15th century AD Founded Orchha Rare Photos. When we started discussing about spending a weekend in Orchha, lots of eyebrows were raised as the place is not well-known. Indeed, Orchha means ‘a hidden place’.
This ‘hidden’ place, however, offers some commendable sightseeing. The first thing that you become familiar with quickly is the lush greenery of this small town.
The Jahangir Mahal is a citadel and garrison located Orchha, it was completed in the year 1598 by the victorious Mughal Prince Salem (later known as the Mughal Emperor Jahangir) after defeating Vir Singh Deo of Bundela a sworn enemy of the Mughals, the Jahangir Mahal was built to be a garrison and a citadel, that would allow the Mughals greater control over the rebellious Bandela. The domes of the Jahangir Mahal, were built according to Timurid customs and its grand Iwan’s are large enough to accommodate the entry of War elephants and its high position over the landscape allowed Cannons to gain superior range.
Orchha was founded in the 15th century AD, by the Bundela chief, Rudra Pratap Singh, who became the first King of Orchha, (r. 1501-1531) and also built the Fort of Orchha. The Chaturbhuj Temple was built, during the reign of EmperorAkbar, by the Queen of Orchha Ganeshi Bai, while Raj Mandir was built by ‘Madhukar Shah’ during his reign, 1554 to 1591
The best time to visit this place is during the monsoon. The majestic and ancient buildings stand on own glory against the background of dark cumulus clouds. The overflown Betwa River and the lush greenery add to the beauty.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Since the area of this town is small, the sightseeing destinations are a walking distance away. The unique attractions are the cenotaphs of the Bundela kings, which stands at the banks of Betwa river.
The series of cenotaphs make a picturesque view from the bridge, which connects between Orchaa town with the forest.
The Orchha fort is also another attraction, which is an example of Mughal architecture, with precise geometric proportions. The view from Jahangir Mahal is breathtaking.
Being a small town of about 12000, the town does not have any unique shopping attractions – except form regular handicrafts – which is common in any of the destinations in India, with foreign tourists. Similarly, the option for food is limited as the numbers of restaurants are limited. However, the food quality in luxury hotels, like Amar Mahal and Seesh Mahal is excellent.
Activities & things to do: We visited the place during monsoon. There was heavy rains and we realized that relaxing is activity – which we generally miss during the hectic city life. Orchha is a great destination, where you can have nice relaxing time – as you do not have many things for sightseeing.
Seating beside the river banks watching the river flowing – an activity, which you might remember for quite some time. Rarely do we give such time to ourselves. You can return home with rejuvenation.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Orchha is considered as added bonus during Khajuraho trip – however, it deserves more attention. Monsoon is one of the best times for visit, followed by winter.
Summer is definitely avoidable. This takes only 30 minutes from Jhansi railway station. Bhopal Shatabdi is the best option – where you can reach Orchha by 11:30 AM in the morning.
During monsoon, sometimes the Betwa River gets overflowing and start flowing above the bridge. Hence, one should avoid crossing the bridge and going to the forest – even when the bridge is accessible.