Why is Orchha famous?

The architectural heritage of Orchha town in Madhya Pradesh which depicts the peculiar style of the Bundela dynasty has been included in UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage sites following a proposal sent by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to the U.N. body on April 15, 2019. According to the rules, to be a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, the heritage or any historical site first has to be on the tentative list. After it makes to the tentative list, another proposal is sent to the UNESCO.

Orchha is situated on the banks of the Betwa river. It is located around 80 km away from Tikamgarh district in Madhya Pradesh and 15 km from Jhansi of Uttar Pradesh. Orchha was built by King Rudra Pratap Singh of Bundela dynasty in the 16th century. The ancient town is famous for its Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha Fort complex, Raja Mahal among others.

The Bundela architecture has a Mughal influence since the two dynasties were very close. The famous King of Bundela dynasty Veer Singh Dev was a close friend of Mughal emperor Jahangir and fought wars as Akbar’s aid.

Orchha is also famous for its two elevated minarets called Saavan and Bhadon and its four palaces Jahangir Palace, Raj Mahal, Sheesh Mahal and Rai Praveen Mahal and for its concept of open bungalows, stonework windows, animal statues depicting the culture of Bundel Khand. It is the only place in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king with a dedicated temple in his name called Sri Ram Raja Mandir.

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