Sources for Studying Modern Indian History
Sources for Studying the Revolt
Institutions of the Mutiny in Delhi
The Development into a Movie
Importance of Multiple Resources
Sources for Studying Modern Indian
Coins and Notes
Sources for studying the Revolt
Badle ki Serai
The Last Mughal by
1857 edited by Mrinal
Red Fort, Delhi
The Defence of Lucknow
Rani of Jhansi(ACK)*
*Includes secondary Archaeological Sources
Institutions of the Mutiny in Delhi...
1) Red Fort
2) Northern Ridge
1) Mutiny Papers Press List
Fort served as the palace for the Mughals until 1857, when
Bahadur Shah Zafar was caught revolting against the British
and was exiled to Rangoon, Burma(known as Myanmar today).
Despite being the seat of Mughal power and its defensive
capabilities, Red Fort was not defended during the rebellion.
It also has a museum which shows the people who had taken
an important place in the uprising. It also has some of the
beautiful poems by Bahadur Shah Zafar.
Kabuli or Khooni Darwaza also held significance
in the Revolt of 1857. It was here where Bahadur
Shah Zafar’s three sons, his only heirs, were shot
down to death.
I believe, they were shot as to satisfy the Britishers
that they had no threat from the Mughal Dynasty, one
of the greatest Dynasties in history.
Also, Bahadur Shah by that time was very old(some say he was
82!) which made him no threat to the British Empire.
Northern Ridge is one of the main points in
Delhi where most of the battle took place. It
has a place called ‘Flag Staff’ where many
British women and their children hid to avoid
getting killed from the revolutionaries who only
saw them as Britishers who had come to rule
their land and not as people who had nothing but
their husbands and their fathers. However, it is said that they
were found and killed by the mutineers. It also had a lake
known as ‘Khooni Khan Jheel’. This lake is said to be bloody
because it might have got blood red during a fight between the
mutineers and their opposition. The Northern Ridge had
hunter lodges which were made and used by Feroz Shah
The Mutiny Memorial is a structure initially made as a
memorial of the people who died while fighting the
revolutionaries. Now, this gothic structure symbolises ALL
the people, whether revolutionaries or their oppositions.
It says, “In memory of the officers and soldiers,
british and native of the Delhi Field Force who
were killed in action or died of wounds or disease
between the 30th May and 20th September 1857. This
monument had been erected by the comrades lament their
loss and by the contonement they served so well.
N.C. Officers and Soldiers
List of actions fought at or near Delhi by Delhi Field
Force from 30 May-20 September 1857
Battle of Hindu and Badle ki Serai
Attack on Flag Staff
Attack on British Camp
b/w June 12 and Sep. 14
b/w June 12 and Sep. 14
Storming of Delhi
City finally evacuated by the enemy
Capture of the Palace
One of the writings on the structure also
showed that the people who fought this revolt
weren’t just peasants and soldiers but were from
contrary occupations, from richest to the
poorest and from engineers to the blacksmiths,
everyone had contributed and were affected in
Topics in History
Resentment at the Westernising Policies such as
Subsidiary Alliance and Doctrine of Lapse which
led to annexation of the states
Ruined Indian Handcrafts
Affected Trade and Agriculture
Social Discrimination against the Indians in all types of jobs
Social Reforms such as Ban of Sati, granting right to inherit property
even after turning Christian and legalizing widow remarriage weren’t
acceptable to Hindus
Could not travel in first-class compartments with the Britishers
Fear for Indian Religions because they were condemned by the British
Poor people offered jobs, marriage, money and other temptations to
The Indian Soldiers were in a melancholic condition. They were paid
salaries lower than the britishers and would be promoted till ‘Havaldar
The Indian Sepoys were given rifles with cartridges smeared with the fat
of cows and pigs. To reload the rifles, the cartridges were to be bitten off.
This infuriated the sepoys as Hindus accept the cow as ‘holy symbol’
while the Muslims consider the pig as ‘impure’.
Sympathy for 1000’s of landlords deprived of the land to which they could
not legally prove ownership of
Dislike of the superior attitudes of the British in India
Hatred for the recent annexation during Lord Dalhousie’s Government
This man was once a sepoy
in the Barrack-pore
regiment of the Britishers.
