Meet the Culture and Glory of Bundelkhand
Situated in the heart of the Indian sub continent, Bundelkhand has been a cultural and linguistic entity with well defined geographical limit and historical past. It lies in the heartland of India, with some part in Uttar Pradesh and in Madhya Pradesh to the south.Due to its unique geographical position between the northern and southern part of India, its hilly surroundings and natural resource, it has been attracting people from the time of Kings and sages alike.The glorious past of Bundelkhand is well known not only to the people of this region but to the entire nation.Majestic forts, magnificient temples, abundance of sculptures, ancient lakes filled with historic tales, pilgrimage sites from the Ramayan, a huge display of rich cultural and mythological linkages and much more to keep you eventful. Bundelkhand is a perfect place to forget the world, where you unwind and drown yourself in the depths of culture and history, undisturbed by modernity. The earliest mention of this region can be found in the Ramayan and Mahabharat.History also has proofs of the influence of the Maurya and Gupta rule in the Bundelkhand region.Bundelkhand emerged from the mists of history during 9th century under the rule of the mighty Chandelas.The chandelas governed governed the destiny of Central India for nearly 300 years. The Bundelas who came into power six centuries laterwere also to command influence in this region. Bir Singh Ju Deo (1605-1627 AD), treasured of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir was a powerful ruler.During the reign of Madhukar Shah Bundela (1554-1592) the clashes between Mughals and Bundelas started. In 1607, Bir Singh Ju Deo Bundela killed Abul Fazal, one of the nav-ratnas of Akbar, in order to win the favour of Prince Saleem (Jahangir). Bir Singh Ju Deo became the king of Orchha, he was a great architect. Centuries later during the Turmoil of 1857, Bundelkhand produced another charismatic ruler, the young, valiant Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi- who led her troops to revolt against the might of the British.
The Bundelas entered the scene after the downfall of Chandelas. The Bundelas multiplied fast and established principalities all over the land- Orchha, Chanderi, Erich, etc. it was Champt Rai Bundela of Mahoba and his son Chhatrashala who tried to revive Bundela power to its pristine glory.For a long time the Bundelkhand region was under the Bundela Warrior Chhatrashal who expanded his domain up to the waters of the four rivers- Yamuna, Narmada, Chambal and Tonse and no other feudal lord dared to challenge the authority of this Bundela warrior. Hence the terrain within the boundaries of the four rivers came to be recognized as Bundelkhand. The oldest name of this region was Cedi then it was called Jejak Bhakti in subsequent periods and later it got its present name Bundelkhand.
The area known as Bundelkhand is today indentified with the seven districts of UP and six districts of MP. Jhansi, lalitpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Banda, Mahoba and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh and Sagar, Chhatarpur, Tikamgarh, Panna, Damoh, and Datia. The magnificence and grandeur of Bundelkhand can be explored in its ancient religious sites and glorious monument. The cultural legacy of the region is unique in its own way. Bundeli is the most common language; Hindi dialect is spoken in the area. The region is predominantly hindu. Jainism is historically significant and several jain tiraths are also located in this region. Diwari, Ravala, Badhaaiya, Raai and horse dance are the popular folk dances of the region while the folk songs comprise faag, Alha, Dadre and Gare, Lamtera, Khyal and kaharwa. Earthen statues and toys, wood work, handicraft and metal art has also added to the beauty of cultural legacy of Bundelkhand.
Geographical Set Up: The land of Bundela lies between 24 1’ to 24*27’ N latitude and 78*10, to 81*34’ E longitude; with the indo-Gangetic plain to the north and the Vindhya Range to the South. It is a gently-stoping upland, distinguished by barren hilly terrain with sparse vegetation, although it was historically forested. Bundelkhand is an old landmass composed of horizontal rock beds resting on a stable foundation. The landscape is rugged, featuring undulating terrain with low rocky outcrops, narrow valleys, and plains. Surface rocks are predominantly granite, some dharwarian and Vidhayan rocks present in the region contain minerals of economic value. Sandstone, shale’s and limestone of high quality, along with Dyhes, Sills and the famous pink Archaean gneiss rocks are found in this region. The principal rivers are the Sindh, Betwa, Ken, Bagahin, Tons, Pahuj, Dhasan and Chambal.
CLIMATE : Climate of the region is marked by extremes of temperature, reaching the mid to upper 40* centigrade during summer months and dropping as low as 1 degree centigrade in winter. During the summer season, high temperatures in the plain causes low pressure areas that induce movement of the monsoon. The temperature begins to rise in february and peaks in May-June with hot breezes localled known as “Loo”.
How to Reach: Bundelkhand is very well connect with the entire country through ample means of Air, Rail and Roadways.