Friday, 10 February 2012

Orchha – the medieval heart of Bundelkhand

Laxmi Narayan Temple, Orc …
My favorite is the Laxmi Narayan temple – to begin with it hardly looks like a temple
Orchha - from my hotel wi …
It’s 6 am and dawn breaks over the medieval town of Orchha. Lost to the world, it was founded by the Bundela kings in the 16th century. I walk past the Betwa River to see the massive chhatris, the cenotaphs of the ancient rulers, glowing in the morning light
In high spirits with Euro …
The walls are painted with stories from history depicting wars, friendship and trade. Lakshmi Bai, the Rani of Jhansi, is immortalized here by artists – we see soldiers all set for war. One painting shows the entry of Europeans in the political scenario – they are socializing with the Indian kings in “high spirits
Palaces, temples, tombs dot this town, standing out amidst the clutter. Almost every monument has a story – sometimes it’s a love story, a tale of betrayal. The emotions run high here as the Bundelas have even built a palace dedicated to friendship. Almost every brick tells a tale of mystery and mysticism
Jehangir Mahal
Take the story of Jehangir Mahal – an impressive palace that stands for friendship between a Bundelkhand ruler, Raja Bir Singh Deo, and the Mughal emperor Jehangir. It is believed that Jehangir stayed here for just one night, but the 236 chambers, built over three storeys with an underground passage, decorated with ornate doors, domes and a massive courtyard in the centre, leave you spellbound. All this was for a title of “Maharaja
Sunset on the Betwa RIver
I roam from one monument to another, lost in the world of stories – not of battles fought and won, but of dead men coming alive, of gods accompanying a queen to her palace, of a king mercilessly killing his son for ruthlessly killing a seer. It’s 6 pm and the Betwa River is shrouded in a coat of crimson as I return to my palace for the night