Here I have a very interesting story to tell. A tale with a lot of morals in it. Myths which are quite believable. I myself don't know how much truth it really holds but then you can say I trusted my Tourist guide who also handles a fancy insta page to promote tourism in Orchha.
Orchha is a small place in Madhya Pradesh, India. a place where Lord Rama ( from mythological tale Ramayana ) is still considered to be the mighty King. Yes and he is honored by Armed Salutation , four times a day by the local police who also provide him security. Why so you may ask? well that's why this blog; to unfold an interesting mythical tale of devotion.
So the story goes back to 1554 when the King of Orchha Madhukar Shah Ju Dev was a devotee of Lord Krishna while his wife Queen Kamala Devi was a devotee of Lord Rama. Once they got into a fight where the King wanted to visit Lord Krishna in Mathura while the Queen wanted to visit Ayodhya to meet Lord Rama as he had visited her in her dreams. The quarrel worsen and King asked Queen to go to pursue her Lord but return only when her Lord accompanies her. So the Queen left for Ayodhya bare foot. Before she left she gave orders to start building a temple for her Lord which was later named as Chaturbhuj Temple. She wanted the face of the main temple to be such that she could watch the Lord from her Palace.
The queen did her prayers for a month on the banks of Sarayu river to please Lord Rama but he didn't appear. The queen was desperate. She knew she had no place to go as she had promised to return only with the Lord with her. So she decided to end her life by jumping into the same river. Just then, Lord Rama appeared in the form of a small statue of his childhood.
Impressed with her devotion, Lord Rama agreed to accompany her to Orchha but he kept three conditions. First one was something which is followed even till today. He said that if he comes with her to Orchha then he will stay there as the only King and no one else can rule the place. His second condition was that he will be in Orchha during the day time but will come back to Ayodhya at night as it is his home.Third condition was that wherever his statue is first kept in Orchha , he will reside there forever and will not move anywhere else thereafter. Well while the first two conditions made sense, the third one felt vague.
Lord Rama already knew that the Queen had ordered construction of the temple and that she wanted it to face her Palace. Lord Rama could already sense a feeling of pride & royalty and didn't like the idea of Queen's easy access to his temple. This way she will probably won't even come for the prayers in person and just see him from a distance. When the Queen started bringing Lord Rama with him back to Orchha, Lord Rama didn't let the construction of Chaturbhuj temple get completed. After walking barefoot for several days, the Queen was very tired. As she reached Orchha she was informed about the strange unexpected reasons of delay in the construction. As Queen was really tired, she thought of placing the statue of Lord Rama in the Royal Kitchen temporarily. In Indian household, kitchen is considered as second most pious place in a house after the Prayer room. Then after several days when the temple got built, Queen tried to shift the statue from the royal kitchen but the statue would not budge. And that is when she remembered the third condition. Well so the Royal Kitchen was then converted into another Temple which is called Raja Rama Mandir.
To fulfill the first condition, the King shifted his kingdom and capital to a place called Tikamgarh and left the throne for Raja Rama. For the second condition, every evening after the temple closes, a lamp ( symbolic of soul of the statue is take to a small Hanuman Temple nearby from where it is said that Lord Rama is carried by Pawan Putra Hanuman ( Son of Air God ) to Ayodhya, his home town.
Orchha is a beautiful and peaceful place with a very less population and very friendly natives. You would find them selling local stuff outside the temple at nominal costs. Hand made earthen pots and utensils are a hit. Bangles, collection of brass temple bells and other decorative are also very interesting
During annual Marriage anniversary of Lord Rama & her wife Sita, The natives divide themselves into groom's side & bride's side. They celebrate a typical Hindu wedding which lasts for three days including ceremonies such as Haldi, Mehndi, Doli , Baarat etc. The Village is decorated with lights and amazing festivities.
Lord Rama is still the most beloved King to the people of Orchha and they celebrate him everyday.