Jhansi is part of Bundelkhand, the cultural region of Madhya Pradesh-Uttar Pradesh which was ruled by the Bundela Rajputs since the 16th century. Eighteen kilometres from Jhansi, a Bundela king founded Orchha on the banks of the Betwa river, and it was a Bundela king of Orchha who built the Jhansi Fort in the 17th century. Bundelkhand is a region of gentle slopes with sparse vegetation, and the isolated hills that rise from these plains made excellent vantage points for forts. From the early 18th century, this region, including Jhansi, fell under Mughal rule for a while, before coming under the Marathas.
Jhansi owes its place in history is entirely to one of India’s best-loved heroines, Rani Lakshmibai, Jhansi ki Rani (the Queen of Jhansi) who fought against the British in the revolt of 1857. This talented and courageous warrior queen had it in her to satisfy the aspirations of nationalist Indians, women’s movements, poets and historians alike.