Orchha is a beautiful town in Madhya Pradesh, India, established by a Rajput ruler Rudra Pratap Singh. The five-century-old town lies on a Betwa river and is 80 km away from Tikamgarh and 15 km from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.
Rudra Pratap Singh was the first ruler of the Bundela Dynasty and the city was founded on a piece of land along the Betwa river. The city exhibits the wonderful Bundela-era legends and maintains the culture and legends of the rulers of the Bundela dynasty.
A historical town is a place of magnificent sites, which sums up to be the perfect destination. The place is an adventure and well-connected to almost all the major towns of Madhya Pradesh. Keep reading to know all the spots you should visit during a trip to Orchha.
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The Chaturbhuj Temple is one of the interesting Orchha tourist places, believed to be the abode of Lord Vishnu with four arms. The Vishnu temple was established by King Madhukar during 1558-1573, standing tall on a raised rectangular platform with basic architecture.
The ancient architectural masterpiece is divided into three main parts, with the central position of the temple as four-story high. The temple, also known as Jatarika Temple, is decorated with lotus emblems and symbols of religious importance.
Visit the Chaturbhuj Temple, located opposite Orchha Fort to experience spirituality and see the large unfurnished part of the temple, one of its striking features. You can visit the place between 9 am to 5 pm with no entry ticket fees. The religious structure is 15.2 km away from the Orchha bus stand.
The most visited place in Orchha is the Orchha Fort situated on the seasonal island of River Betwa. The medieval fort was built by Rudra Pratap Singh in the 16th century but the palaces and temples within the fort were built by other Orchha rulers.
The popular fort attracts a large number of tourists by displaying its Mughal-influenced Rajput architecture.
The most notable places inside the fort complex are Phool Bagh, Sheesh Mahal, Raja Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, and Rai Parveen Mahal.
The time to visit the famous Orchha fort is between 9 AM to 5 PM and its Sound and light Show begins at 7.30 PM in English and at 8.45 PM in Hindi. The entry fee for the fort is INR 10 for Indians and INR 250 for Foreigners and another INR 100 for the Light and Sound show. You have to pay extra 25 rupees to carry the camera inside the fort and 250 rupees if you want to shoot a video.
The Rani Mahal is a beauty adorned by beautiful artifacts, with intricate carvings and majestic paintings. Once the Mahal was the royal quarter for the wife of Raja Madhukar but was later transformed into a palace by Raghu Nath II of the Newalkar family, before converting into a museum that houses scriptures and paintings.
The insides of the Mahal are decorated with artifacts illustrating the holy epic Ramayana and are surrounded by picturesque gardens. It is built against the backdrop of the River Betwa and with exquisite architecture, making it one of the most attractive structures within the fort. The Mahal located near the Iskcon Temple in the Manik Chowk region of the Jhansi district was last occupied by Rani Lakshmibai.
Tourists can visit the Rani Mahal from 7 am to 5.30 pm with zero entry cost. The Orchha bus stand is 3 km away from the Rani Palace.
The best time to visit the Chhatris on the Kanchana Ghat is during the sunset which presents a scenic view of the surroundings while the cenotaphs speak of the splendid tale of the bygone era of the Bundela dynasty.
There are 14 Chhatris (cenotaphs) including Bir Singh Deo’s Chhatri, the most beautiful as it reflects the archaeological glory of the great rulers of the Bundela dynasty. This cenotaph also has Islamic characteristics, visible to the naked eye.
The timings to visit the place is between 7 am to 10 pm by paying 10 rupees for Indians and 250 rupees for Foreigners. One can reach the place by taking a taxi from the Orchha bus stand which is 15.2 km away from it.
Dauji Ki Kothi
The ruins and the sprawling area of the Dauji ki Kothli attract a large number of visitors and especially photographers towards the Dauji ki Kothi. It was constructed in the 17th century and has faced the fury of nature since then.
The historians are mostly attracted to the large arch of the entrance and dilapidated roof which offers them a vast range of information making them excited. The epitome of history, situated near Rai Parveen Mahal and south of Jahangir Mahal, remains open from 7 am to 9 pm and there is no entry fee.
Dinman Hardaul Palace
Dinman Hardual Palace depicts a story of brotherly love and regret. The story narrates how King Jhujar Singh ordered his wife to poison his brother after he doubted that the two had a romantic affair. After the death of Hardaul Singh, the king realized his mistake and built a cemetery as a tribute to his deceased innocent brother.
The loyal brother, Hardaul Singh, is now worshiped as a God in the region, and his palace reflects the art of skilled craftsmen. The palace remains open from 9 am to 5 pm with no entry fee and is located near the Raja Ram Temple on the banks of River Betwa at a distance of 15 km from the Orchha bus stand.
Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary
Apart from the history, one can also enjoy the wildlife sanctuary of Orchha. Orchha wildlife sanctuary is a tourist attraction as it offers a close encounter with nature to people after learning and reviving the history and culture of the Bundela Dynasty.
A safari in this sanctuary promises an exquisite ride through the forest housing more than 200 bird species. There is a beautiful site of the serene River Betwa flowing through the magnificent flora and fauna of the sanctuary. The river also inhabits marine life and serves as a lifeline for animals.
