The Betwa current at Orcha
Photographer: Deen Dayal, Lala (1844-1905)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Betwa River at Orchha in Madhya Pradesh, taken by Lala Deen Dayal in 1882. Orchha was founded in 1531 by the Bundela Rajput Raja Rudra Pratap, and was eventually abandoned in 1738 after a time of declining fortune. 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. This is a view of the rock-strewn river showing the whirlpools of a strong current in the foreground. In the background on the left is the cenotaph or deval of Raja Bir Singh Deo (ruled 1605-1627), Orchha’s most famous ruler, and beyond it in the distance is the palace he built, the Jahangir Mandir, the most magnificent of three in the city. 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.