Jhansi – The Epitome of Matriarchal Valor

Ever since the dawn of civilization, man has been exhibiting dominance in every aspect of human life by the sheer magnitude of his physical prowess. Thus, Indian society has been dominantly patriarchal. Woman plays a crucial role as a mother, wife and daughter. But in matters related to property or ascendance to the throne, the son gets the exclusiveness. Indian Mythology has Mother Goddess as the embodiment of energy and power. Indian History has rich instances of matriarchal prowess exhibited by Razia Sultana and Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi.

Man and woman are the two wheels of ‘Human Vehicle’ which cannot run unless both are properly inflated with air. World leaders have realized that no nation can improve without equal development of women in all aspects of life such as educational, social, political, economic and spiritual. Thus woman empowerment has become a global issue and all out efforts are undertaken at governmental level for bridging the gap between man and woman caused due to gender differentiation. In order to get a lesson in this regard, one needs to visit Jhansi to witness the magnitude of matriarchal valor.

Jhansi is the origin of the first war of Indian Independence, initiated by Rani Lakshmi Bai, the widow of Raja Gangadhar Rao, the ruler of Jhansi. Since the ruler had no son, the British did not allow the queen to adopt a son, as was the tradition those days. But the brave and patriotic and self-esteemed Rani Lakshmi fought against the British for retaining her right to the kingdom. Tourists throng this historically vibrant destination to experience the matriarchal valor intrepidity along with scenic beauty surrounding the city. Location of Jhansi on the confluence of the rivers Betwa and Pahunj makes Jhansi more sanctified and attracts more and more tourists every year.

Jhansi ki Raani, Lakshmi Baai, fought the British from Jhansi Fort, located on a hill named Bhangra which has become a historical pilgrimage for paying homage to the incarnation of the matriarchal prowess. The wall surrounding the fort and the city has ten gates of which the Laxmi Gate, Unnao Gate, Khandero Gate, Orchha Gate and Unnao Gate still remind the military strategy adopted by the then rulers. Tourists can also offer prayers at the Shiva temple and Ganesh temple at the entrance of the fort. Rani Mahal, now converted to a museum exhibits artifacts of the 12th century.

Those having interest in photography will be delighted to visit Orchha, a town, 14km away from Jhansi city and situated on the Betwa River. The archeological exhibits, Jehangir Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal are ideal destinations for them. Other destinations situated on the bank of river Betwa are Chirgaon, 30 km away and best known for the national poet, Maithili Sharan Gupta. Barua Sagar, 24 km away from Jhansi attracts picnickers to the lake called Barua Sagar Tal and the fort Jarai Ka Math.

A visit to the Jhansi Cantonment reminds the heroic deeds of the “Jhansi ki Raani”. The souvenir in the shape of sculpture of the ‘Queen’ makes the real memoir of the visit to Jhansi.