Tatya Tope was born as Ramachandra Pandurang Tope in Yeola in Nashik District of Maharashtra.
He was most intimate friend of Nana Dhundu Pant (also known as Nana Saheb) of Bithur who was adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao-II.
Tatya Tope had revolted against British after Nana Saheb was deprived of his father’s pension by then Governor General Lord Dalhousie under the Doctrine of Lapse in 1851.
In May 1857, after the rebellion political storm had gained momentum he had won over the Indian troops of the East India Company stationed at Kanpur.
He had established Nana Saheb’s authority in Kanpur and became the Commander-in-Chief of his revolutionary forces.
However after Kanpur was re-occupied by British, he had shifted his headquarters to Kalpi and joined hands with Rani Lakshmi Bai and led a revolt in Bundelkhand.
During this rebellion, he was routed at Koonch, Betwa and Kalpi but had successfully reached Gwalior and declared Nana Saheb as Peshwa with the support of the Gwalior contingent of revolutionary forces.
However, he was not able to consolidate his position and was defeated by General Rose in a memorable battle in Gwalior in which Rani Lakshmi Bai suffered martyrdom.
Later, he had launched a successful guerrilla campaign for over a year in the Sagar and Narmada Khandesh regions and in Rajasthan after losing Gwalior to the British.
But, he was executed by the British at Shivpuri on 18 April 1859 after he was betrayed by his trusted friend Man Singh, Chief of Narwar.