Adventure Tourism In Uttarakhand  Dealing With Climate Change(A Case Study)
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    Adventure Tourism In Uttarakhand  Dealing With Climate Change(A Case Study) Adventure Tourism In Uttarakhand Dealing With Climate Change(A Case Study) Document Transcript

    • Adventure Tourism in Uttarakhand- Dealing with Climate Change (A Case Study on Snow Leopard Adventures P. Ltd.) Parth Joshi Abstract Adventure tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of industry and is garnering a sizeable interest from the government and the masses alike. Adventure in the Himalayas, though a way of life for the native, was laid bare principally by the British, who apart from conducting an exhaustive research on the region‟s resources that led to the creation of a referential database relevant even to this day, induced the elements of personal accomplishment and competitiveness into activities like trekking and rock climbing, coupled with the European adventurers who literally introduced professional water based sports like white water rafting, kayaking etc. and molded the fragmented sector into an organized industry, clearing out the opportunity for steady employment and participation among the locals. The advent of modern international adventure travel traces to some 35 years ago, with the first organized treks to the Nepalese Himalayas.1 The report examines the adventure tourism scenario in Uttarakhand, with respect to the most common activities, viz. trekking and white water rafting, and the changes arising due to the catenation of climate change with the constantly evolving concepts of sustainability and growing environmental awareness. Adventure has been one part of human pursuations that has never suffered from stasis, and the scratches and scars on the planet need to be examined rather than just absent mindedly dabbing some antiseptic and patch up with economic bandages. 1 Bangs, Richard, War Is Hell (on Adventure-Travel Destinations), February 4, 2006
    • Introduction Adventure – the meaning of the word ranges from „an unusual, exciting and daring experience‟2 to „an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks‟3. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it threw the homo sapien bang into the middle of Darwin‟s dissertations. Human evolution has always been about discoveries; the intrinsic complemented by nature, wading into the dark and risking the physical for each step in our evolutionary „skip the steps‟. Hence said, we can safely conclude that adventure cannot be merely classified as a physical ordeal meant for unearthing alone, but rather an innate reflex embedded into one‟s psyche that propels an individual towards self-realization and quenches the desire to feel, to learn, to comprehend, to appreciate and to harmonize. We may, for the ambiguity the term lends to itself, trace the history to the evolution of the species; but on a civilizational front, trace adventure sporting to ancient Greeks, who laid a large amount of emphasis upon physical fitness and were adept mountaineers apart from being robust athletes, and the baton being carried forward by the Romans and the British in due course. During the rise of imperialism, the original adventurers were mostly traders, and their quests closer to war than romance, and the events were usually characterized by accidental discoveries. The concept of trekking and other adventure activities for the sheer adrenalin, however, lies with the British and other European explorers of the colonial ages, who through their respective empires ventured into geographies other than their own and thus, laid forth a foundation for the industry based upon holistic and exhaustive premises. 2 Merriam Webster Dictionary 3 Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
    • The boom leading to the present scenario of adventure tourism in Uttarakhand is hardly a couple of decades old, coming alongside the economic reforms and political turmoil that led to the formation of the state and a more open society as a result. From being a disorganized and fragmented sector, it is now the primary revenue generator of the state – religion, adventure and weekend getaways being the three major tourism generating segments. While the spurt in tourism growth and the positive impetus given by the government has generated immense employment opportunities, adventure has now spilled onto the urban fabric, drifting into leisure from its rather stiff shell of enthusiasts and professionals, thereby exponentially expanding the infrastructural canvas to accommodate the sudden rise in participants as well as rigging up the technical aspects involved in the activities, the knowledge and skills associated with moving through the natural environment being replaced by heavy mechanization for the sake of enhanced accessibility, safety and skilled manpower being the major concerns. In other words, a journey from the keen drifter4 to the organized mass tourist. The quantitative data regarding the campsites is courtesy of the Office of the Divisional Forest Officer, Munikireeti, Directorate of Tourism, Government of Uttarakhand. 4 Goeldner , Ritchie, Tourism :Principles, Practices and Philosophy
    • Objective The report examines the adventure tourism scenario in Uttarakhand, with respect to the most common activities, viz. trekking and white water rafting, and the changes arising due to the catenation of climate change with the constantly evolving concepts of sustainability and growing environmental awareness. Methodology The analysis is based upon a survey conducted with the employees of Snow Leopard Adventures (P) Ltd. and the locals of the village Badel in Shivpuri and Ghattughat through personal interviews, based along the lines of a questionnaire-based survey. The meetings were wholly informal in nature and the results generated on a strictly non-quote, deductive basis. The climatic changes are now too evident even for the layman. The season covered is the period from January to April. Study Area The study area is located in the Garhwal region, Uttarakhand, one, between Kaudiyala and Rishikesh along the Badrinath National Highway, mostly around Shivpuri, and campsites in the village of Ghattughat, the two regions being dissected by the Ganga, and comprising mostly of broad leaf forests, covering a river distance of 15 km, and the other around Chamba, comprising of pine, oak and rhododendron forests. The activity season usually ranges from September till June, the two months‟ gap due to the onset of south west monsoons.