He was totally against the
use of greased cartridges in
the rifles. He was the first
martyr of this mighty
The Queen of Jhansi
was fairly against the
‘Doctrine of Lapse’ as
her adopted son was
not recognized as the
rightful heir to the
throne and the British
Bahadur Shah Zafar
The Last Emperor of the
Mughal dynasty, also
known as Bahadur Shah II,
was given the role of
leading the Rebellion in
Delhi. He was a beautiful
poet. His poetry mostly
dealt with love and
mysticism. He even write
of the pain and sorrow he
suufered by the Britishers.
Bahadur shah zafar the
लगता नहीं है जी मेरा उजड़े दयार मे
िकिस किी बनी है आलम-ए-नापायेदार मे
किह दो इन हसरतों से किहीं और जा बसे
इतनी जगह किहाँ है िदल-ए-दाग़दार मे
उम-ए-दराज़ माँग किर लाये थे चार िदन
दो आरज़ू मे किट गये दो इन्तज़ार मे
िकितना है बदनसीब "ज़फ़र" दफ़्न किे िलये
दो गज़ ज़मीन भी न िमली किू -ए-यार मे
Lagta Nahin hai jee mera
Begum Hazrat Mahal
The wife of Wajid Ali
Shah and the Queen of
Awadh (Oudh) though
charming and affable in
nature, was a strong leader
and an adroit strategist.
She bravely led her army
in one of the central places
of the revolt, Lucknow.
Even after being a gallant
woman she is lost in the
pages of history.
He was another victim of
the British Policy, Doctrine
of Lapse. For being the
‘adopted’ son of Peshwa
Baji Rao II, he was not
accepted as the heir of the
throne. He fought hard
against the Britishers in
He was a strong adherent
of Nana Saheb and a close
acquaintance of Rani
Lakshmibai. He fought
bravely for the Marathas.
He was a martyr of this
The revolt began on 10 May 1857 soon after the incident where Mangal
Pandey had refused to use the greased cartridges. He then shot his
regiment officer. He was then caught, prosecuted and hanged. Some of
his companions too refused, and were sentenced 10 years imprisonment
at Meerut cantonment. The revolt broke out at Meerut as the public
were furious to see the cruelty towards the officers. British officers were
killed and their houses were set on fire. The mutineers killed anyone
related to the whites, even the woman and children. The revolutionaries
marched to Delhi and with the leadership of Bahadur Shah II, captured
The news spread to other parts of the country and some of them slowly
joined them. In Lucknow, Ahamadullah Shah and Begum Hazrat Mahal
with Kunwar Singh of Jagdishpur revolted in Bihar. In Kanpur, Nana
Sahib and Azimullah Khan commanded the troops while Rani
Lakshmibai in Jhansi and Khan Bahadur Khan in Ruhelkhand led the
Many other states, mostly from North-East India followed...
The revolt was relentlessly suppressed.
Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was captivated and exiled to
Rangoon, Burma(Myanmar) while his three sons were shot
dead at Khooni Darwaza, near Delhi Gate.
Lucknow, Jhansi, Gwalior and Delhi were recaptured by the
Begum Hazrat Mahal and Nana Sahib had to flee of to Nepal.
Rani Lakshmibai was killed in action whereas, Tatya Tope was
caught and hanged in the gallows.
“Mutineers were given, at best, short military trials. Mostly they
were shot down, bayonetted or hanged, sometimes in pig’s skins
to defile Muslims, or in cow’s skin to mortify hindus. In many
cases, mutinous sepoys were tied to the mouths of cannons and
blown into fragments of flesh and intestine.”
Jhansi was ruthlessly sacked by the victorious Britishers:
“Fires were blazing everywhere, and although it was night I could
see far enough. In the lanes and streets people were crying
pitifully, hugging the corpses of their dears ones. Others were
wondering, searching for food while the cattle were running mad
with thirst...How cruel and ruthless were these white soldiers, I
thought; they were killing people for the crimes they had not
~The British Raj by Denis Judd
There was no unified command.
