The 16th Century City
Orcha is a city having its prominence related to the 16th and 17th Century, when the various Orcha kings settled on this land and made it as capital of their kingdom and like all other kingdoms of the times had built massive Royal Palaces and temples to mark their rule over the territory.
The Settlement of Kingdom
The First to arrive on the scene was a Rajput leader Rudra Pratap, who preferred the location as his kingdom because it was situated on the Banks of Betawa River. Other succeeding prominent ruler of the clan was Raja Bir Singh ju Deo, who built Jehangir Mahal, which is a tiered structure and has a number of highly decorative, umbrella like structures on it a sign of Orcha Rule over the area of the kingdom. The Jehangir Palace has very highly decorative exterior designs reflecting the royal taste and the interior walls are having rich paintings pertaining to the Orcha art was developing exclusively different from the arts of other regions.
The Panoramic View
Over the top of Jehangir Mahal one can have the view of the entire city, having Palaces, Temples and Memorials of medieval times. It has a very panoramic beauty filled look and is a place of attraction from visitors across the globe, having interest in studying various civilizations regarding how they developed their fine art, which still looks fresh and has the tales of the past coming live, when viewed.
The Prominent Places past glory and attraction are the following master pieces created by the ten rulers for posterity:
It has been constructed on a huge stone based platform, from where there are very high steps converging into the temple shape. The temple was constructed to install image of Ram on it, but when all the attempts to remove the heavy image from Rama Raj temple failed, it was understood that the wish of the idol of Ram is to remain in Raja Ram temples and was allowed to remain there after.
The exterior of Chatturbhuj Temple is highly decorated with big structures of lotus and other religious symbols on its walls. The interiors of the Chatturbhuj Temple have very richly colored paintings depicting Orcha Art as it existed in those times and is significantly different from other arts which exist in the temples of other regions.
Ram Raja Mandir
it is a palace-turned-temple has a very attractive story behind it. King Madhukar Shah had brought an idol of Lord Rama from Ayodhya to Orcha as the realization of a dream he had dreamt and later on it was to be installed in Chaturbhuj Temple, which was under construction for the purpose, but the story changed the very purpose of building Chatterbhuj temple.
According to the story the Idol of Lord Rama was attempted to shift to the newly built Chatturbhuj Temple, but all the attempts failed to move the heavy lord Rama Idol. Seeing this King felt that the Lord Ramah Idol does not wish to be installed at Chatturbhuj Temple. So at the last moment it was decided to let the Lord Rama Idol remain in Ram Raja Mandir only fulfilling the wish of the Idol.
Now there are high tapering construction is built at the temple site and it is one of the finest temples in India and Ram is worshipped as a king. The interior walls of the temple have very rich painting of the medieval times depicting the culture and love of the people for the art.
Laxminarayan Temple and Ram Raja Temple
They are linked by a highly decorated Flag Stone Path. It is a mixture of palace as well as temple marking the origin and the purpose for which it is used.
The other places of interest are:
Phool Bagh with central row of fountains and was a summer retreat for the Orcha kings. It has a system of water collection, where water collected after falling from the roof in droplet forms in a receptacle called Chandan Katora and looked like artificial rainfall in eth underground palace.
Dinman Hardaul’s Memorial: Hardaul was son of Bir Singh Ju Deo was killed at this place on a charge of suspicion, people believe that he was innocent and is worshipped.
Sunder Mahal palace
Presently in a ruin state and is visited by Muslims for a pilgrimage. Dhurjban son of Jhujhar, was converted to Islam by wedding a Muslim girl at Delhi.
There are fourteen in number umbrella like structures in memory of rulers of Orcha, lining the Kanchana Ghats of river Betwa.