Location: Uttar Pradesh
Famous for: Rani Laxmi Bai
Main attractions: Jhansi Fort, Rani Mahal
Languages: Hindi, English, and Bundeli
LAND OF THE GALLANT QUEEN: The gateway to Bundelkhand, Jhansi is a city that is linked still with the legend of its fiery queen, Rani Laxmibai. In the 1857 war against British, she led her troops into battle, striking a blow for Indian independence and laying down her life for the cause.
Jhansi is ideally located for various rewarding excursions in the area. Within easy reach are fascinating destinations like Orchha, Shivpuri, Deogarh and Khajuraho. Now adding another dimension to this splendid destination is the Jhansi festival, an annual event scheduled in February/ March each year that displays the arts, crafts and culture of the region.
Jhansi Fort: Raja Bir Singh Ji Deo built The Jhansi Fort, located upon a rocky hill originally, in 1613. Today, it houses a collection of sculpture and provides an excellent insight into the eventful history of Bundelkhand.
Rani Mahal: This was the palace of Rani Laxmibai. The Archaeological Survey of India has housed a fine collection of sculptures belonging to the period between 9th and 12th centuries AD here.
State Museum: The museum has collections of terracotta, bronzes, sculptures, arms, manuscripts, paintings and coins of gold, silver and copper.
Mahavir Swami Wildlife Sanctuary: Located in Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh, the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 5.4 sq. km. The sanctuary is 125 km from Jhansi, the magnificent gateway to the Bundelkhand region, rendered famous by the legendary Rani Laxmi Bai.
Barua Sagar: 24 kms from Jhansi, on the route to Khajuraho, Baruasagar is the historic spot where the battle between the Peshwa’s troops and the Bundelas was fought in 1744 The place is named after the Barua Sagar Taal, a large lake formed about 260 years ago, when an embankment was erected by Raja Udit Singh of Orchha.
Kalinjar: Situated at a distance of 280 km from Jhansi, this town and the fort, which have had strategic important since the earliest of times, are located in the ancient land of Jejakbhukti, which is an integral part of Bundelkhand.
Parichha: Parichha Dam, built on the river Betwa, is about 25 kms from Jhansi on the Jhansi-Kanpur National Highway No. 25. Its reservoir- a placid stretch of water that runs to Notghat Bridge, 34 km away is ideal for water sports.
Todi-Fatehpur: The fort covering an area of 5 acres is built on a hillock and is surrounded by three massive stonewalls. It is divided into 4 main parts- the oldest and the uppermost being Gusain Mahal, the next being ‘Ranwas’, the third, Rajgarh Palace and the fourth, the Rangmahal Palace, which is a splendid four storeyed building, embellished with paintings on the walls and ceilings.
Samthar: Samthar lies at a distance of 66 km from Jhansi and 13 km from Moth. Formerly called Samshergarh, it is now known as Samthar. It was an independent principality under the great Gujjar warriors of the 17th and 18th centuries. Chandrabhan Bar Gujar and his grandson Madan Singh, governors of the state of Datia, are credited with the creation of the independent state of Samthar.
Orchha (M.P.): 18 km from Jhansi, Orchha is a city, frozen in time. It was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela chieftain, Rudra Pratap Singh, who built this new capital on a large wooded island, on the river Betwa. Today, remains of the fort and palaces speak eloquently of Orchha’s time of glory, of its splendid legacy of art and culture.
Shivpuri (M.P.): 101 kms from Jhansi lays Shivpuri, the summer capital of the Scindia rulers of Gwalior. It is located on the main Delhi- Bombay Highway, south of Gwalior. Mughal emperors as their hunting grounds once used Shivpuri’s dense forests. Even today, it is famous for its preserved forests, wild animals and natural surroundings.
Datia (M.P.): 34 kms from Jhansi, Datia is a railway station on the Delhi-Madras main line. An ancient town, it has been mentioned in the Mahabharat as “Daityavakra”. The main historical monument here is the seven-storeyed palace of Raja Bir Singh Ji Deo built a top a hill, offering a splendid view, over a lake.
Sonagiri (M.P.): 45 kms from Jhansi, this sacred Jain hill lays 3 kms to the northwest of Datia. There are some 77 Jain temples, built along the hill and its slopes, which date back to the 17th century. Of these, the temple dedicated to Chhatranatha, the 8th of the 24 Tirthankaras, is the most beautiful.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Nearest airports are Gwalior (103 km) and Khajuraho (175 km).
Rail: A junction along the Mumbai- Delhi route, Jhansi is well linked by rail.
Road: Jhansi is situated on National Highway Nos. 25 and 26 and is well connected with the entire country.
Local Transport: Tourist taxis, tempos and auto rickshaws that operate on a point-to-point basis.