Many states either remained neutral or fought for the British.
Inspite of great courage, gallantry and readiness to sacrifice for
the noble cause, the Indians lacked modern and advance
weapons, experience commanders, organization and
The revolt had not started on a fixed date, rather, it spread
from one place to another, which made it possible for the
British to suppress it one by one.
The defeat of Indians wasn’t the only aftermath of this
destruction, it had more consequences, some good as well as
Firstly, two of the most strong dynasties which had ever ruled
India declined, the Marathas and the Mughals.
Secondly, the rule of the English East India Company came to
However the administration of India had passed to greater
hands, into the hands of the British Crown. It assured jobs
without any distinction.
Right of adoption for state princes restored.
It united the Nation, to fight against the British as one.
My research has shown that the public is not very familiar with
the Revolt of 1857. They only know things like Rani Lakshmi
Bai was a brave woman who fought this revolt.
They have their own sayings and they more or less believe that
India did very well in replying the British with the revolt,
Aurangzeb’s different action with respect to granting trading
rights to British might not have led to this revolt. They too only
know about Jhansi Ki Rani but not of other woman like Begum
Hazrat Mahal who participated in his revolt. And they agree
with the fact that Mangal Pandey was right in protesting
against the greased cartridges.
After wandering and researching a lot I’ve found out that
people had, have and would always have different mentallities
in every society, even today.
I think people might not have seen themselves as being ruled
as the word ‘colonialism’ was not there in their dictionaries at
Others, might have thought it safe and secure for them to
collaborate with the British side or to remain neutral.
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar:
He was a modern historian who named this revolt as ‘The First
War of Independence’ in his book, The History of the War of the
Indian Independence. He also struggled for freedom like the other
freedom fighters, he has said,
“We must stop complaining about this British officer or that officer, this
law or that law. There would be no end to that. Our movement must not
be limited to being against any particular law, but it must be for acquiring
the authority to make laws itself. In other words, we want absolute
He is a modern historian and a writer. He has written two
books on 1857 called, War of Civilisations: India AD 1857. He
argues their was an ‘untold holocaust’ which caused the deaths
of almost 10 million people over 10 years beginning with 1857.
The Development into a Movie
Mangal Pandey: The Rising is a movie with Aamir Khan as the
protagonist, Mangal Pandey who is a sepoy in the Barrackpore
regiment who was first fairly treated by the British. However, as
the days went, he and his country was treated poorly. British
were unjust to the locals, all they wanted from India was wealth
and money. And soon they tried to distraught people by asking
them to change their religions. They started coming out with
greased cartridges which were given to their soldiers which was
just the start of the revolt.Mangal Pandey-The Rising tells the
tale of friends, lovers and enemies, exploiters and exploited,
and growth plus awareness of a man and a nation.
Importance of Multiple Resources
Multiple Resources are very important while making a project
as they give different opinions and aspects for a single event or
person. For example, Revolt of 1857 was an unacceptable
mutiny by the British, whereas, the opposition believed it was
right to protest and rebel against the East India Company’s
Though, many aspects make it difficult as what aspect to trust
and accept, it gives new reasons.
Also, different people having different occupations, mind sets
and feelings and will act differently in the society.
My Project is an initiative to understand more than what we
learn in class, from our teachers. Revolt of 1857 is a huge topic
which displays many a thing.
It shows Strength,
People from many parts of India were troubled with this and
had revolted against the British.
However, there were people who backed the side of the
If only they had fought for their country, maybe, just maybe,
the Britisher’s rule would not have lasted long and we
probably would have got our freedom 90 years before...
And maybe the Mughal and the Maratha Dynasty would have
lasted long than they really did...
I’m sincerely thankful to the following
people, whose help and support made
this project possible:
My Teachers: Ms. Aparajita, Ms.
Paridhi and Ms. Isha who were always
there to answer my queries
My friends: Kanav Gupta, Jacinda
Kundal, Bani Narula, Shaurya Gupta,
Vani Gogia, Raghav Bahry, Raunaq
Singh Sur, Arnav Garg
My parents and my sister, Sanya for
their never-ending support
World Wide Web:
Under the British