Mausoleum at Orcha
Photographer: Deen Dayal, Lala (1844-1905)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Bir Singh Deo’s Cenotaph at Orchha in Madhya Pradesh, taken by Lala Deen Dayal in 1882, from the Curzon Collection: 'Views of places proposed to be visited by Their Excellencies Lord & Lady Curzon during Autumn Tour 1902'. 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 his 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 but its domes were never completed and so it remained unfinished.