Orchha and Beyond
Edward Leland Rothfarb
A prolific builder, Bir Singh Dev patronized architecture throughout his kingdom of Orchha in central India and at important pilgrimage sites beyond its borders. He quickly consolidated the early Bundela style of architecture and wall painting. Sophisticated and ambitious, this style was unprecedented within the Orchha kingdom for its fusion of local building traditions with architectural and decorative styles culled from other sources, including design from the Mughal courts of Akbar and Jahangir. The hybrid style that emerged under Bir Singh Dev and the sheer scale of building that went on in his reign was unique to the period in which he ruled Orchha. Neither in the parent Bundela kingdom of Orchha nor in its offshoot states of Datia and Panna was anything built before Bir Singh Dev’s reign or afterwards that could rival the scale, stylistic refinement, and decorative richness of the buildings associated with his patronage.Edward Leland Rothfarb holds a PhD in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design; California State University, Los Angeles; California State University, Long Beach; and University of California, Los Angeles.
Garhkundar: The Bundela Narrative between Myth and HistorySources for the Bundela Style: The Orchha Kingdom before Bir Singh Dev’s ReignThe Sacred Architecture of Raja Bir Singh Dev Bundela.Palace Architecture at Orchha and Datia under Bir Singh DevPainted Decoration under Bir Singh Dev