Orchha: Discover the Rich History of the Riverside Town

May 05, 2020

Culture :: Heritage Walk

Settled on a quiet and serene landscape, Orchha is a dreamy 500 years old town with dominating stone structures that command the horizon of the town. To the west is the fort, built on an island on the calm Betwa River, separated by a bridge from the main cluster of temples to the east. A row of cenotaphs stands on the banks of the river in the south. Visit and experience the never-ending opulence of the ancient town.


The Orchha Chattris


The town is less crowded and is best explored on a bicycle. Hire a cycle and ride along its quiet roads by the Betwa River on Kanchan Ghat. Take a 15 minutes' walk in the serenity while the sunbeams lighten the 14 Chattris of the Bundelas that stand proudly alongside the Betwa. These multi-level chhatris have a narrow staircase with which you can climb to the top and behold the panoramic view of the town. You can also witness lovely vulture nests and vultures flocking at the windows and domes here.

-          Cycle trail contact details: +91 98933 78581 (Mohan Lal Kewat)

-          Entry Fees: Indians ?10, Foreigners ?250, Photography ?25, Videography ?250

-          The fort entry ticket is valid for all the monuments in Orchha


The Fort Complex


The fort complex in Orchha is another remarkable site to visit. It houses three prominent historical architectures in a quadrangle: Raja Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal, which is now a heritage hotel run by Madhya Pradesh Tourism.


Raja Mahal


Raja Mahal is the oldest of the three and was built by Raja Rudra Pratap in the 15th century. The simple exterior, crowned with chhatris, give way to interiors with elusive murals. Some of these are in brilliant condition, with an excellent selection of colours and intricate designs, especially in the Diwan-e-Khas and Diwan-e-Aam. Every bit of the palace will compel you to imagine, how the minute designs were planned and executed at that time.


Jahangir Mahal


Jahangir Mahal was constructed under the reign of 17th century Bundela ruler Bir Singh Deo, to honour the visit of his friend Jahangir, who was also a Mughal emperor. Designed with an interesting blend of Mughal and Bundela architecture, the palace is known for latticework set around a large courtyard. The site presents a great specimen of fine artistry and Bir Singh Deo's enduring legacy to Orchha.


Ram Raja Temple


Take the next stop to the only temple in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king and not as a god. The impressive peach coloured building with domes was once the palace of Queen Ganesh Kumari, the wife of king Madhukar Shah, the ruler of Orchha. It was known as Rani Mahal back then. The best time to enjoy the festivity at the temple is during Ram Navmi celebration in which local musicians from neighbouring villages gather to chant and sing for hours.

Entry Free


Sound & Light Show


After a long day, relax at the fort courtyard as you watch the spellbinding sound-and-light show. The one-hour show brings to life the 500-year-old glorious history of Orchha, from Rudra Pratap Singh's discovery of the hunting spots to the rise of a mighty kingdom. There are noble deeds that would leave you awe-struck.


-          Entry Indians ?100; Foreigners  ?250


-          Timings March - October: 7.30 - 8.30pm in English & 8.45 - 9.45pm in Hindi


-          November - February: 6.30 - 7.30pm in English & 7.45 - 8.45pm in Hindi