Once Jhansi was the gateway to Bundelkhand and an important place for Chandela kings. It lost importance after the fall of the dynasty in the 11th century. It came into light again in the 17th century under Raja Bir Singh Deo. However, its greatest claim to fame is Rani Laxmibai, the queen of Raja Bir Singh Deo, who led forces against the British in 1857, sacrificing her life to the cause of Indian independence. Each year Jhansi organizes Festival in February-March which exhibits the arts, crafts and culture of the region.