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Please call 1-559-446-0499 or email brij@indiatravlerusa.com to plan a Central India Cultural Journey with Orchha

Orchha is a popular Hindu pilgrimage place in central India. It is 15 kilometers or 9 miles from the nearest railway station in Jhansi. A Bundela Rajput warrior, Rudra Pratap Singh, established kingdom of Orchha in 1501 CE. He ruled Orchha until 1531 CE and constructed the Orchha Fort that is located on an island in the Betwa River. Maharani Ganesh Kunwar, the queen of Raja Madhukar Shah (1554 - 1591 CE) had the Chaturbhuj temple built to house the idol of Ram, the Hindu incarnation of Vishnu. But the idol of Ram could not be transferred from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. Instead an idol of Vishnu with four arms (Chaturbhuj) was installed in this temple. Raja Madhukar Shah patronized the construction of Raj Mandir. Ram Raja Mandir is the focus of all pilgrims to Orchha. This temple, also built by Maharani Ganesh Kunwar, is the only Hindu temple in which Ram is celebrated as a divine king. Raja Bir Singh Deo Bundela had the Laxmi Narain Temple constructed in 1622. During the reign of Raja Prithvi Singh Bundela this temple was restored in 1793. This temple is famous for its very colorful mural paintings in its interior.

Raja Bir Singh Deo Bundela (1605-1627 CE), built the famous, Jahangiri Mahal in 1605 and the Sawan Bhadon Mahal subsequently. He was allied with the fourth Mughal Emperor Jahangir and the palace was built in honor of the visit of the Mughal Emperor to Orchha.

After a rebellion by Raja Jujhar Singh, the fifth Mughal Emperor Shahjahan occupied Orchha from 1635 to 1641 CE. But Orchha and nearby kingdom of Datia remained independent in 18th. century when the nearby regions were conquered by the Maratha rulers.

Raja Hamir Singh, ruled Orchha from 1848 to 1874 but became a sovereign Maharaja only in 1865. Maharaja Pratap Singh (born 1854, died 1930), who succeeded to the throne in 1874, devoted himself entirely to the development of his state, himself designing most of the engineering and irrigation works that were executed during his reign.

In 1901, the state had an area of 2,000 square miles or 5,200 square kilometers. Its population was 52,634. It was the oldest and highest in rank of all the Bundela royal states, with a 17-gun salute, and its Maharajas bore the hereditary title of First among the Princes of Bundelkhand. Vir Singh, Pratap Singh's successor, merged his state with the Union of India on January 1, 1950. The district became part of Vindhya Pradesh state, which was merged into Madhya Pradesh state in 1956. Today Orchha is almost a nondescript town with a small population. It still attracts Hindu pilgrims from nearby areas and the Indian and foreign tourists visit its fort and temples.

3-star hotels:

Bundelkhand Riverside Hotel - 26 rooms
Amar Mahal Hotel - 46 rooms
Orchha Resort Hotel - 44 rooms
Sheesh Mahal Hotel - 7 rooms

Distances in kilometers and miles

Khajuraho - 178 kilometers or 111 miles
Jhansi - 16 kilometers or 10 miles
Datia - 47 kilometers or 29 miles
Gwalior - 120 kilometers or 75 miles
Agra - 252 kilometers or 157 miles

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