The place, Jahangir Mahal Orchha , Madhya Pradesh had a very interesting history. It was built in the 17th century to welcome Prince Salem who later came to be known as Jahangir by King Vir Singh Deo. The quarrel between father and son – Akbar and Jahangir grew in such proportions that Akbar had Abul Fazl commissioned to fight with his son. It is also said that part of it was because Akbar was miffed due to Prince Salem’s association with Anarkali. In this battle, Jahangir had an ally, King Vir Singh who demonstrated his friendship by killing Abul Fazl. Well, very soon later Akbar died and the power fell in the hands of Jahangir who presented Bundelkhand to the King to repay his loyalty. He also came to visit during his coronation. This Mahal was hence constructed to welcome the Mughal ruler.
One can imagine the splendor if a King had to gift another King a Mahal! Built in an Indo- Islamic style, the place had a staggering number of one hundred rooms and countless courtyards. There were other hanging balconies and porches that overlooked the central courtyard. The main elevations of the Mahal were all dome shaped in consistency with the Islamic style of architecture. As I entered, I was impressed by the gateway, which had these couple of elephants carved on its sides with bells. This was the entrance that the kings used and it was high enough to allow their war elephants to enter. There were a lot of windows and open spaces around the Mahal which made it very spacious and airy.
The Jahangir Mahal Orchha, Madhya Pradesh was open for tourists between 7:30 AM and 6 PM. It was a treat to watch although the erstwhile splendor could not be visually seen but one could imagine what a royal place it must have been. So much was there to be seen in Ujjain that with each passing day I was getting more and more restless and at the same time looked forward to the next day’s plans. For the following day I had scheduled myself for the Panchkrosh Yatra, Ujjain, which was considered most holy.