    • Factors inducing Climate Change Although global warming as a panacea is something that a large section of the population all over the world is well aware of, the seminal ideas have been into an affect execution mode for almost about a decade now in the form of shift in season patterns, loss of biodiversity, increased natural calamities, and modifications in landscape aesthetics. Tourism Climate - Lifestyle changes, causing - Direct impact from weather reorientation of tourism flows phenomena caused by warming. both in summer and winter. - Indirect, long- term impacts resulting a - Induced impacts. which include substantial and lasting alteration of the the efforts of individuals and environment of a tourist destination that public policiesaimed at reduces its attractiveness. attenuating the effects of warming that affect tourism. The Himalayas, being a relatively recent geographic phenomenon are very susceptible to even the ficklest of changes due to human activities in the most violent of manners. Adventure activities, their primary reliance being upon the natural resources, and that too necessarily in an explicit manner; have influenced the environment around them enough to be one of the first to bear the brunt of the backlash. Although it would be rather erroneous to blame an adventure enthusiast as he is one of the few of his species to be superlatively sensitive towards the
    • environment around him, it is rather the novice or the leisure tourist indulging in soft adventure activities, and who now account for nearly 60% of the revenue generated by adventure tourism activities, that is to be held responsible. The region is under considerable pressure due to the utility population, adding up to the tourists and locals for major part of the year, far exceeds the carrying capacity, be it the energy requirements, timber for construction, or the livestock requirements. Ecological disturbance has been further heightened by widening of the Badrinath- Rishikesh highway, the ever increasing vehicular influx being the direct result. The sporadic burst of camping and rafting sites between the Devprayag- Rishikesh valleys has severely impacted the forests. Impacts at campsites include loss of vegetation, soil compaction, disturbance in water channels, and other evidence of use, including displacement of wildlife. A comprehensive EIA study of camping and rafting sites to bring out the benchmark indicators and thus ascertain the impact upon the environment is the need of the hour. The quantum of garbage generated at these sites is another serious concern. However, aptly coordinated institutional local initiatives for environmental care could do the trick in the simplistic social outlay. Given below are a few of the major consequences that Snow Leopard Adventures, as a leading adventure tour operator in the country is experiencing due to these climatic dents that the state of Uttarakhand now possesses.
