Tantya Tope was a member of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. He served as a general and led an army of Indian soldiers against the British.
He was a staunch devotee of Nanasaheb of Bithoor and continued to fight for him even after Nana was forced to leave by the British Army.
Tanta pushed General Wyndham to flee Kanpur and helped Queen Lakshmi of Jhansi to hold Gwalior.
Tatya Tope is considered to be one of the best rebel generals of the country and an important name in Indian history who certainly left his mark on the entire nation with his bravery and actions for the country.
Let’s learn more about the life of Tatya Tope and his connection with the Indian Rebellion of 1857, as he is known as an Indian superhero.
Who was Tanya Tope?
Tatya Tope, also spelled Tatya Tope or Tatya Topi, was the leader of the Indian Mutiny of 1857–58.
His real name was Ramachandra Panduranga. Despite having no formal military training, he was probably the best and most efficient general of the rebels.
Tantya Tope was in the service of the Maratha Brahmin Bajirao, the former Peshwa (ruler) of the Maratha Confederation, and his adopted son Nana Sahib, who was a prominent figure in the rebellion.
He was present at Nana Sahib’s massacre of the British colony in Kanpur and in early November 1857 he commanded the rebel army of Gwalior State under General C.A. On 27–28 November, Wyndham made his Cawnpore entry.
On 6 December Sir Colin Campbell defeated Tantya Tope, but remained at Kalpi, which was defeated.
They came to Jhansi’s support in March 1858 when the city’s Rani (Rani) Lakshmibai was besieged by British forces.
After being defeated again, he welcomed the fleeing queen at Kalpi and then successfully stormed Gwalior on 1 June.
His army was defeated on 19 June, but he fought as a guerrilla fighter in the jungle until his betrayal. After April.
He was tried and hanged at Shivpuri.
Tatya Tope real name
Tatya Tope, also known as Ramachandra Pandurang Tope, was a prominent figure in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the First War of Independence.
The uprising was the most dramatic example of Indian resistance to British rule.
Who is Tatya Tope and how was his personal life? Not much is known about Tantya Tope’s personal life except for short stories in Hindi and Marathi.
Written mainly in English, it describes the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Tantya Tope was born Ramachandra Panduranga and was given the title Tope, which means commanding officer and probably the Hindi word tope, meaning cannon or artillery.
Tantya Tope’s father, according to the official statement, was a resident of Panduranga, Jola Pargana, Patoda District Nagar, present day Maharashtra.
Tope was a Maratha Vashishtha Brahmin by birth. One government note mentioned him as Minister of Baroda, while another mentioned him as Nana Sahib.
Tantya Tope was described by a witness at his trial as “of average height, of wheatish complexion and always wearing a white chukari-dar turban”.
First War of Independence
With the support of Nanasaheb, Tatya Tope secretly organized an anti-British rebellion.
In May 1857, Tatya was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the East India Company’s Indian forces stationed at Kanpur.
With his impressive guerilla warrior prowess, Tatya emerged victorious in military encounters.
Later, he shifted his headquarters to Kalpi and took control of Gwalior with the support of Rani Lakshmibai.
However, before he could establish his position, he was defeated by General Rose, resulting in the martyrdom of Rani Lakshmibai.
It was a watershed moment in his life. Since then, he has been harassing the British and their allies with his infamous guerilla tactics.
Tope launched several surprise attacks on the British army, then moved to form a new army after his army was defeated.
He was pursued by British troops from June 1858 to April 1859, but still outran them.
In a marathon of 2,800 miles that passed through many hills, rivers, trees and mountains, the army could not catch Tope.
Tatya Tope’s Role in the Rebellion of 1857
In this article, where we cover Tatya Tope information, we will discuss the uprising of 1857, the bravery and courage of which still inspires Indians today.
After the mutiny at Cawnpore on 5 June 1857, Nana Sahib became the leader of the rebels.
On June 25, 1857, the British forces surrendered and were moved to Satichaura Ghat on the river, where they were massacred.
