Orchha - Encyclopedia

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ORCHHA, or Urchha (also called Tehri or Tikamgarh), a native state of Central India, in the Bundelkhand agency. Orchha is the oldest and highest in rank of all the Bundela principalities, and was the only one not held in subjection by the peshwa. Area, 2080 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 321,634; estimated revenue, £47,000; no tribute. The maharaja, Sir Pratap Singh, G.S.C.I. (born in 1854, succeeded in 1874), took a great personal interest in the development of his state, and himself designed most of the engineering and irrigation works that have been executed here within recent years. He bears the hereditary title of "First of the Princes of Bundelkhand." The state exports grain, ghi, and cotton cloth, but trade suffers from imperfect communications. The town of Orchha, the former capital, is on the river Betwa, not far from Jhansi. It possesses an imposing fort, dating mainly from the early 17th century. This contains a number of palaces and other buildings connected one with another. The most noteworthy are the Rajmandir, a massive square erection of which the exterior is almost absolutely plain; and the Jahangirmahal, of the same form but far more ornate, a singularly beautiful specimen of Hindu domestic architecture. Elsewhere about the town are fine temples and tombs, among which may be noticed the Chaturbhuj temple on its vast platform of stone. The town of Tehri or Tikamgarh, where the chief now resides, is about 40 m. S. of Orchha; pop. (1901) 14,050. It contains the fort of Tikamgarh, by which name the town is generally called, to distinguish it from Tehri in the Himalayas.

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