    • Wildlife Animal sightings ranging from common apes like the monkey and lemur, to creatures like wild boars and leopard, have been greatly reduced, despite the fact that loss of habitat is bound to push them towards human settlements, implying dwindling population. Man‟s presence has undoubtedly had had maximum impact upon the fauna, but with climate change causing a deviation in water levels and vegetation patterns, we can see interlinked effects upon the wildlife as well. With summers getting hotter and winters cooler (for a shrunk but a decent period of time), wildlife of the alpine zone is getting scrunched in between these extremities. Energy Consumption and Resource Utilization Wood and coal being used to heat water at campsites has led to excessive air pollution, GHGs escalating temperatures have caused high summer temperatures being observed since the end of March, almost a month before the summers are actually supposed to set in. Acute water scarcity is being observed at higher altitude camps. For instance, for the organization‟s campsite near Chamba, Uttarakhand, tankers have to be sent for water to as far as a distance of 40 miles every day for the purpose, leading to high fuel and manpower bills. Let us try to analyze a few causes for this here. First, we take the case of glacier melt. The Himalayas, covering about 17 per cent of total mountainous area of the Indian subcontinent, comprises several important glacier systems. Himalayan glaciers form a unique reservoir of fresh water, which support mighty perennial river systems such as the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra. Their combined annual runoff amounts to about 1.19 X 103 km 3. The Himalayan proglacial streams carry about 70-85 per cent of the total annual river
    • flow, which is derived from snow and glacier ice melt, which in turn is related to the radioactive energy input, variation in air temperature etc. 5 We take the case of Gangotri glacier. It is one of the largest glaciers in Himalayas and extents over a length of more than 26 kms. The melt waters give rise to Bhagirathi River which descends down the western Uttaranchal Himalayas to meet the Alaknanda River at Deoprayag, forming the mighty Ganga River. The total discharge volume in the proglacial stream draining the Gangotri into the Ganga throughout the ablation seasons between May and October 1999 and 2000 was estimated to be 581.87 X106 m3 constituting 0.5 percent of the entire Himalayan glacial melt. The Gangotri glacier has now shrunk to about 20 km. The Dokriani Bamak glacier (3 miles long) of the Gangotri system has receded half a mile. Research indicates that glaciers in the Himalayas are retreating at an average rate of 30 m a year, compared with earlier rates of 18 m a year between 1935 and 1999, and 7 m a year between 1842 and 1935. Scientists from the Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleobotany have used tree-ring studies and have confirmed the estimates that the glacier was receding at a rate of 10.16 m/year from 1935-1956 and rapidly increased to a high of 30.44 m/year between 1971-1977 and it was receding at a rate of 28.08 m/year in the period between 1977-1990. A study conducted by the International Commission on Snow and Ice (ISCI) has observed that Himalayan glaciers are receding faster than glaciers in any other part of the world and if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 is very high.6 Lake water constitutes another key element. The lakes in the Sivaliks possess individual ecologies, as can be seen from the fact that each lake has a different 5 State of Environment Report, Uttarakhand 6 Tewari, A. P., Study of Gangotri glacier, Uttarkashi District (Central Himalaya), Uttar Pradesh. Rec. Geol. Surv. India, 1976, 106, 248–256.
    • diatom species. Intensive studies have been conducted on these lakes by researchers and over the last 25 years or so, it has been observed by the local residents that the regions around these lakes are slowly, but surely heading for drier and hotter conditions. The occurrence of typically plains birds, butterflies, insects and plants points to this fact. Once a literal paradise for temperate fruits like peaches, plums, pears etc., and this valley now grows litchis, mangoes, guavas etc. The vast deforested areas have been taken over by Lantana camaris (“Kuri”) and other undesirable weeds. Parthenium is also encroaching these areas. Out of season (usually premature) flowering and fruiting of indigenous plants, trees and shrubs points to the serious disruption of the eco system and the plant communities. Many ground level herbs, lichens, mosses, fungi etc. are almost extinct, and repeated forest fires have badly damaged the natural regeneration process.7 Moving on to changing vegetation patterns, as Jagat Singh Choudhury of the Kumaon Himalayas, an ecosystem specialist explains: "There should be every kind of tree in the forest; there should be fodder trees, fuel wood trees and those which keep the soil moist. Oaks and Rhododendrons will keep our soil humid and their leaves will make humus which will have organic diversity. There should be fruit trees also and trees which will supply wood for building purposes - and the most important trees are those which will keep the environment clean: broad-leafed ones such as oak. Creepers are the main resources for fodder.” It is important to note here that the presence of just any one species functioning as a resource is not adequate. It is the diversity of species, of animals and plants and even micro-organisms that is valuable to all communities. This biodiversity is now being replaced by fast growing monoculture pine or Eucalyptus forest. Another threat the oak forests of Uttaranchal are facing is coming from plantation of horticulture crops such as apple (GoI 2002). The oak forests are degraded due to 7 State of Environment Report, Uttarakhand