At the end of June, Nana was declared Peshwa. General Havelock engaged Nana’s army twice, was defeated the third time and retreated to Bithoor before crossing the Ganges to Avadh.
Tantya Tope started acting under the name Nanasaheb from Bithoor.
Nanasaheb agreed to negotiate with the British using captives.
Company troops marched relentlessly from Allahabad to Kanpur under the command of General Henry Havelock.
Nana Saheb’s army sent to check their advance was defeated.
When it became clear that bargaining efforts had failed, the women and children imprisoned at Bibighar were ordered to be killed on 15 July.
The details of the incident, such as who ordered the massacre, are unknown, but it is generally believed that Tantya Tope gave the order.
On the contrary, some historians agree that he should not be held responsible for the suspected murder. According to Christopher Hibbert, Tantia rescued 53 British women and children from the rebels.
After the British captured Gwalior, Nanasaheb’s nephew Tope and Raosaheb fled to Rajputana. He was able to persuade Tonk’s army to join him.
He was unable to reach Bundi and, after announcing that he would fly south, instead headed west to Nimuch.
Colonel Holmes led a British flying column in his pursuit and the British commander in Rajputana, General Abraham Robert, succeeded in attacking the rebels when they reached a point between Sanganer and Bhilwara.
Tope once again fled the field, this time to Udaipur, where he formed his army on the Banas River after visiting a Hindu temple on 13 August.
Roberts’ forces defeated them again and Tope fled. He crossed the Chambal river and came to Jhalrapatan in Jhalawar state.
He was able to replace the weapons lost on the river Banas by inciting the kingdom’s army to rebel against the king.
Tope then led his army to Indore, but was pursued by the British, now led by General John Mitchell, as they fled to Sironj.
He was still with Rao Sahib, and the two agreed to divide their forces, Tope going to Chanderi and Rao Sahib with a small army to Jhansi.
However, they regrouped in October and were once again defeated at Chhota Udaipur.
By January 1859, he was in the Jaipur state and suffered two more defeats. After that, Tope fled alone into the Paron forest.
At this time he met King Man Singh of Narwar and his family and decided to stay with them.
Man Singh was engaged in a conflict with the Maharaja of Gwalior and the British succeeded in persuading him to surrender in exchange for his life and the safety of his family from the Maharaja’s vengeance.
After that, Tope was left alone.
Tatya left Gwalior on 20 June 1858. He lacked both troops and equipment worthy of the name. Raosaheb and the Nawab of Banda were his only remaining associates and his followers were few.
However, he did not give up hope. He wanted to fly south and enlist the active support of the rulers and citizens of South India for a rebellion in the name of the Peshwas.
To accomplish the mission, he proceeded to the Narmada, which he planned to cross and travel south. He couldn’t do it because the British wouldn’t let him.
Battle at Kotra and after
The pursuing British forces finally captured the Tatas at Kotra on 14 August.
In the ensuing battle the Tatas were defeated and had to surrender their arms.
As he fled, the English army pursued him. Tatya left for Chambal again.
In addition to the English force that was pursuing him, another force was advancing on him on his right.
A third power stood directly in front of him on the banks of the Chambal. But, with extraordinary skill and speed, he eluded them all, reached and crossed the Chambal within a short distance of the position of the English army.
Tatya and the pursuing English forces were now separated by the Chambal river.
On the other hand, the Tatas had misplaced their weapons and were without supplies. He immediately left for Jalrapatan.
The king of Jhalrapattan attacked Tata with his army and weapons; However, they surrendered when their army was confronted by Tatya.
As a result, Tatya was able to obtain more men, guns and materials.
He had no gun when he left for Jalrapatan; Now he had 32.
He had won a bloodless victory and demanded 15 lakh rupees from the powerless king for his war chest.
He stayed at Jhalrapatan for five days to pay his soldiers.
He then decided to make another attempt to cross the Narmada in consultation with the Raosaheb and the Nawab of Banda.
The British set a big trap to catch Tatya who was going to Indore.
