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An ordinary town with a peculiar location on the political map of India (you could actually start a debate with the locals whether it falls in Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh) Jhansi would not have been a well known place had it not been for one heroic lady, Rani Laxmibai, the Queen of Jhansi. There is a fort at Jhansi which mostly sums up the tourist attractions. Though the fort is not a spectacular one, a tour with in company of a guide recounting stories from the life of Rani Laxmibai and about her heroic contribution in the Uprising of 1857 could be a nice experience. There is also the State Museum nearby where paintings of Rani Laxmibai, manuscripts and some sculptures can be seen.


As you arrive in the small town of Jhansi, you can still see a strong hold of Rani Laxmibai on the town, even after more than 160 years of her martyrdom. Every alternate place is named after her. The town owes its identity to her. And it owes all the traffic of tourists it receives to Jhansi Fort, where Laxmibai arrived as a 14 year old girl married to the king and went on to become a queen who led her army into the battle against British after her husband’s death.


Jhansi Fort was built by Raja Bir Singh Deo of Orcha in 1613. Rani Laxmibai came here in 1849, at the age of 14, after her marriage with Raja Gangadhar Rao. She became the queen of Jhansi after the King died in 1853 followed by the death of his 4 month old son with Laxmibai, Damodar Rao. It was suspected that the prince had been poisoned so Gangadhar Rao would not have a male heir to the kingdom. Anand Rao was adopted as the heir to the kingdom. But after the King’s death, the British pointed out that since Anand Rao was not a biological son of the king, he was legally not the rightful heir. The queen was made to leave the fort with insufficient pension.


There are several sites within that the tourists take interest in, the sites that tell stories of valor, deceit and sacrifice. Surrounded by a moat, the fort has ten entrance gates. Later, when Rani Laxmibai re-took the fort and resultantly the fort was attacked and besieged by the British, the fort served the purpose it was built for. The bloody stories of the incidents that took place during this battle are as though written in bold words all over the fort. To start with, there is the famous cannon, Kadak-Bijli Toph, outside the fort with a cannon ball stuck in its mouth. It is believed that this powerful cannon was loaded with the ball during the siege of British, but Lakshmibai had ordered not to fire the shot as the British had cleverly taken refuge in a temple which also would have been destroyed in the process.


As you enter the fort, you see two German machine guns. It is believed that originally there were more than ten machine guns. The British took all away with them when they left India, leaving behind the two that were defunct. Inside the main gate, there are welcome-cannons designed to shower important guests with flowers. Further up there is Rani Mahal, the palace of the queen, where Rani Laxmibai spent her days of adolescence after her marriage. A portion of this was later used as a prison by the British. There is also a Shiva Temple where people still come in great number during Maha Shiv Ratri.


In proximity of this temple was a place where the prisoners with death sentence would be hanged. However, upon Rani’s suggestion that it is not appropriate to hang the prisoners near a temple, the point was shifted elsewhere. There is also a secret exit near the temple, which the British had already closed with the help of the traitor, Rao Dulhaju’s tip. It was due to Rao Dulhaju’s help that the British were able to enter the fort, or else the fort may not have fallen. Dulhaju who had been promised the command of Jhansi in return of his help, was executed by the British as soon as the fort had been taken.


One of the most famous places in Jhansi Fort is the cliff from where Rani Laxmibai jumped on her horse, Badal. When it was apparent that she would be captured and her rebellion would end with him, she tied her adopted son to her back and jumped from the cliff to escape. The horse died, but the queen escaped and continued her fight with her faithful ally, Tatya Tope for a few more days until finally she gained martyrdom in Gwalior. Wounded by a bullet, when the capture at the hands of the British was unavoidable, Rani Laxmibai concealed herself within a hut and burnt it down, so the British would never lay hands upon her.


A modest town, Jhansi can provide a comfortable accommodation, but it is suggested that after visiting the fort and the museum you proceed to Orcha for the night stay. The roads around Jhansi are in a terrible state. The surrounding Bundelkhand region is also infamous for dacoits since many a century. Hence it is suggested that you don’t drive around after dusk. Orcha, a through and through touristy place, situated only 20 kilometers from Jhansi, provides some excellent hotels and resorts and makes a wonderful staying option.

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Jhansi, a Multifaceted City - by Bina Chaudhary  Dated : 2011-04-01
Kadak bijli is a canon in the Jhansi fort. The Kadak bijli canon is 5.5 metres long and 1.8 metres wide. The barrel of the canon has a diameter of 60 centimetres. The Kadak bijli canon was used in the freedom struggle against the British, in the year 1857. Gulam Gaus Khan was the gunner of this canon.

