Orchha was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap, who chose this stretch of land along the Betwa river as an ideal site for his capital. Of the succeeding rulers, the most notable was Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo who built the exquisite Jehangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful chhatris. From here the view of soaring temple spires and cenotaphs is spectacular. Complementing the noble proportions of their exteriors are interiors which represent the finest flowering of the Bundela school of painting. In the Laxminarayan Temple and Raj Mahal, vibrant murals encompassing a variety of religious and secular themes, bring the walls and ceilings to rich life. Strewn around the area are the little shrines and memorials, each with its own poignant history, each contributing to the nostalgic beauty that is Orchha.
Did You Know?
Numerous cenotaphs or chhatris dot the vicinity of the fort & the Betwa river. Elsewhere about the town there is an unusual variety of temples and tombs, including the Chaturbhuj temple, built on a vast platform of stone. The more unguarded & neglected of these buildings are popular hangouts for tropical bees, wasps & other such excitable stingy creatures. The Jahangir Mahal is a singularly beautiful specimen of Mughal architecture.