Jhansi, The Gateway to Bundelkhand
Jhansi although a part of Uttar Pradesh is nearer to Madhya Pradesh and hence was always the stronghold of the Chandela kings of Orchha and Khajuraho. But it lost its importance by the 11th century. It rose to prominence once again in the 17th century under the rule of Raja Bir Singh Deo. But still Jhansi became famous only with courageous legend of the queen of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai.
Rani Lakshmibai has been the inspiration to the freedom fighters of India. The story of her fight against the British is full of courage and guts. Once a small Brahmin girl from the town of Varanasi, she was married to the King of Jhansi. Unfortunately before giving an heir to the throne, she had to face an untimely death of her husband. She adopted a child as the heir. This gave the reason to the British to exploit her force her dethroning and retirement with an annual pension. Lakshmibai could not take that insult and even at the tender age of 22 fought a fierce battle against the British defying their rule and atrocity. She encouraged, young and old, men and women, irrespective of their class or caste. All together with their leader as the queen fought for their freedom and keep Jhansi.
But unfortunately Jhansi could not withstand the powerful British forces and fell. The queen had her four year old son tied tightly to her back, rode on her horse with swords in her hands came out to fight the last battle and fell to martyrdom. The year was 1858 which was also the time of political unrest in the northern parts of India. The story of the Queen of Jhansi has since become a folklore inspiring and encouraging the young and old till date.
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