Nestled between two rivers, namely, Pahunj and Betwa, this city of historical, archaeological, and cultural significance lies in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is world-renowned due to the Maratha queen of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmi Bai’s role in the Indian Revolt of 1857. Interestingly, this densely-populated small town has its fair share of historic past, cultural heritage, and architectural marvels. Its royal buildings, religious shrines, and folklore will leave you amazed for sure!
Here’s our list of top 8 tourist attractions in Jhansi you must definitely visit:
1. Jhansi Fort
Raja Bir Singh Judao commissioned its construction in the year 1613. This 16-acre sprawling fort complex lies atop a hilly region and is one of the oldest forts, here. Later, it became the official residence of kings of Chandela dynasty between 11th-17th centuries AD. Its thick walls are made of granite and initially had 10 gates, namely, Khande Rao, Unnao, Orchha, Sainyar, Datia, Baragaon, Jhirna, Lakshmi Saar, and Bhander gates. Shahar Darwaja is the main entryway into this historically-significant fort. Inside the fort, you can visit the Panch Mahal, Shiva mandir, Ganesh mandir, and Baradari. Another major attraction is the spot from where the valiant Rani Lakshmi Bai jumped off riding a horse, along with her infant son, to flee from the British Army. You can also view the Samadhyan tomb where the graves of Moti Bai, Ghulam Gaus Khan, and Khudabaksh are located.
Moti Bai was a female gunner in Jhansi Army who operated the famous cannon named Bhawani Shankar. Ghulam Gaus Khan maneuvered the fort’s biggest cannon, known as Kadak Bijli. The famous annual festival Jhansi Mahotsav is held at this fort in the months of January-February and draws large number of tourists from India and abroad.
2. Rani Mahal or Queen’s Palace
Raghunath II of Newalkar family constructed this palace in 1796 AD. It lies near to the impressive Jhansi Fort and one of the hottest tourist attractions in the city. Rani Lakshmi Bai shifted to this palace after the death of her husband. Currently it functions as an archaeological museum containing myriad artifacts dating back to 9th-12th centuries AD. This scenic building is adorned with ornately-designed art forms and is home to numerous lovely paintings done in multiple hues.
3. Ganesh Mandir
It is located at the north entrance of the Jhansi Fort. The renowned Queen of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai used to pray here, frequently. If you’re happen to explore the Jhansi Fort, then don’t forget to walk into this Hindu shrine which boasts of a highly-decorated undamaged ceiling and idols.
4. Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Ki Chatri
Rani Lakshmi Bai erected this cenotaph in the loving memory of her deceased husband and the King of Jhansi, Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, in the year 1853. This memorial is situated on the premises of the magnificent Jhansi Fort. It is an excellent example of Maratha Hindu style of architecture.
Raja Raghunath Rao built this building for his sibling who was fond of music and the performing arts. Numerous floral and geometrical patterns decorate the stucco of its central area. Surprisingly, its roof has a small built-in reservoir for sprinkling water in all directions. This architectural marvel is also located inside the Jhansi Fort.
6. Government Museum
This archaeological museum was set up in 1878 AD. Several beautiful gardens and parks such as Rani Lakshmi Bai Park and Vrindavanlal Verma Park surround it. There is an open-air theatre and an auditorium situated in its vicinity. You can also catch an incredible view of the glorious Jhansi Fort. This impressive museum has several galleries where you can have a look at ancient sculptures, idols, paintings, manuscripts, and weapons. Most of these relics belong to ancient era of the Gupta and the Chandela empires. Another attraction you can checkout is the 1857 Mutiny Memorial park is another tourist attraction nearby which you can checkout. This place contains many statues which are actually made of metal scrap!
7. Mahalaxmi Temple
One of the most-visited temple in the city, it is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi, the Hindu deity of Wealth and Prosperity. This Hindu shrine gets crowded with devotees during the Festival of Lights or Diwali as a special puja is conducted here on a grand scale.
8. St Jude’s Cathedral
This important shrine houses the grave of the revered catholic preacher St. Jude. In fact, the St. Jude’s Feast day is celebrated on the 28th of October, every year and is attended by hundreds of Catholic Christians from India. A week-long fair is held at this place. On the last day of this fair, his followers take out a procession in his memory.
Jhansi is accessible to the rest of the country via railway network and roads. We suggest you to visit this historic town between September and March due to favorable weather conditions and many festivals that take place during this period.