By: Vaibhav Singh
Residing in the lap of Kanchana ghat of Betwa river, Orcha is just another town, prosperous of historical, but slumping in recognition. The place is so brief and convenient that one can travel and explore solely by walking. The river Betwa keeps on running with fresh and chilled water, sitting and enjoying in it would feel like sitting in your own personal jacuzzi. It may atleast make you feel extravagant for a while. Other than the sumptuous river, the forts citing here are perfect to have a look back at that time. Though the beautiful murals on the walls have culminated with the ravaging time but the forts still eulogize the massive architecture.
But inspite of being such a marvelous place, Orcha still lacks a place in the tourists lists, as many of them aren’t even aware of the place. The fact can’t be ignored that two nearby places in the same state of Madhya Pradesh , that is Sanchi and Khajuraho , are enlisted in UNESCO’S World Heritage Sites , Orcha isn’t having a proper railway setup. Very few trains run to the place. Many have to first visit Jhansi and then take a bus to Orcha.
The place encounters more foreigner tourists than the local ones, but still the boarding and lodging facilities aren’t upto the mark. We expect Government to take ardent steps for the welfare it , as the place is home for the mementos and monuments like Jehangir mahal , Ram Raja Mahal, which later turned into a temple and Rai Praveen Mahal.
Orcha was founded by Bundela Rajput King Rudra Pratap Singh in 16th century. Of the succeeding rulers, the most notable was Raja Bir Singh , who built the Jehangir Mahal to commemorate the visit of emperor Jehangir.The grandeur of this place has been captured in the stones of the temples and the mahals and frozen in time. Take a look at some of the epic places to visit in Orcha.
Ram Raja Temple
This palace turned temple has a charming aura inside it and is the Sanctum Sanctorum of all the temples here. The palace was initially built by Madhukar Shah, but the installation of the statue of Lord Rama in the palace by his queen,Ganesh Kuan, transformed it into a temple. The legend says that when the statue was installed first in the palace, it was impossible to move the statue. Then the queen recalled the deity’s edict that the statue would remain in the place where first installed. So the image was installed and the palace became a temple. Even after the becoming a temple, the building is aa flamboyant as a palace. This is the only place in India where Ram is worshipped as a king (Raja).
Built by Raja Bir Singh Deo in 17th century to commemorate the visit of emperor Jehangir , this building is a great work of architecture. Though the murals are now obliterated , but the remaining ones can give us a good insight into the the historic beauty.
The king has built the mahal , bigger than his own. It looks humongous from the front and is filed with will carvings and royal touch.
Chhatries and Cenotaphs
15 Cenotaphs of Bundela kings and members of their clan are located on the southern bank of Betwa river. Most of the Cenotaphs are built in Panchaytan style. The upper portion has been made angular with arches. The Cenotaphs are the pure ancient beauties.
Preserving the history and the legacy of Bundela rulers, Orcha also is a sanctuary for indigenous vultures.In the first ever vulture census in Orcha sanctuary , 125 vultures of 4 species have been found. These include 50 indigenous vultures ,63 white backed, 9 Egyptian and 3 king vultures. Migratory Cinereous Griffin Vulture , which comes from Himalayas has also been found here.
Majestic is the word, that concludes this place. What worth traveling, exploring , sight seeing isn’t available at this place. 500 rs would be sufficient if you use the internet and manage your stomach wisely here. Plus you’ll also find the extremely devoted money makers here (laugh).