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Jahangir Mahal

Madhya Pradesh Tourism

INTRODUCTION
Orchha is an emerald of Madhya Pradesh, and has a proud to be the city of Rajputs. The town situated Northern part of Central Indian in Madhya Pradesh state. Rudra Pratap Singh was a Bundela Ruler who initiated the construction of Orchha, during the medieval times of 16th century, but couldn’t complete it as he had been killed while saving a cow from the clutches of a Tiger. As Rudra Pratap has no child so his younger brother Bharti Chand became king and continued the work. After Bharti Chand next king was his son Ram Shah (1592-1605). But turn around took place when Bir Singh Dev was declared as Maharaja of Orchha by Mughal Emperor Jahangir as he helped Jahangir during his revolt against Akbar. Just to give thanks to Jahangir, Bir Singh ordered to construct Jahangir Palace and later invited Jahangir to visit Orchha and stay here. The most dashing Bundela Ruler Bir Singh Deo built around 52 forts and other things across the region during his 22 years of odd age, in them famous were citadel of Jhansi, the rembling Narsingh Dev at Datia, apart from Sheesh Mahal, which is now converted into a Heritage Hotel.

ARCHITECTURE
This palace was built by Raja Bir Singh Deo-1 in between years 1605 to 1626. It was made in honor of Mughal emperor Jahangir. During that time Bundela rulers of Orchha maintains good relationship with Mughals. Here entire palace is constructed around a square shaped courtyard with side of 67.6 meter each. It is a three storied palace built mainly with red and yellow sandstone and have 136 rooms decorated with wall paintings. Being constructed to resemble the good relationship of Bundelas (Hindus) with Mughals (Muslims) here we can identify the confluence of both Hindu and Islamic architectures like in domes, rooms, entrance gates, terraces, corridors. It is a percy-brown monuments covering a square of 220 feet side and rising into an immense rectangular mass supporting 8 graceful domes. It encompasses all qualities that is expected in a medieval castle. Palace is built on the bank of Betwa river with surrounding of green forest offering picturesque and romantic surrounding view. Presence of elephant images and painting inside rooms gives a touch of hindu architecture in building. Behing palace their is a camel stable. Although whole building is dedicated to Jahangir and Raja Bir Singh Deo friendship but when Jahangir came here, he stayed here for just one night.

TOURISM
Jahangir palace is just adjacent to Raj Mahal of Orchha. It is a Betwa river facing palace covering about 220 square feet area. It is now maintained by Madhya Pradesh Archeology department. Raj Mahal and Jahangir palace are main tourist attractions for visitors. It is open for visitors from sunrise to sunset. Tourists are required to take entrance ticket from ticket counter their before visiting this historical monument. Guides are available their in the service of visitor but it is not mandatory for visitor to take their service. Here we can get guides of different languages like Hindi, English, French, Spanish etc. Ticket taken from counter is not just limited for Raj Mahal and Jahangir Palace but can be used as entrance pass for visiting other nearby monuments like cenotaphs, temples etc. Usually it takes about one hour or more to completely visit the palace. Photography is allowed inside the palace. While visiting the Jahangir palace, one can notice the presence of vultures mostly on palace domes as inviting visitors to shoot them. If you want to see the palace in night under artificial light system, you can attend light & sound show just similar to Khajuraho light & sound show. It is separately charged where visitor can visit the monument in night and can also hear the commentary explaining the history, facts and myths of these monuments.

HOW TO REACH
Jahangir Palace in Orchha is just 20kms from Jhansi city. Orchha is a small town in Madhya Pradesh state and easily accessible by road.
By Flight: Nearest airport is Gwalior Airport (IATA Code: GWL) at a distance of 150kms by road. It is well connected with Mumbai & Delhi. Second option is Khajuraho airport (Iata code: HJR) which is well connected with Varanasi and Delhi. It is about 195kms from Orchha.
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By Train: Orchha has its own railway station at a distance of 5 kms but as it is small railway station, most of the long route trains usually don't stop here. So good options is Jhansi railway station (Railway code: JHS) which is just 20kms from town and well connected by buses and auto-rickshaw service. Jhansi is a major railway station in Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai route where all main train like Bhopal Shatabdi, Taj Express, Gondwana Express, Karnataka Express, Sampark Kranti etc. halts for some time. It is well connected with cities and tourist destinations like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Agra, Umaria, Jabalpur, Katni, Bhopal, Gwalior, Haridwar, Jammu, Nagpur, Indore etc.

By Road: Orchha is a small town in Madhya Pradesh state, close to state border with Uttar Pradesh. It is on road from Jhansi to Tikamgarh. Close to Jhansi city, Orchha is well connected with near by tourist destinations like Khajuraho (190kms), Gwalior (150kms), Shivpuri (140kms), Chanderi, Agra (280kms), Chambal Sanctuary (180kms), Madhav National Park(140kms), Datia (60kms) etc. It is on 8kms diversion from national highway connecting Jhansi Chhatarpur.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
Jahangir Palace is a heritage monument so open for visitors throughout the year. Its adjoining tourist destinations like Khajuraho, Gwalior are also heritage tourist destinations so it can be visited anytime in a year. Here surrounding area are rocky and arid so its best time to visit is from October to March during which all Central India wildlife reserves are open, climate is cold, Betwa river have sufficient water for rafting and surrounding greenery is better.
ACCOMMODATION
Jahangir Palace is in Orchha town. Although it is a small town but accommodation options are sufficient for visitors of any budget category. Sheesh Mahal Hotel is in Orchha Palace which is just adjacent to Jahangir palace. In addition to it hotels like Bundelkhand Riverside, Orchha Resort, Betwa Retreat are some good hotel options in luxury and standard category. Similarly their are number of budget category hotels and guest houses in town for low budget visitors.
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