Mangal Pandey was born on 19 July 1827 in the village Nagwa, of Ballia district, Uttar Pradesh in a Bhumihar Brahmin family. He joined the East India Company's forces in 1849 at the age of 18. Pandey was part of the 6th Company of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry and is primarily known for his involvement in an attack on several of the regiment's officers. This incident marked an opening stage in what came to be known as the India's First War of Independence or Indian Mutiny of 1857. In line with the modern Indian perspective of his historical role, it is now claimed that Pandey was a devout Hindu who practiced his religion diligently.