This is the place that belonged to the famous Rani Lakshmibai, who stood as a powerful symbol of resistance to the oppressive British rule. Her story has been told in ballads, novels, movies and school textbooks. As a young girl when I was growing up, she epitomised courage & valour for me. Her name instantly evokes the couplet -
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।
(Bundello harbolo ke muh humne suni kahaan thi, khoob ladi mardaani woh toh Jhansi waali Rani thi)
This describes how valiantly she fought the British. Sir Hugh Rose compared his fallen adversary to Joan of Arc. ‘Although she was a lady,’ Rose wrote,’she was the bravest and best military leader of the rebels. A man among the mutineers.’
The fort thus evoked a sense of awe. This was the place that left an indelible imprint in the books of history.
Jhansi fort is spread across quite an area. Built on a hillock, it offers panoramic views of the city.