The early history of the Jhansi is connected with the region, which was known at different times as Chedidesha, Chedi-rashtra or Chedi Janapada, Jejakbhukti, Jejahuti or Jajhotl and Bundelakhand. The region seems to have been inhabited by certain primitive people like the Bhils, Kols, Saheriyas, Gonds, Bhars, Bangars and Khangars. Jhansi was a stronghold of the Chandela kings. Balwant Nagar was the name of this place. But in 11th century Jhansi lost its importance. It gained importance when it came under the rule of Marathas. When Bundela King Chhatrasal gave one-third of his kingdom to Peshwa Bajirao, Bajirao distributed it into his generals, since ruling this part in Bundelkhand from his capital Pune was not feasible. Thus, Jhansi came under the rule of Newalkars. In 17th century under Raja Bir Singh Deo of Orchha, Jhansi again rose to prominence. Raja Bir Singh Deo had good relations with the Mughal Emperor Jehangir. In 1613 Raja Bir Singh Deo constructed the Jhansi fort. He died in 1627. After his death his son Juhar Singh succeeded him. The capital of Bundelas was Orchha at that time. To strengthen the security of Orchha, the Bundela King was constructing a fort on a hill in Shankargarh. When he looked at the site of the new fort, from his palace in Orchha, he told his general that the place was looking like a jhain-si (blurred shadow), which in course of time became converted to ‘Jhansi’.
The district of Jhansi was formed as a separate unit of revenue administration by the British when they annexed it in 1854 and brought it under' their administration. The district then consisted of nine parganas, Bijaigarh being one of them which made up the domain of Jhansi that had lapsed to the British. The district of Lalitpur which came under the British administration in 1860, but continued to be a separate district, 1891 was also merged in Jhansi and it formed a subdivision. The district continued to have these tahsils till March 1974 when Lalitpur district was created out of Lalitpur and Mahroni tahsils, leaving thereby four tahsils viz. Moth, Garautha, Mauranipur and Jhansi in it.
Maharaja Chattrasal Bundela of Panna was a good administrator and a brave warrior. In 1729 Mohammed Khan Bangash attacked Chattrasal. Peshwa Baji Rao(I) helped Maharaja Chattrasal and defeated mughal army. As a mark of gratitude Maharaja Chattrasal offered a part of his state to Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao(I). Jhansi was also included in this part. In 1742 Naroshanker was made the subedar of Jhansi. During his tenure of 15 years, he not only extended the Jhansi fort which was of strategic importance but also constructed some other buildings. The extended part of the fort is called Shankergarh. In 1757 Naroshanker was called back by the Peshwa. After him Madhav Govind Kakirde and then Babulal Kanahai were made the subedars of Jhansi. In 1766 Vishwas Rao Laxman was made the subedar of Jhansi. His period was from 1766 to 1769. After him Raghunath Rao (II) Newalkar was appointed the subedar of Jhansi. He was a very able administrator. He increased the revenue of the state. The MahaLakshmi Temple and the Raghunath Temple were built by him. For his own residence he constructed a beautiful building Rani Mahal in the city. In 1796 Raghunath Rao passed the subedari in favour of his brother Shiv Rao Hari. In 1803 a treaty was signed between East India Company and Maratha.
After the death of Shiv Rao his grandson Ramchandra Rao was made subedar of Jhansi. He was not a good administrator. Ramchandra Rao died in 1835. After his death Raghunath Rao (III) was made his successor. In 1838 Raghunath Rao (III) also died. The British rulers then accepted Gangadhar Rao as the Raja of Jhansi. Due to the inefficient administration during the period of Raghunath Rao (III) the financial position of Jhansi was very critical. Raja Gangadhar Rao was a very good administrator. He was very generous and full of sympathy. He gave very good administration to Jhansi. During his period the local population of Jhansi was very satisfied. In 1842 Raja Gangadhar Rao married Mannikarnika. After this marriage Mannikarnika was given the new name Lakshmi Bai, who led forces against British in 1857. She sacrificed her life to the cause of Indian Independence in 1858. In 1861 the British Government gave the Jhansi fort and Jhansi city to JiyajiRao Scindia. Jhansi was then becoming a part of Gwalior state. In 1886 Britishers took back Jhansi from Gwalior state.
The city revives our memories of that heroic young Rani Lakhsmi Bai, who led her force into battle against the British imperialism during 1857-1858. The city was founded by Raja Bir Singh Deo who built its fort on a rocky hill in 1613 AD. The Jhansi city lies in the southwest portion of Jhansi division, extended between 25°21'16"- 25°32'01" North latitude and 78°29'48" – 78°39'41" East longitude. It is bounded on the north by district Jalaun, on the south by Lalitpur, and Madhya Pradesh. To its east lies the district Hamirpur and Madhya Pradesh and the western boundary is also formed by Madhya Pradesh State. The present area of the city, according to Jhansi Nagar Nigam is 160 sq. km. The present township of Jhansi extended beyond the old wall which has ten gates and four Khirkis (entrances).
Jhansi lies on the plateau of central India, an area dominated by rocky relief and minerals underneath the soil. The city has a natural slope in the north as it is on the south western border of the vast Tarai plains of Uttar Pradesh and the elevation rises on the south. The land is suitable for species of citrus fruit and crops include wheat, pulses, peas, and oilseeds. The present-day city is an agricultural marketplace located at a major road and rail junction. Jhansi also has a steel-rolling mill and some manufacturing. In 1950, the population of Jhansi was 125,598. Jhansi city has population of 505,693; its urban / metropolitan population is 547,638. Jhansi's 2021 population is now estimated at 653,879.