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Orcha in Madhya Pradesh

by on January 31, 2008

orcha.jpgOrcha in Madhya Pradesh was established by the Bundela king Rudrapratap. Orcha remained a seat of the Bundelas for 2 centuries and gave birth to unusual architecture. The oldest building in Orcha is the fort palace of Raj Mahal started by Rudrapratap however it was completed by his successor after he was killed wrestling a tiger. The entrance to the fort leads over a granite bridge through a 16th century door to the fort palace. The Mahal is a self contained structure, the plan of the courtyards according to some historians follow the ancient Indian concept of the mandapa. One of the courtyards has a dancing platform and a fountain. Surrounded by royal quarters and an assembly hall for private audience is the diwan-i-khas. However inside the rooms burst into riveting images and colours. Though its ceiling is much faded now but it can be admired for its Persian carpet like motifs and the queen’s chamber for mythological subjects such as Bhima fighting with six elephants.

Then there is the Jahangir Mahal ahead from Raj Mahal, it was named after the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. It is an impressive structure with three storey apartments topped with domes and hanging balconies, it is a mixture of Indo-Islamic architecture.

The last palace in the series is the Rai Parveen Mahal, just below the Jahangir Palace. Down the hill side are the royal hammams and unth khana and the camel stables. It is a simple two storied structure with a Mughal garden on one side. Besides the palaces, you can make out the beckoning shikhars of four temples lying in the middle of the fields. Around 1 km hike will bring you close to Shiv Mandir and few fts away across the wheat fields stands the Panchmukhi Temple complex, where three temples have been converted into quarters by the villagers. The next Mandir is the Raadhika Vihari which doubles up as granary and then finally comes the Van Vasi Ram Mandir with an attached but deserted ashram. In the village the Ram Raja Temple is unusual as its resident is worshipped as king and the temple is not a temple but a palace. The Chaturbhuj Temple is in a European cathedral from its vaulted roof to the massive doors and the large hall. For an adventurous climb try the staircase to the top of the temple from where one can see the entire city.

Ever since foreign tourists found their way to Orcha, metal artifacts are sold here as antiques.

One Comment
  1. Beautiful place to visit send me the tour package

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