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Jhansi Fort

The Jhansi Fort is a massive hill fortress situated on a large hilltop called Bangira in the middle of the city of Jhansi, in the modern-day state of Uttar Pradesh, northern India. The fort extends over a sprawling area of fifteen acres and has twenty-two supports and a mammoth encircling wall surrounded by a moat on both sides. The fort is not only an imposing example of formidable granite architecture but is also associated with the exceptional courage of Rani Lakshmibai, one of the main rebel leaders of the mutiny against British colonial rule in 1857. It is taken as a site of valor and sacrifice for many Indians even today.

History of the Jhansi Fort

The Jhansi Fort was founded in the 10th century AD by the Chandela kings of Bundelkhand who used it as a stronghold from the 11th to the 17th century. The Bundela Rajputs of Orchha captured the fortress in the early 17th century, and the fort was reconstructed and strengthened between 1613 and 1618 by Raja Veer Singh Ju Deo Bundela of Orchha. In 1728, Muhammad Khan Bangash, the Mughal governor of Central India, invaded the kingdom of Maharaja Chhatrasal of Panna, under whose suzerainty Jhansi was at that time. Maharaja Chhatrasal asked the Marathas under Peshwa Baji Rao I for help, and with the Marathas’ aid successfully repulsed the Mughal attack. As a mark of gratitude, Maharaja Chhatrasal married off his daughter through a Persian Muslim wife to the Peshwa and ceded part of his kingdom including Jhansi to the Maratha Empire. (more in the History section)

The Fort as You Can See It Today

Today, the Jhansi Fort overlooks the city of Jhansi from the hilltop at a central location, flanked by the Rani Lakshmibai Park with a statue of the Rani, and the Mahalaxmi Temple. The fort with its granite walls and imposing towers has been well-preserved and stands almost completely intact. The 16-20 ft thick walls meet the fort on the south side. The fort can be accessed via ten gates. The main attractions inside the fort include the grand Shiva Temple and the Ganesh Temple, as well as a huge cannon called ‘Karakbijli’ that was used during the revolt of 1857. A memorial plate marks the place where Rani Lakshmibai jumped on a horseback to escape the fort. The Rani Mahal has been transformed into an interesting museum that visitors of the fort can explore today. Every year in January and February a grand festival is held in the fort under the name of ‘Jhansi Mahotsav’, including many cultural activities and performances.

The fort is 3 km from the Jhansi Railway Station, and the nearest airport is at Gwalior 103 km away.

Opening Hours

From 8 am to 7 pm, every day of the week.

Text Sammik C Basuu