During the freedom struggle of 1857, the Kadak bijli canon did not fire, and the canon ball burst inside the canon. This killed Gulam Gaus Khan. He is buried in a tomb, inside the Jhansi fort.

The Jhansi fort covers an area of 16 acres and the wall of the fort, once comprised of 10 gates. The names of the gates were, Khande Rao, Datia, Unnao, Jhirna, Lakshmi Sagar, Orchha, Sainyar, Baragaon and Bhander gate. The Jhansi fort comprises of the Panch Mahal, Baradari and 2 temples. The 2 temples are dedicated to lord Ganesh and lord Shiva.

There are Buddhist stupas located in Jhansi. These stupas are a world heritage site, under UNESCO. The Buddhist stupas in Jhansi are the oldest Buddhist stupas in the Indian sub-continent. A visit to these stupas will require many days, while you are in Jhansi. These stupas are extremely beautiful.

Reaching these Buddhist stupas is not easy. The way I reached these stupas was that I travelled by train from Delhi to Bhopal. From Bhopal I took a private taxi to the Buddhist stupas in Jhansi.
Gorgeous Jhansi - by Pinky Bhatia  Dated : 2011-04-01
The Jhansi fort is a beautiful fort built on the Bangra hill. When you reach the top of the fort, you will get a spectacular view of the Jhansi city. This is because the Jhansi fort is most ideally located. The Jhansi fort was built by the Bundela chief, Bir Singh Ju Deo. He built the fort in 1613. The fort was later occupied by the Mughals. After the Mughals, the Marathas took over the Jhansi fort. After that the British took over the fort.

In 1729-1730, the Maratha chief Naru Shankar made alterations in the Jhansi fort. This extended portion of the fort came to be called as Shankargarh. There were many other alterations made in this fort later, until it came under the Indian government.

The Jhansi fort remained under the control of Rani Laxmi Bai. The Jhansi fort became very famous because it was here that Rani Laxmi Bai sacrificed her life while fighting the British in the freedom struggle of 1857.

The Bhawani Shankar canon in Jhansi gets its name from Guru Jairam. There is an inscription near the canon, which says the above. The inscription near the canon also says that the canon was made in 1718. The Bhawani canon was operated by a lady gunner, Moti Bai.

The Kadak bijli is the biggest canon in the Jhansi fort. This canon was operated by Gulam Gaus Khan, who was a warrior who worked under Rani Laxmi Bai.
Spectacular features of Jhansi - by Urvij Shah  Dated : 2011-04-01
There is a Shiva temple in Jhansi and the architecture of the temple is quite unique. This is because the architecture of the temple is a mixture of the local architecture and the Bundela Maratha architecture.

The Rani of Jhansi used to pray in the Shiva temple in Jhansi. This temple was built during Naru Shankar’s period. The Shivalinga in the temple is made from granite.

Baradari is a place in Jhansi, which was built by Raja Raghunathrao for his brother. Raghnathrao’s brother was very fond of drama and art. Baradari was decoarted with flowers and geometrical designs.

The roof of the Baradari was built like a pond and it used to sprinkle water in all directions.

Bhawani Shankar is a canon in Jhansi. It is believed that the canon has the strength of goddess Bhawani and gets its name from there. One of the signs near the canon says that the mouth of the Bhawani Shankar canon has the shape of a crocodile’s mouth and the side of the canon is made like an elephant’s face.

The Bhawani Shankar canon is 5 metres long and 60 centimetres wide. The barrel has a diameter of 52 centimetres.

There is a Jhansi museum in Jhansi. The Jhansi museum has a small entry fee and if you want to click photographs inside the museum, you will have to pay a small fee of Rs.10.
Wonderful Jhansi - by Deepak Bagga  Dated : 2011-04-01
The Jhansi museum is a landmark in Jhansi. It has several stone and terracotta sculptures. It also has miniature paintings. All these sculptures and paintings are from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Jhansi is a huge railway junction. Jhansi falls in Uttar Pradesh, but all roads from Jhansi lead to Madhya Pradesh.

The guide books on tourism in India include Jhansi in Madhya Pradesh and not in Uttar Pradesh. The Rani Mahal was the residence of Rani Laxmi Bai. It is located in the centre of the city. From the outside, the Rani Mahal looks like an old house.

