Orchha, is an ancient city with a magical soul and a colourful past. Centuries ago, the Orchha region was ruled by the Bundela kings. Just 30 minutes away from Jhansi, Orchha is a popular weekend destination for locals and a tourist attraction for people from around the globe.
People flock to the heart of the country during the winter months, to explore the wonders of a time forgotten. The silent walls of the Ram Raja Temple, the imperial structure of the Jahangir Mahal, the frescoes of the Raja Mahal, the shadows of the Chattris and the vivacious stream of the Betwa river. There’s a lifetime of culture, history, and adventure all in one city.
The Story of the Rama Raja Temple
According to the mythology in these parts, the queen of Orchha was a devout of Lord Rama, a devotion the king did not find this suitable as he was a follower of Krishna.
Because of their disagreements, the Queen left Orchha and swore she would not return to until she found Rama and brought him back with her. The king agreed and said that he would worship Rama if she could prove his presence. And so, the Queen left Orchha and began to search far and wide for her Lord.
One fine day, on the bank of a stream where she bathed, Rama appeared in the form of a little boy appeared. She expressed her desire to take him back and put forward her plight.
Rama responded with two conditions; the first condition was that he would be worshipped as the king of Orchha. The second condition was that from then on he would sit in the same place for eternity where she would place him the first time they would enter Orchha.
The queen agreed and sent word for a grand Temple to be built – this is now known as theRam Raja Temple. She placed Rama in a quarter of the Royal household as the temple was incomplete. Later, Rama did not move from his place and till date is worshipped in that same place, which is now a temple.
Rama Raja Temple remains hollow with a grandeur in its foundations. Rama is still considered a king in Orchha.
An imperial structure built above the city, the Jahangir Mahal was was built for the Mughal king, Jahangir to commemorate his first visit to Orchha. As it turns out, he only stayed there for one night.
The three-storey building overlooks the city, with the palace facing east and the main entrance decorated with blue tiles and hand carvings. This colossal structures marked points are the ornately decorated balconies, open wide porches, and lavish apartments.
The domes of this palace have been built according to the Timurid customs. The Iwans are wide enough for war elephants to enter and due to the high vantage point, the cannons are allowed superior range.
The Raja Palace
The Raja Palace is the official residence of the royal family of Orchha. Decorated with ornate carvings and murals, the structure depicts a vivid story of the time.
The murals are all based on the lives and reincarnations of the gods, along with depictions of the Indian Epics. The jharokhas and passages of the palace are built in to create a different mood and light for every room.
The Chhatris of Orchha have attracted tourists for many years. These are large tombs built for the kings of Orchha and are best experienced at sunset, from across the Betwa river. These chattris are a fusion of Mughal and Indian architecture.
This small town is truly a tale of kings, mythology, and folklore. With so many stories that abound, and so many still to discover, you must pay a visit as soon as you can. Let us know how we can help in getting you there!