Orchha Madhya Pradesh
119 kms from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh .
Major Attractions :
Chaturbhuj Temple, Laxminarayan
Temple, Jehangir Mahal, Raj Mahal, Rai Parveen Mahal, Sunder Mahal, Phool
Best Time To Visit :
October to March
an important centre of Bundela dynasty, the medieval city of Orchha now
abounds with its magnificent palaces and temples. It was built by the
Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries. Orchha was established by the
Bundela Rajput Chieftain, Rudra Pratap in the 16th century A.D. Rudra Pratap
who chose the beautiful stretch of land along the bend of river Betwa and
made it his capital.
After Rudra Pratap, Orchha was ruled by several rulers, of them the most
notable was Raja Bir Singh Judeo, who built many imposing buildings like the
picturesque Jehangir Mahal. Apart from Jehangir Palace and Laxminarayan
Temple, Orchha houses a group of fascinating little shrines and memorials
that add more nostalgia to your overwhelming visit to the place.
Of course, today Orchha's royal grandeur has been captured in stone
and frozen over the years, but it still retains much of its pristine charm.
So, visit this small town and admire its architectural masterpieces with
your own eyes.
Tourist Attractions in Orchha
Chaturbhuj Temple :
The Chaturbhuj Temple was specially
erected to enshrine the image of Lord Rama, that was earlier remained in the
Ram Raja Temple. Built upon a huge stone platform, the Chaturbhuj Temple can
be reached by a steep flights of few steps. The exterior of the temple is
exquisitely decorated with lotus emblems and other religious symbols while
the sanctum is plain with high vaulted walls emphasizing its deep sanctity.
Laxminarayan Temple :
Laxminarayan Temple lies close to
Chaturbhuj Temple, linked with a flagstone path with the Ram Raja Temple.
Architecturally, the temple is an interesting blend of fort and temple
architecture. In the interiors, you will see Orchha's exquisite wall
paintings whereas the murals covering the wall and ceiling of three halls
depict numerous themes, especially spiritual and secular. Even today after
several centuries since their conception, the paintings of Laxminarayan
temple have retained their original vibrant quality.
Jehangir Mahal :
A magnificent palace, Jehangir Mahal was
constructed by King Bir Singh Judeo in the 17th century to commemorate the
visit of Mughal Emperor Jehangir to Orchha. Jehangir Palace has elegantly
designed chhatris and trellis work which provide an extraordinary richness
to the building.
Raj Mahal :
Another major attraction of Orchha, Raj Mahal
is situated just right of the quadrangle. Raj Mahal was built by Madhukar
Shah in the 17th century. With its plain exteriors crowned by chhatris,
exquisite interiors with murals, Raj Mahal catches the attention of visitors
Parveen Mahal :
Rai Parveen Mahal was built for poetess and musician,
Rai Parveen, the beautiful paramour of Queen Indramani (1672-76). A
two-storeyed brick structure, the palace is little lower and specially
designed to match the height of the surrounding trees. Besides, its
landscaped gardens has octagonal flower beds and extensive water supply
system. Rai Parveen Mahal also has a main hall with smaller chambers and its
skillfully carved niches allow sun-light inside the palace.
Phool Bagh :
A beautifully laid out garden, Phool Bagh
complex portrays the unique aesthetic qualities of the Bundela rulers. Phool
Bagh has a central row of fountains that culminate in an eight pillared
palace- pavilion. Below the fountains is a subterranean structure which was
used as cool summer retreat by the Orchha kings. You will also see an
ingenious system of water ventilation which connects the underground palace
with a bowl-like structure called Chandan Katora.
Sunder Mahal :
A small palace, Sunder Mahal is mostly in
ruins but it is still a palace for Muslim pilgrims. Jhujhar's son
Dhurjban, wed a Muslim girl in Delhi and embraced the Islam religion.
Dhurjban became a saint and spent the latter part of his life in prayers and
Chhatris (Cenotaphs) :
Orchha is home to 14 Chhatris,
which were built in the memory of Orchha rulers. The chhatris are grouped
along the Kachan Ghat of Betwa river.
Shahid Smarak :
Shahid Smarak is another popular
attraction for tourists in Orchha. It commemorates great freedom fighter
Chandrasekhar Azad who lived in Orchha during the years 1926 and 1927.
How to Reach
By Air :
Nearest airport is located at Khajuraho (178
kms). Regular flights connect Khajuraho to Delhi, Varanasi, Agra and other
major cities of the India.
By Rail :
Jhansi railway station (16 kms), on the Delhi -
Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai routes is the nearest major realhead. All important
mail and express trains stop at Jhansi railway station.
By Bus :
Orchha is located on a diversion from the
Jhansi-Khajurao road. Frequent bus services connect Orchha with Jhansi,
Gwalior and other parts of the state.
Local Transport :
Taxis, auto-rickshaws and
cycle-rickshaws are local modes of transport at Orchha.
Places Where You Can Stay
Although limited accommodation are available at Orchha but they offer
comfortable stay to guests. You need not worry about budget because hotel
charges are reasonable here. Betwa Retreat and Sheesh Mahal are popular
hotels of the town.