Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar was the Maharaja of Jhansi, he was the son of Shiv Rao Bhau and the descendent of Raghunath Hari Newalkar, who was the Governor of Jhansi under the Maratha Rule. The Cenotaph of Raja Gangadhar Rao or Raja Gangadhar ki Chatri was built in his memory just after his death by his wife, Manikarnika, also known as Jhansi ki Rani. Raja Gangadhar Rao was the last King of Jhansi, as after his death, Anand Rao, his adopted son was rejected as the successor to the throne by the British East India Company. The Cenotaph of Raja Gangadhar is located on the banks of Lakshmi Talab and is a very popular and significant historical establishment. The monument is located in Shivaji Nagar, which is around 3. 3 Km from the heart of Jhansi and can be reached in under 20 mins via the Gwalior Road.
Cenotaph of Raja Gangadhar is a architectural marvel and has stood tall ad intact for over 150 years. Raja Gangadhar Rao ki Chhatri is located right next to another historical establishment, Lakshmi Temple, built in the 18th century and is dedicated to the Goddess Lakshmi. The Cenotaph is set within a four walled structure, both the big and the small dome are very skillfully engraved with designs and inscriptions. The cenotaph is approached by a small flight of stairs and a small chhatri stands beside the eye popping monument. The pillared structure with its dome are intricately carved and engraved with designs, motifs and different geometrical patterns. There's a four way entrance inside the chattri, with three pillars each. The pillars merge together to form beautiful mughal arches, which are covered with elaborate lotus and plant motifs.
The curved roof standing upon 12 artistically carved pillars is a splendid example of the expert craftsmanship and architecture of those times. The Cenotaph draws large crowds of local visitors as well as tourists for its emotional and historical appeal. The site evokes great patriotic fervour and deep reverence for the heroes of those times, particularly the valiant Jhansi ki Rani.
The monument holds a very significant place in the local visitors as Raja Gangadhar Rao was their last King and the husband of Rani Lakshmibai, Queen of Jhansi, who revolted against the British Rule and also played a very big role in the Sepoy Mutiny, all of which pushed the Freedom Movement ahead. The Cenotaph of Raja Gangadhar Rao showcases the might and pride of the Newalkar House to the visitors. Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar ki Chattri can be visited during timings 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM on all days of the week.