Narratives of history dominate the city of Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. 17th century forts are guarded by imposing gates, palaces are dappled by vibrant paintings, shrines and temples mix on the streets, while city lanes reflect many different periods of history. While majestic forts and temples attract tens of thousands of visitors to Jhansi, the city is also an important transport hub between Delhi and Agra to the north, Rajasthan to the west, Khajuraho to the east, and Kanpur and Lucknow to the north-east.
The Fort of Jhansi is a wonderful introduction to the city’s architectural treasures, its ornate gates opening up a world of galleries and surreal stone. This fort can be seen from many points in Jhansi, most famously the gardens surrounding the Government Museum. A handful of palaces can be seen with Rani Mahal being the most elaborate in both scale and detail. Known as the Queen’s Palace, it’s a fabulous insight into the wealth that Jhansi enjoyed before the British arrived. There’s an aura to the various temples found in Jhansi, notably the mystical Nag Mandir.
Jhansi’s transport connections make it a popular overnight stop on many India itineraries. Express trains arrive from all directions and provide expedited travel to many major cities in northern India. The city is also on the major bus route to the temples of Khajuraho and other destinations in Uttar Pradesh. Auto rickshaws can be seen and heard all over Jhansi and are often the easiest way to get around, particularly amongst the narrow lanes of the city centre. Taxis are also readily available.
There’s a strong sense of patriotism in Jhansi, a city that is also famous for the 1857 revolt against British rule and the warriors of the Maratha Kingdom. The city’s most notable person was Rani Lakshmi Bai, known as the “Valiant Queen.”
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