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The Bundelas were a small Rajput clan in central India at the beginning of the 11th century. These astute politicians and fierce fighters grew from a small jagir into a large kingdom. They ruled over a large tract between Ganga and Narmada in medieval times. Till the Mughals took over Delhi, the Bundelas kept clear of the Delhi Sultans. In 1517 A.D. the Tughlaks captured their capital at Garhkunder. For the next 15 years the Bundelas didn't have a fixed capital. Then one day, Raja Rudra Pratap (1501-1531), while hunting stumbled upon an island in the Betwa River surrounded by dense forest. The place was 'hidden' because of the surrounding forests. The Raja decided to make this place his capital and thus Orchha was born.

For the next 250 years, Orchha was the capital of the Bundela Kings. The area around the capital was known as the state of Orchha. The state saw many ups and downs during this period. Orchha saw its golden age during 17th century during the 22 year rule of Raja Bir Singh Deo. Many of the beautiful structures at the capital Orchha were constructed during this period. Bir Singh was a friend of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The later Mughals were not so kind and captured and occupied Orchha for a brief period. In the 18th century, the Marathas captured all the states of Bundelas other than Orchha. In the year 1783, the Bundelas shifted their capital to Tehri (Tikamgarh), 40 miles south of Orchha. Orchha was abandoned.

The river Betwa doesn't have much water in this season. The fact that it has not rained enough for the last 3 years has also aggravated the situation. There is a small stream of water flowing - thanks to a dam upstream. I found this stone sculpture lying on the river bed. To me this seemed to be telling the story of Orchha. Beautiful, next to the river, abandoned.

Charo, trekks, jusninasirun, alftrek heeft deze opmerking als nuttig gemarkeerd

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Additional Photos by Manoj Nair (manojtnair) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 101 W: 1 N: 108] (435)
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