A town locked in medieval history, in the midst of rocky hills and forests, that is Orchha for you. There are historical forts, temples and ruins everywhere in Orchha. The historical town was established around 8 A.D. but most of the historical structures in existence date from 16th century to the 19th century A.D.. There is a bird sanctuary and river rafting facilities for the adventure seekers. In short Orchha has everything one hopes to see and soak in for a few days of relaxation and adventure.
My bicycle tour to Orchha was memorable and I do want to share pics and vids of my Orchha visit. The lodge where I stayed was clean and had spacious rooms, like most of Orchha lodges and hotels. The hotels range from the budget to the expensive five star ones.
Left image:- Outside Orchha walls, the forest at 6 am., Right image:- Banks of river Betwa
Orchha was and is a religious town, and is known as Ram Raja city where the deity is considered as the de facto ruler of the town. The new Ram Raja temple is right next to the old one offering a striking contrast between the medieval and modern architectures.
In Order:- The striking contrast between the modern Ram Raja temple domes next to medieval domes of bygone era; the Ram Raja temple entrance.
Orchha has a large cenotaph complex housing the cenotaphs of 15 kings. The oldest is probably the cenotaph of King Madhukar Shah on the right below dated 16th century A.D., the larger complex on the left below houses many such structures.
Cenotaphs on the banks of river Betwa, situated within 300 meters of the Ram Raja temple.
Orchha fort is the major historical attraction and houses several palaces and ruins in a vast area across the river Betwa. The fort is again at a walking distance from the city center.
In that order:- Medieval bridge connecting Orchha fort to the city, Jahangir palace, Raja palace pictures of the interior courtyards.
Jahangir palace is the later historical palace, ( the earlier one being Raja palace ) in the fort and has a lot of frills in it’s architecture with dazzling elephant sculptures in the support columns. The difference in the style of architectures of Jahangir palace and Raja palace is evident when one gets to go there. Jahangir palace seems to have a lot of Mughal-Turkic influence in it whereas the Raja palace is more Indic. Raja palace precedes Jahangir palace by at least a century.
The town always had a special place for animals, in it’s heart. Dogs and cows are treated with more care than other towns and cities in the region.
In that order:- A notice encouraging people to drive carefully, taking care of chilren and animals; a medieval ‘gaushala’ or cowshed probably dating to 16th century A.D.
The journey back to my hometown was uneventful but I did see several historical monuments on the way. One such structure was the Ammargarh fort, in Jhansi district, Moth tehsil, about 80 kilometers from Orchha. It was a bit on the inside from the highway and there seemed to be no way in to go there except through congested village lanes, but I did manage to take a few snaps of it. See below:
Thanks for reading my blogs and do keep coming back to check for more of my bicycle tours !