Built in the 16th century, Orchha Temple is also known as Ram Raja Temple and is popular among devotees as it is the only place where Rama is worshiped as both a god and a king. It was actually the palace of Queen Madhukar Shah who converted it into a temple as Lord Ram said during a dream visit.
There is absolutely no place where Rama is called Ayodhya Ram, Dasharath Ram or Kaysalya Ram. There can be several reasons behind this occurrence. Probably, this is due to the fact that he spent too little time in the company of his parents when he spent a lot of time as a monarch. He is known to have spent a considerable part of his time in exile with Sita where he displayed his supernatural prowess in his solitary battles with the Rakshasas in the impassable jungles. Memories of his life and exploits in exile linger longer than that of his reign as king, as his exile was the subject of endless debate.
He assumed the kingship only after fulfilling the purpose of his incarnation, that of destroying the evil Ravana. Although he played his role as king and administrator to perfection in Ayodhya, he was, by natural circumstances, unable to be the king he was born for for a long time. Part of his life, materialistically speaking, was lost never to be found. He played his roles, as father, brother, son, husband and king, and the incarnation of Vishnu with aplomb. Therefore, the Ram temples that we have seen are dedicated to the Sita Ram aspect of Lord Rama. He spent most of his life as Sita Ram and comparatively less time as Raja Ram. When he assumes the throne as Raja Ram, his royal duties were the main priority for him and at other times he was Sita Ram. Learn more about the temple.
Temple of Ochra: Architecture
The temple was built in the 16th century and it is a high monument inside the Orchha fort complex. You can see Raja Ram, Goddess Sita, Laxman, Maharaj Sugreev and Lord Narasimha. The Durga Maa idol is established on the right side. Hanuman and Jambwant are seen praying to Lord Rama just below Sita. Rama is seen wielding a sword in one hand and a shield in the other, while seated in padmasan with his left leg crossed over his right thigh.
It has a mysterious background that the idols that were to be installed in the Chaturbhuj temple had been placed on the ground for some time. But once placed, the idols refused to be picked up and could not be moved. Thus, a temple was built around these idols which were placed inside the sanctuary, against the backdrop of colorful walls, a marble courtyard and an out-of-this-world architecture that exudes serenity and calm.
Ochhra Temple: interesting facts
Rama in this temple, is first treated as a king and then as a god. Like any head of state, he is given the honor guard of policemen who have been appointed to guard the temple day and night, lead the honor guard to Lord Rama every day. Bhog or prasad and other amenities served to Lord Rama in this palace are only suitable for kings and emperors of today. The people of this temple treat Lord Ram with an armed salute every day. The police who lead the honor guard are the appointed priests of the temple of Raja Ram.
It is believed that Lord Rama visited the Queen of Orchha in the form of a baby. The current temple is actually the palace of this queen, where she settled permanently, in the form of an idol.
Better known as the Temple of Orchha, this sacred place welcomes more than 750,000 worshipers and more than 25,000 foreign worshipers each year. On a daily basis, around 3000 devotees visit the temple and especially on feast days, such as Makara Sankranti and Vivah Panchami, the number of steps is at its maximum.
Temple of Ochhra: legend associated with it
According to local legend, it is believed that Lord Rama appeared in the dream of the ruler Madhukar Shah who accordingly brought the idol of Ram from the place indicated and placed it in his palace before installing it and to embed it. The actual destination of this idol of Rama was the Chaturbhuj temple in Orchha. When the priests tried to move the idol in the palace of Madhukar shah just to crown it and consecrate it, it just refused to move an inch at that time, the king remembered his dream in which Lord Rama had assured him that he would stay where he was first placed. Thus, the palace was turned into a temple and the royal avatar of Lord Rama is worshiped here. The palace, outside, is decorated with religious symbols and looks like a temple, inside it looks like a royal palace.
Ochhra Temple: how to get there
Orchha town is located about 80 kilometers (50 mi) from Tikamgarh town, which is the district headquarters of Tikamgarh district about 15 kilometers from Jhansi town.
Orchha is well connected to places like Jhansi, Gwalior and Khajuraho via road transport. Buses and taxis are available for hire to travel to Ochhra Temple. The nearest railway junction to Orchha is 16 km away at Jhansi. Usually they choose taxis and rented bicycle rickshaws as their means of transportation. One can cycle to this temple, if fit and interested. One can walk the whole of Orchha as it is easy and pleasant and holds the interest of the traveler due to its rich past and history.
Gwalior airport is nearest to Orchha which is about 113 kilometers from Orchha and the other is Khajuraho airport which is at a distance of 155 kilometers from this town. You can hire a taxi or a bus to get from the airport to Ochhra town.
Ochhra Temple: when to visit
Orchha is best visited during the monsoon season, which is when its architectural grandeur is at its best. Clouds and splashes of mist all around, rejuvenate our aesthetic senses and pique our religious curiosity. Winter is also a good time, but summers are best avoided due to the scorching heat that saps your energy and enthusiasm to explore. The Ram Raja Temple is undoubtedly serene and sports a marble courtyard and walls splashed with a myriad of colors.
Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the Internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any entry or information related to the article and our sole purpose is to provide information. Please consult the relevant expert before practicing or implementing any information and assumptions.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Article first published: Friday, November 4, 2022, 12:43 p.m. [IST]