|Situated on banks of river Betwa. Used to be
the capital of the region (Bundelkhand) but now is small village.
The palaces are of impressive size and there are plesent views
of the countryside from their upper levels. 112km south of Gwalior
by car, reach Orchha, founded by Rudra Pratap, a Bundela ruler.
The region is situated on the banks of the Betwa River. Later,
Orcha was the capital of Bir Singh Deo (1605-1627) who built
the Jehangir Mahal to please the Mogul emperor Jehangir. Close-by,
near the border of Madhya Pradesh, is Datia, site of the 7-storeyed
palace of Bir Singh Deo. The temples and palaces of the Bundela
rulers still retain their medieval grandeur. The palace walls
are decorated with colourful frescoes executed in the manner
of miniature paintings, and depict scenes from the popular legend
of love between Radha and Lord Krishna. Masterpiece conceptions
are the Ram Raja Temple, the only temple in India where devotees
worship Lord Rama as a king, and Phool Bagh, an artificial cascade.
Flight to Bhopal. capital of the province. Orcha's fort complex,
approached by a multi-arched bridge, has three palaces set in
an open quadrangle
Places to See
It built by Raja Bir Singh in 17th century
to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir. Its strong lines
are counterbalanced by delicate Chhatries and trellis work,
the whole conveying an effect of extraordinary richness.
It is situated to the right of the quadrangle,
this palace was built by Madhukar Shah, the deeply religious
predecessor of Bir Singh ju Deo. The plain exteriors, crowned
by chhatries, give way to interiors with exquisite murals,
boldly colorful, on a variety of religious themes.
Rani Praveen Mahal
It is a low, two- storied brick structure,
designed to match the height of the trees in the surroundings.
The Anand Mahal has beautifully landscaped gardens, with its
octagonal flower beds and elaborate water supply system. Skillfully
carved niches allow light into the Mahal which has a main
hall and smaller chambers.
Ram Raja Temple
This palace turned temple has a charming
legend attached to it. Following the dream-visitation of Rama,
the pious Madhukar Shah brought a statue of the god from Ayodhya
to his capital. Today, with its soaring spires and palatial
architecture, the temple is surely one of the most unusual
in India. It is also the only one in the country where Rama
is worshipped as a king(Raja).
Built upon a massive stone platform and
reached by a steep flight of steps, the temple was specially
constructed to enshrine the image of Rama that remained in
the Rama Raja Temple.
It is laid out as a formal garden, testifying
to the refined aesthetic qualities of Bundelas. A central
row of fountains culminates into an eight-pillared palace-pavilion.
A subterranean structure below used to be the summer retreat
of Orcha Kings. An ingenious system of water ventilation connected
the underground palace with Chandan Katora a bowl like structure
from whose fountains droplets of water filtered through the
roof, simulating rain-fall.
A flagstone path links this temple with
the Ram Raja Temple. The style is an interesting synthesis
of fort and temple modes. The interiors contain the most exquisite
of Orchha's wall paintings.