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Raja Mahal Orcha
A look at images of Raja Mahal in Orcha might just urge you to taste the essence of the yesteryears and experience an antique feel of nostalgia and longing and make a change in your next vacation travel plans. You might be encouraged to make a trip to Orcha instead of your previously planned destination. One of the most attractive spots for tourists in Orcha, this palace bears testimony to the grand Mughal architecture. A project initially taken up by Raja Rudra Pratap, the Raja Mahal was left undone when he died in 1531. Eventually his son, Bharti Chand, got the front and the main portion of the palace completed, but unfortunately he did not live to see it completed totally. The finishing touches to the palace were incorporated by one of the most prominent rulers of Orchha, Madhukar Shah who constructed several other buildings and monuments in the town as well. Looking on to the discolored walls which have plastered off in places, you can almost travel back in time, walking the roads of a bygone era. Walking down the corridors and courtyards of this erstwhile royal residence of former kings of Orchha, in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh helps you discover the cultural facets of the then rulers to quite an extent. The stone latticework and several different multi-facing archways at the entry of the palace make it all the more beautiful. The pictures of the two rectangular courtyards within the palace follow the ancient Indian architectural concept of the mandapa. The projecting balconies and archways throughout the structure of Raja Mahal enhance the charm of the architecture. The most significant feature within the palace is the Diwan-i-Khaas, which is exclusively adorned with fantastic motifs. The ceiling murals although discolored in certain places speak of rich Rajput art culture. These court scene paintings are actually fragments of inlay work of mirrors and vibrant painting displayed over all their walls and ceilings. These architectural assets bear testimony to the ancient art culture of the Rajputs and the fact that they are still being photographed, appreciated and traveled to with interest is evidence enough of their long-term influence on the human minds.
Jahangir Mahal, Orchha
Orchha is an interesting small town in the northern region of Madhya Pradesh, situated on the tranquil banks of River Betwa. This place was once the capital of the Bundela Kings. This city is dotted with numerous palaces and temples, which were built in the 16th and 17th Century; these are one of the best Indo Islamic architectural specimens in India. One of the interesting facts with Orchha is that the temples are located in close proximity, which facilitates the visit to these temples, in a much lesser time.
Jahangir Mahal, a much admired palace, was actually a monumental present by Bir Singh Deo for Mughal Emperor Jehangir, when he visited the state. It was built by in the 17th Century. As soon as you enter this magnificent palace from the ornate gateway, you will notice the east facing façade decorated with turquoise tiles. The stone elephants with bells in their trunks, on either side of the ceremonial gateway will welcome you; which was actually designed to announce the arrival of Jahangir. Like any other palaces of ancient time, Jahangir Mahal also houses a central courtyard, around which the three storeys of stylish terraces, balconies, apartments, and the signature mark of Mughal architecture, onion domes, were built. The palace is airy and much more lighted than most other palaces of the era, as there are innumerable pierced stone screens and windows that offer a pleasant view of the skyline and the natural beauty surrounding the palace.
The uniformity of the architectural styles in impossible to go unnoticed. It seems that each dome is the photocopy of the other. Indo Islamic architectural specialties of arched entrances surrounding the courtyard along with the stepped central area of the courtyard, speaks of the aesthetic sense of the royal people of that time. It can be said that Jahangir Mahal captures the history of the yesteryears, in the most beautiful way that also provides an insight to the grass root culture of India.
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