Orchha - the Medieval Ornament of Madhya Pradesh

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This quaint little town near Jhansi is a must-see place in Madhya Pradesh

This quaint little town near Jhansi is a must-see place in Madhya Pradesh

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  • 1. I am a solo rider. Over the years I have covered many regions in India riding my trusted Apache, This summer I rode out to the heart of India – Madhya Pradesh; and traversed the whole state for about 5 weeks covering all the important tourist destinations and some not so well known sites too.
  • 2. Orchha is a town in Madhya Pradesh near the banks of Betwa river. The medieval city of Orchha seems to have frozen in time, its palaces and temples still retaining their original grandeur. Orchha had the distinction of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India. The Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap, founded the city, located by the side of the beautiful Betwa River, in the 16th century. The word Orchha means 'hidden'. When the Tughlaqs, who were ruling Delhi in the 15th century, pushed the Bundelkhand rajas out of Garkhundar, they retreated to distant Orchha.
  • 3. Orchha happens to be one of the best destinations I visited…EVER! This is Ganj Mohalla – The village where I stayed..
  • 4. I found out about this village home stay facility from my Lonely Planet guide book. I was glad I checked in. The host family took care of me well and rustled up some excellent meals. The rooms were clean and colourful and the country home ambience was serene and invigorating. For those who intend to visit Orchha a stay at the Friends of Orchha facility will be an experience to cherish for a long time.
  • 5. My room at the village house and the parking space for my Apache
  • 6. Clean and Wonderfully decorated interiors
  • 7. The road to Orchha
  • 8. Lakshmi Temple
  • 9. Laxminarayan Temple: A flagstone path links this temple with the Ram Raja Temple. The style is an interesting synthesis of fort and temple moulds. The interiors contain the most exquisite of Orchha's wall paintings. Covering the walls and ceiling of three halls, these murals are vibrant compositions and cover a variety of spiritual and secular subjects. They are in excellent state of preservation, with the colours retaining their vivid quality.
  • 10. View of Orchha village from Lakshminarayan Temple
  • 11. Raj Mahal: Situated to the right of the quadrangle, this palace was built in the 17th century by Madhukar Shah, the deeply religious predecessor of Bir Singh Ju Deo. The plain exteriors, crowned by chhatris, give way to interiors with exquisite murals, boldly colourful on a variety of religious themes. Get a good guide inside here to take you all over the complex, including locked rooms, for a tip.
  • 12. On to.. JEHANGIR MAHAL: Built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo in the 17th century to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir to Orchha. Its strong lines are counterbalanced by delicate chhatris and trellis work, the whole conveying an effect of extraordinary richness.
  • 13. Photographed by Raja Deen Dayal circa 1882
  • 14. View of Chaturbhuj Rama temple from Jehangir Mahal
  • 15. One can hire a cycle from local shop and cover all the sites at Orchha
  • 16. Cross this narrow bridge and soon you will reach the gates of Orchha Nature Reserve park..
  • 17. One can ride around its endless pathways…
  • 18. Or have refreshing bath in the cool streams…
  • 19. simply lounge around in the evening by the banks of River Betwa and watch the setting sun cast its magic spell over the chattris of Orchha…
  • 20. Cenotaphs: There are 14 Chhatris or Memorials to the rulers of Orchha, grouped along the Kanchan Ghat of the river Betwa on the south end of town. You can climb up to the roof for views of the river.
  • 21. Bir Singh'S cenotaph is located in the flow of the river Betwa and gets encircled by the river during the monsoon. The main structure of the chhatries are designed to serve as a site for the 5hraddha ceremony. Apart from Hie central mausoleum there is usually a secondary structure which is the funerary mound
  • 22. Photograph by Raja Deen Dayal cirda 1882
  • 23. Chaturbhuj Temple: Built upon a massive stone platform and reached by a steep flight of steps, the temple was specially constructed to enshrine the image of Rama that remained in the Ram Raja Temple. Lotus emblems and other symbols of religious significance provide the delicate exterior ornamentation.
  • 24. Within, the sanctum is chastely plain with high, vaulted walls emphasizing its deep sanctity. Find the hidden stairs to the roof for a view of the entire area.
  • 25. Pilgrims throng the night market near Chatur Bhuj Temple
  • 26. Am now getting ready for my next solo ride.. Can you guess where to?