General view from the south-west of Bir Singh Deo's Cenotaph, Orchha
Photographer: Smith, Edmund William
Medium: Photographic print
This is a photograph of the mausoleum of the Bundela chief Bir Singh Deo, Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Edmund William Smith in the1880s. Orchha was founded in 1501 by the Bundela Rajput Raja Rudra Pratap (r.1501-1531) on an island of rock beside the Betwa River, 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. This is a view of Bir Singh Deo's cenotaph or deval at Orchha; a massive stone building which stands with other cenotaphs of the Orchha kings on the banks of the Betwa. It would have been the finest of the cenotaphs but its domes were never completed.