Orchha Travel and Tourism Guide

Orchha’s history dates back to 1501 when it was established by Rudra Pratap Singh- the Rajput chief of Bundela. Rudra Pratap Singh became the first King of Orchha, and he ruled over the kingdom till 1531. After Rudra Pratap Singh’s death in 1531, his son, Bharatichand, took over the reigns. Bharatichand died heirless in 1554, so his younger brother, Madhukar Shah was named his successor.

Both brothers were under siege from Islam Shah Suri and then Emperor Akbar. In fact, Madhukar Shah strongly felt the threat, as his position became quite unstable around 1570. This led him to accept the formation of Orchha as a tributary state of the Mughal Empire.

Under the rule of Emperor Jahangir, Vir Singh Deo was placed in charge of Orchha. He was responsible for the construction of some of the most beautiful palaces that line the town till date. The Mughals, under Emperor Shah Jahan, faced a rebellion in the early 17th century from Raja Jhujhar Singh, who was then thwarted.

The Mughals put Jhujhar Singh’s brother in charge of Orchha. After the British had taken over, the rulers of Orchha were no longer referred to as Rajas but received the title of Maharajas.

During the reign of Hamir Singh, the combined armies of Orchha and Datia marched on Jhansi in 1857 but were defeated by Rani Lakshmibai's forces. Hamir’s successor, Maharaja Pratap Singh, who ascended the throne in 1874, focused all his efforts on the development of his state and immersed himself in irrigation and engineering projects.

Pratap Singh's successor, Vir Singh, consented to his territory becoming a part of the Union of India. In 1956, Orchha became a part of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Madhya Pradesh
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