Baji Rao the Second was the Peshwa only
in name. The British East India Company was paying him a pension of eight lakh rupees a
year and had given the jagir (the free gift) of Bethur.
Bhagirathibai was the wife of Moropanth. She was good-looking, cultured, intelligent
and godly. Manubai was the daughter of this ideal couple.
The child, born on the Second day of Karthika (the 19th of November 1835)
was beautiful like her mother. She had a broad forehead and big eyes. Her face reflected
Manu lost her mother when she was four years old. The entire duty of bringing up the
daughter fell on the father. Along with formal education she acquired skill in sword
fight, horse riding and shooting with a gun.
The young girl became the wife of Gangadhar Rao, Maharaja of Jhansi, in 1842. The poor
Brahmins girl became Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi.