Orchha town in Madhya Pradesh, famous for its architectural heritage from the Bundela dynasty has been included in the tentative list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites after the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) sent a proposal to the UN body. For any heritage or any historical sites to become part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list, the site has to be on the tentative list. After it makes to the tentative list, another proposal is sent to the UNESCO. The ASI in its earlier proposal had requested to include Orchha in the list of cultural heritage.
Situated on the bank of Betwa river, Orchha is located around 80 km away from Tikamgarh district in Madhya Pradesh and 15 km from Jhansi of Uttar Pradesh. Orchha was built by king Rudra Pratap Singh of Bundela dynasty in the 16th century. The ancient town is famous for its Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha fort complex, Raja Mahal among others.
It is the only place in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king with a dedicated temple in his name called Sri Ram Raja Mandir.
The Bundela architecture has a Mughal influence since the two dynasties were very close. The famous King of Bundela dynasty Veer Singh Dev was a close friend of Mughal emperor Jahangir and fought wars as Akbar’s aid.
Orchha is also famous for its two elevated minarets called Saavan and Bhadon and its four palaces – Jahangir Palace, Raj Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, and Rai Praveen Mahal – and for its concept of open bungalows, stonework windows, animal statues depicting the culture of Bundelkhand.