Fort and Palace at Orcha
Photographer: Deen Dayal, Lala (1844-1905)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Fort and Raj Mandir Palace at Orchha in Madhya Pradesh, taken by Lala Deen Dayal in 1882. Orchha was founded in 1501 by the Bundela Rajput Raja Rudra Pratap. It was built beside the Betwa River, with a fortified palace complex on an island in the river, approached by a causeway over a bridge. Orchha reached the height of its political power and saw its greatest architectural development during the reign of Raja Bir Singh Deo (ruled 1605-1627), who enjoyed the patronage of the Mughal emperor Jahangir. Its fortunes later declined and it was eventually abandoned in 1783. Orchha is unusual among Rajput capitals because there are three separate garh palaces rather than one gradually-extended palace. This is a general view of one of the palaces, the Raj Mandir, built by Madhukar Shah between 1554 and 1591, surrounded by a battlemented wall with the bridge at left and the river in the foreground. The photograph is from an album containing architectural and landscape studies of various sites in central India. The majority of the photographs were taken by Deen Dayal while on tour with Sir Lepel Griffin (1838-1908), who served as Resident at Indore and Agent to the Governor-General of central India between 1881 and 1888. Many are reproduced in autotype in his ‘Famous Monuments of Central India’ (London, 1886). This photograph is similar to plate 74, 'Oorcha Fort'. The album was formerly in the collection of Sir William Lee-Warner (1846-1912), who served in the Indian Civil Service and was a Member of the Council of India between 1902 and 1912.