INTRODUCTIONOrchha founded in the 16th century by Bundela Rajput chief,Rudra Pratap,who chose this stretch of land along the river Betwa as an ideal site for his capital. This is a beautiful historical spot with its palaces, temples, forts, parks, cenotaphs etc. Its grandeur has been captured in stone, frozen in time, a rich legacy to the ages.
The fascinating temples, forts and palaces built here by the Bundela rulers in the 16th and the 17th centuries retain much of their pristine perfection. The word Orchha means 'hidden'.
Orchha is more associated with the Bundela dynasty which was founded in the 11th century by a Rajput prince. The Bundela ruler, Raja Rudra Pratap ruled the central part of India from 1531 to 1783 with having Orchha has their capital. But the Bundelas always had some problem with the Mughal rulers for in the year 1602, Bir Singh Deo of Bundela dynasty had some problem with Prince Jahangir, the son of Emperor Akbar.
So Akbar with this his Mughal forces almost destroyed the entire region of the Bundelas.But however this environment was changed with the death of Akbar in 1605 and Emperor Jahangir and Bir Singh Deo maintained a cordial relationship with each other.
Again in 1627 Bir Singh overthrew the authority of the state of the Mughals after Shahjahan became the Mughal Emperor. During this revolt the Bundelas were defeated by Aurangzeb the son of Shahjahan.After this defeat the Bundelas moved their capital to Tikamgarh in 1783.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The ideal time to visit Orchha is between the months of October to March.
Orchha situated besides the Malwa plateau is concentrated more towards the northern part of the state of Madhya Pradesh which takes the central region of India.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALSBastar-Dussera days during September - October are very attractive with processions and illuminations. This is celebrated for a period of nine days along with many cultural programs and fairs.
Birth of Lord Rama is celebrated on Ram Navami in Orchha.During the eight days preceding Ram Navami, ramayana is read or chanted.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Jehangir Mahal one of the most beautiful monument in Orchha has more of Islamic style of architecture.Jehangir Mahal was built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo in order to honor the memory of the visit of Emperor Jehangir to Orchha.The main attracting feature of this Mahal is at the entrance of the gate there are two statues of bowed elephants which makes us to explore the entire Mahal.
Raj Parveen Mahal
Raj Parveen Mahal was built by King Indramani in order to honour his love for Raj Parveen who was an exceptionally talented poetess and a musician. This Mahal belongs to the 17th century. The palace is built in such a way so that the height of it goes proportionate with the height of trees in its surrounding.
From here one can get a beautiful view of the Anand Mahal and the octagonal flower garden in the vicinity.
Chaturbhuj Temple is situated on a huge stone formation in Orchha and it took more than 15 years to construct this temple.Chaturbhuj Temple was built by Raja Madhukar between the year 1558 and 1573.It was initially constructed with the idea of to house the idol of Lord Rama, but later, statue of Lord Vishnu was established. The interior of this temple is brightly illuminated with lights and there is also a huge assembly hall.
Laxminarayan Temple is predominantly a huge construction built by Vir Singh Deo in 1622 A.D.The main feature of this temple is its unique architecture which is a mix of both a fort and a temple and the place is also noted for its exceptional interior paintings. Though these paintings are very old but still it is retained with great care. The presiding deity of this temple is Goddess Laxmi.
Chandreshekhar Azad Memorial
This memorial/monument is situated in Tikamgarh district which is mainly to honour the great freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad and Shahid Smarak.This place is of great historical importance because it is here where during the period of 1926-27 the great revolutionary hero of Indian independence spent his days of exile. There is also a statue of Chandra Shekhar Azad here which was disclosed by the then Prime Minister in 1984.The entire staute is made of bronze.
Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary
The river Betwa flows joyfully along the beautiful cenotaphs of the Bundela chieftians.On its right bank lies the Orchha wildlife sanctuary, a pristine forest which harbours many species of wild animals and rare birds.
Chhatris are the royal tombs of Maharajas on the banks of a beautiful river Betwa.These tombs are situated on elevated platforms which are fully supported by pillars giving an enthralling appeal.
The domes of the cenotaphs are painted marvelously, which gives it an enchanting look. These Chhatris reflection on the cool water of river Betwa gives an amazing view.
One can shop the traditional items of the state of Madhya Pradesh from Orchha.The pyjamas and kurtis here are the two must shopping items from Orchha.Other item which can be bought as a gift or souvenir for your loved ones are the Dokra crafts made up of metal and wrought iron and the Baster handicrafts which is famous internationally. One of the most popular places of shopping at Orchha is the Orchha square.
1.Open Sky Restaurant
Orhha Road, Orchha, India
Near Ganpati Hotel
By pass Road
Orchha – 472246
Distt: Tikamgarh (M.P.)
2.Shri Mahant Hotel
Laxmi Temple Road, Orchha, India
M.P.S. Tourism Dev. Corp. Ltd.
Main Bazaar, Orchha 462011,
Lakshmi Mandir Road
Behind Power House,
Orchha 472 246
Orchha 472001, India
8.The Orchha Resort
Madhya Pradesh, India.
Gwalior is the nearest airport, which is around 119 km away. Flights from Delhi and Bhopal are regular to Gwalior.
Jhansi is the closest railhead, situated at a distance of 16 km from here. You can hire a taxi from Jhansi to Orchha.
Orchha is situated on the Jhansi-Khajuraho road. The town is well connected to all the cities of Madhya Pradesh with regular bus service.