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Jhansi District

 
  Jhansi's star-shaped fort

Among all towns of Bundelkhand, Jhansi (420 km southeast of Delhi) is easiest to reach from any part of India by road or rail.

Jhansi is the largest town in Bundelkhand with a Census 2001 population of around 420,000 (including the cantonment and railway colony areas).

A primary reason for the city's growth was introduction of railways in the district, between 1883 to 1889, before anywhere else in Bundelkhand.

Jhansi emerged as an important railway junction and has a large railway colony. From British times it has also had an army cantonment area.

After Independence, the Baidyanath Ayurveda Bhawan, set up a factory here to manufacture ayurvedic medicines.

Development of Jhansi received a boost in the 1970s when it became the location of the only large and running public sector enterprise in Bundelkhand, a unit of Bharat Heavy Electronics Ltd (BHEL), which manufactures various types of transformers and locomotives.

Jhansi is the location of the Bundelkhand University, founded in 1973. The university has around 75 affiliated colleges in the seven districts of UP Bundelkhand.

Two research centres - a unit of the Indian Grasslands and Fodder Research Institute (IGFRI)  and the National Research Centre for Agro Forestry - and a medical college are also located in the city.

Jhansi is known throughout India for stories on the bravery of its rani, Laxmibai, whose modest 'mahal' is found in the centre of the city.

However, the town's most imposing structure, the star-shaped fort, is from an earlier time. The fort and a walled city around it was built in the early seventeenth century by Bundela rulers of Orchha.

A shrine of the St. Jude, 'patron saint of the impossible',  first built in 1946, attracts thousands of devotees who claim the venue has miraculous powers.

Jhansi has a substantial population of Jains and is one of the few places in North India where some Parsi families settled down - many of them worked in the railways.

Among the famous people born in the 19th and 20th centuries in the district were 'Rashtrakavi' Maithilisharan Gupt, the historical novelist Vrindavanlal Verma and hockey wizards Dhyanchand and his son Ashok. 

The city is very well connected by rail to Mumbai and New Delhi. Both the north-south as well as east-west corridors of the National Highway Development Project pass through it. An airport is proposed - it would be the first in a Bundelkhand district headquarters.

Jhansi district (area: around 5000 sq km) is generally a low-lying fertile plain broken occasionally by rocky hillocks. Numerous lakes have been formed by embanking lower portion of streams surrounded by hillocks; most of these structures are from Chandela and Bundela times.

There also numerous dams across the Betwa, Dhasan, Pahuj and Sarpar rivers.

The second largest town of the district, Mauranipur (Census 2001 pop. around 50,000), is a textile production centre.

| Jhansi | Lalitpur | Datia | Jalaun | Hamirpur | Mahoba | Banda | Chitrakoot | Panna | Chhatarpur | Tikamgarh | Damoh | Sagar |

 
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