The siren of Jhansi – Rani Laxmi Bai

Photo of Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Porni Banerjee
Photo of Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Porni Banerjee
Photo of Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Porni Banerjee
Photo of Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Porni Banerjee

India is a country full of surprises and amusement to offer to its tourists. And when we talk about Indian tourism, it is an ‘Incredible India’ in its truest sense. The Himalayas, rivers, seas, oceans, serene beaches, Thar desert – every wonder of India astonishes its guests. And palaces and forts add four stars to India’s rich cultural heritage.

I was exhausted with my mundane life, so was my family. To welcome solace to our tired minds, we decided to plan a quick and short trip to Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh from Delhi. If you are a resident of Delhi, then reaching Jhansi from capital is pretty simple. For smart travel, I would advise you all to opt for train. Shatabdi Express takes only 4 to 5 hours to reach the destination. Me and my family woke up at 3 early morning and reached at New Delhi railway station by around 4:30 am. We could reach quickly at our destination as there was no heavy traffic. Honestly and by God’s grace, we need not to experience heavy fog and witnessed clear visibility of roads.

With fresh and happy minds clubbed with togetherness, we started our journey to the land of Rani Laxmi Bai before dawn. If the meal of the train irks you, then no need to worry about that. Shatabdi Express provides fresh meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and one can have it particularly not thinking about acidity. Post reaching Jhansi railway station, we headed towards our guest house named Om Residency.

The Jhansi Mahal

Our journey to the Jhansi Mahal by car after lunch was indeed a pleasant one. Painted in yellow, Jhansi Mahal was the palace of Rani Laxmi Bai during the colonial era. The palace has now been refurbished and has been converted into a museum where beautiful and antique sculptures and artifacts are preserved.

A two-storeyed building, the picturesque palace features open courtyards whose architecture echoes of magnificence. Beautifully designed, the wall paintings add further allurement to the rooms of the palace. However, over the years, the paintings have faded away and are now at the twilight of its vibrancy.

The next day started with a fresh pleasant morning. And the sun-kissed horizon added beauty to the environment around our guest house. We were all set for our journey to the Jhansi Fort and Jhansi Museum. The fort was approximately ten to fifteen minutes away from where we stayed.

The Jhansi Museum

We first visited the Jhansi Museum. The museum is just few kilometers away from the main fort. Apart from being an interesting place to visit, the museum is also quite informative as one can learn about the fascinating history of the entire life journey of Rani Jhansi. The diversity of artefacts in the museum astounded me as it chronicles the weapons used by the queen and British rulers during the battle. The museum also houses vintage precious gold and silver jewelleries and age-old ornaments of rare gemstones worn by Manikarnika, manuscripts, paintings, variety of coins, dresses, statues and photographs of the Chandela dynasty.

The Jhansi Fort

Our next destination was the fortress of Jhansi. Situated atop the hill called Bangira, the Jhansi Fort stands strong, bold and majestic even today. Jhansi Fort is easy to reach. It is just 3kms away from the railway station and situated in the middle of the Jhansi city. After we entered the fort, we decided to take a guide to explore the know-how fort in a much better way.

The guide, Ram Prasad was witty and humorous which made us even more curious to know more about the history of the fort. Inside the fortress can one find the building where Laxmibai would reside. The condition inside the fort is fairly good. However, empty rooms and gardens still weep for the bygone era during the queen’s time. Inside the fort is the Ganesh Temple where Raja Gangadhar Rao married Manikarnika Tambe in 1842 who was later given the name as Rani Laxmi Bai. The place where culprits were hanged to death was a quite technologically advanced area. The topmost area of the fort gave a spectacular view of the city of Jhansi.

It was 5 in the evening and we were done exploring the fort. And the sound and light show was to begin at 6:30 pm. What should we do now? Instead of just roaming around, we all decided to have evening tea and snacks at a market complex, which is not so far from the fort. Having worked out with a feverish haste, we returned to the fort to enjoy the show. The sounds in the voice of Sushmita Sen, Om Puri, among others and the vibrant lights speak for themselves and looked so dynamic. The 50-minute show is full of life which narrates the history of the plenary passion of Rani Laxmi Bai for the love for her motherland and her people. Additionally, the story of her restless and dauntless battle against the colonial rulers is also what the show is all about.

My two days of short trip to Jhansi was indeed a pleasurable one. It is quick and cost effective, yet an ideal place for complete rejuvenation and relaxation. Visit Jhansi – the city is a package of full of discovery, surprises and merriment for its tourists.