Palace at Orcha
Photographer: Deen Dayal, Lala (1844-1905)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Jahangir Mandir palace at Orchha in Madhya Pradesh, taken by Lala Deen Dayal in the 1880s, 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. 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). 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 the last to be built and most sophisticated, the Jahangir Mandir, built in c.1605 by Bir Singh Deo and named after his imperial patron. It has a square symmetrical plan and elevation around an inner courtyard and is crowned by eight large domes. 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). 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.