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Around 350 temples are estimated to have existed here. Excavation work is ongoing to restore temples of a lost era.
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October 21, 2016
October 1, 2016
All good things shall start with a prayer to the Gods; first spot in Orchha shall be the Raja Ram Temple, an acclaimed temple which was earlier in fact a queen’s palace. This is the only temple in the world where Lord Rama is worshipped as King Rama.
Adjacent to Raja Ram temple is the gigantic Chaturbhuj Temple, built by the king Madhukar to idolize Lord Rama. However Lord Rama decided to rest in the Rama Raja Temple.
Read the interesting story about Raja Ram temple and Chaturbhuj Temple...
After praying, time to walk the heritage trail. Orchha fort consists of many palaces like Raja Mahal, Jahangir Mahal and Rai Parveen Mahal. Jahangir Mahal reflects the Bundela architecture. The views from the balconies in the palace are spectacular.
Raja Mahal is most ancient historic monuments in Orchha fort. Standing on the island created by Betwa River, Raj Mahal is surrounded by a battlement wall.
The fort consists of several buildings connected to each other in a perfect display of battle architecture, the most significant of which is the Raja Mahal. The most prominent palace in the Raja Mahal is in fact the Rani Mahal (Queen's Palace) Mahal. Rani Mahal from inside...
Decorated walls of House of Commons, Deewan-e-Aam in the Raja Mahal...
More mural paintings in one of the abandoned spot in this palace...
After Raja Mahal, the Jahangir Mahal with such a grand view of from the Raja Mahal...
The Jahangir Mahal is built on a rectangular base and has a circular tower at each corner surmounted by a dome. The Jahangir Mahal is a beautiful example of Bundela architecture.
It is believed that it was constructed for Jahangir reception. The mother for Jahangir was also a Rajput, Jodhabai. Looks like that with this fact in mind, the Rajput king of Orchha had built the Jahangir Mahal. To actually see the beauty of this palace one should climb up to the roof, which is crowned by eight large domes with smaller domes between them connected by beautiful railings.
There is also the Unth Khana, the royal Shelter for the Camels, where the King's camels used to get relax, is right next to the fort and at back of Jahangir Mahal.
And some ruins around the Raja Mahal. Battlement wall of the fort is clearly visible...
After illustrious fort and the palaces, let’s make our way to the Cenotaphs. The kings of Orchha built huge cenotaphs to celebrate their afterlife journey. There are 15 (Fifteen) cenotaphs (memorials of rulers) locally called as chhatris on the banks of the Betwa river at Kanchana Ghat.
Cenotaph of Vir Singh Ju Deo at the river front and some neglected structures...
Chhatris or Cenotaphs were built to honour the dead ancestors of the Bundela kings. Meaning of word Bundela - "One who has offered drops"; first king of the dynasty, offered drops of his blood to the Goddess Kali and was called Bundela. His descendants carried this tradition till the royalty came to an end.
Please note - Entry ticket is required to visit all the monuments in Orchha, other than the temples. Entry tickets are available at the entrance of Orchha fort only. Cenotaphs shall be visited after Orchha Fort.
To reach Orchha:
By Train: Nearest Railway Station is Jhansi, 18 Km. on Delhi- Mumbai route. All express trains including Shatabdi Express stop at Jhansi. From Jhansi individual as well as shared taxis are available. One can also enjoy Auto-Rickshaw drive.
By Air: Gwalior is the nearest airport, 125 km.
By Road: Jhansi is well connected by roads to major cities. Road condition from Jhansi to Orchha is very good.
Keep travelling Guys…
September 29, 2016
If you like to drive and explore the magic of offbeat places, Madhya Pradesh is the place you should be. All good things shall begin with praying to the Gods. So after driving for 51 km. and crossing the entrance doors for Orchha, we arrived at Raja Ram Temple.
Raja temple is an acclaimed temple in Orchha which was earlier a palace, in fact a queen’s palace. The palace was turned into a temple and this is the only temple in the world where Lord Ram is worshipped as King Ram.
- I will travel only in Pukh Nakshatra. When Pukh Nakshatra will end I will stop and resume only when Pukh Nakshatra sets in again. In this manner I will travel from Ayodhya to Orchha on foot along with a group of sages.
