Orchha, a hidden town in the heart of India
When I got the chance to travel to Orchha, a small town in Madhya Pradesh, the first thing I did was try to learn more about this little-known destination. I quickly did a few Google searches and, strangely enough, came across a few articles about the town, situated on the banks of the Betwa River. The more I read, the more intrigued I became to visit Orchha, a place dotted with monuments, forts, and chhatris (cenotaphs). Every corner of the city seemed to have a story to tell. And so, filled with curiosity, I embarked on my two-day trip to the beautiful medieval town of Orchha, also means a hidden place.
Throughout my train journey to the city, one thought kept bothering me: why wasn't this town on the travel bucket list, especially for Delhiites? Orchha had everything a travel wish for: a rich history, grand palaces, magnificent temples and tranquil natural surroundings. Why did Jaipur or Agra come to mind more readily than Orchha? With these thoughts in mind, I reached Jhansi station. From there, it took around 30 minutes to reach the beautiful town, tucked away in the heart of Madhya Pradesh.
In the city
I arrived in the city in the afternoon, and like any small town in North India, the streets were quiet and people were mostly indoors. Therefore, it seemed ideal to spend some time at our resort until the sun began to set. I was staying at the MPT Betwa Resort, overlooking the Betwa River. The tent room I stayed in was not only comfortable but also well-equipped with modern amenities. As the weather grew cooler, I ventured out of the resort to explore the city.
Exploring the town
My first destination was the revered Betwa River, which holds great significance for the residents of Orchha. As I reached the riverbank, I witnessed several children joyfully jumping into the water. I then proceeded to visit Orchha's chhatris, also known as cenotaphs, which are an essential part of the town's architectural landscape. These magnificent structures were built as memorials to honor Orchha's rulers. Throughout my stay in the city, I tried to explore everything the city had to offer, immersing myself in the rich history and captivating stories surrounding these beautiful monuments.
Must visit places in Orchha
Jehangir Mahal, built in the 17th century, showcases a unique blend of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles. One can enjoy its intricately carved facades, graceful arches, and ornate balconies that adorn this grand structure.
Raj Mahal is an architectural wonder and oldest palace in the town. As you explore its interiors, you'll be mesmerized by the exquisite murals that adorn the walls. These frescoes depict scenes from mythological tales, showcasing the artistic brilliance of the Bundela school of painting.
A visit to Orcha would be incomplete without marveling at the Chaturbhuj Temple. This temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, stands tall with its towering spires and elaborate architecture.
Raja Ram Mandir
Legend has it that the temple's idol of Lord Rama was gifted to the king by Lord Krishna himself. The temple attracts devotees from far and wide, who come to seek the blessings of Lord Rama.
Chhatris are an integral part of the town's architectural landscape. The chhatris, constructed along the banks of the Betwa River, and the most notable chhatris belong to Bir Singh Deo and his successors, showcasing elaborate craftsmanship and historical significance.