Begum Hazrat Mahal was the ruler of Awadh after her husband; Wajid Ali Shah was exiled to Calcutta by the British. She 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.
In 1856, by the means of the Doctrine of Lapse introduced by Lord Dalhousie, the East India Company annexed the kingdom of Awadh. Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was exiled from his throne and was sent to Calcutta. Begum Hazrat Mahal and other divorced concubines were left behind in Lucknow. Begum Hazrat Mahal took the charge of Awadh and their 12-year son. Prince Birjis Qadr was officially crowned at Qaiser bagh. However, she was forced to abandon this role after a short reign.
With British taking over Lucknow, Begum Hazrat Mahal was a force to retreat. She finally found asylum in Nepal where she died in 1879.
Image Source: Mintage World