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. This place was named as Balwant Nagar. 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 Jahangir. In 1613 Raja Bir Singh Deo constructed the Jhansi Fort. He died in 1627. After his death his son Juhar Singh succeeded him.
Maharaja Chhatrasal Bundela of Panna was a good administrator and a brave warrior. In 1729 Mohammed Khan Bangash attacked Chattrasal. Peshwa Baji Rao(I) helped Maharaja Chhatrasal 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 soobedars of Jhansi.
In 1766 Vishwas Rao Laxman was made the soobedar of Jhansi. His period was from 1766 to 1769. After him Raghunath Rao(II) Newalkar was appointed as the soobedar of Jhansi. He was a very able administrator. He increased the revenue of the State. The Maha Lakshmi 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 soobedari in favour of his brother Shiv Rao 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 soobedar of Jhansi,who 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 king of Jhansi. Due to lack of administration during the period of Raghunath Rao (III) the financial position of Jhansi became 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 Manikarnika. After marriage Manikarnika 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 Jiyaji Rao Scindhia. Jhansi was then became a part of Gwalior State. In 1886 Britishers took back Jhansi from Gwalior state.
After independence of India, Jhansi was included in Uttar Pradesh. At present Jhansi is a Divisional Commissioner's Headquarter, including Jhansi, Lalitpur and Jalaun districts.
- 1. Jhansi Gazetteer.
- 2. Jhansi - Dr. Rudra Pandey
- 3. Jila Vikas Patrika (1996-1997), Jhansi.
Rani Lakshmi Bai, the fiery Queen of Jhansi, also known as the Rani of Jhansi; one of the great nationalist heroine of the first war of Indian freedom, a symbol of resistance to the British rule in India was born on 19th November 1835 at Kashi (Presently known as Varanasi). Her father Moropant was a Brahmin and her mother Bhagirathi Bai was a cultured, intelligent and God fearing lady. Manikarnika (Manu) was the name of Rani Lakshmi Bai in her childhood. Manu lost her mother at the age of four. The Complete responsibility of the young girl fell on her father. She completed her education and also learned horse riding, sword fighting and shooting with a gun.
She was married to Raja Gangadhar Rao, the Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842, and thereafter, she became the Queen of Jhansi. After marriage she was given the name 'Lakshmi Bai'. The Marriage ceremony was performed in the temple of Lord Ganesha situated in the city of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmi Bai gave birth to a son in 1851, but unfortunately this child died when he was about four months old. After this tragedy, Damodar Rao was adopted as son. Later on Maharaja Gangadhar Rao also died on 21st November 1853. After his death, Rani Lakshmi Bai was left alone. At this time she was eighteen years old. Rani Lakshmi Bai did not lost her courage and always remembered her responsibility.
At that time Lord Dalhousie was the Governor-General of India. Although the little Damodar Rao, the adopted son of late Maharaja Gangadhar Rao and Rani Lakshmi Bai was Maharaja's heir, as per Hindu tradition, but the British rulers rejected Rani's claim that Damodar Rao was their legal heir. Lord Dalhousie decided to annex the state of Jhansi as Maharaja Gangadhar Rao had left no legal heir. This misfortune of Jhansi was used by the Britishers to expand their Empire.
In March 1854 the British ruler announced 60,000 (Sixty Thousand) annual pension for Rani and also ordered to leave the Jhansi Fort. Rani was in humiliating condition but it was like a silent volcano before eruption.
Rani Jhansi was determined not to give up Jhansi. She was a symbol of patriotism and self-respect. Britishers were making every effort to destroy the freedom of country whereas Rani was determined to get rid of Britishers.
Rani Lakshmi Bai strengthened the army of Jhansi and she assembled a volunteer army of rebellions. Women were also given Military training. Rani was accompanied by her brave warriors; some of them were Gulam Gaus Khan, Dost Khan, Khuda Baksh, Lala Bhau Bakshi, Moti Bai, Sunder-Mundar, Kashi Bai, Deewan Raghunath Singh and Deewan Jawahar Singh. Along with all these warriors the local population of Jhansi irrespective of their religion or caste were always determined to fight and give their lives with pleasure for the cause of Independent and their beloved Queen.
The Britishers attacked Jhansi in March 1858. Rani Jhansi with her faithful warriors decided not to surrender. The fighting continued for about two weeks. Shelling on Jhansi was very fierce. In her army, women were also carrying ammunition and were supplying food to the soldiers. Rani Lakshmi Bai was very active. She herself was inspecting the defense of the city. However, after this great war, Jhansi fell to the British forces.
On that black day, the British army entered the Jhansi City. Rani Lakshmi Bai, still full of courage and deathless patriotism dressed as a man, took up arms, her son Damodar Rao was strapped tightly to her back. She was holding the reins of her horse in her mouth. In the fierce fighting she was using the sword with both her hands and when the situation was not in control, Rani of Jhansi with some of her warriors departed from Jhansi.
Rani Lakshmi Bai reached Kalpi, where many other rebellions joined her. Tatya Topey from Kalpi was also one of them. From Kalpi Rani departed to the Gwalior. Again a fierce battle took place. Rani Jhansi fought with deathless patriotism and martyrdom. However, on the second day of fighting, the great heroine of the first struggle for India freedom, at the age of 23 years, lost her life. That unfortunate date was 18th June of 1858.
By Air :
The nearby airports are Gwalior and Khajuraho.
Gwalior - 103 Km.
Khajuraho - 175 Km.
By Rail :
Jhansi is a junction on the Mumbai-Delhi route. It is well linked by an excellent railway network. Some main trains are:Shatbadi Exp., Punjab Mail, Dadar-Amritsar Exp., Jhelum Exp., Karnataka Exp., Mahakaushal Exp., Malwa Exp., Kushinagar Exp., Tamil Nadu Exp., GT Exp., Mangla Exp., Kerala Exp.
By Road :
Jhansi is well connected by a good network of roads. It is situated on National Highway No.25 and 26. Some of the major road distances are:
For Local Transport: Taxis, Auto Rickshaws and Tourist Cabs are available.