Beautiful and Unique Laxmi Temple in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh || Witness history through the fresco-laden walls of a beautiful temple

Though the temple is a little away from the main architectural complex of Orchha, we strongly recommend a trip to this beautiful structure, because it is one of the places where you can see history, through its paintings, and also admire the power of human creativity.   Related Blogpost - Stunning Bateshwar Group of Temples || Archaeological marvels at Padavali in Morena District of Madhya Pradesh

The Laxmi Temple (or Laxmi Narayan temple) in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh, is an interesting specimen of Bundela Architecture. Unlike the Raja Ram temple and Chaturbhuj temple, the Laxmi temple isn't close to the Orchha Fort. It is about 2km away from the main Fort complex and is built on a small hillock.  


Though you can easily walk to the temple, it is also approachable by car and you can reach right up to the entrance of the temple on your vehicle. So elderly people too can easily visit the temple. And most of the murals and frescos are on the ground level.  Related Blogpost - Orchha, Madhya Pradesh || The hidden land that adopted Lord Ram as their King in the 16th Century

Though you can easily walk to the temple, it is also approachable by car and you can reach right up to the entrance of the temple on your vehicle. So elderly people too can easily visit the temple. And most of the murals and frescos are on the ground level.

 
The temple combines two styles of architecture - those of a temple and a fort. It is a rectangular structure with high walls and fort-like bastions on all corners, as if it is ready for canons and guns to be deployed in case of war. The temple is built with lime mortar and bricks.   Related Blogpost - Khajuraho one day Itinerary - How to spend a day around this World Heritage City of Madhya Pradesh in best way ?

The temple combines two styles of architecture - those of a temple and a fort. It is a rectangular structure with high walls and fort-like bastions on all corners, as if it is ready for canons and guns to be deployed in case of war. The temple is built with lime mortar and bricks. 


The walls in the temple are covered with colorful frescos that still retain their original vibrancy and beauty. One can spend hours admiring these frescos because you can easily see the passage of time in them. While there are frescos dedicated Gods and to Bundela kings and their consorts, you also find a depiction of the Mughal rulers and the East India company.   Related blogpost - The Marvels of the Orchha Palace Complex || A Stunning, Solid & Complex Architectural masterpiece that came up over the centuries

The walls in the temple are covered with colorful frescos that still retain their original vibrancy and beauty. One can spend hours admiring these frescos because you can easily see the passage of time in them. While there are frescos dedicated Gods and to Bundela kings and their consorts, you also find a depiction of the Mughal rulers and the East India company. 


It is rare to find such diverse, non-religious paintings in a temple, and this is another aspect that is unique about this temple. There are paintings of wars and of meetings between Bundela kings and Britishers. You find frescos depicting the incidents dating from the time of Ramayan to the seige of Jhansi in 1857.   Related Blogpost - Celebrating special Dussehra at grand Ram Leela Pandal of the town where Lord Ram is still worshipped as a king - Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

It is rare to find such diverse, non-religious paintings in a temple, and this is another aspect that is unique about this temple. There are paintings of wars and of meetings between Bundela kings and Britishers. You find frescos depicting the incidents dating from the time of Ramayan to the seige of Jhansi in 1857. 


Another unique aspect of this temple is that though the temple is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi, there is no idol of the Goddess in the temple. The only idols one can find are those of Lord Ganesh and recently installed ones of Lord Krishna and Rukmini.   Related Blogpost - The breathtaking Chhatris of Orchha, Madhya Pradesh || Gorgeous Cenotaphs that honor generations of Bundela Rulers

Another unique aspect of this temple is that though the temple is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi, there is no idol of the Goddess in the temple. The only idols one can find are those of Lord Ganesh and recently installed ones of Lord Krishna and Rukmini. 


While the ground floor boasts of beautiful paintings, the terrace too is very interesting with towers and domes and various interesting and beautiful structures to explore.   Related Blogpost - Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh || A spectacular Abode of Lord Vishnu and his Avatars

While the ground floor boasts of beautiful paintings, the terrace too is very interesting with towers and domes and various interesting and beautiful structures to explore. 


When you look at such detailed and intricate work, and you see the material used for construction,  you cannot help but appreciate the heritage our ancestors left behind for us to appreciate. And then you look at the current architecture, you can see that whatever we are building today is unlikely to last this long.    Related Blogpost - Suhania Kakanmath Temple in Morena region of Madhya Pradesh, India

When you look at such detailed and intricate work, and you see the material used for construction,  you cannot help but appreciate the heritage our ancestors left behind for us to appreciate. And then you look at the current architecture, you can see that whatever we are building today is unlikely to last this long.  



To put things in perspective, the temple was originally built by the Bundela King Bir Singh Deo in 1622 for Goddess Laxmi. The altar is constructed in the shape of a Yoni and the temple seems to follow the Tantric style of architecture, though there are no clear evidences of Tantric activities.   Related Blogpost - Spots and Stripes at Panna National Park || Guess what we saw at the Tiger Reserve

To put things in perspective, the temple was originally built by the Bundela King Bir Singh Deo in 1622 for Goddess Laxmi. The altar is constructed in the shape of a Yoni and the temple seems to follow the Tantric style of architecture, though there are no clear evidences of Tantric activities. 


Anyway, soon after the temple was constructed, it started falling into disrepair because of lack of maintenance. Then the temple was reconstructed by Prithvi Singh 170 years later in the year 1793. And since then additions in terms of paintings were made even up to late 19th century.    Related Blogpost - Raneh Falls - A preserved area with Magnificent Waterfall around underrated Canyon with colourful rocks and lush green Forest with active wildlife around Ken river in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

Anyway, soon after the temple was constructed, it started falling into disrepair because of lack of maintenance. Then the temple was reconstructed by Prithvi Singh 170 years later in the year 1793. And since then additions in terms of paintings were made even up to late 19th century.  


The fact that the structure is still standing, almost intact, and the paintings still retain their colors, is a testimony to the focus on quality and resilience of these structures and artwork. Seriously, the handiwork in those times was unparalleled.   Related Blogpost - Chausath Yamini Temple @ MItawali in Morena region of Madhya Pradesh, India

The fact that the structure is still standing, almost intact, and the paintings still retain their colors, is a testimony to the focus on quality and resilience of these structures and artwork. Seriously, the handiwork in those times was unparalleled. 


The Laxmi Temple (or Laxmi Narayan temple) in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh, is an interesting specimen of Bundela Architecture. Unlike the Raja Ram temple and Chaturbhuj temple, the Laxmi temple isn't close to the Orchha Fort. It is about 2km away from the main Fort complex and is built on a small hillock.

Though the temple is a little away from the main architectural complex of Orchha, we strongly recommend a trip to this beautiful structure, because it is one of the places where you can see history, through its paintings, and also admire the power of human creativity. 

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