Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Orchha means “hidden”, and this name still rings true today. This heritage destination is one of the best places to sightsee the history of India. It served as the capital of Bundelkhand between the 16th and 18th century. Located on the banks of the Betwa River, it is dotted with forts, temples, and tombs. These complexes have very unique pavilions, arches, staircases and viewpoints. The grade-II rapids of the river also makes it a rafting destination.
Orchha (in MP) is geographically very close to Jhansi (in UP). Jhansi is very well connected by trains from all parts of India.
The fort complex, which houses two impressive palaces, dominates downtown Orchha. Dozens of small pavilions and arches surround the massive inner courtyard of this 17th century palace. It’s worth seeking out some of the original turquoise tiles scattered around the palace and you can also see great views over the ruins-laden countryside.
(Unbelievable architecture and paintings)
The structure crams in an unbelievable amount of little arches — it’s fascinating to see and would have been even more amazing in its 17th century prime. You can climb up various narrow staircases (caution: no railings) and get the 360 degree view of the town and its surrounding beauty
There are some colorful treasures lurking inside some of the Raj Mahal’s hallways. These ancient paintings have been really well preserved — it’s some of the best palace art that we saw in India. You’ll need a guide to decipher them, but some things are probably best left to the imagination.
This ancient Hindu temple in the center of Orchha is a popular hangout for locals. The views from the top of the temple are worth the climb. Chaturbhuj temple is surrounded by market stalls and sits next to the Ram Raja temple, an important Hindu site. Chaturbhuj was built in the 16th century, and was supposed to house an idol of Lord Rama. The best part: you can climb the narrow stairs to the roof for an incredible view of Orchha and the surrounding countryside
More in Orchha
Lakshmi Narayan Temple: It is an impressive temple on a hill at the eastern edge of town. Offers great views from the roof, to which you can climb, and has well-preserved murals inside
The Chhatris: These are huge, temple-esque memorials to the past rulers of Orchha. These massive structures on the edge of town melt into the lush countryside — seeing them bathed in the late afternoon sun is something you’ll never forget this experience
Light and sound show: The magnificent history of Orchha is displayed beautifully at the light and sound show at Orchha Fort. The brilliance of the medieval Indian architecture can be easily noticed when the palace turns into a digital orchestra.
Rafting: At a distance of 1.5 km from Orchha Fort, Rafting in Betwa River is one of the top things to do in Orchha. Also known as the Vetravati, the Betwa rises in the Vindhya Range just north of Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh and flows north-east through Orchha. The placid flow is intermittently broken by Grade I to Grade II rapids.
For visting Orchha with DarkGreen Adventures, click here.