On an early morning in Delhi, just before the capital was waking up to the G20 weekend, I planned to embark on a road trip that promised adventure, history, and a taste of India’s rich heritage. Destination: Jhansi, Mahoba and Chitrakoot – the unexplored gems of Bundelkhand. Accompanied by a bunch of fellow travel bloggers and with a heart full of wanderlust, we drove on a memorable journey that would take me to the heart of Bundelkhand.

Delhi to Jhansi: The Scenic Drive

The journey commenced from the bustling streets of Delhi, where the honking of horns and the cacophony of city life slowly faded into the distance. The open road beckoned, and my spirit soared as I made my way towards the historic city of Jhansi, known for its indomitable spirit and tales of valiant warriors.

The 475.5 km drive to Jhansi via NH 44 is a scenic roadtrip, offering a glimpse of India’s rural beauty. Fields of swaying crops and quaint villages punctuated my route, creating a picturesque backdrop for this adventure. The smooth, well-maintained highways ensured a comfortable drive, allowing me to enjoy the changing landscape along the way. Luckily, we were blessed by the weather gods and through out the journey it was a pleasant drive through the newly built Yamuna Express Highway.

Jhansi Fort: A Fortress of History

Jhansi Fort or Jhansi ka Qila is a fortress situated on a large hilltop in Uttar Pradesh

As I arrived in Jhansi, my first stop was the legendary Jhansi Fort. It was impossible to miss this imposing structure, perched majestically atop a hill. The fort, which dates back to the 17th century, stood as a testament to the valor and bravery of Rani Lakshmibai, the Queen of Jhansi. Walking through the massive gates, I couldn’t help but feel the weight of history surrounding me. Inside the fort, I explored the Rani Mahal, a stunning palace that once served as Rani Lakshmibai’s residence. The intricately carved arches and colorful frescoes transported me to a bygone era. From the palace, I gazed out at the panoramic views of Jhansi, the same views that must have inspired the Rani during her rule.

Before my next destination, we stopped for a quick snack break to relish the famous raita samosa and kadhi samosa, a Bundeli specialty that you must try if you are in the region.

Rani ka Mahal: A Tale of Elegance : My next stop was Rani ka Mahal, a gem hidden within the heart of Jhansi. This exquisite palace, built during the 18th century, oozed with elegance and charm. Do keep in mind, to enter this monument you need a digital payment and tickets on cash is not acceptable here. Once we entered the home of the fabled queen of Jhansi, the delicate architecture and the tales of the royal women who once graced its halls brought back a sense of nostalgia. Inside the palace, I wandered through intricately designed chambers, each whispering stories of royal opulence and grandeur. The vibrant murals and colourful glasswork were a feast for the eyes, making me appreciate the artistic prowess of the bygone era. The Rani Mahal is a royal palace built by Raghu Nath-II of the Newalkar family, subedar of Jhansi. This palace later formed one of the residences for Rani Lakshmibai.

Garmhau Lake: Serenity Amidst History: After immersing myself in history, I yearned for a tranquil moment, and Garmhau Lake offered just that. This serene oasis, nestled in the heart of Jhansi, was the perfect place to unwind. The tranquil waters, fringed by lush greenery, provided a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. As I sat by the lakeside, I watched the sun dip below the horizon, casting a warm glow over the water. The gentle breeze ruffled the leaves of the surrounding trees, and the symphony of nature was a soothing balm for my soul. It was a moment of pure bliss, a perfect ending to a day filled with exploration. Jhansi had welcomed me with open arms and had offered a glimpse into the heroic past of India. It was a trip that would forever hold a special place in my travel memoirs, a journey that had truly been a road less travelled.

(Trip arrangements and stay courtesy – Travel Links magazine and Uttar Pradesh Tourism)