Nana Sahib

Nana Sahib

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Nana Sahib

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Nana Sahib (born 1824), born as Dhondu Pant, was an Indian leader during the rebellion of 1857. As the adopted son of the exiled Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao II, he sought to restore the Maratha confederacy and the Peshwa tradition.

Early life

Nana Sahib was born as Dhondu Pant to Narayan Bhatt and Ganga Bai. In 1827, he was adopted by the Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao II. The East India Company exiled Baji Rao II to Bithoor (near Kanpur), where Nana Sahib was brought up.

Nana Sahib's close associates included Tantya Tope and Azimullah Khan. Tatya Tope was the son of Pandurang Rao Tope, an important noble at the court of the Peshwa Baji Rao II. After Baji Rao was exiled to Bithoor, Pandurang Rao and his family also shifted there.


Through his adoption, Nana Sahib was heir-presumptive to the throne, and was eligible for an annual pension of £80,000 from the East India Company. However, after the death of Baji Rao II, the Company stopped the pension on the grounds that Nana Sahib was not a natural born heir. Nana Sahib was highly offended, and sent his envoy (Azimullah Khan) to England in 1853 to plead his case with the British Government. However, Azimullah Khan was unable to convince the British to resume the pension, and returned to India in 1855.

Role in the War of Independence of 1857

During the initial stages of the First War of Independence in 1857, Nana Sahib declared his loyalty to the British. He won...
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