Jhansi occupies a significant role in Indian history. Historically, North Central India was a strong hold of Bundelas and the entire region was called Bundelkhand. The monuments found across the city are a witness to the rich cultural heritage and history. Jhansi being its prominent territory was ruled by kings from the Bundela clan, Maratha Peshwas, Mughals each of whom have influenced the cultural heritage in various art forms, folk dances. Folk dances that are an essential part of the lives of the locals, also correctly depict their culture. The Badhai dance is popularly performed at weddings and sometimes even at childbirth. The Akai dance form is inspired by martial arts and dancers use bamboo sticks while playing it. The Norta dance depicts the battle between good and evil where the former always prevails. The Rai dance form is said to be inspired by the movement of a mustard seed in a saucer. The Jawara dance is performed to mark a good harvest. The Diwali dance is performed by boys dressed as cowherds, a fortnight before Diwali, to express their devotion to Lord Krishna. jhansi lays a lot of emphasis to dance and music, and the locals participate with zeal and fervor, breaking into a dance at every occasion.
However, it is obvious that due to the geographic proximity and cultural similarities, Jhansi identifies itself with the Bundeli customs, traditions and cultural norms. For all these reasons, Jhansi is known as the “Gateway to Bundelkhand”.