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Blog Entry# 1164739
Posted: Jul 17 2014 (08:42)

2 Responses
Last Response: Jul 21 2014 (23:55)
Jul 17 2014 (08:42)   ORC/Orchha (2 PFs)
Anil Kumar Garg   24031 blog posts
Entry# 1164739            Tags   Past Edits
Bundela Cenotaphs - Orchha
Circa 1600 AD, Prince Salim was fleeing Agra. He had rebelled against his father, the all powerful Mughal emperor, Akbar. Akbar sent his right hand man, Abul Fazl to capture the Prince.

As the pursuit passed through central India, they passed through the kingdom of the Bundelas. The Bundelas were fierce Rajput chieftains who ruled out of
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their hidden city of Orchha. In fact the word Orchha means "Hidden".

The Bundela cheiftain, Bir Singh Deo came to Salim's aid. He had Abul Fazl killed in an ambush and sent the head to Salim. It is said that upon seeing Abul Fazl' s head Salim grew so angry that he threw it into his toilet.

Prince Salim eventually reconciled with his father and returned to Agra. After Akbar's death, Salim ascended the Mughal throne and assumed the name "Seizer of the world", Jehangir.

Bir Singh Deo's favour was not forgotten and he was showered with Mughal patronage. With the coffers now full, Orchha now entered it's golden age. The Bundelkhand style of architecture flowered and several fairy tale like palaces and temples were built.

The Chattris or Cenotaphs were built to honour the dead ancestors of the Bundela rajas. The first raja of the dynasty, offered drops of his blood to the Goddess Kali and was called Bundela - "One who has offered drops". His decendants carried this name till the line was faded.

This was not my first visit to Orchha. I had visited it a couple of years ago, but my time was limited and I didn't get to explore much. This time I crossed the river Betwa to get a shot of the cenotaphs and their reflection in the water. I knew that the shot was rather cliched but that day my mind wasn't working. I had a freezing 4 hour ride in a bus with no windsheild and then the auto driver who brought me to Orchha ripped me off.

I reached the other side of the river, cold and in a very foul mood. The river flowed too swiftly to get a clear reflection and the cenotaphs were shrouded in mist. So I waited sitting on the rocks & warmed myself under the sun. When the mist dissolved, I took a few shots and was more than happy to get out of there. I was tired of solitary backpacking and longed for my bed, friends, family, familiar food, minimal walking and even my workstation at office!

After finishing breakfast, I made my way back to Jhansi as fast as I could. The only thing I now looked forward to was boarding the train back to Pune and falling asleep.
Arjun Valsaraj
Taken on December 20, 2009
click here

2 Public Posts - Mon Jul 21, 2014

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