- On reaching Orchha, I will be the King of Orchha and not your husband. And…
- Since the child form of Ram would travel in the queen’s lap, the first place where I will be seated will become my final place of stay and the place will be famous by the name of Ramraj.
Looks like the test for the queen was still not over, but the brave queen happily agreed to all the conditions. With Lord Ram in her laps, the Queen started her journey to Orchha. It took her 8 months and 27 days to reach Orchha from Ayodhya on foot (1574 - 1575) as the journey happened only in Pukh Nakshtra.
|Raja Ram temple from Chaturbhuj temple|
However Lord Rama decided to make his house in the Rama Raja Temple. The present deity in Chaturbhuj temple is Lord Sri Laxmi Narayan, Lord Vishnu. An idol of Lord Vishnu with four arms which was kept in this temple gave the name Chaturbhuj temple (Four arms). This temple is directly opposite the palace, so that the queen could have watched the worship of the Gods in the temple from her room. Colossal size of Chaturbhuj temple is in stark deviation from the normal construction size of temples in India. The Grand architecture of Chaturbhuj Temple attracts thousands of visitors every year. Check out from the other side...
Please note in the summers temples in Orchha are closed between 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Make your plans accordingly.
Pray to Gods and continue heritage exploration at Orchha.
August 25, 2016
Sonagiri is a place sacred to Digambar Jains. It is situated 60 km. from Gwalior and has a chain of Jain temples of 9th - 10th century on this hill since the time from Chandraprabhu. As we were approaching towards the hill, we could clearly see an umbrella of white temples covering the hill.
As we were about to enter the temple area we were asked to remove our shoes, we looked at the stairs which were scorching by this time but for such a beautiful place this was worth.
Devotees and saints come to this place to practice self-discipline and to attain Nirvana, freedom from cycles of life and death. It is believed that till date Five & half Crores of ascetic saints have achieved salvation (Moksha or Nirvana) at this holy place. Nang, Anang, Chintagati, Poornachand, Ashoksen, Shridatta, Swarnbhadra and many other saints achieved salvation from here. Acharya Shubh Chandra & Bhartrihari lived and worked here for spiritual achievements.
Eleven feet in height, beautiful idols of Lord Sheetal Nath & Parsvnath are also installed here.
To reach Sonagiri temples:
July 29, 2016
Once the motorable road ends at Chansari Village; rest of the way, a challenging trek of 2 km. has to be covered solely by your spirits. That’s all what separates you from the blessings of Lord Shiva at Bijlee Mahadev temple.
You have to be in good shape for this trek. The trek is too steep and will take around 60-75 minutes. The bigger the obstructions in my way the higher is the glory in overcoming it. Barely breathing at times, my limits of fitness were being tested at every step in this trek. You might find one or two visitors or trekkers, if you are lucky.
According to legend this is the place, Mathana where Lord Shiva killed the dreaded demon Jalandhar. As this is the highest point in the region; it had to bear the fury of lightening falling from the skies. As a result inhabited villages were being damaged frequently due the constant lightings from the skies.
It is believed that Lord Shiva has been residing here since times immemorial in form of this holy Shivling. Also worth mentioning is the story telling paintings of Gods & Goddesses. Every year lightning falls on the holy Shivling and damages it. Shivling is repaired and joined buy the priests of the temple every time.
It was inaugurated by his holiness Dalai Lama in 2005. The monastery serves as a centre for the study of Buddhist philosophy.
This monastery houses several Tibetan monks. Apart from incredible architecture, the monastery offers picturesque view of the surrounding valleys.
After Malana continue towards Manikaran Sahib, in the way you will pass through Kasol. Kasol is a lively place where for enjoying water sports like rafting and bridge crossing. Lot of foreigners makes this place an exciting venue for various cuisines and shopping also.
Two days are required to relish these incredible spots in the Kullu Valleys; Day one for Bijlee Mahadev, Dhakpo Shedrupling Monastery and local sightseeing in Kullu town. Malana, Kasol and Manikaran Sahib can be covered on second day of the itinerary.
Keep travelling Guys to next destination, Manali and Rohtang Pass...