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Photographer's Note

Blood, war and sacrifice are the keywords to describe the Rajput Bundela dynasty that ruled over Orchha for over two centuries beginning from 1531 A.D. From petty chieftains, the Bundelas developed Central India into a stronghold of Rajput power as also as a symbol of love and valour. Orchha has witnessed lots of ups and downs of time & upto the 18th Century it was a powerful Rajput kingdom. The word 'Bundela' ,which literally means “the offerer of the drops (of blood)”, originates from a story of sacrifice offered by a prince. The notable king of Bundela dynasty, Bir Singh Ju Deo was a favored commander of Jehangir, the Mughal Emperor, and Jehangir’s regime (1605-1627) proved to be the golden age of Orchha.

A number of beautiful cenotaphs or "Chhatris" are built on the bank of this serene river and whether in the crimson light of dawn or in the dusky twilight, it is a spectacular sight to see their reflections on the serene waters of River Betwa. Most of the ‘chhatris’ are 3 storied and built in Panchayatan style with peaks built in Nagar style of temple architecture. The sole exception is the crumbling chhatri of Bundela chief Bir Singh Deo, who ruled from 1605 to 1627 AD, which epitomizes Mughal style of architecture with a distinct domed roof, and quite a prolific growth of grass & weeds on it. The massive stone building would have been the finest of the cenotaphs but its domes were never completed. And what an irony it is to see the cenotaph of mightiest ruler of Orchha in this pitiful state of neglect & dereliction! The low light of the setting sun seemed to paint this cenotaph in melancholic hues. Goats & a handful of locals gives company to the lonely Cenotaph. One the left you can get a tiny glimpse of the River Betwa.

I framed the chhatri through the open doorway of another small chhatri...and when it comes to framing, I've tried to learn & draw inspiration from Kath (feather), many of her whose pictures being great examples of the nuances of this aspect of composition. This is my dedication to you, Kath...Hopefully you won’t mind :-)

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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