    • over exploitation by the local communities who are dependent on oak leaves for fodder, wood for fuel and timber for farm implements. Furthermore, the oak forest soil is rich in humus and is often used as supplementary manure. Agricultural activities are frequently extended into oak forests and with increasing demands for fodder and firewood; the trees are repeatedly lopped leading to reduced seed production (GoI, 2002). Natural regeneration of the oak forests is also effected due to pressure from seed predators such as flying squirrel, langur and deer species. Trampling and grazing of young sapling by the livestock further add to reduction in natural regeneration of the oak forests significantly. It was confirmed by absence of young seedlings of different species of oak and presence of only mother trees in two sites (Kilbury in Kumaon and Akash Kamini in Garhwal), some of which are 200 years old (GoI, 2002).4 Oak is primarily responsible for the genesis and maintenance of many underground springs in the region owing to its high water retention, and the depletion of the species described as above is leading to the relinquishment of this perennial source as well.8 Now, the region near Chamba (where water scarcity is being primarily observed) has always had a relatively lower water table owing to the geography of the region and typical alpine pine canopy. But there are several small streams being tapped that have proved to be sufficient for the village communities in the region. However, a couple of resorts in the Kanatal (close to Chamba, where the campsite is located) region have drastically elevated the water demand (and it is a common fact that the water consumption in a hotel is exceptionally higher as compared with domestic consumption, whilst the consumption level in campsites, which due to their conservationary bent are comparable to the latter, is significantly lower. For instance, we limit the supply of hot water to a guest to one bucket a day, but this is not possible in case of a resort). So it would be unfair to say that climatic changes 8 GoI (Government of India). 2004 Forests & Wildlife Statistics: India 2004 Available at:
    • have entirely led to the scarcity, though they have escalated the problem to a large extent. For instance, with change in vegetation patterns, the retention capacity of the soil has decreased, which has led to a drop in the already low water table. Erratic rainfalls further alleviate the problem. An average group of 20 people for a duration of say, two days and three nights, generates around a 100 empty plastic mineral water bottles and three kilos of unrecyclable polythene, apart from the wet kitchen garbage being generated (a major source of methane generation into the atmosphere), thereby making waste disposal a major headache. Environment Due to increase in summer temperatures, and summer temperatures being observed earlier, stormy conditions near the beach sites are being observed around April, almost two months before the rafting season closes officially for the monsoons (end of June), forcing the organization to dismantle its beach campsites around first week of May. No one at Snow Leopard Adventures has made any quantitative observations or kept any data on the changes over this period or before that, but with a sizeable chunk of the staff belonging to Uttarakhand, and the supporting reports being released with increasing frequency, the inferences cease to be perfunctory anymore. Take the following for instance. Most of the snowfall in areas around 7, 500 feet used to occur around Christmas, but since 2001, snowfall has occurred during the latter part of January, or in certain cases, even as late as the first week of February (barring 2007, when there was decent snowfall around the first week of January).
    • Temperatures in the same altitude zone, which generally went up to an extreme 32 degrees centigrade in the summers, now go up to as much as 35 degrees centigrade. One example of this can be seen in the changing vegetation patterns. The share of evergreen species in the Doon valley region has declined from 70% in 1958 to around 25% till date. Effects on the business with some statistics Due to the aforementioned factors and impacts, occupancy charts for the January- May period are showing a decline. Shivpuri is located at around 1, 000 ft above sea level, hence experiences typical foothill temperatures, which rise up to as much as 42 degrees centigrade in the summers. Being an environmental friendly concern, there is no air conditioning at the campsites (which in the Himalayas is an alarming idea for a „camp‟site), so the guest numbers now start dwindling around the third week of May, a phenomenon previously observed around the first week of June, a drift of about a fortnight.
    • Since there are numerous factors constantly at play, it is hard to pin down climate change with the exact decline in numbers (like SARS in 2003, the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008, and swine flu being the new nemesis). But it has been a coincidental trend that most of these have taken place have taken place in the latter part of the year (the September- December period), so we get a fairly clear idea if we compare the first five months from January to May. Given below is the data for two campsites- one a luxury campsite and the other being a beach campsite, for the first half of 2008 and 2009, where we can pretty certainly estimate the change in numbers being climate driven.
    • Notice the decline in the latter portion of the graph (March- May), especially at the beach campsite, highlighting unexpected weather conditions.