Now the Rani Mahal has been converted into a museum and the artefacts which are on display here, have been excavated from several areas near Jhansi. The artefacts found here are quite exquisite, but they are just lying around the museum and there are no guides there to explain the significance of these artefacts.

As you approach Rani Laxmi Bai’s bedroom in the palace, you will feel that there is something special about this place. The stairs leading to the Rani’s bedroom are painted with colourful floral designs.

In the past, Rani Laxmi Bai’s bedroom in the Rani Mahal must have been an amalgamation of colours. The bedroom has some of the most beautiful paintings of all times.

As you visit the Rani Mahal, you will feel that Rani Laxmi Bai had a short but complete life. Being recognized for one’s bravery over a period of so many years is not easy.
Jhansi, a Marvellous City - by Jairaj Sharma  Dated : 2011-04-01
The king of Jhnasi was Rani Lakshni Bai’s husband. After the king’s death, the British overtook the administration of Rani Laxmi Bai’s fort. The Rani of Jhansi was very brave and independent and thus was not happy with the compensation given to her by the British.

Rani of Jhansi got an opportunity to revolt against the British. She led her army confidently and asked her army to join in the battle against the British in the mutiny for independence in the year 1857. During this mutiny, the British were forced to retreat.

There was a lot of infighting between Rani Laxmi Bai’s sepoys. The British took advantage of this infighting and captured the fort of Jhansi in 1858. It was during this time that Rani Laxmi Bai, jumped from the point on Bangra hill with her adopted son, Damodar Rao, to take shelter in the Gwalior fort.

The Rani of Jhansi lived in the Panch Mahal with her husband, Raja Gangadhar Rao, when he was alive. After her husbands’ demise, The Rani of Jhansi lived in the Rani Mahal which was close to the Jhansi fort.

The Rani Mahal was built by Raja Bir Singh, during his period, from 1611 to 1627. Originally this building was a 5 storey building, but now only 3 storeys exist.
: Jhansi, A Good Tourists Destination - by Sandeep Rathod  Dated : 2011-03-29
The name Jhansi is both synonymous to the famous Jhansi ki Rani or the Queen of Jhansi, Lakshmibai and the place where she lived and fought against the British rule. Jhansi lays in the state of Madhya Pradesh, it is nearly 450 kilometers away from Delhi by road.

The most famous landmark in Jhansi is the Jhansi fort, where the heroic Queen Lakshmibai had resided. The fort is situated on the Bangra Hill and is an imposing structure. It was built by Bundella chief Bir Singh Ju Deo in 1613 and later, it was occupied by the Mughals, Marathas and the British. The fort became important after it was under the control of Laxmibai who after fighting a horrific battle against the British attained martyrdom.

The wall of the fort was once known to have ten gates named Khande Rao, Datia, Unnao, Jhirna, Lakshmi Sagar, Orchha, Sainyar, Baragaon and Bhander gates. The fort also has a Panchmahal, Baradari and two temples, one dedicated to Lord Ganesha and the other to Lord Shiva.

However, the main attraction of the fort is that particular point from where Rani Lakshmibai lept on a horseback out of the fort with her adopted son Damodar Rao to flee to Gwalior from the clutches of the British.
To Jhansi from Gwalior - by Suryakant Mandare  Dated : 2011-03-29
We had our bags packed and took a bus for Jhansi which is around 103 km from Gwalior. It takes nearly three sweaty hours to reach Jhansi from Gwalior, the roads are really bad, will all the bumps and the heat we had had a bad start. But we not too disheartened. As we reached Jhansi a lot of time got wasted in finding a good hotel room. The condition of MP tourism is not encouraging.

We took a cheap hotel; the owner assured us that they had a good service, hot water and no mosquitoes in the hotel. We were happy as it turned out to be true. We hired an auto and headed to see our first tourist spot in the city, the famed Jhansi fort. Built by Raja Bir Singh Deo in 1613 it is spread over a 16 acre area and has 10 gates. There are many constructions inside the fort that are attractive, like the Ganesh Mandir, Shahar Darwaza, Gulam Gaus Khan’s grave, an Execution tower, Kal Kothri and the Panch Mahal. I must say the fort is a grand structure, and is a living testimonial to the bravery of Rani Laxmi bai. But the fort is mostly desecrated; I wish the MP government strives to maintain this treasure.

The only other thing worth a visit was the State Museum. It was established in 1978. It hosts a huge collection of artifacts from the early Gupta period to the modern era. We then moved towards Orccha from where we were to move to Khajuraho.