Orchha Fort

18th February 2014 (Day 10) Orchha

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This is the main door of Orchha Fort.  There is a good and obvious reason for the door looking as it does.  This is because armies tended to use organic battering rams to break through the front doors of a fort.  These organic battering rams are otherwise known as elephants.  It is an elephant deterrant device.

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Orchha was founded in 1501 by Rudra Pratap Singh to be the capital of his state.  It is a charming old town of many temples and cenotaphs, and quite small because modern development has occurred in nearby Jhansi.

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Inside Orchha Fort, we are in the Jahangir Mahal (or Jahangir’s Palace).

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We are looking through at Ram Raja Mandir, a Hindu Temple in the town.

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This is a pair of what appear to be spotted owlets in a niche in the fort wall.  They live in the hollows of trees or the cavities of buildings.  They may favour living close to humans because there are more rodents to catch to help fed their young.

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We encountered Veer Singh Deo in the previous post, when we saw the Satkanda Mahal he built to honour Emperor Jahangir in Datia.  The two were allies from the time when Veer Singh Deo was a minor raja at Datia and Jahangir was Prince Salim.  At that time Akhbar’s Vizier and savant was Abul Fazi, who produced the remarkable Akhbarnama, a history of the reigns of Akhbar and his predecessors.  He came to oppose Prince Salim succeeding to the throne.

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In 1602, partly in response to Abul Fazi’s influence, Prince Salim revolted and Akhbar sent Abul Fazi to subdue him.  As Abul Fazi marched past Datia (or Badoni, as Veer Singh Deo’s overall fief was called),  Veer Singh Deo attacked and defeated the army and killed Abul FaziSalim subsequently became reconciled with Akhbar but when Akhbar died three years later, Salim became the Emperor Jahangir and rewarded Veer Singh Deo by making him Maharaja of Bundelkhand (of which the capital city then was Orchha).

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Maharaja Veer Singh Deo constructed Jahangir Mahal in 1606 to house Jahangir in style when he arrived to attend Veer Singh Deo’s coronation.

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Here we are looking back at Laxminarayan Temple, in the middle of Orchha town.

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By now we are at a smaller building behind Jahangir Palace.  Some or all of the previous three images are from there as well.  The couple being photographed by their friends here (using a phone) are Bijender Beckham and Ritu Bijender Rathore, who were married a couple of days previously.

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Some buildings to the north of Jahangir’s Palace.  Small temples or cenotaphs, I presume.

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Now returning to Jahangir’s Palace, I am about to hurry after the rest of the group who have all disappeared.

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3 comments on “Orchha Fort

  1. leecleland says:

    Doors within doors and wonderfully framed window shots, interesting views of India. I have rarely seen a shot of a river (apart from the Ganges) in any Indian photography so it was quite novel to see your shot of a wild rocky river with temples in the forground.

    Like

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