Orchha

Setting: A beautifully preserved piece of Bundela history!

Visited - Feb 2019

Orchha


Orchha is a beautiful historic town in Madhya Pradesh. It gives an enchanting feeling right from the turn to enter the city. A very small city of population no more than 15000, but retaining history from around 16th century.

The place transports you back to the rule of Bundela kings. There are 3 palaces of which 2 are preserved and one converted into a hotel. The two palaces are Raj Mahal and Jehangir Mahal.

Sheesh Mahal is the palace that has been converted into a hotel.

What does Orchha mean? One version has to do with the term kings used for their hunting dogs to go 'Fetch'. The other version says Orchha means 'hidden'. Whatever the meaning, orchha doesn't fail to intrigue.

Jhansi is the nearest big railway station. It is well connected to Delhi, including the superfast Ghatimaan express, From Jhansi, Orchha is about an hour by road.

The other option is to fly into Khajuraho. From Khajuraho, Orchha is about 3.5-4 hours by road.
Raj Mahal Raj Mahal is a typical palace with the courtyard, dance floor, living quarters etc. There are 6 rooms for the 6 queens! The bedroom ceilings have well preserved murals.   Jehangir Mahal Jehangir Mahal was a palace built as a gift to king Jehangir. It is believed that this gift was intended to strengthen the ties and the reason why Orchha was never attacked by the Mughals. Apparently Jehangir stayed a whopping one night in the palace that took 30 years to build!  
 





Temples Ram Raja Temple - The only temple where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king and not a god. Chathurbuj Temple - An impressive structure, standing grandly in the middle of Orchha Laxmi Temple - An octagonal shaped structure which looks like an owl (the vehicle of goddess Lakshmi/Laxmi). The temple has some mural paintings done with natural dyes, depicting various things from those times.



Cenotaphs of Bundela kings - Beautiful structures on the banks of Betwa. Check out Bundelas on Betwa
Boating on river Betwa.
Trekking to monuments and around city, if you are spending more than a day in the town.
Orchha is typically a day trip destination, but surprisingly there are many resorts for the more relaxed traveler. This allows for taking in the history at a slower place and simply hanging around in the wonderful town.

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