Datia: A monument without a cause
We walked through this sad and lonely structure admiring its
ornamental ceilings and the few graffiti-scarred murals...
Datia? When we first saw the little settlement with a grand palace
framed in the window of our train as it pulled out of Jhansi in Madhya Pradesh,
we dismissed it as another of the many gems lost in the vast Indian landscape.
However, when a French tourist started to rave about it, we knew that we had to
squeeze it into our itinerary which included stops at Gwalior,
Shivpuri and Orchha.
And we were thankful we did. Our first clear sighting of Datia was from
the banks of a lazy river which fielded the reflections of a seven storey place
which dominated a little hillock. From here we drove past forgotten ruins
marooned like islands in a sea of green paddy fields, before navigating through
a network of small alleyways to the entrance of the palace: a grand monument
that by a quirk of fate was built for an emperor who never arrived.
Centuries ago Prince Salim, the eldest son of Mughal Emperor Akbar and later to
be known as Emperor Jehangir, had a falling out with his father’s right
hand man, General Abul Fazal. So when Abul Fazal was passing through Datia,
he leaned on the ruler of the region Raj Bir Singh Deo to eliminate the general.
The local ruler duly obliged.
When Salim eventually ascended the throne, Raj Bir Singh Deo invited the newly
crowned Mughal emperor to visit his kingdom. But first he built a 400-room
palace that embraced Hindu, Islam and Mughal architectural styles to accommodate
his royal guest.[..]
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About Datia: Datia is the District headquarter of the Datia
District. The town is 69 Km from Gwalior, 325 Km south of new Delhi and 320
Km north of Bhopal. It is an ancient town, mentioned in the mahabharata as
Daityavakra. The town is a market centre for food grains and cotton
products. Handloom weaving is an important industry . Datia is a famed for
the seven-storied palace built by Raja Bir Singh Deo in 1614. A pilgrimage
spot for devotees, Datia has the sidhapeeth of shri peetambhara Devi,
Buglamukhi Devi Temple and Gopeshwar temple. About 15 Km from Datia is the
Sonagiri, a scared Jain hill. Datia is 34 km from jhansi, Uttar Pradesh and
52 Km from Orchha.The nearest airport is a at Gwalior. Datia railway station
is on the Delhi-Chennai main line.
Peetambra peeth is a famous shaktipitha located at the entrance of Datia in
Madhya Pradesh. This pilgrimage spot features Buglamukhi Devi Temple. and
Dhumavati Mai Temple established by shri Golokwasi Swamiji Maharaj.
Vankhandeshwar temple is a Mahabharat period temple of Lord Shiva which is
situated at this place. Pitambra peeth is about 1 km from Datia Bus Station
and 3 KM from Datia Railway Station . (Source)