Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
Situated on the banks of river Betwa in the Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh is the small heritage town of Orchcha. It was founded by the head of Bundela dynasty in 1501 AD named Rudra Pratap Singh and lies just 15kms away from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh Orchcha Fort built by Rudra Pratap Singh is the key attraction of this place. The fort has many connected buildings like the Jahangir Mahal and Raj Mandir which were built during the rule of various other rulers. Orchcha was ruled by the Bundela rulers for the most part of 17th century and apart from Rudra Pratap Singh the other most popular and successful ruler of this dynasty has been Raja Bir Singh Ji Deo who is also credited with building the Jahangir Mahal.
There were many palaces and temples built during the reign of the Bundela rulers and most of these monuments remian intact till date. One of the most famous temples of Orchcha is the Chaturbhuj temple which was built by the Queen of Orchcha. Raj Mandir is the other most famous temple in Orchcha.
The small town of Orchcha isn''t very well connected with other parts of the country. There is no railhead or airport within the city. Jhansi is the nearest railhead which is about 18 kms away. Buses and cars are the best and only way to reach this heritage town.
October to March is the best time to visit Orchcha though the destination experiences a temperate climate with summers not too hot and winters not too cold.
Orchcha is a heritage town with many temples and the grand Orchcha Fort to look forward to. It is a great delight for people who love history and architecture. Laxminarayan Temple, Sunder Mahal, Chattris of Orchha and Ram Raja Temple are few of the key places to see while in Orchcha.
The Raj Mahal Mandir, a key attraction in Orchcha was started by Raja Rudra Pratap but was completed by his son Bharti Chand and Raja Madhukar Shah. This temple comprises of lively murals based on many spiritual and secular themes and is a great example of Mughal architecture having stone jali work.
In order to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir to this lively destination, Jahangir Mahal was constructed by Raja Bir Singh Ji Deo. This beautiful palace is an exquisite piece of art having intricate carvings of the flowers, geometrical patterns and paintings of peacocks. There are chhatris built like crowns on the top of the palace to give a touch of grandeur and grace.
Rai Parveen Mahal is another magnificent palace built in 1618 by Maharaja Indrajit Singh in the honor of ''Nightingale of Orchcha'' rai Parveen. She was well known for her enchanting beauty, poetry and music. Surrounded by lush gardens the palace has a spread of flowerbeds and shrubs trimmed in artistic shapes.
Laxminarayan temple and Chaturbhuj temple are the other two key places of attraction that one must visit while in Orchcha. The place though has many other monuments and shrines having touches of history, architecture and a rich heritage.