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
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
The rooms were clean and colourful and the country home ambience was serene and
For those who intend to visit Orchha a stay at the Friends of Orchha facility will be an
to cherish for a long time.
5. My room at the
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
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..
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
next solo ride..
guess where to?