Orchha Palace Light and Sound Show || An Entertaining way to learn about the intriguing history of Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

We have written about the magnificent and extraordinary fort of Orchha, Madhya Pradesh, in this post. Much of the knowledge that we shared here was gleaned from the highly informative and interesting Sound and Light Show that the Fort hosts every evening. We had visited Orchha in October 2021 and at that point in time, the Sound and Light show had resumed in view of the ebb in the pandemic. Now that we are in the middle of the third way, I think it might be better to wait before you head there.

We have written about the magnificent and extraordinary fort of Orchha, Madhya Pradesh, in this post. Much of the knowledge that we shared here was gleaned from the highly informative and interesting Sound and Light Show that the Fort hosts every evening. We had visited Orchha in October 2021 and at that point in time, the Sound and Light show had resumed in view of the ebb in the pandemic. Now that we are in the middle of the third way, I think it might be better to wait before you head there. 

The show is available both in Hindi and in English. While we were there, the timing of the show was 7:30 to 8:30 pm in Hindi and 8:30 to 9:30 pm in English. We chose the English show because we were hungry and wanted to have hot food before going to watch the 1 hour long show in open. Even though this was Madhya Pradesh and not really winter yet, it was cold-ish in the evenings.

The show is available both in Hindi and in English. While we were there, the timing of the show was 7:30 to 8:30 pm in Hindi and 8:30 to 9:30 pm in English. We chose the English show because we were hungry and wanted to have hot food before going to watch the 1 hour long show in open. Even though this was Madhya Pradesh and not really winter yet, it was cold-ish in the evenings. 


The show is organized opposite the Diwan-e-aam and lighting and sound equipments are arranged at strategic locations on Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e-aam, and the lawn, and the stories are those of valor of the Bundela Kings and their righteousness. So in that sense, it is a one-sided narrative, but that is how most of the light and sound shows are.

The show is organized opposite the Diwan-e-aam and lighting and sound equipments are arranged at strategic locations on Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e-aam, and the lawn, and the stories are those of valor of the Bundela Kings and their righteousness. So in that sense, it is a one-sided narrative, but that is how most of the light and sound shows are. 


The story starts with how Orchha was founded and that of course brings into picture the Bundela King Rudra Pratap Singh, who started the construction of Orchha Fort, right after founding Orchha. However, the King never really got to enjoy the fruit of his labour. By the time the construction completed (which did not take too long - a couple of years at max), the King had died and his descendent Bharti Chand, who ruled from 1531 to 1554 added some finishing touches to the palace.

The story starts with how Orchha was founded and that of course brings into picture the Bundela King Rudra Pratap Singh, who started the construction of Orchha Fort, right after founding Orchha. However, the King never really got to enjoy the fruit of his labour. By the time the construction completed (which did not take too long - a couple of years at max), the King had died and his descendent Bharti Chand, who ruled from 1531 to 1554 added some finishing touches to the palace.


Another major story that led to the addition of the biggest and most impressive and imposing structure in the fort complex is that of Raja Bir Singh Deo's friendship with Shehenshah Jahangir after Bir Singh Deo helped assassinate Abul Fazl, one of the navratns of Badshah Akbar, who was also one of the only obstacles in Shehzada Salim (later Jahangir) ascending the throne after his father.

Another major story that led to the addition of the biggest and most impressive and imposing structure in the fort complex is that of Raja Bir Singh Deo's friendship with Shehenshah Jahangir after Bir Singh Deo helped assassinate Abul Fazl, one of the navratns of Badshah Akbar, who was also one of the only obstacles in Shehzada Salim (later Jahangir) ascending the throne after his father.


Another beautiful story that one hears during the Sound and Light Show is that of the courtesan and dancer Rai Praveen. As per the legend, Rai Pravin was an extremely talented poet and singer. She was the favorite courtesan of Bundela King Indrajit Singh. She was also known as the "nightingale of Orchha". News about her many talents spread far and wide and she was summoned by Badshah Akbar to become a part of his harem.

Another beautiful story that one hears during the Sound and Light Show is that of the courtesan and dancer Rai Praveen. As per the legend, Rai Pravin was an extremely talented poet and singer. She was the favorite courtesan of Bundela King Indrajit Singh. She was also known as the "nightingale of Orchha". News about her many talents spread far and wide and she was summoned by Badshah Akbar to become a part of his harem.


However, when she reached there, she recited a couplet in the court that could be loosely translated to mean "only scavengers eat from a plate that has already been touched by another person." The emperor understood that Pravin was in love with someone else and impressed by her wit, he sent her back to Orchha with honor.

However, when she reached there, she recited a couplet in the court that could be loosely translated to mean "only scavengers eat from a plate that has already been touched by another person." The emperor understood that Pravin was in love with someone else and impressed by her wit, he sent her back to Orchha with honor. 


It is rumored that Pravin Rai was in love with the Bundela King Indrajit Singh (who was a prince at that time) and the prince too reciprocated the feelings. Upon her return, the prince ordered the Rai Pravin Mahal to be built for her. The three-storied mahal is also known as Tope Khana because later it served as a lookout for the Orchha fort as well.

It is rumored that Pravin Rai was in love with the Bundela King Indrajit Singh (who was a prince at that time) and the prince too reciprocated the feelings. Upon her return, the prince ordered the Rai Pravin Mahal to be built for her. The three-storied mahal is also known as Tope Khana because later it served as a lookout for the Orchha fort as well.


Hardaul, also known as Lala Hardaul, was a son of Bir Singh Deo and brother of Jujhar Singh. Jujhar Singh suspected Hardaul of being intimate with his wife, and at a feast got him poisoned. Hardaul died as a result of this poisoning. Some time after this, it was the occassion of the marriage of the daughter of Kunjavati (Jujhar and Hardaul's sister), so Kunjavati sent an invitation to Jujhar who mockingly asked her to invite her favorite brother Hardaul instead. So she went in despair to Hardaul's tomb and lamented aloud. Hardaul answered her cries, and assured that he would come to the wedding and make all arrangements. The ghost kept his promise. Since that day, Hardaul is still invited to all the weddings that take place in the aread and he allegedly protects the ceremony from storms and other calamities.   There are these and other interesting to stories captured well in the Light and Sound Show. It is entertaining and a good source of information on the fort and the history of Orchha.

Hardaul, also known as Lala Hardaul, was a son of Bir Singh Deo and brother of Jujhar Singh. Jujhar Singh suspected Hardaul of being intimate with his wife, and at a feast got him poisoned. Hardaul died as a result of this poisoning. Some time after this, it was the occassion of the marriage of the daughter of Kunjavati (Jujhar and Hardaul's sister), so Kunjavati sent an invitation to Jujhar who mockingly asked her to invite her favorite brother Hardaul instead. So she went in despair to Hardaul's tomb and lamented aloud. Hardaul answered her cries, and assured that he would come to the wedding and make all arrangements. The ghost kept his promise. Since that day, Hardaul is still invited to all the weddings that take place in the aread and he allegedly protects the ceremony from storms and other calamities. 


There are these and other interesting to stories captured well in the Light and Sound Show. It is entertaining and a good source of information on the fort and the history of Orchha. 


If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling - 

1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.

2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin. 

3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem. 

4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits. 

5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite.

Comments

Avidha said…
Wow ! the stories here are amazing! I have been to Orchha many times but never could see this show. Next time perhaps!

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