Jhansi is a metropolis city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is about 415 km from Delhi and 292 km from Lucknow and the doorway to Bundelkhand. Jhansi grew in vogue during the reign of the Marathas because of the heroics of its valiant queen, Rani Lakshmi Bai. She had bravely fought against the Britishers during the 1857 revolt.
Jhansi was first comprehended as Shankargarh when Orchha was the capital of Bundelas. To strengthen Orchha's security, its king Raja Bir Singh Ja Deo had constructed a fort on a hill in Shankargarh. And it was when he looked at the site for the new defence from his Orchha palace he realized the place looked like a chain-si (blurred shadow). And this is how Jhansi got its current name.
This fort is none other than the well-known Jhansi Fort. Jhansi fort was built in 1613 and today has a beautiful collection of sculptures that depicts the history of Bundelkhand. It is said that Jhansi grew around this fort which crowns an adjacent rock. Many statues of the 9th to 12th centuries are also found in the Rani Mahal. The museum of Jhansi houses provincial antiques like sculptures, manuscripts, paintings, arms and silver, gold and copper coins.
The artistic brilliance of the Chandelas is still evident in the monuments and other ancient structures standing in the city. Apart from the historic fort of Jhansi, majestic temples, churches, the Government museum, and the Rani mahal, Jhansi is also home to a military flight base (though there are no direct commercial flights to Jhansi). The town has acquired great popularity with the start of the week-long extravaganza — Jhansi Mahotsav. In February, the State Government organized a three-day vegetable and flower exhibition in Jhansi. Rapidly developing infrastructure has made Jhansi more accessible to the most significant parts of the country.
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The fort of Maharani Jhansi has had strategic importance since the earliest. It was constructed by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo (1606-27) of Orchha on a rocky hill called Bangra in the town of Balwantnagar (presently known as Jhansi).
The fort has ten gates ( Darwaza). These are Khandero Gate, Datia Darwaza, Unnao gate, Jharna Gate, Laxmi Gate, Sagar Gate, Orcha Gate, Sainyar Gate, and Chand Gate.
Between places of attraction within the main fort are the Karak Bijli Top (Tank), Rani Jhansi Garden, Shiv temple and a "Mazar" of Ghulam Gaus Khan, Moti Bai and Khuda Baksh.
The Jhansi fort, a living testimony of old glamour and courage, also has a fine collection of sculptures that provide an excellent insight into the eventful history of Bundelkhand.
Rani Mahal, Palace of Rani Lakshmi Bai, embellished with multi-coloured art and painting on its walls and ceilings. Presently this palace is transformed into a museum. It has a huge collection of Sculptures of the period between the 9th and 12th Centuries AD, housed here by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Parichha Dam, built on the Betwa River near Parichha town, is about 25 km from Jhansi on the Jhansi-Kanpur National Highway No. 25. Its reservoir is a peaceful stretch of water that runs to Notghat Bridge, 34 km away from Jhansi – is ideal for water sports.
The Palace of Rani Laxmi Bai is a must-visit place in Jhansi called the Rani Mahal. It has now been converted into a museum that treasures the memory of Rani Lakshmi Bai and the archaeological remains of the 9th to 12th centuries.
Baruasagar is named after a large lake that is called Baruasagar Tal. This lake was created about 260 years ago when Raja Udit Singh of Orcha erected a barrier. He built a fort. The ruins of two old Chandela Temples, made of granite, are on the northeast of the lake. The older one is called Ghughua Math. Nearby is the latest Gupta period temple called Jarai-Ka-Math. This is devoted to Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati.
St. Jude's Church is located in the Civil Lines of Jhansi, a famous tourist destination for Catholic Christians. The devotion to St. Jude Thaddaeus was practically unknown in India, and the late Bishop F. X. Fenech started it in Jhansi, a Prefecture Apostolic in those days. It was not easy to do, especially during World War II, but Bishop Fenech was a man of great faith; he promised St. Jude that if he helped him, he would build a temple in Jhansi in his honour. He made use of the media available, publishing his intention in the Catholic Herald of England, the Indian Catholic Newspaper – The Examiner and so on.
The late Bishop F. X. Fenech was the first person who, jointly with his co-religionists, started praying in this church. Catholic devotees come here far and near and express their reverence towards this great saint.
A festival is also renowned every year for a week. This day is celebrated as St. Jude'sJude's festival. This religious place, made up of Christian and Hindu architectural styles, attracts Christians and people of other religions.
Jhansi is not a major shopping destination. Jhansi is famous for inextricably designed glass bangles which can be bought from Sipri Bazaar. The leading shopping markets in Jhansi are Mani Chowk, Sadar Bazaar, Sipri Bazaar and Nagra. The markets offer various types of clothes, books, electronics and antiques to buy.
A grand week-long event falls between February and March and is jointly organized by the district administration and UP Tourism Board. During this festival culture of the historic city of Jhansi is shown. Music, dance plays and drama shows are part of the event. Visit Jhansi on this holy event and enjoy what this glittering, festive city has to offer you.
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