After the death of Rao Ram Chandra in 1835 his adopted son had not been recognised by the British who placed Raghunath Rao on the throne of Jhansi. Raghunath Rao was succeeded by Gangadhar Rao who died in 1853. Before his death he had adopted Anand Rao as his son. Dalhousie refused to recognise him and annexed the State of Jhansi. Laxmi Bai of Jhansi played a very prominent role in the mutiny of 1857 in order to take her revenge.
Born as Anand Rao to a cousin of Raja Gangadhar Rao, he was adopted by the maharaja after his own son died. The adoption of Anand Rao, who was renamed Damodar Rao, occurred on the day before the Maharaja died. The adoption was in the presence of the British political officer who was given a letter from the Maharaja instructing that the child be treated with respect and that the government of Jhansi should be given to his widow for her lifetime. After the death of the Maharaja in November 1853, because Damodar Rao (born Anand Rao) was adopted, the British East India Company, under Governor-General Lord Dalhousie, applied the Doctrine of Lapse, rejecting Damodar Rao’s claim to the throne and annexing the state to its territories. When she was informed of this Rani Lakshmibai cried out “I shall not surrender my Jhansi” (Mai Jhansi ko nahi doongi). In March 1854, Rani Lakshmibai was given an annual pension of Rs. 60,000 and ordered to leave the palace and the fort.