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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, July 30, 2016

Trip to Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

Jahangir Palace
After spending two days at Chambal Valley Resort, on the third day we left for Orchha, around 10.00 am and reach Orchha around 4.00 pm and went to two forts and one temple. Orchha is a very historical place. There is Orchha fort , in that there are two forts – Jahangir fort and raja fort. The Jahangir fort was only made for Jahangir. It has 230 rooms or so. 

The Raja fort is very unique. Next is the Lakshmi temple; most of the temples are in square shape, but this temple was in a diamond shape.  From a distance it looked like it had three sides but it did not. Everyone mistook if rot having three sides. The temple has the whole Ramayana and Mahabharata painted in its ceiling. The architecture of the temple is beautiful. We were told that the idol of the goddess was stolen long ago.

Orrchha Fort, Sound and Light Show
In the evening, we watched the sound and light show and we also ate Mungodi with chutney. Mungodi is basically moong dal pakoda with pudina chutney. In the Raja Mahal, in one of the halls, the ceiling is completely painted, it was the design of the Persian carpet which was laid down on the ground right below the ceiling.

Orchha is a small town and Orchha means hidden. In the olden times, the whole city was surrounded by dense forests. Ochha belonged to the Bundela kings. The Bundela Dynasty build many forts in and around Orchha. This main places to visit are: Cenotaphs of the 14 king, the Orchha fort, Raja Ram temple, and Lakshmi temple.

One of the special or you would say tempting thing there was hot milk which has been boiling for a long time. You should try this when you go there. Basically you drink hot milk with cream which is formed on top.

In the Orchha fort, there is a Mahal called Sheesh Mahal which is now a hotel under the Madhya Pradesh Tourism. The Raja Ram temple is a very good temple. It is painted, maintained and used. The story behind this temple is that one of the kings of the Bundela Dynasty had a fight with his wife about which God they can have in the city. The king got very angry and told queen that she can only enter the palace if she comes back with Ram with her. The queen was a true devotee of Ram. The queen agreed to this deal. She went to the banks of the river and started praying for Ram to come to her. She prayed for almost a month but nothing happened. Now, the queen was stressed, she did  not know what do to. The queen decided to commit suicide, she jumped into the river. A few people saw her jump, they immediately jumped into the river to help her. She was saved and returned with a baby on her lap, it was a version of Lord Rama. The queen was now happy as she could return to the kingdom. Ram had made three conditions which were:  1.  the queen should carry me on her lap till we reach the kingdom;  2.  wherever he (Ram) is placed shall be his temple and he shall not move from there; 3.  he should be the only one to be prayed.

The queen agreed to these three conditions. She went back and the king was delighted to see her back with the  Baby Lord Rama. The king ordered the people in his kingdom to start building a temple for the guest who had come home.

At night the queen decided to place Lord Rama on the bed and take him to the temple the next day. She forgot about the second conditions and that became the seat for the God. Rama didn’t move after that. So, they had to turn the queen’s palace into a temple and the temple which was being made became a waste. This is the story of Raja Ram temple.

There is a small sanctuary near the Betwa river. And close to the Betwa river, there is a M.P Tourism hotel called Betwa Retreat. Our stay at the Retreat was good and the food was also tasty. The location of the place is very nice and fresh. It might be difficult for old people to climb up to go to their rooms as there are many steps. Overall,  Orchha was small, historical, rich and fresh.

(Blog contributed by Shreya Mishra and first published in her blog "Fistful of Stars")

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