    • Coping up: Changes in operational strategies, Product innovation and Marketing approach Since the campsites are more or less permanent (except for the beach campsite, which can be folded up easily but relocation along the beach is neither permissible nor would have any effect), the losses have to be taken in the stride. However, listed below are some of the small adjustments being made. Water based activities are conducted in the morning slot (10am- 2pm) rather than the afternoon slot (2pm- 6pm) so that the guests are in the water during the hottest period of the day. Beach campsites are preferred/ emphasized upon due to milder temperatures in the evenings owing to the proximity to the river (this however, is countered by the premature stormy conditions). In case of corporate training modules/ MDPs, instead of outdoor conferences, the theoretical sessions are held inside conference halls (proper concrete structures) which are then supplemented by team games and other activities in the evenings, when the weather is more favourable instead of having the entire programme outdoors. Since the weather pattern is highly unpredictable in nature, it is not very easy to plan any substitute product (since if the weather does follow the expected lines, the investment and manpower put into the product development process would go unutilized). However, the camp staff is intensively trained to handle emergency situations and extra tents are kept ready at hand at other campsites (since stormy situations are unbearable only at the beach campsite) in case the campsite has to be evacuated, and
    • these weather conditions seldom hamper water based activities like rafting or kayaking. However, bird watching came up as a very interesting byproduct. To mitigate the dust and pollution being raised in the Shivpuri campsite due to the ongoing construction of the Char Dham highway, lots of trees and plants were planted. As a consequence, the site now boasts of almost 200 species of resident and migratory birds; due to which, the organization now offers bird watching as an integral part of its product portfolio. Tourist Education: The sensitivity towards the environment and local culture is highlighted through the entire tour procedure- right from the booking till operations. There is a detailed briefing at the camps and the guests are made aware of the eco-friendly systems and procedures in place and the need to have fun in tandem with these. Apart from this, school trips and summer camps consist of exhaustive sessions upon environmental awareness, covering a broad range of topics from pollution, global warming right up to the steps the children can take within their own households to curtail environmental (concepts like household composting for kitchen garbage). The village walks are supplemented by visits to local schools and orphanage visits focusing upon interaction with the children; cleaning drives are conducted, mainly focusing upon plastic and other non- biodegradable garbage. In addition to this, Snow Leopard runs a programme called Study and Value Environment (SAVE), which aims to bring together students from different schools to make them sensitive to the outdoors and the environment.
    • Product Diversification: The organization, being passionate towards adventure and nature alike, is committed towards this niche and improving it, both for the guest and the environment alike. However, it is looking for alternative sites away from the Himalayas and move towards the central part of India towards less sensitive regions (like Orchha in the state of Madhya Pradesh where the latest campsite has been developed), and trying to incorporate more cultural elements into the product (like fort and temple sightseeing), thereby working towards an eclectic product mix. Marketing Approach: Since the basic components of the product remain the same, there is just a change in the presentation approach. For instance, instance of just focusing upon the adrenalin rush of rafting, greater emphasis is given to activities like treks, highlighting that the experience proves to more enlightening and rewarding from a broader perspective. Also, aggressive measures like increase in the frequency of promotional mailers during March and September are enforced to enhance numbers before the season reaches its concluding phases in May and November to cut down losses due to the whims of the weather gods. As mentioned above, alternative destinations that provide a greater variety from other niches like cultural and historical tours are being developed and promoted to make for a more interesting offering.
    • How Tours Are Expected To Evolve That the adventure tour product will experience a change is inevitable owing to its absolute dependence upon natural resources and hence the urgent need for their conservation and replenishment. The only concern is that product components are being curtailed due to unpredictable weather patterns, but from a broader perspective, it can be considered a positive development that is actually pushing reform measures. Product/ tour evolution can be expected on the following lines. For the Indian tourist, the concept of responsible tourism, viz. ecotourism, sustainability, geotourism etc. are still far flung terms tucked away in the final pages of travel magazines and find it very hard to observe them practically within a product or a tour. The first change here would be taking these concepts out of their academic abstraction and making them explicitly aware of their application in the activity that they undertake. For instance, before embarking upon any activity, guests have to be made aware of the two major peripheries within which they would be causing changes, namely the environment and the society, and then the responsible tourism measures being undertaken in the context of that particular activity can be elucidated. Such a briefing, a matter of hardly 15 minutes or so, would go a long way in concept identification in practice, thereby removing the ambiguity arising due to the academics- industry gap, a sort of pseudo awareness we can say. Provided the awareness measures are executed well, a list of responsible tourism measures can be drawn out specific to the product/ tour which would
    • be mandatory for the guest to follow, a sort of undertaking which would have to be signed prior to the tour, failure to comply to which would invite certain penalties. From a policy perspective, following measures can be anticipated. Eco friendly activities would have to be made an integral part of the product. For this, the government and local bodies after discussion with the local community can provide operators with a list of these in relation to their tours, after which the onus would be on the operator to implement these effectively, feedback for which could be taken from the local populace. Frequent weather audits need to be conducted, once every quarter, and on these lines safety and feasibility measures at sensitive campsite areas (like beaches) need to be evaluated. In higher altitude regions, greater number of sites now need to come under visitor number control procedures (like is done in case of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra on the Indo China border in Higher Himalayas). For low lying regions like Rishikesh where soft adventure is prevalent, the regulation numbers can be formulated on a daily basis, keeping in view the season and the number of tour operators. Renewable energy laws need to be formulated, specifying a minimum percentage of the total power consumption of a campsite that would need to be generated from renewable resources, and frequent audits to be conducted in this respect to ensure effective compliance.
