Interesting Ram Raja Temple at Orchha, Madhya Pradesh - a sanctified Hindu temple

Ram Raja Temple, Orchha ..Wind Horse Tours
Orchha (or Urchha), a town in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh state, India was established by the first ruler Rudra Pratap Singh (r. 1501-1531), a Bundela Rajput chief  some time after 1501. It is a paradise for tourists  because this time-warped place has numerous monuments of beauty and artistic value, it will never disappoint the visitors  to this place as reported by the media.

Commonly known as s Orchha Temple, The Ram Raja Temple is a popular place of worship among the Hindus in Madhya Pradesh  Being a sacred Hindu pilgrimage  center, here  the presiding deity is Sri  Rama whose idol was brought from Ayodhya centuries ago and the temple  receives a  large numbers  of devotees daily. On festival days like  Ram Navami, Kartik Purnima, Makar Sankranti, Vasant Panchami, Shivratri, etc this place is over-crowded.  Roughly, 650,000 tourists including from foreign countries visit this place annually to look at the amazing architecture and to be blessed by Sri Rama. 

Ram Raja Temple, Orchha, from the top of the old

 It is to be borne in mind that this is the only temple in India  where is Lord Sri Rama  not only worshiped as a king in his abode - palace, but also is given reverentially the  Guard of Honour everyday by the police  personnel. Besides daily armed salutation to the lord, police are assigned  as Guards at the temple, a tradition quite similar to ruling monarchs. The food and other amenities provided to the deity at the temple have a touch of royalty. 
Ram Raja Temple, Orchha,

The unique feature of the main deity here is  Lord Rama has a sword in his right hand and a shield in the other. Shri Ram is sitting in Padmasa posture, with the left leg crossed over the right thigh. Such features in the case of Sri Rama are rare in the South Indian temples. Here, Sri Rama is with his consort Sita, brother Lakshman, Sugriva, Narasimha, Goddess Durga and Hanuman. In the temples of Tamil Nadu, you can never see Goddess Durga along with Rama and others.  
 This temple has an interesting legend. The ruler of  Orchha Madhukar Shah Ju Dev (1554 to 1592) was a devotee of Banke Bhihari (Lord Krishna) of Brindavan, while his wife Queen Ganesh Kunwari (Kamla Devi), was an ardent  devotee of Lord Ram. One day on a visit to the Krishna temple  they realized the lord himself was with them along with Radha while engaged in Prayer and bajans. Later the king wanted to visit Braj-Mathura, the land of Lord Krishna, but the queen wanted to go to Ayodhya. Soon, they engaged in a serious  endless argument. Finally, the ruler allowed the queen to bring the image of young lord Rama from Ayodha and agreed to build a temple for Sri Rama as th queen had a vision in her dream.  After her return from Ayodhya, the queen placed the idol of Sri Rama temporarily in the palace as the new temple was incomplete. As per Agamic  tradition, the queen should not keep the idol to be consecrated in another place, hence Sri Rama's idol should not be installed in the old temple. Later, with consent from the ruler, the palace became Sri Rama's abode - temple. Hence, Sri Rama is more a king than a god here.

According to other version, her return trip was delayed  for various reasons and when the queen prayed to Rama, he never responded. At the fag end of her patience, the queen decided to jump into the Sarayu river and kill herself. At that very moment Lord Rama appeared before her and told her that he would come to her place as a child sitting on her lap and he should be treated like a king. The queen is believed to have reached  Orchha from Ayodhya on foot between 1574 and 1575. In the mean time Lord Krishna scolded the ruler and impressed on him that there was no difference between him and Lord Rama (as they are forms of Sri Vishnu) and advised him to help his queen build the temple. 

The management of the temple  is the responsibility of the Ram Raja Trust However, the conservation of the temple structure itself is under the control of the State Archaeology Department. Orccha is accessible  from Gwalior which is 119 kilometres (74 mi) away; from  Jhansi which is 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) away. Many monuments around this place, according to media report, need to be repaired, restored  and preserved for posterity.