A safari in this enchanting sanctuary will offer you a captivating ride through the forest between 7 am the morning to 6 pm. The entry fee for the sanctuary, located at a distance of 2 km from Chhatris and 1 km from the Orchha Fort, for Indians is INR 15 and for foreigners is INR 150. The bus stand is 14 km away from the Orchha wildlife sanctuary.
Betwa River and Kanchana Ghat
The best part of the whole Orchha trip can be the scenic sunset view on the river Betwa flowing through the heritage town. It offers various water adventures ranging from river rafting to sailing to kayaking.
The river also provides a peaceful experience with a cool breeze slightly touching your face after an exhaustive trip to the ancient town.
You can also visit the famous ghat, the Kanchana Ghat, located on the banks of River Betwa. The ghat is also in the Orchha Fort complex, which stores the chhatris of the former Bundela rulers. The Kanchana Ghat narrates the glorious tales of the dynasty encompassed by 14 chhatris.
The ghat stays open from 7 am to 10 pm and is 15 km away from the town’s bus stand.
Ram Raja Mahal
The Ram Raja Mahal located in the Raja Mahal in Orchha, Tikamgarh has multifaceted arches at the entrance and supports stone jali work, depicting the Mughal architecture.
The construction of the King’s Palace began with Raja Rudra Pratap but was completed by Madhukar Shah in the 17th century. It is in the shape of a perfect square, further split into two courtyards.
The interior chambers of the Mahal are worth seeing as they are ornamented with murals of social and religious themes of gods and mythical creatures. The Ram Raja Mahal is open to all visitors from 8 am to 12.30 pm and then in the evening from 5 pm to 10 pm without any entry fee. The Orchha Bus stand is 15.2 km away from the Mahal.
Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Lakshmi Narayan Temple is a magnificent display of the architectural skills of the Bundela Dynasty, built by King Veer Singh Deo in 1622. The outer walls of the temple have window-like carvings, topped with battlements, and the upper part of the walls has some beautiful paintings. One of the most impressive paintings is Chungi Chirya, a giant bird capable of flying with an elephant in its claws. Other paintings are displaying Lord Rama and illustrated scenes from Ramayana.
A hall is located in front of the octagonal sanctum in the center of the courtyard. The artistic feature of the temple is the mural covering galleries and vaulted roofs of the temple. You can visit the temple near Ram Raja Temple in the Orchha Fort complex between 9 am to 7 pm.
Among the undefeatable heritage of the Bundela Dynasty, there is a beautiful palace known as the Sunder Mahal in Orchha. The Mahal, a significant pilgrimage for Muslims is also famous as a love palace with a passionate story behind it. The Sunder palace, built by Prince Durbhajan in Orchha, reflects diversity and secularism as this Muslim structure houses some Hindu temples.
The story of the simple yet beautiful place was about the son of the then-ruler of Orchha, Raja Jhujhar Singh, who fell in love with a Muslim girl. The prince was none other than Prince Durbhajan, who converted to Islam and gave up all his princely privileges.
The prince spent the rest of his life in prayers and meditation after his marriage and was venerated as a saint. Muslim pilgrimages visit this place every year to seek blessings from the spiritual soul of the prince residing in this holy place. You can visit this place from 9 in the morning to 7 in the evening with absolutely zero entry fees, situated at the Orchha Fort.
Though Orchha town is almost a ghost town, it is still alive in the ruins of the historical sites and temples depicting a glorious history.
Another famous temple in Orchha is the Janki Mandir decorated with paintings of Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman on its outer walls. A large number of tourists visit the spiritual place located in the Orchha Fort complex, every year to experience peace and serenity. The time to visit the temple is between 9 am and 5 pm and there is no entry fee.
Best time to visit Orchha
The best time to visit Orchha is in the monsoon or winter to explore its architectural grandeur. And it is suggested that one should avoid visiting the place during the summer season.
The pleasant weather during monsoon and winter will be favorable during your visit to shrines and monuments.
How to reach Orchha?
If you are planning to visit Orchha and wondering how to reach Orchha, then below are some ways to help you in reaching your place.
By Air: If you are planning to reach Orchha by air, then the nearest airport is the Gwalior airport. The Gwalior airport is 126 km from Orchha and Delhi, Mumbai, and Jabalpur are connected to it.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Jhansi from the Orchha at 17 km. Major cities of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, and Ahmedabad are well connected to Jhansi by railway stations.
By Road: If you want to reach Orchha by road, then the nearest bus stand is at Jhansi, which is around 16 km from Orchha. The old town, Orchha, is located between Jhansi and Khajuraho. Both cities are connected via National and State Highways. There are queues of taxi services from the Jhansi bus stand to Orchha.
Orchha is one of the best places to visit, and having numerous historical and beautiful places render us speechless. This ghost town has everything from religious establishments to heritage monuments to wildlife, making it worthy to be on your bucket list. And this place is the best destination for enthusiastic photographers as it has a wide range of scenic beauty that will enchant your heart and soul and also for history lovers who love to hear the splendid tales of the bygone era from the structures and ruins.
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