    • Appendix About Snow Leopard Adventures P. Ltd. (Click to visit website) Established in 1990, Snow Leopard Adventures Private Limited, is reputed to be among the best adventure tour operators in India. Be it river rafting on the Ganga, trekking in the Himalayas, cycling on forest trails or rappelling down a cliff, Snow Leopard Adventures gives the assures you of a safe yet exciting experience. Meticulous planning, tremendous emphasis on safety and "eco-sense" form the foundation of each of the trips. The Campsites Camp Panther Camp Panther, one of the most luxurious campsites on the Ganga, is set up on 03 acres of terraced fields in Shivpuri village near Rishikesh and is about a six-hour drive from New Delhi. The ridges surrounding the camp are covered with a thick Sal forest. It is operational through the year. Leopard Beach Tented Camp
    • Experience a holiday with a difference at the exclusive Leopard Beach Tented Camp. The sojourn at this camp promises you the thrill of the outdoors and the spill of White Water Running. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas 16 kms from Rishikesh, the camp is set up amidst picturesque environs by the holy Ganga River and is surrounded by a thick Sal forest. It is operational from September to May. Himalayan Bear Stream Camp Want to tread off the beaten track? Visit Himalayan Bear Stream Camp tucked away at the foothills of the Himalayas. Surrounded on all sides by towering hills and with a stream flowing through it, Camp Himalayan Bear provides an array of scenic adventure „locales‟. The camp is operational throughout the year. Camp Tusker Encounter nature at its tranquil best at Camp Tusker. Located in the verdant surroundings of Rajaji National Park, the musical chirping of the birds, the rousing sound of the forest and the relaxed atmosphere take you far away from the hustle of city life, into the rejuvenating lap of nature. The camp is operational throughout the year.
    • Snow Leopard Himalayan Retreat Snow Leopard Adventures invites you to beat the heat and visit our summer camp tucked away in the Himalayas. The campsite, located at approx. 6,500 feet in the Garhwal Himalayas, is an ideal place to take a respite from the scorching heat and dust of the plains. Snow Leopard Himalayan Retreat is set amid the sylvan grandeur of the Himalayan pastureland. Overlooking snow-covered peaks, the camp is a perfect base for day treks in the surrounding areas and offers you an active, scenic yet peaceful haven far from the madding crowd. The camp is operational from May- August. Camp Blue Bull Snow Leopard Adventures is pleased to announce the launch of Camp Blue Bull, an adventure camp in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh. The camp, set up by the Betwa River, offers guests an opportunity to combine the thrill of adventure with the rich cultural heritage of the region. The camp is operational throughout the year.
    • The name Orccha literally translates to, "hidden". True to its name, Orccha lies obscured from sight amidst lush green dark woods along the Betwa River. The rambling ruins of Orchha have many a tale to tell. Legend has it that Orchha was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput ruler, Rudra Pratap Singh, when his capital Garhkurar fell to the Tughlaqs. In 1525, the ruler Raja Rudra Pratap decided on "hidden" Orchha as his capital as he wanted to protect his headquarters from further invasion. His successors reigned till 1783 in this state after which their capital moved to Tikamgarh. A destination on the cultural circuit, Orchha is easily accessible from Jhansi, Gwalior and Khajuraho.
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