Bundela Dynasty was a dominant force in the regions surrounding Orchha
, which is in Tikamgarh District
of Madhya Pradesh
. This dynasty was established by a Rajput
king named Hemkaran around AD 1048.
Legend has it that, Hemkaran’s throne was usurped by his younger brother. He, being forced to flee his kingdom, prayed to Goddess Vindhyavasini. He even offered to sacrifice himself. He was prevented from doing so by the goddess. She blessed him and named him 'Bundela', meaning ‘one who offered blood’. It is said that, the king armed with the goddess’s blessing conquered the regions surrounding the Vindhya Range of mountains and established his kingdom.
The earlier capital of the Bundelas was a place called Garhkurar. The capital fell to the Tughlaqs in the 16th century and the Bundelas was forced to move their base to Orchha. This place prospered under the new rulers. Numerous palaces, forts and temples were built under their reign. The Bundela dynasty came to an end with the capture of Orchha, by the Mughals under the leadership of Aurangzeb.
Orchha still retains many of the buildings built by the Bundela rulers. These buildings contain the famous Bundela wall paintings. Some of the finest specimens of these murals can be seen in the Sheesh Mahal and Laxmi Narayan Temple.