Palace becomes a Temple for Lord Rama

 

             1.  Ram Raja Temple                                             2. Chaturbhuj Temple

Chaturbhuj temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu situated at Orchha (16 kms from Jhansi), in Madhya Pradesh. It was built in the 16th century and is noted for having one of the tallest vimana standing at 344 feet! Lord Krishna and Radha are worshipped there.

The temple was constructed by Bundela Rajputs in 16th century who ruled over the kingdom of Orchha. The then ruler Madhukar Shah’s wife Ganeshkuwari had a dream of Lord Rama instructing her to build a temple for the Lord. The Queen went on foot to Ayodhya to bring Lord Rama. On reaching Ayodhya, near the banks of the Sarayu river, she undertook a vow of fasting and prayed to Lord Rama. But unable to have darshan of the Lord, she jumped into the river to give up her life.

Something miraculous happened! Lord Rama appeared in the form of a child in the Queen’s lap. Lord Ram told the queen that he was happy with her prayers and she could ask for a boon. The queen asked Rama to come with her as a child to Orchha. The Lord agreed but put 3 conditions: 1) He would travel only on the day of Pushya nakshatra, when the nakshatra ends, he would stop and resume again when Pushya sets in. 2) The Lord would be the King of Orchha and not her husband. 3) Since the Lord would travel in child’s form on Queen’s lap, the first place where she seats the Lord would be the final place of His stay and the Lord would be known as Ram Raja.

The Queen agreed and started with baby Rama in her lap. Since she could only travel during Pushya nakshatra, it took 8 months and 27 days for the queen to reach Orchha from Ayodhya on foot (between 1574 and 1575). On returning to Orchha, the queen went back to her palace with baby Rama and retired in her room for the night. She planned to take Lord Rama to the Chaturbhuj temple the next day forgetting the 3rd condition put-forth by the Lord. The place where child Rama was placed first by the queen in the palace became his permanent abode. Hence, Lord Rama transformed into an idol and got transfixed in the queen’s palace itself. To this day the Ram Raja Temple is in the queen’s palace.

Lord Rama’s idol continued to be worshiped in the palace and the palace was converted to “Ram Raja Temple“. Raja Ram is accompanied by Sita (on the left),  Lakshmana, Sugreeva and Lord Narasimha (on the right). Durga Maa is also present in the darbaar on the right side. Hanumaan ji and Jambavant ji are praying just below Sita. The specialty of this temple is that Lord Ram has a sword in his right hand and a shield in the other. Shri Rama is sitting in Padmasana, with the left leg crossed over the right thigh. In India, this is the only temple where Lord Rama is worshiped as a King and that too in a palace. A Guard of Honour is held everyday, police personnel have been designated as Guards at the temple, much in the manner of a king. The food and other amenities provided to the deity at the palace-temple is similar to that offered to a king. Armed salutation is provided to Lord Rama every day.

Lord Krishna is instead worshipped in the Chaturbhuj temple which was built for Lord Rama, and Lord Rama made the palace His place of worship!

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

 

 

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