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Enigmatic India

This blog captures the life experiences of the Enigmatic India team in the beautiful and enigmatic country of India.We capture our experiences through our writings, photos and products that depict the very essence and fabric of India.Through this platform, we invite you to join us in our journey as we explore.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Trip to Datia Palace(Govind Mahal), Datia, Madhya Pradesh

Datia Palace

As we moved on our journey to Orchha from Gwalior, we stopped by at the Datia Madhya Pradesh tourism property for lunch. As we emerged from our vehicle lo and behold in front of us was this majestic fort/palace on the banks of the Karna Sagar lake.

On enquiring with the staff at the restaurant he informed that it was the Datia Fort/ Mahal (Palace) /Govind Mahal /Jehangir Palace (as known by different names) build by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo(Dev) the Bundela Rajputs of the Orchha house.(You can read more about Datia from the Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol 11, page 195-199)

While we did not have time to visit the Palace that day we decided to definitely visit it on our return journey.

We had to reach the entrance of the Palace after meandering through narrow lanes of the town. It has a very steep climb of stairs and definitely not friendly for the elderly folks. Hardly any visitors were around and at the entrance there was a guard who noted down our details for Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) record keeping purpose. We finally managed to get the only official guide (as claimed by him) and he narrated some of what we will be penning down.

It is said that this Mahal was started in 1614 and took almost nine years and around INR 32 Lakhs of rupees then to complete this 440 rooms, seven storied palace. It was built as a token of appreciation for King Salim (Jehangir), who Bir Singh Deo had befriended by killing Abul Fazl, Akbar's Vazir. However the visit never happened and so the Palace was not used even for a single day.

Blue Tiles engraved on Mughal architecture

The Mahal is built purely of stone and bricks with no traces of either of wood or iron. It exudes some of the finest of Indo Islamic architecture, with stone lattice and motif work, chhatris, carved ceilings, four octagonal towers, red sandstone Jarokas paintings of birds, animals, flowers (of which some are still visible at the exterior), blue tiles with Mughal architecture tinge(the guide informed us that it was probably Turkist), Bundela paintings etc. At each corner (four) there were four Rani Mahals(Queen's palace) and an additional Rani palace for Jehangir's entourage. The first two floors were built to house the soldier,horses and parts of the entourage.

A majestic place to visit and experience the Bundela era.

You can view more pictures here

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