The temple was built in order to enshrine the idol of Lord Rama that was housed in the Ram Raja Temple next door as that was previously a palace. But according to Orchha folklore, Lord Rama refused to move. The king immediately realised that his wife was honour-bound not to move the idol and saved the day by installing the idol of Chaturbhuj (Lord Vishnu) in the temple instead.
The temple rises on a huge stone pedestal that is 15ft high. Though, from the outside, it seems to be a square, inside, it gives the appearance of being cruciform in shape. The four corners of the building have small spires. In the middle is a large dome. This dome is over the hall or sabhamandap which faces the sanctum sanctorum. On top of the sanctum sanctorum, there is a large spire. All along the walls are beautifully made arched niches.
The central part of the temple rises to four storeys with three arched openings in each storey. While earlier temples had fairly small enclosures, the Chaturbhuj Temple has a huge cross-shaped congregation hall that caters to devotees of the Krishna-Bhakti cult.
Lotus emblems and other symbols of religious significance provide the delicate exterior ornamentation. Within, the sanctum is chastely plain with high, vaulted walls emphasizing its deep sanctity.
In order to visit you have to purchase a day ticket at the Raja Mahal entrance. This ticket entitles you to visit all of Orchha's attractions for Rs30.