Jahangir Mahal

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India >> Madhya Pradesh >> Orchha >> Attractions >> Jahangir Mahal

Jahangir Mahal

History

Jahangir Mahal in Orchha, located at a distance of about 18 km from Jhansi is one of the most admired and impressionable palaces. Situated in the fort complex of the Tikamgarh district of Orchha, this 17th century monument was built by the King Vir Singh Deo in honour of the Mughal prince, Jahangir.

The King of Bundela, Maharaja Vir Singh was an ally of Prince Salem (later known as Emperor Jahangir) long before they became rulers. The eldest son of Mughal Emperor Akbar, Prince Salem, had a difference in opinion with his father. It was his weakness in the matter of the heart and especially his alliance with Anarkali, which riled Akbar to no end. Abul Fazl, one of the Navratnas (Nine Jewels) of Akbar’s court, thrived on this rift between father and son and suggested that Akbar disown Prince Salem as an heir to the throne. After learning of this, Prince Salem revolted against his father and Akbar decided to send Abul Fazl to fight the rebellion.

Abul Fazl began a march to meet Salem’s army in Agra, but to get there he had to first cross the empire of King Vir Singh. On learning of the approach of the army, Vir Singh decided to help his friend and gathered his men to fight against the Mughal troops, conquering and defeating them in 1602. Vir Singh chopped off Abul Fazl’s head and presented it to Prince Salem as a sign of his loyalty and friendship. Three years later when Akbar died and Prince Salem, who came to be known as Emperor Jahangir decided to return the favour and gave the whole Bundelkhand region to Vir Singh. Jahangir also came to attend Vir Singh’s coronation to the throne, and to honour this visit, Vir Singh had the Jahangir Mahal built, to receive the emperor when he came to visit him.

Jahangir Mahal, overlooking the Betwa River is a three storied structure, built in the Indo-Islamic architectural style, with over 100 rooms, and several courtyards, hanging balconies, porches and domes. The entrance facing the east is an elaborate and traditional gateway with the front walls lined with turquoise tiles. There are two stone elephants with hanging bells on the sides of the entrance, which in earlier times used to mark the entrance of the King and the palace has several windows and airy balconies making the palace very open and airy.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Jahangir Mahal in Orchha is between October and March, when the temperatures are cool and pleasant. Summers and monsoons could get uncomfortable for sightseeing.

Trivia

The Jahangir Mahal is known by many names, Rani Mahal, Citadel of Jahangir, Orchha Palace, Mahal-e-Jahangir and Jahangir Citadel are a few.

The Jahangir Mahal was built by Maharaja Vir Singh, to honour his long time friend and ally Emperor Jahangir when he came to visit the king in Orchha.

Timing

The Jahangir Mahal is open for visitors between 7:30 am and 6:00 pm.


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