The harshness of the terrain in the Bundelkhand region, south of Lucknow along the Madhya Pradesh border, and the all but unbearable heat in the summer, make it the most difficult, if intriguing, part of the state to control, and even today, its labyrinthine hills and valleys are home to infamous bands of outlaw dacoits. Many of these have become folk-heroes among local villagers, who shelter them from the almost equally brutal police force. The most celebrated in recent years was Phoolan Devi, the “Bandit Queen”, from a village near Behmai who was kidnapped by a dacoit gang, became the leader’s lover, and took over from him after he was killed. She eventually surrendered to the police, was released in 1994, and even became an MP for the socialist Samajwadi Party before being assassinated in 2001.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: a 2 minute guide to India

Video: a 2 minute guide to India

India has been captivating travellers for centuries – and it continues to enchant to this day. It's a country that has it all: rainforest, desert, pretty beac…

20 Jul 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Living the past: the ancient professions of Old Delhi

Living the past: the ancient professions of Old Delhi

Modernity is seeping into Old Delhi, a walled district that has long harboured the Indian capital’s traditional ways of life. But what does this mean for long…

13 Jun 2017 • Jack Palfrey local_activity Special feature
Video: the essence of India

Video: the essence of India

When Paris-based production company Bed & Breakfast reached out to us with a video that so perfectly captured the essence of India in all but a minute, we c…

04 May 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month