DATIA PALACE, Madhya Pradesh

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2020

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1. On our way back from Orchha stopped by at Datia Palace. It is about a 10 minute drive from the highway. It is a 7 storied palace on the top of a hill. I had to climb onto someone’s terrace to click this pic. We reached about 4 pm.

2. It was made by King Birsingh Deo in 1620, is a combination of Rajput/Mughal architecture & made of stone & bricks, no iron or wood used. It is square with 4 octagonal towers, one at each corner. A string of stone lattice work define the 5 storeys. It is ornamented with numerous chhatris crowned with ribbed domes.

3. It is said that Birsingh Dev, while on his visit to Mathura in A.D. 1614, got himself weighed with gold & subsequently started constructing this palace. Setting sun rays on the palace. For this went to the terrace of another house. Sunset view from here is said to be spectacular.

4. The state of Datia was founded in 1526. Front side view of palace. “While its exterior is adorned with arches, chhatris and oriel windows, the Bundela paintings beautify the interior.” Met with guide Lakhan Lal who showed us around, knowledgeable. Speaks English too. His number is 91 96910 27608.

5. Entrance to palace. Top centre is Ganesha. Datia is mentioned in the Mahabharata as Daityavakra and falls within Bundelkhand region. It is about 75 kms from Gwalior and 34 kms from Jhansi.

6. Front view, looks lovely. This palace was made by Birsingh Deo for Mughal king Jahangir who never came to live here. Datia Palace was never inhabited by any ruler. It is one of the finest examples of Bundela architecture. Do visit Orchha too.

7. Close up of paintings at entrance. Palace has about 440 rooms, 12 courtyards and took nine years to make. Close to palace is Taran Taran Lake in which is Badal Mahal. Unfortunately the mahal is in ruins. When I saw thought it could be like Lake Palace Udaipur if maintained.

8. Enter palace climb stairs, first floor ceiling is Ras Leela. Organic colours used (ie from fruits and vegetables).

9. Corridor had these paintings, original lasted 1620 to date.

10. Note the design perfection.

11. On 4th floor 4 lines of pillars like this all leading to the centre. In 1818 Datia played host to then British Governor–General, Lord Hastings and a splendid durbar was held in 1902 for the Viceroy, Lord Curzon.

12. On 4th floor 4 lines of pillars like this all leading to the centre. In 1818 Datia played host to then British Governor–General, Lord Hastings and a splendid durbar was held in 1902 for the Viceroy, Lord Curzon.

13. Top two pillars joined by this design ie in the shape of an elephant trunk.

14. Octagonal Ceiling. This is Turkish design.

15. Side view from third floor.

16. Side view from third floor. Dome has Iranian Mosiac design.

17. Iranian mosaic design. Numerous temples are in Datia, some from pre-historic times hence had the name ‘Laghu or Small Vrindavan’.

18. Main palace. It is floor 4. Centre is meeting hall. 4 corner dome structures for 4 queens. “The summit of this seven storied building is ornamented by several chhatris that are attractively crowned with well-designed ribbed domes” as you can see.

19. 4-7th floors were for Jahangir. 4 is meeting room, then library and Jahangir bedroom. Since it was evening got the setting sun.

20. Majestic structure. No wood, no iron only bricks and stone.

21. Bracket that support balcony, see pic 19. It is called Phulpati. Left is kalash and right is mango leaves.

22. Peacock supporting bracket.

23. Meeting hall ceiling, menakari work.

24. View of chhatris, dome structure was meant for queens.

25. Hindu motifs.

26. Side room facing the lake had these beautiful wall paintings.

27. Some more paintings.

28. Palaces, temples have lakes or rivers close by. This is no different. As I stood out in the balcony, enjoying the serenity was disturbed by azaan blaring from loudspeakers.

29. In front is former jail and behind that another palace I think. King stays in a palace close by.

30. Loved this painting so showing in full.

31. This is entrance to Peethambara Peeth, a Shaktipeeth in Datia. Very peaceful and serene inside. Must visit. Close by is Songiri Hill that has numerous Jain temples built from 19th century onwards.

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