Ram Raja Temple at Orcha is a distinctive and most revered Hindu pilgrimage.

Ram Raja Temple, Orcha
Ram Raja Temple, Orcha

Namaste!

Welcome back my arid readers. Today we are going to sneak into the history, location and story behind the most famous Ram Raja Temple at Orcha, Madhya Pradesh where Lord Rama is given Lord of honours salutation.

Introduction

Orcha is a small town with lots of majestic buildings and architectural elegance situated on the banks of Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh. Although, there are many temples dedicated to different Hindu deities.

As, my short trip to Orcha still gives me goosebumps about the magnificent Ram Raja Temple and its vibrancy. I was thrilled to know that Lord Rama is considered to be king of this place. Do you know this marvellous temple also known as Orcha temple? Yes, this popular temple attracts thousands of devotees from all over the world.

Key Highlights of Ram Raja Temple, Orcha

a) Orcha town was established by a Bundela rajput ruler Rudra Pratap Singh in 1501.

b) It is the only temple in India where police personnel have been designated as guards at the temple, they give armed salutation to the Lord everyday just like a King.

c) However, Raja Ram temple nestled with idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lakshmana, king Sugrihva and Lord Narsimha.

d) You can also spot idol of Durga Maa along with Hanuman ji and Jambavan ji.

e) Here, Shri Ram has a sword in his right hand and a shield in the other. It is believed that a devotee must have darshana of left toe of Shri Ram, sitting in Padmasana, with the left leg crossed over the right thigh.

f) As per history, Chaturbhuj Temple was built for Raja Ram, but he resides in the palace of Queen Ganesh Kumari. Additionally, he is still worshipped at the palace turned into temple. Although, Chaturbhuj Temple adorned Lord Vishnu to bestow all his followers.

g) Apparently, the priests worship Lord Rama and apply chandan teeka (sandalwood’s Mark) on God Ram’s left toe every day. It is believed that by having divine darshana of toe of Shri Ram, devotees fulfill their desires.

h) One can see highest number of devotees around important Hindu festivals like Makar Sankranti, Vasant Panchami, Shivratri, Ram Navami, Kartik Purnima and Diwali.

i) Do you know, every night, Hanuman ji takes Lord Rama to Ayodhya in Jyoti roop (light form) and brings him back in the morning everyday to Orcha temple. This ritual is done by chanting and praying by priests of the temple everyday and night.

History of Ram Raja Temple, Orcha

Once, the King of Orchha, Madhukar Shah Ju Dev was a devotee of Banke Bihari ji (Lord Krishna) of Vrindavan while his wife Queen Ganesh Kunwari, also called Kamla Devi, was a devotee of Shri Ram.

Once they fought for darshana of Lord, as who will go to Ayodhya for Shri Ram and who will go to Braj area for Shri Krishna.

The king got annoyed and told the queen to stop praying child form of Shri Ram and accompany him to Braj.

But the queen was adamant to bring Shri Ram back to Orcha, after which the king said that “You keep praying to Ram but Ram never appears in front of us, unlike Lord Krishna who danced with us along with Radha the other day.” (Once, both of them went to Vrindavan, and danced and sang bhajans with a troop of dancers, where they realised Shri Krishna along with Radha came to dance with them).

He challenged the queen to bring childform of Lord Rama otherwise worship Shri Krishna. Thus, queen took a vow that she would go to Ayodhya and return with the child form of Ram ji or else she would drown herself in Ayodhya’s Sarayu river.

Thus, the queen embarked on a journey to Ayodhya on foot, aiming to bring Ram ji to Orchha with her. She kept her plans to herself, not informing the King before her departure, and had already instructed her servants to start the construction of a temple (Chaturbhuj Temple) upon her return with God Ram.

On reaching Ayodhya, the Queen started praying to Lord Rama. During her stay in Ayodhya, she ate only fruits, then she gave up fruits and ate only leaves. Later, she gave up all food. And, she fasted and prayed for 30 days to please Lord Rama. One day, when she could not understand the reason of delay, in despair, she jumped into the river at midnight.

On this Lord Rama appeared and told her that he is happy with her prayers and asked for a boon. As a result, Queen asked Shri Ram to accompany her and get back to Orcha.

Consequently, he ordered her that he will be in child form with her. Also, accompanied with sages and saints, and the Queen should take him in her lap. He will be king of Orcha. Wherever the Queen will keep him, he will be fixed.

She did as stated by Lord Rama. Queen had baby Rama in her lap and went to her room in the palace. Hence, she retired in her room for the night, only to take Lord Rama to the Chaturbhuj Temple, (built for him) the next day. But as per Lord Rama’s conditions he took the first place where he was seated, hence Shri Ram transformed into an idol and got transfixed in the queen’s palace itself.

Since then, Ram Raja Temple is in the queen’s palace (Rani Mahal) and not in the Chaturbhuj Temple which is right next to the palace.

Indeed, Lord Rama is offered Royal food as bhog till date.

Timings of Ram Raja Temple, Orcha

Morning Darshana : 8 AM to 1PM

Bal bhog aarti: 8 AM

Raj Bhog aarti : 12 : 30 PM

Evening Darshana : 8 PM to 10 : 30 PM

Sandhya aarti : 8 PM

Shayan aarti : 10 : 30 PM

How to Reach

By Air: Nearest Airport is Mata Vijaya Raje Scindia Airport, Gwalior. Also, it is well connected to all the major cities. From Gwalior, one can take taxi, bus or even book a cab.

By Train: Veerangna Laxmibai Railway station, Jhansi is 17 kms away from Orcha. Here, many long route trains are connected to major cities of the country.

By Road: Orcha is easily accessible through road transportation as it is well connected to Jhansi and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh through taxis and buses.

Conclusion

Henceforth, we now know that Orchha is a divine place blessed by Lord Rama, who is the king of Orchha. Pack your bags and feel the blissful presence of Shri Ram as Raja here. Orchha temple will surely captivate your senses.

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