The Pavilion of Heaven
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“…I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stainThe pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.”
(From “The Cloud” by Percy Bysshe Shelley- English Poet, 1792–1822)
This is Bir Singh Deo’s chhatri which stands on the bank of the Betwa river in Orchha, a town in Tikamgarh district of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
During the rule of his ally, Mughal Emperor, Jahangir, Raja Bir Singh Deo (r. 1605-1627) became the most illustrious ruler of Orchha and erected a total of 52 forts and palaces across the region which are a reminder of its architectural glory.
The term “chhatri” means umbrella or canopy, it is a cenotaph (empty tomb) or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere.
Those memorials are basic element of Hindu as well as Mughal architecture.
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