General view from the south-west of the Raj Mandir and Jahangir Mandir Palaces, Orchha
Photographer: Smith, Edmund William
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Jahangir Mandir and Raj Mandir in Orchha, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Edmund William Smith in the 1880s. Orchha was founded in 1501 by the Bundela Rajput Raja Rudra Pratap (r.1501-1531) on an island of rock beside the Betwa River that is approached by a bridge. The city reached the height of its political power with its greatest architectural achievements during the reign of Raja Bir Singh Deo (r.1605-1627). Its fortunes later declined and it was eventually abandoned in 1783.
The Jahangir Mandir was built in c.1605 by Bir Singh Deo and named after his imperial patron, the Mughal emperor Jahangir (r.1628-58). The palace is one of the finest examples of mediaeval fortification in India from the period of the Bundela Rajputs. The building is square and is crowned by domes with rounded angle bastions capped by open pavilions. There are eight domes and a number of small chattris.
The Raj Mandir was built by Madhukar Shah between 1554 and 1591. The palace is square with a central open courtyard. The centre of each side is projected outwards. The roof is flat but on the top of the outer wall there is a line of small chattris.