1857 Revolt Leaders: Places, Contributions, Leaders of Revolt of 1857

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The 1857 revolt leaders hold an important significance in the history of India. It was the rebellion against the Britishers to demolish their rule. Hence it can be said that it was the first step toward the struggle for independence. The revolt of 1857 has various names, like the first war of independence, sepoy mutiny, etc. The war started on 10th May 1857 in the form of sepoy mutiny. This rebellion was started by the soldiers in the Bengal Presidency. They confronted the British officials and marked the initiation of the end of British rule in India. Here in this article, you will get to know all the necessary information regarding the 1857 revolt leaders and places along with their contributions to the freedom struggle of India.

In reality, many people contributed to the freedom struggle, but some famous names in the list of 1857 revolt leaders are Rani Laxmi Bai, Khan Bahadur, Mangal Pandey, etc. You can also download this article as a PDF for UPSC exam preparation from the direct link provided below.

1857 Revolt Leaders

The important leaders of the revolt of 1857 were Mangal Pandey, Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope, Begum Hazrat Mahal, Nana Sahib, etc. The contribution of the 1857 revolt leaders is quite remarkable, which you can read about in this article below.

The revolt of 1857, also known as the sepoy mutiny of 1857, was a large-scale rebellion against the British East India company. What raised the first war of independence was a rumor spreading about the cartridges being greased with the fat of cows and pigs. The statement that new cartridges of rifles are being reached with pig and cow fat spread among the sepoys as a wildfire. This news hurt the sentiments of both Hindus and Muslims, as cows are considered sacred in Hindi, and pigs are considered dirty animals in the Muslim community.

1857 Revolt Leaders PDF

As soon as the sepoys got this news, they outright rejected the use of such rifles. This initial point turned out to be the revolt of 1857. Many leaders came up from different regions of the country and became the leaders of sepoy mutiny. 1857 revolt leaders and places is a very important topic that must be studied by all UPSC aspirants to prepare for the history syllabus for Prelims and Mains exams. The main centers of rebellion were Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Bihar, Bareilly, Gwalior, etc.

Important Leaders of Revolt of 1857

The 1857 revolt leaders had a great impact and a great history. Many leaders across the country have participated in the revolt. However, the first war of independence was not a success, but it had by then sown the seed for independence under the leadership of the following leaders.

Mangal Pandey:

Mangal Pandey was born on 19 July 1827 in the district of Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. He was a high-class Brahmin Hindu who became part of the Army of Bengal in 1849. The Army of Bengal was part of one of the three presidencies of British rule in India. An earlier version suggests that Mangal Pandey had been passed over for recruitment by a regiment. As a private soldier of the British East India Company, Mangal Pandey joined 34th BNI in March 1857.

General Bakht Khan:

He was commander in chief during the widespread anti-British Indian mutiny. As a field battery commander in the British East India Company, General Bakht Khan was related to the ruling family of Ayodhya, who was deposed by Britishers back in 1856. General Bakht Khan was considered the dominant leader in the government in May 1857, as the rebels proclaimed an independent Indian government. Members of a court of administration appointed by the army and government departments were tasked with controlling the figurehead Mughal emperor.

Nana Saheb:

Nana Sahib is considered to be one of the most prominent 1857 revolt leaders during the first war of independence. Nana Saheb was the adopted son of Bajirao 2 who was the last Maratha ruler. He inherited the throne of Bajirao after his death in 1852.

☛ Learn: Who Led the Revolt of 1857 in Kanpur?

Begum Hazrat Mahal:

She was the second wife of Wajid Ali Shah. She was the result of Awadh during the late 1850s. It was during the Indian rebellion or Indian first war of independence of 1857 that she played a leading role in the war against the British. Her son Birjis Qadr was made the ruler of Avadh during his minority by her and his father, who had been exiled to Calcutta.

Khan Bahadur:

He was the grandson of Hafiz Rahmat Khan, the then-ruler of Rohilkhand (present Bareilly) in Uttar Pradesh. The 1857 Indian Revolt against British rule led to him forming his own government in Bareilly. This is so because Bareilly, despite not being a major city, was captured by the British Colony during the first war of independence. For a period, Khan Bahadur escaped from Bareilly and migrated to Nepal, where some Nepali got him and handed him over to the Britishers. The Kotwali in Bihar executed Khan Bahadur on 24th February 1860 after his trial punishment and sentenced him to death.

Kunwar Singh:

Kunwar Singh is considered an important personality among the 1857 revolt leaders. He belongs to Jagdishpur, which is now the Bhojpur district of Bihar in India. A band of soldiers under his command leads an attack against the British company routes. Also, as a chief organizer of the Bihar resistance to the British, Kumar Singh was the man in charge of the rebellion in the region. On 23rd April 1966, a commemorative stamp was issued by India to commemorate his contribution to the freedom movement for India.

Maulvi Ahmadulla:

Maulvi Ahmadullah emerged as the leading figure in the 1857 revolt. He was born in 1787 and is popularly known as the maulvi of Faizabad. In the region of Awadh, Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah had enlightened his followers for freedom; hence he was called the lighthouse of rebellion. Growing up in Faizabad, he was raised by an Avadh Warrior family and became a political leader.

Rani Laxmi Bai:

Rani Lakshmi Bai, popularly known as the queen of Jhansi, was born on 19 November 1835 and emerged as the strongest women leader of sepoy mutiny. Rani Lakshmi Bai was brought to Peshwa Bajirao 2 where she was raised in an entirely different manner by learning martial arts and fighting with a sword and horse riding.

