Ochhra

This section addresses relevant issues and facts about different parts of India through the 6Ws and 1H question answer format.

Ochhra:

Where is the town of Ochhra?
Why is Ochhra important?
What does the name mean?
When was it established?
Who are some of important people associated with Ochhra?
Which is the best time to visit the place?
How does the Archeological Survey plan to preserve the place?
Where is the town of Ochhra?
Ochhra is an ancient town on the banks of the river Batewa, in present-day Madhya Pradesh. It is noted for its unique architectural heritage.
Why is Ochhra important?
Ochhra is architecturally, culturally and historically important. Many of the buildings there have elements of Moghul architecture. The style came to be known as Bundeli architecture. Here are a few of the important buildings you’ll find there: • Cenotaphs to honour the ancestors of the Bundela kings. • The Lakshmi Narayan temple, which, when viewed from any angle, resembles an owl, the mount of Goddess Lakshmi. • An underground structure which has built-in features borrowed from Persia, to keep the nobility cool during sweltering summers. It is possibly the only example of this Persian architectural innovation in India. • The Ram Raja Mandir, the only temple in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king.
What does the name mean?
The word Ochhra or Uchhra means ‘hidden’. Legend has it that Rudra Pratap Singh, a local chieftain, while out hunting, discovered this spot, shaped like a bowl, and so easily fortified. He built a city there. In course of time, Ochhra became the capital of an important kingdom.
When was it established?
It was first built in the 16th century. Rulers who came after Rudra Pratap Singh added to it.
Who are some of important people associated with Ochhra?
Bir Singh Deo was one of the scions of the Bundela Dynasty and can be considered its greatest ruler. He helped Prince Salim when he rebelled against his father, the Moghul Emperor Akbar, and Prince Salim did not forget the favour even after he was reconciled with his father and later ascended the throne as Emperor Jahangir. A later king, Madhukar Shah was instrumental in building one of the most important temples at Ochhra – the Chaturbhuj Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was his chief queen, Kunwar Ganeshi, who was responsible for the Ram Raja Mandir coming up.
Which is the best time to visit the place?
From October to March, the climate is pleasant in Ochhra. These are the best months to visit the town, and explore its architectural and cultural heritage.
How does the Archeological Survey plan to preserve the place?
Many of the ancient buildings at Ochhra are in excellent condition. But there are some that are in ruins too. This important part of India’s history needs to be preserved. The Architectural Survey has submitted a request, with supporting documents, to UNESCO, to name it a World Heritage Site. UNESCO has already placed it on the Tentative List.
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