One of the most popular historical monuments in Orchha, Jahangir Mahal is located at a distance of 18 km from Jhansi. Placed in the fort complex of Orchha, this palace was built in the memory of Mugahl ruler Jahangir by King Vir Singh Deo in the 17th century (between 1605 and 1626). The palace is known by a number of other names too including, Orchha Palace, Rani Mahal, Jahangir Citadel, Citadel of Jahangir, Mahal-e-Jahangir etc.
Located on the banks of River Betwa, Jahangir Mahal is a three-storied storied structure that is a blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles. This beautiful palace consists of numerous large courtyards, more than 100 rooms, balconies, 8 elegant domes, terraces and porches. The outside walls of the original gateway to the palace (towards the east) are decorated with turquoise colored tiles and the gate has detailed decorations.
This gate was originally the entry gate for the King and either side of it has an elephant with hanging bells. The several windows and balconies make the palace airy. The palace is in red and yellow sandstone.
Along with Jahangir Mahal, Ruler Vir Sing commissioned around 52 forts during his reign of 22 years. Today the palace is under the aegis of Madhya Pradesh Archeology department. Tickets are available from the ticket counter near the main entry gate. Photography is prohibited inside the palace. In the evening, a light and sound show is also organized here.
Mughal Prince Salim (also known as Jahangir) and Maharaja Vir Singh, the ruler of Bundela were friends even before they came on the thrones. Salim, the eldest son of Mughal Emperor Akbar had several conflicts, including the topic of Anarkali, the lover of Salim. One of the Navratans (Nine Jewels) of the court of Akbar, Abu Fazal took advantage of the situation and instigated Akbar to disown Salim as the heir to his throne.
After knowing this Salim revolted against Akbar who sent Abu Fazal to fight against Salim’s Army in Agra. Abu Fazal started a march to fight Salim’s army but he first had to cross Bundela region. Salim’s friend Vir Sing decided to help his frined Salim in this matter. A fight took place between Vir Singh army and Abu Fazal’s troop and the former emerged victorious.
Singh presented Fazal’s head to Salim as a token of his friendship and loyalty. Emperor Akbar died after 3 years and Salim (Jahangir) became the new ruler. To return the favor, he gifted the whole Bundelkhand region to Vir Singh. On Singh’s throne coronation ceremony, Emperoro Jahangir came to Orchha and to honor his visit, King Vir Sing commissioned the construction of Jahangir Palace.