India

Get transported back in time at Orchha

Do you often find yourself wanting to be transported back in the golden era of India’s past? If yes, then maybe, it’s time for you take a few days’ trip to Orchha. This historic town sits on the banks of the Betwa River, in the northern end of Madhya Pradesh, beside the Malwa plateau. The history of Orchha goes back to the 16th and 17th centuries when the Bundela Kings made this their administrative capital. Showcasing their power and influence, the rulers built numerous palaces and temples, reflecting the ultimate architectural splendor of their time. It is these monuments and their relics thereafter that had made Orchha steeped in antiquity and attracted history and art lovers from all over.
Orchha

The town of Orchha is flanked by the Betwa River and surrounded by the forest of its namesake, rendering a classic empirical feel to the place. The river splits into seven smaller rivulets called the Satdhara, which adds to the scenic beauty.

The Best Mode of Travel to Reach Orchha

The closest airport in Orchha is in Gwalior, which is 122.5 Km. Opt for a popular and affordable car rental service provider at the airport or the railway station and you can reach Orchha in about three hours via NH 44. The best time to travel and explore Orchha is during the winter months between November and February, when the weather is cooler and conducive for outdoors.

History

Orchha was founded in 16th century by Raja Rudra Pratap- the Bundela chief, who turned this small settlement into the kingdom’s administrative capital. They ruled central India from Orchha between 1531 and 1783. During this period, Orchha saw its most glorious days with immense spread of artistic architecture, and fine monuments, civic constructions etc. traces of which still remain scattered across the town. Later, when the Mughals took over Orchha, they only added to the cityscape, making it a visual treat for any visitor.

Exploring Orchha

Travellers also use Indore as their base and if that is the case with you, you can hire a popular and highly rated taxi service in Indore and drive to the ancient city.

If you want to absorb every bit of antiquity of Orchha, then here are a few places you cannot miss:

Jahangir Mahal

Built in the 16th century, under the patronage (rather in honor) of Emperor Jahangir, this expansive palace and fort served as the citadel for the Mughals and allowed them greater control over the Bundela region.

Raja Mahal

This 17th-century palatial monument is a classic instance of the region’s architectural finesse and its magnificence has managed to stand the test of time.

Rani Mahal

An elegant structure that exudes royalty in every corner, the Rani Mahal looks right out of a historic painting. Embellished with intricate stone carvings on pillars and arches, and wall paintings, the structure is a visual treat for art connoisseurs.

Chaturbhuj Temple

Dedicated to Chaturbhuj- another name for Lord Vishu, this temple was built in 875 AD, under the patronage of the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty. This massive temple assumes a palatial look and has more historical significance than a religious one.

The Chhatris or Cenotaphs

A row of royal tombs, these Chhatris are magnificent structures fringing the banks of the Betwa River. Each of these memorials are no short of a compact palace with detailed pillars.

Lakshminarayan Temple

This is technically a temple but built like a fort and partly served as one. The towers of the temple have the classic Rajputana form and the interiors are replete with stunning murals depicting mythological and spiritual themes.

With these and many more significant points of interest, the town of Orchha seems to be frozen in time, emanating an air of nostalgia to those who seek its past.