Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Weekend In Jhansi, India

My Lazy Weekend in Jhansi, India.

This weekend I visited the town of Jhansi in Madya Pradesh, central India. Jhansi was a quiet town - folks were polite and helpful (unlike Delhi). Quite a few tourists backpacking in Jhansi, India who arrived by the Bhopal Shatabdi train. Lots of ladies drove around on scooters and cycles, so I bet it was safe for women too. Auto rickshaws in Jhansi were six-seater and costed less than at Delhi. The food was downright cheap - I bought a plate of mutton biryani for Rs.10 and cutlets for Rs.2. I actually felt like I has gone back in time.

backpacking jhansi india madhya pradesh bhopal gwalior rani lakshimibai st jude shrine backpackers travel backpacker hostel trip vacation shatabdi expressJhansi is well known for the fire brand Queen of Jhansi - Rani Lakshmibai. Born in 1835 in Varanasi, she was trained by her father in horse riding, sword fighting and shooting a gun. She married Raja Gangadhar Rao of Jhansi at the age of 7 and was widowed when she was 18 years. When the Britishers did not accept her adopted son as the heir of Jhansi and ordered her to leave the fort, she assembled an army of warriors that included women. As the British army entered Jhansi in 1858, Rani of Jhansi rode on to the battlefeild dressed like a man and fought till she died in Gwalior. She was only 22. Today, Rani of Jhansi is recognized as a freedom figher and martyr who fought in the First War of Indian Independence of 1857.

I visited the Jhansi Fort from where many battles were fought. Here is a pic from my sister's Sony Ericcson mobile phone.

backpacking jhansi india madhya pradesh bhopal gwalior rani lakshimibai st jude shrine backpackers travel backpacker hostel trip vacation shatabdi express
We picnicked on the lawns of the Jhansi Fort and were joined my a group of monkeys. That's when the French perfume my uncle had gifted me came handy. One spray and the monkeys took off at top speed. Lying on the grass with the blue sky overhead, listening to the birds singing from the wide branches of the tamarind trees, it seemed as it time had stopped. I fell asleep and woke up an hour later when my friend dragged the mat from under me and started packing up.

backpacking jhansi india madhya pradesh bhopal gwalior rani lakshimibai st jude shrine backpackers travel backpacker hostel trip vacation shatabdi express
backpacking jhansi india madhya pradesh bhopal gwalior rani lakshimibai st jude shrine backpackers travel backpacker hostel trip vacation shatabdi expressI also visited the Saint Jude Shrine Church in Jhansi which was crowded with many people on a pilgrimage and backpackers. This shrine is known to be very miraculous, as people can get the 'impossible'. I lit some candles and asked for some mannat's (prayer wishes). The church was very beautiful with arches, pillars and a dome. It was started by Maltese missionaries in Jhansi before Independence.

backpacking jhansi india madhya pradesh bhopal gwalior rani lakshimibai st jude shrine backpackers travel backpacker hostel trip vacation shatabdi expressI had originally planned to visit all the backpacking tourist attractions like the Museum, Rani Mahal and Ganesh Mandir, but there was no time. Here is a pic of a Rani Jhansi statue on one of the roundabouts (gol chakkars) in Jhansi. Other roundabouts had a miniature version of the 'Gyarah Murti' statue located on Sardar Patel Marg in Delhi or Swami Vivekananda.

backpacking jhansi india madhya pradesh bhopal gwalior rani lakshimibai st jude shrine backpackers travel backpacker hostel trip vacation shatabdi expressI travelled by the Bhopal Shatabdi Express which stops at travel destinations like Agra, Gwalior and Jhansi first. Unlike the usual trains it had a toilet where the 'naturals' don't fall onto the track but into a tank. I remember the last time I travelled by train, my watch fell down the toilet and onto the tracks somewhere near Ballarpur. The only thing that upset me on the trip was the behaviour of this guy with a pock marked face who complained that the on-train food was served late and created a huge ruckus shouting at the catering manger for almost an hour.

So, how was your weekend ?

11 comments:

  1. with posts like this, travel desks will close down (why shuld i spend a weekend and loads of money visiting jhansi when i can get 'ankhon dekha haal' on ur blogsite. nice work. must be a pleasnt experience sleeping int he garden like that - many times wanted to that when i visited places but we were so busy visiting places that thre was no way i culd spare an hour to laze around in a garden.

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  2. The French perfume gifted by your uncle sounds like its quite good for self-defence. I suggest you always keep it handy. After all, if that was the kind of effect it had on regular monkeys, there is a good chance that it should prove useful against monkeys without tails as well!

    :D

    That was a good insight on Shatabdi toilets too...Keep it up!

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  3. Your trip to Jhansi was nice to read. My mouth was watering when I read about the cutlets and briyani. Also, the picture of the fort from where Jhansi Rani fought is looking great. Hope the fort is intact and the time has not shown its impact. I have not travelled much beyond Gujarat in India. Please publish such posts and do more travelling.

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  4. hi dear,
    came here by chance and great to know about ur weekend..
    the co-incidence is that i have written a post regarding food in trains and airlines...
    and here also someone complaining for same...
    my weekend was good and mostly spend at home...
    have a great day...
    will love to see you on my blog..

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  5. thanx for coming to my blog...
    love to see you again..
    hey ur weekend desciption is wonderful...

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  6. Beautiful pics,thank you for that! We all grow up listening and learning abt Jhansi Rani indeed! Nice to see the palace/fort. Good work!

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  7. Hi whiskypriest, foodie's hope, mohindro - compliments always make me blush, thanx.

    Hi Siddhusaheb - I got the 'perfume' idea after my cat went ballistic when I sprayed him with it once. However, it does not work on human monkeys, they just want to come closer !! :)

    Hi Balaji, the Jhansi fort is in perfect condition with beautiful well kept lawns. Try and visit sometime.

    Hi Tanushree, train or plane food can never taste like 'ghar ka khana' !

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  8. awww i was soo moved by the story of freedom fighter girl...:O
    she was 22 when she died?! *tear*
    this is really awesome post!!
    thanks a lottttt!!!!

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  9. COmapred to urs..My weekend ( or anyone's weekend in that matter!!) was a damp squib...Had nothin to do but prepare for a presentation and look forward to the CAT...
    But u keep making these wonderful voyages :)

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  10. ...great pictures and great trip!
    India is definitely on top of my list for further adventures.

    Keep it coming!

    Cheers,
    Chris

    http://www.nomad4ever.com

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  11. a small correction jhansi is in UP not MP

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