Roberts, Holmes, Parke, Mitchell, Hope and Lockhart, six very able English generals, were simultaneously trying to surround Tatya.
Tatya and his army were chased several times by the English pursuers, but still Tatya managed to escape.
Mitchell’s British forces ambushed Tata near Raigad.
After a short struggle, Tatya gave up his 30 weapons and made his escape. Further north he acquired four weapons.
He entered Sindhia’s territory and attacked Isagarh, taking possession of light weapons.
In any case crossing the Narmada was the ultimate aim and goal of the Tatyas and the British were trying their best to avoid them by repeatedly encircling them.
The Tatyas finally cross the Narmada
The Tatas then divided their army into two separate divisions.
He personally led one, while Raosaheb was in charge of the other. Both made progress but in different ways.
Their route was blocked at several points by the English army, but they fought their way through Lalitpur, where they entered.
However, they were surrounded by five English legions.
Mitchell’s army was to the south, Colonel Liddell’s army to the east, Colonel Meade’s army to the north, Colonel Parke’s army to the west, and General Roberts’ army to the Chambal.
The Tatas then used a ploy to deceive the British. He stopped in the south, turned around and started marching north.
The British were deceived into thinking that Tatya had abandoned his attempt to advance south, so they relaxed.
Tatya suddenly turned back and crossed the river Betwa with incredible speed.
Before proceeding to Raigad, he fought an opposing British contingent at Khajuri. Like an arrow shot from a bow, he went south from Raigad.
These tactics disillusioned the British people. Michel ran after Tatya, while General Parke ran in one direction.
On the other hand no one could stop the Tatis from reaching the Narmada and crossing it near Hoshangabad.
He had confounded some of the world’s most distinguished military strategists.
According to historian Malleson, it is hard not to be impressed by the scheme’s persistence.
Betrayal and death
While on the run, he met Raja Man Singh of Narwar and quickly became his friend.
Man Singh had clashed with the Maharaja of Gwalior and the British persuaded him to surrender Tope in exchange for the Maharaja’s protection.
Finally, Tope was betrayed by his closest associate Man Singh and defeated by General Napier’s British Indian Army.
He was captured by the British forces on 7th April 1859.
Tope bravely confessed to his actions after his arrest and claimed he had no regrets because everything he did was for his mother.
He was hanged at Shivpuri on 18 April 1859.
Here are some interesting facts about Tanya Tope:
Tantya Tope was the only son of Pandurang Rao Tope and his wife Rukhmabai and was born in 1814 in Nashik.
Tantya Tope was a close friend and right hand of Peshwa’s adopted son Nanasaheb.
Tantya Tope defeated the East India Company’s Indian army at Kanpur in May 1857.
He led the Indians in the rebellion of 1857 and was famous for his guerrilla tactics that terrorized the British.
General Wyndham forced to abandon the city of Gwalior.
He worked with Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi to take Gwalior.
Tanta’s childhood friend was Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. When she was killed by the sword, he cremated her body and performed the last rites.
During his lifetime he fought 150 battles against the British and killed 10,000 British soldiers.
Man Singh, the former Sardar of Gwalior, betrayed Tatya Tope’s trust by succumbing to the ‘jagir’ and the British proposal.
Sir Colin Campbell (later Baron Clyde) defeated Tanya Tope on 6 December 1857.
He was hanged on 18 April 1859 in General Meade’s camp at Shivpuri.
Nana Rao Park in Kanpur honors famous figures of India’s freedom struggle.
A statue of Tatya Tope can be seen in the park along with statues of Nana Saheb and Rani Lakshmibai. Another statue of him can be found in Yewla, Nashik district of Maharashtra.
In honor of Tantya Tope, the then Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma released a commemorative coin of Rs 200 and a circulation coin of Rs 10 in 2016.
Tatya Tope’s biography is fascinating. He was a warrior who is credited with starting the first war of independence.
He was a supporter of Nana Saheb, another rebel Indian leader.
Tatya Tope’s biography of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, which shook the foundations of British rule in the Indian subcontinent.