp in the honor of Begum Hazrat Mahal on 10th May, 1984.
Last Updated on : February 1, 2014