A Travel Guide to Orchha

A quaint little place with an odd name and breath-taking architecture, learn about the rich history and folklore of Orchha, Madhya Pradesh. Founded in the late 1500s by Rudra Pratap, the Bundela Rajput chief, this town lies on the banks of the Betwa River. This little city has several beautiful temples, cenotaphs, and palace that make it a photographer’s delight.

The Story of Raja Ram Temple

Built-in the 16th century, by Madhukar Shah, the Raja of Orchha. There is an interesting story behind this temple. One day his Queen, Ganeshi Bai, who was a devotee of Lord Ram was accompanying her King to Benares decided to conduct her pilgrimage to Ayodhya. On reaching Ayodhya, the queen decided to meditate by the banks of the river. She prayed and fasted for many days and nights but the lord refused to show himself, and in frustration, the Queen was about to drown herself into the river when finally the child form of Rama appeared before her. The queen requested the lord to accompany her back to Orchha, Lord Rama agreed under two conditions; firstly was that wherever he first sits will be his final place of stay and secondly he can be the only king. The queen agreed on both conditions and that’s how the temple came and the reason behind its name.

Raja-Ram-temple

Jahangir Palace

which dates back to the 17th century A.D. when the ruler of the region Vir Singh Deo built the structure as a symbol of welcoming of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, during the latter’s first visit to the city. It is also known for its Mughal-Rajput architecture.

Jahangir-Place

Chaturbhuj Temple

which was built for the housing of Lord Ram that remains in the Ram Raja Temple next door. You can take a local city guide who would provide great insight into the history and many myths of this glorious temple.

Raj Mahal or The Orchha Fort complex which houses ancient monuments consisting of the fort, palaces, temple, and other edifices. It was built by the Bundela Rajputs starting from the early 16th century by King Rudra Pratap Singh and others who followed him.

How to reach

The nearest airport is Gwalior and railway station is Jhansi. From there you can take a car/taxi. There are buses from Jhansi since they aren’t very frequent it’s still worth trying. Orchha is within easy reach from Delhi. Visitors often combine it with a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra and the erotic temples of Khajuraho.

When to Visit

The best time to visit Orchha is between August and March when the weather is the coolest due to monsoon. Also, some of the popular festivals like Diwali and Dussehra happens around this time so you can take part in custom and rituals of the locals.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of resorts and cheap hotels or guesthouses for accommodation. If you are looking for some fancier place, then you can stay at Sheesh Mahal 18th-century former royal guesthouse adjoining the Jahangir Mahal.

If you are planning to visit this beautiful city in the upcoming month, then do checkout the Odigos app as they have certified tour guides and curated experiences.

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