Rani Avanti Bai Lodhi
Rani Avantibai Lodhi, queen of Ramgarh State in central India, is remembered for her valiant fight against the British during the 1857 War of Independence, when she made the supreme sacrifice of her life for the freedom of motherland. The blatant annexations of estates by British officials antagonised the local rulers and as the events of the Revolt of 1857 unfolded, they became the most dangerous opponents of the British. Avantibai Lodhi was the queen of King Vikramaditya Singh of Ramgarh. When Vikramaditya Singh became incapable of handling the affairs of the State due to ill health, Avantibai Lodhi rose to the occasion and took charge of the administration. In 1851, Avantibai Lodhi felt humiliated by the appointment of an English Tehsildar for Ramgarh. When the Revolt of 1857 broke out, Rani Avantibai Lodhi raised an army of four thousand and led it herself. In the first encounter which took place in a village named Kheri, she routed the British troops. However, stung by the defeat the British came back with vengeance and launched an attack on Ramgarh. Avantibai Lodhi's courage and fighting spirit was not enough to match their mighty military machine with all its brutal strength. The Rani was forced to leave Ramgarh and move to the dense forests on the hill of Devharigarh. Surrounded and faced with the prospect of defeat Avantibai Lodhi thought it better to sacrifice her life rather than to surrender. On 20th March 1858, Rani Avantibai Lodhi became a martyr.