MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA APRIL 29 , 2012 01.30 A.M.
After finishing sight – seeing of Datia on February 27th and Gwalior on February 28th , I still had one day left . So I decided to visit Orchha also . I had visited it once . Many years ago I went to Jhansi for the thread ceremony of my nephew Ashwary Chaturvedi and after the ceremony was over , I went to Orchha . But I reached there in the night , so I could visit only the temple . Orchha Fort complex was closed . I returned with a heavy heart .
So I was not willing to let this opportunity go again . This time I started from Dabra in the morning on February 29th . I passed through Jhansi and since Orchha is only 16 kilometres from Jhansi , I reached there before noon .
Orchha town was built in the 16th century by Bundela Rajput chieftain Rudra Pratap on the banks of rocky Betwa river . Situated on Jhansi – Khajuraho road , it comes under Tikamgarh district of Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh . Orchha is 170 km from Khajuraho and 16 km from Jhansi .
Rudra Pratap’s successor Bir Singh Ju Deo developed Orchha city in the 17th century . Orchha means hidden and in true sense of the term , Orchha is really hidden from the concrete jungles of modern-day .Even today it is a small town of few thousand people .
Starting from the 1531 AD , Bundela rajputs ruled Orchha for almost two centuries .
I first went to see Raghunath Ji temple . Idols of Bhagwan Ram , Sita and Lakshman are worshipped in a palace like structure . It is said that queen of Orchha brough the idols from Ayodhya . King of Orchha constructed a grand temple for the idols . This structure is known as Chaturbhuj Temple . It was ordained that the idol will remain where it will be kept first . When queen reached Orchha , it was night . Thinking that she will place idols in the main Chaturbhuj temple in the morning , queen kept the idols in her palace . In the morning , when queen tried to remove the idols from her palace to put it in the sanctum-sanatorium of Chaturbhuj temple , she failed . And since then her palace became the de – facto temple and grand Chaturbhuj temple , even today , remains vacant .
After darshan , I proceeded towards Fort complex . The complex has many palaces . Raja Mahal , Rai Praveen Mahal , Jahangir Mahal are magnificient example of Bundela art and architecture . I started from Deewan – E – Aam and Raja Mahal .
After Raja Mahal , I proceeded for Jahangir Mahal with my wife . We entered in the palace from the back entrance . This palace was built by Bir Singh Ju Deo in the early part of 17 century to commemorate Jahangir’s Orchha visit .
Rai Praveen Mahal was built for Rai Praveen , the beautiful paramour of Raja Indramani [ 1672 - 1676 ] . She was a poetess , musician and dancer of her time .
It was time to leave Orchha . I left the small town with heavy heart . Pristine beauty of Orchha and its grand , beautiful palaces are source of joy for ever . I visited it years ago . I could again visit it after many years . I don’t know whether I would be able to visit it again or not .
heart longs for one more visit . Fate says nothing and gives only an enigmatic smile .
पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
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