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City of Brave Woman Rani Laxmi Bai - Jhansi

by mayankmalik

"History of Jhansi"

Jhansi city, situated between the rivers Pahunj and Betwa is a symbol of bravery, courage and self respect. It is said that in ancient times Jhansi was a part of the regions Chedi Rashtra, Jejak Bhukit, Jajhoti and Bundelkhand.

Jhansi was a stronghold of the Chandela kings. Balwant Nagar was the name of this place. But in 11th. century Jhansi lost its importance. In 17th. century under Raja Bir Singh Deo of Orchha Jhansi again rose to prominence. Raja Bir Singh Deo had good relations with the mughal emperor Jehangir. In 1613 Raja Bir Singh Deo constructed the Jhansi fort. He died in 1627. After his death his son Juhar Singh succeeded him.

Maharaja Chattrasal Bundela of Panna was a good administrator and a brave warrior. In 1729 Mohammed Khan Bangash attacked Chattrasal. Peshwa Baji Rao(I ) helped Maharaja Chattrasal and defeated mughal army. As a mark of gratitude Maharaja Chattrasal offered a part of his state to Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao(I). Jhansi was also included in this part.

In 1742 Naroshanker was made the subedar of Jhansi. During his tenure of 15 years he not only extended the Jhansi fort which was of strategic importance but also constructed some other buildings. The extended part of the fort is called Shankergarh. In 1757 Naroshanker was called back by the Peshwa. After him Madhav Govind Kakirde and then Babulal Kanahai were made the subedars of Jhansi.

In 1766 Vishwas Rao Laxman was made the subedar of Jhansi. His period was from 1766 to 1769. After him Raghunath Rao (II) Newalkar was appointed the subedar of Jhansi. He was a very able administrator. He increased the revenue of the state. The MahaLakshmi Temple and the Raghunath Temple were built by him. For his own residence he constructed a beautiful building Rani Mahal in the city. In 1796 Raghunath Rao passed the subedari in favour of his brother ShivRao Hari.

In 1803 a treaty was signed between East India company and Maratha.

After the death of Shiv Rao his grand son Ramchandra Rao was made subedar of Jhansi. He was not a good administrator. Ramchandra Rao died in 1835. After his death Raghunath Rao (III) was made his successor. In 1838 Raghunath Rao (III) also died. The British rulers then accepted Gangadhar Rao as the Raja of Jhansi. Due to the inefficient administration during the period of Raghunath Rao (III) the financial position of Jhansi was very critical.

Raja Gangadhar Rao was a very good administrator. He was very generous and full of sympathy. He gave very good administration to Jhansi. During his period the local population of Jhansi was very satisfied.

In 1842 Raja Gangadhar Rao married Mannikarnika. After this marriage Mannikarnika was given the new name Lakshmi Bai, who led forces against British in 1857. She sacrificed her life to the cause of Indian Independence in 1858.

In 1861 the British Government gave the Jhansi fort and Jhansi city to JiyajiRao Scindia. Jhansi was then became a part of Gwalior state. In 1886 Britishers took back Jhansi from Gwalior state.

In independent India Jhansi was included in Uttar Pradesh. At present Jhansi is a Divisional Commissioner's Headquarter including district Jhansi, Lalitpur and Jalaun.

"Places to See & Roam around"

Fort of Jhansi : The fort of Jhansi was built in 1613, by Raja Bir Singh Judao (1606-27) of Orchha. This fort is built on a rocky hill and the city of Jhansi is around this fort. During the earlier days, Wall of the fort was all around Jhansi city. This Wall has ten gates. Some of these gates are still existing and some vanished with time. But Places around these gates are still identified with name of gates. Some of the gates are Khandero Gate, Datia darwaza, Unnao gate, Jharna Gate, Laxmi Gate, Sagar Gate, Orchha Gate, Sainyar Gate and Chand gate.
Timings: dawn to dusk daily. Friday free entry. Entry fee: Re 0.25

Rani Mahal : Rani Mahal or Queen's Palace was built by Raghunath II of Newalkar family (1769-96). It is located in heart of city near to Jhansi fort. Rani mahal is decorated with multicolored paintings and art forms. At present Rani mahal is converted to museum with artefacts from 9th and 12th century AD. Best way to reach Rani Mahal is to take an Auto from Elite crossing to City.
Timings: Sunday-Tuesday 10:00am-5:00pm

