The great warrior
1814 - 1859
Ramachandra Pandurang popularly called, as Tatya Tope was an able leader of thegreat uprising of 1857. He was a personal adherent of Nana Saheb of Kanpur. He progressed with the Gwalior contingent after the British reoccupation of Kanpur and forced General Windham to retreat from Kanpur. Later on, he came to the rescue of Rani Laxmi Bai. However he was defeated by General Napier`s troops and was executed by the British Government at Shivpuri on 18th April 1859.
One of the greatest heroes of the Great uprising of 1857, Tatya Tope was born in 1814 at Yevla in Maharashtra. He was the only child of Pandurang and his wife Rukhmabai. Having brought up in Bithoor, he came into contact with Nana Saheb Peshwa. He was a great admirer of Nana Saheb, who was ready to sacrifice his life for him. Tatya Tope was the only person who witnessed the rebellion since the Kanpur revolt till his own end on 18th April 1859.
Tatya Tope was the Commander - in - chief of the rebel army of Shivarajpur. He defended Kanpur gallantly and captured Kalpi. His able leadership led to the victory of Indian forces at Kanpur. He won a number of battles against the British. His guerilla tactics frightened the British Generals.
The British army was directed in searching him while he was wandering in jungles. Tatya kept himself busy in organizing the forces during this period. He along with Rani Laxmi Bai seized Gwalior, but later he was defeated by Sir Collin Campbell. The British army surrounded him from all sides. He managed to escape and fled to the jungle. For a couple of months, he was wandering in jungles facing unimaginable difficulties and hardships.
During this critical juncture of his life, a traitor informed the British about the place, where he hid. The British army captured him on 7
April 1859 and was trailed in the court. He admitted boldly "What he did, was for his own mother land and he has no regrets". He was hanged and ultimately the First War of Indian Independence came to an end.
The great uprising of 1857 was a remarkable event under the commanding guidance of Tatya Tope. He was a man of an adored and most admired personality who had courage, zeal and foresight. His timely help to Rani Laxmi Bai some how created a hope but the luck was in favour of the British which led to their defeat.
With Tatya`s death on 18th April 1859 the sun of the great uprising was set forever.