(Last Updated on : 12/04/2013)
Orchha is a small, interesting town on the banks of Betwa River
. The town is dotted with several temples and palaces which date back to the 16th and 17th century. The Bundela monuments in Orchha are the best examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. Raj Mahal in Orchha is the most visited monument of the region.
Raj Mahal was constructed in the 16th century by Rudra Pratap Singh who was a Rjput ruler of that age. Raj Mahal has lavish royal accommodations. The entire structure of the Mahal has several towers and domed pavilions. The interior of the Mahal is well decorated with fragmented mirrors and animated paintings. The Raj Mahal of Orchha leads to Seesh Mahal which is another piece of marvelous architecture.
The Ramji Mandir is the prototype of Bundela Rajput architecture. It is based on the Koshak Mahal at Chanderi. It has a central rectangular courtyard and apartments rising in receding planes. The outer walls coruscate with rich blue tile-work. The second palace, the Raj Mandir, was built between 1554 and 1591 by Madkukar Shah. It comprises a solid single block crowned by pavilions. The third, and by far the most accomplished, palace is the Jahangir Mandir, built by Raja Bir Singh Deo. It is a wonderful vertiginous mass of masonry which is crowned by eight elegant domes with rounded angle bastions, capped by open pavilions. A doorway in the southern facade leads through a hall into an open quadrangle, containing a central fountain, around which are disposed apartments and terraces in three-storey ranges. Lateral communication between the suites of rooms is obtained along hanging balconies, protected by wide eaves which run along the outer walls. Windows enriched with delicate Jari work overlook the Betwa River, on the banks of which lie the memorial chhatris of the Orchha kings.
The Jahangir Mandir is an architectural conception of unusual vigour and intricate sophistication, built at the height of the dynastic power of the Bundela Rajputs
, and, together with the old palace at Datia
, it is one of the best examples of mediaeval fortification in India.
The monuments of Orchha resemble unusual architectural vigour and hence, attract large number of tourists towards it.