Government Museum :The Government Museum is situated in a very picturesque location in the heart of the city. The surrounding area has some beautiful parks. At one side, is Deen Dayal Sabhagar(city auditorium). Nearby you can see Vrindavan Lal Verma park, Open-air theatre, Rani Lakshmi Bai Park and ofcourse, a magnificent view of Jhansi fort. There is 1857 Mutiny Memorial on the way to the fort. It is a small park where 1857 mutiny has been depicted with statues that are made by metal scrap! The museum has a rich collection of sculptures, paintings, documents, etc. from different eras. A must see attraction during your visit to Jhansi, it will acquaint you with the history of the region.
Timings: Sunday-Tuesday 10:30am-4:30pm

St Jude's Shrine : This shrine of great imortance among Catholic Christians. St. Jude's bone is buried in the foundation of the cathedral. Devotees come from as far as Goa, on the St Jude's feast day on October 28, every year. Feast day is marked by a week long fair and a procession on the last day of the fair. This fair attracts people of all the faiths and religions.
Orchha : is a town in Madhya Pradesh, it is 14 km/30 min from Jhansi city. Situated next to bank of river Betwa this town can be called a photographer's delight. It is full of Architectural ruins, a village and a small market. Places to see here are fort, Jehangir Mahal, Sheesh Mahal. A good place for stay and food is Orchha Resort and Sheesh Mahal.

Barua sagar : Baruasagar is around 24 km from Jhansi, It is a small town situated on the bank of Betwa river.Its has a large lake which is called Barua sagar tal. Places to see here are fort,Jarai-ka-Math, lake.It lies on Jhansi-Varanasi route and all the buses that oes to Khajuraho passes through this town.
Deogarh : Deogarh is 123 km from Jhansi, It is situated on the banks of Betwa river and is surrounded by thick forest.
Gwalior :(100 Km, 1-1.5 hrs by train, 1.5-2 hrs by car, 3 hrs by bus)A major city between Jhansi and Agra. Among tourist attractions are- Rani Lakshmi Bai's memorial, Jayavilas palace and museum(has a rich collection of artefacts from Scindhia clan), fort, Tansen's tomb, Phoolbagh, etc.
Khajuraho :(175 Km, 5-6 hrs by road)This is a temple city famous for its Chandela period temples with erotic human figures on the walls of temples. This small town has five star accommodation facilities along with standard and ordinary hotels. It is connected by air with Delhi, Agra and Varanasi(Banaras).

"Getting there and Away"

By plane
Though Jhansi has an airport, it is not operational for civil flights as it is a base of Army Aviation. A new greenfield airport is in the pipeline which would enable excellent connectivity with major metros and other important cities. The nearest operational airport to Jhansi is Gwalior (98 km).

[edit] By train
Jhansi is very well connected to major cities across India by direct train links. You can reach Jhansi from India's capital New Delhi, in 4.5 hours by New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express(India's fastest train). This city is directly connected to Jammu, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Dehradun, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kanyakumari, Vishakhapattnam, Patna, Kolkata, etc. It is a big rail junction in central India. Jhansi is a Railway Division under North-Central Railway and its HQ is in Allahabad. Jhansi railway station is located near Sipri Bazaar. Train ticket reservation is fully computerized and can be done at railway station itself. Another convenient way of getting reservation is online reservation facility provided by [www.irctc.co.in site of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation]. Auto Rickshaw and Tempos (Shared Auto Rickshaw) are available from the station to most parts of the city 24 hours. There is a pre-paid booth at railway staion for hiring Auto-Rickshaw. It is advised to negotiate fare before hiring one. Taxis are also available at railway station.

[edit] By car
Jhansi is situated at a strategic location where North-South and East-West corridors(4 lane National Super Highways) intersect each other. National Highways #25, #26, and #75 go through Jhansi. NH 25 connects to Lucknow at one side and Shivpuri at the other side. This is part of 4 lane East-West corridor. NH 26 connects to Lalitpur and is a part of 4 lane North-South corridor. Another NH 75 connects to Gwalior which is also a part of 4 lane North-South corridor.

[edit] By bus
The main bus stand is at eastern side of the city, on Jhansi-Kanpur highway. Buses coming from Jaipur, Agra, Gwalior also stop between BKD chowk (square or crossroads) and Elite chowk.

Buses are available to visit nearby places as well as for travel to different cities. These buses are available from Railway Station , Elite Crossing and Main Bus Stand. Most number of buses start from Main Bus Stand. U.P. State Roadways Corporation and M.P. State Roadways Corporation have a number of Bus services connecting to cities and towns around Jhansi. Some private operators also have luxury bus services on selected routes.

Since Jhansi is the jumping off point for Khajuraho, most travellers arrive at Jhansi to catch a bus for Khajuraho. The luxury buses for Khajuraho, are available from Jhansi railway station.

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