1857 Revolt Leaders and Places

The revolt of 1857, being the first war of independence, was supported by many influential leaders. Therefore it becomes necessary to learn about the centers of the revolt of 1857 and their leaders. The information about 1857 revolt leaders and places is very important from the UPSC exam perspective.

The following table shows the most important and notable leaders of the revolt of 1857:


Centers of Revolt of 1857

Leaders of Revolt of 1857



Mangal Pandey



General Bakht Khan



Nana Saheb



Begum Hazrat Mahal



Khan Bahadur Khan



Kunwar Singh



Maulvi Liyaqat Ali



Rani Laxmi Bai

The 1857 revolt leaders and the places they belong to still are considered historic.

Leaders of Revolt of 1857 and their Contribution

Following are the contributions of some important leaders of the revolt of 1857 in the history of the independence of India:

  • Mangal Pandey was one of the most daring leaders of the revolt of 1857. He became a member of the 34th Bengal native infantry. Astonished to learn that the cartridges being used in Rifles in the infantry are made up of animal fat, he erupted in anger. Out of anger, he shot Lieutenant Baugh, on March 29, 1857, in Barrackpore. For this, Mangal Pandey was booked by British Cops And sentenced to death on 8th April 1857.
  • General Bakht Khan was one of the best leaders of the sepoy mutiny who led the war in Delhi. He established a court of Hindu and Muslim Rebels. The court consisted of 10 people, out of which 6 were military people and four civilians. While the ruler could not lead, the revolt carried out his affairs in his name. Finally, General Bakht Khan became the head of the court and was appointed as commander-in-chief.
  • Nana Saheb was the commander of the Kanpur regiment. On June 6, 1857, Nana Sahib attacked the 53rd native infantry in Kanpur. A charge was made by him and his Army against General Sir Hugh Wheeler’s entrenchment of the British East India Company. As a condition of securing a safe Passage to Allahabad, Sir Hugh, on 27 June, surrendered to Nana. Being a Maratha warrior, he was one of the best 1857 revolt leaders.
  • British imprisoned the husband of Begum Hazrat Mahal. As a result, Avadh was legitimately occupied by Britishers. As a result, Begum Hazrat Mahal led a revolt against the British troops and she was accompanied by many angered people of Awadh. On July 7, 1857, Begum Hazrat Mahal declared Birjis Khadir the Nawab of Awadh.
  • Rani Laxmi Bai was 22 years old when she fought with colonial rulers and refused to cede Jhansi to them. Soon after the revolt of 1857, Rani Laxmi Bai was declared to be The Regent of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmi Bai was among the fearless and strongest women leaders of the revolt of 1857. She immediately organized her sepoys against a British company in Bundelkhand. In a fierce war between Hugh Rose and Rani Laxmi Bai, Hugh en-circled the fort, but Rani Lakshmi Bai refused to surrender before them.
  • Kunwar Singh was born in Bihar and was a local Zamindar. Kunwar Singh was one of the most influential 1857 freedom fighters who created a separate band of soldiers against the Britishers. Kunwar Singh was made responsible for making the arrangements for the battle between the Britishers and Indians in Bihar. Kunwar Singh was an influential leader who merged Civil and military rebellions that became fearful for the British East India company.
  • Tatya Tope was another famous 1857 revolt leader who rebelled against the Britishers at Kanpur, followed by Gwalior. He was famous for his fierce Guerilla fighting techniques. In 1857 Nana Sahib captured Kanpur and established his reign.
  • Maulvi Liyaqat Ali was quite a cunning leader who joined the British army but kept on inducing anti-British sentiments among the Indian sepoys of the regiment. When East India Company came to know about this, they removed him from the regiment immediately. However, Liaquat Ali kept on propagating anti-British sentiments from his village Mahagaon. Ali successfully defeated the East India company, and after bringing all the anti-British sections of society together, he stormed the city of Allahabad and overpowered it.

1857 Revolt Leaders UPSC

The revolt of the 1857 leaders has great importance in the history of India. It was the first war of independence and also called the sepoy mutiny. Many questions on this topic have been asked in the UPSC exam. You can also use these notes for preparing for the UPSC Prelims exam, and the exam may ask about 1857 revolt leaders and the places they belonged to. Also, many questions have been raised related to their contribution to the UPSC Mains examination.

Leaders of Revolt of 1857 UPSC Question

Question. Among the following influenced the sepoys in Meerut in the revolt of 1857? [Prelims 1990]

Choose the correct option

  1. Tantia Tope
  2. Mangal Pandey
  3. Rani Lakshmi Bai
  4. Maharana Pratap

Answer. Option B

Question. Who were the leaders of the sepoy mutiny in Kota?

Choose the correct option

  1. Mehrab Khan and Jadaya Kayashion
  2. Jayadal Singh and Hardayal Singh
  3. Surendra Shahi and Ujjwal Shahi
  4. Liyakat Ali and Abdul Khan

Answer. Option A

Question. Below are the given columns A and column B of 1857 revolt leaders and the places they belong to. Match them correctly

S. no

Column A

S. no

Column B


Mangal Pandey




General Bakht Khan




Rani Laxmi Bai




Kunwar Singh



Choose the correct code-

  • 1-b, 2-c, 3-a, 4-d
  • 1-c, 2-d, 3-b, 4-a
  • 1-d, 2-c, 3-b, 4-a
  • 1-a, 2-b, 3-c, 4-d

Answer. Option A

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