Orchha, the once princely state of Bundelkhand region now lies hidden in heart of the country. Orchha, means ‘Hidden Place’ and true to its name is not easy to locate even on the map. This town lies on the Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh, approx 15 km from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh and also lies close to another popular tourist destination, Khajuraho, MP.
Orchha is quite a small town and one can actually see the whole town on foot. At every other kilometre there is a place to explore, to learn about & to be mesmerised with. The town seems to have frozen in its time, as the architecture of the buildings still retains their original opulence.
What to do? Where to go?
Raja Ram Mandir
Raja Ram Mandir is the only temple where Lord Rama is worshipped as a King in its all glory. The beautiful temple has an interesting story attached to its significance.
The legend states that the famous Chaturbhuj temple was to be built for Lord Rama but unfortunately when the idols arrived from Ayodhaya the Chaturbhuj temple was in its final touches. The queen placed the idol in her kitchen and took great care like her own child. But, when the Chaturbhuj Temple was built, the idols didn’t move and so another temple was built for Rama which is now called Raja Ram Mandir. The Temple resembles to the palace as Rama is worshipped as a King in Orchha.
Light & Sound Show at the Fort
A dramatic Light and Sound Show is held in the Fort premise which is a must to experience when you are in Orchha. The Show narrates the history of the town and also its connection with Jhansi. The lights glow up the Raj Mahal and Jahangir Mahal, the audio visual experience describes the glory of Orchha’s history loud and clear. The past comes alive and walls reverberates the sound of battles fought.
Walk on the RiverSide
There are 14 Chattris(Cenotaphs) in Orchha, built as the memorials to the kings and royalities. The chattris are sophistically located around the river which makes it a pleasing sight. Also, the sunrise at the Betwa is not to be missed, the serenity and the earthy fragrance of the place are sure to capture the heart.
After Raja Ram Mandir was built for the deity, Chaturbhuj temple was then devoted to Laxmi Narayan. The rich murals of the temple have withstood the test of time and temple sight is a treat to eyes. There are colourful paintings in the temple premises which tell different tales of our ancient India. There is a market just outside the temple and from temple’s top one can take a 360 degree view of Orchha.
One of the most significant sites of Orchha that has many tales attached to it. The Fort Complex consists of Rai Praveen Mahal, Raj Mahal and Jahangir Mahal. The greatness of the Jahangir Mahal is sure to leave you awestruck. The Mahal that was built in the honour of the great emperor in 17th Century looks mesmerising in the evening, just before the sunset. The fading rays create the silhouettes of the windows and domes and gives out a magical sight. The Raj Mahal is a sight where you enjoy the beauty and tranquillity dancing in vivid colours. The Mahals have hidden staircases, rooms and exits that depicts the architectural intelligence of that era.
Orchha, a hidden gem of MP has a lot of stories attached to it still waiting to be explored.