The establishment of the Jehangir Mahal dates back to the 17th century A.D. when the then ruler of the region named Bir Singh Deo built the structure as a symbol of warm reception of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, during the latter's first visit to the city. The entrance of the Jehangir Mahal, Orchha is marked by an artistic and traditional gateway. The front wall of the structure faces to the east and is covered with turquoise tiles. Jehangir Mahal is a three storied structure that is marked by stylishly hanging balconies, porches, and apartments. Like other Palaces in Orchha the Jehangir Mahal, Orchha has and a number of domes that are shaped like onion. These domes cover the central courtyard of the palace. Thus without visiting the Jehangir Mahal as well as other Monuments in Orchha, the Tour to Orchha is incomplete.
LAXMI NARAYAN TEMPLE
Lakshminarayan Temple is dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and her consort, Narayan. It was built in 1622 on the orders of Bir Singh Deo but has needed extensive renovation over the centuries.It's an odd mixture of temple and fort (with musket embrasures in the crenellated outer wall) and an even odder mixture of concentric forms – it is basically an octagonal central tower inside a triangular temple within a square compound that has bastions at each corner. In line with this eccentricity, the entrance gate is set in a corner rather than the wall.
The Raj Mahal, Orchha is among the most visited Palaces in Orchha. Every year, thousands of visitors from various parts of the world pay a visit to this majestic palace.The construction of the Raj Mahal in Orchha, India was initiated by Rudra Pratap Singh, the Rajput ruler of this region in the 16th century. But the task of completion of the construction was taken up later by the successors of Rudra Pratap Singh, the most popular among whom was Madhukar Shah. The two rectangular courtyards in the interior of Raj Mahal, Orchha were used by the Bundela Queens.
Adjacent to the Ram Raja Temple lies a row of fountains, which culminates in an eight pillared pavilion. A subterranean structure below the pavilion, the Tehkhana, was the summer retreat of the kings of Orchha. The tehkhana was cooled by a cleverly constructed Persian cooling unit, which was made up of two adjoining Dastagirs (wind-catching towers). The towers were named after the two spring months in the Indian calendar - Sawan Bhado.
The towers were perforated on the top, to allow them to catch the wind, while their lower part was connected to a reservoir of water. The towers, the aqueducts, and the underground reservoir of water were ingeniously connected to a Chandan Katora (fountain) in the pavilion above the retreat. The water from the underground reservoir was pushed up into the Chandan Katora, from where it rained on the roof of the retreat to cool the Tehkhana. This is perhaps the only example of the Persian system of cooling in India.
The Chhatris or the cenotaphs in orchha are another of the many historical tourist attractions in Orchha. These are memorials of the rulers of the Bundels and are laid down in a row of 14 along the beautiful banks of the Betwa River. It reflects a wonderful sight though to some it looks uncanny. The Chhatris of Orchha are the most melancholy ruins of the city in Madhya Pradesh.
These chhatris or cenotaphs present a picturesque sight on the banks of the river betwa. The monuments still speak of the ancient rulers, their victories and their stories. These fourteen chhatris are best viewed from the narrow road bridge, or from the boulders from where you get a perfect reflection of the chattris of Orchha on the still waters of the river. The Chhatris of Orchha look like a pale brown shade of weed throttled domes and spires.
RAJA RAM TEMPLE
The queen of Orchha was an ardent devotee of Lord Ram. She once went on a pilgrimage to Ayodhya, with a desire to bring her revered deity back in the form of a boy. Lord Ram was pleased with her prayers, and agreed to come to Orchha. But he set forth a condition – he would not move from one temple to another, but will stay where she would initially house him. So moved was the king of Orchha on seeing Lord Ram as a child that he ordered for a temple to be built for him. All this while Lord Ram was worshipped by the queen in her palace. When the temple was eventually ready, Lord Ram refused to move because of the condition he had set the queen! The queen's palace eventually became the Ram Raja Temple. Here, Lord Ram is worshipped not just as a God, but also as a king. He even gets a gun salute! The Ram Raja Temple sees thousands of devotees queue up for darshan on the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami.