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Orchha meaning a “hidden place” is located in the Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. The town lies on the banks of the tranquil River Betwa. Surrounded by a tangle of a scrubby dhak forest, Orccha was founded by a Bundela Rajput chieftain, Raja Rudra Pratap in 16th century who chose this piece of land as a perfect site for his capital. This medieval city is dotted with many temples dedicated to Lord Ram. It is perhaps the only place in India where he is worshipped as King.The grand palaces and fort of Orchha reflect the rich Indian heritage in their fascinating architectural styles, which is predominated by the use of domes brackets, chajjas, arches and pillars. Endowed with scenic natural beauty, this sleepy village has become a popular destination for night halts amongst the travellers visiting Khajuraho, which is a prime tourist attraction of Madhya Pradesh.
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Jehangir Mahal
Jahangir Mahal Palace is the most admired monument of Orchha. The palace was built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo to commemorate the visit of Mughal emporer Jahangir to Orchha in the 17th century. Constructed on the lines of Emporer’s Akbar’s Hamam Saras in Agra, this exquisite palace is the representative of the Bundela School of architecture. The two life sized statues of bowed elephants adorns the gateway of Jahangir palace.
Best Time to Visit - October to March What to buy – Dokra metal artifacts Pilgrimage Attractions
Raj Praveen Mahal This small double storeyed brick structure was built by Raja Indramani for his love Raj Parveen who was an exceptionally talented poetess and a musician. The builing sets midst the sprawling lawn of the Anand Mahal gardens. It has a main assembly hall (where music and dance performaces were hosted), a boudoir upstairs, and cool underground apartments.
Chaturbhuj Temple Chaturbhuj( meaning four-armed) temple is situated on a gigantic stone platform. Built between the years 1558 to 1573 by Raja Madhukar, the temple was constructed to house an idol of Lord Rama, but later, statue of Lord Vishnu was installed. This gave the name Chaturbhuj to the temple.
Raj Mahal Built by Madhukar Shah in 17th century, this stone structure is situated at the right of the quandrangle. The palace has plain exteriors and is topped by Chattris. The floral motifs and the exquisite murals adorn the walls of the palace.
Laxmi Narayan Temple Built in the year 1663 AD by Vir Singh Deo, the temple is dedicated to Godess Laxmi . The temple has an impressive architecture, which displays a fascinating amalgamation of the distinct features of a fort and a temple. The interior of the walls of the temple are adorned with beautiful paintings that are more than hundred years old. The paintings depict scenes from the epics and even the 1857 uprising.
The Sheesh Mahal The Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) was built in the early eighteenth century as an exclusive summer resort for the local Raja, Udait Singh. After independence, the property was inherited by the government of Madhya Pradesh. The palace stands between the Raj Mahal and the Jehangir Mahal, at the far end of an open-sided courtyard. It has now been converted in to a glorious heritage hotel.
Raja Ram Mandir Dedicated to Lord Rama, this is the only shrine in India where Ram is venerated as a king. The temple where the idol is installed was constructed as a palace by Raja Nadhukar Shah for his wife, Rani Ganesha. Legend goes that the statue of Ram, brought from Ayodhya was temporarily installed in the palace while a temple for it was being built. Later on, it became impossible to lift the statue to its original location. Thousands of worshippers visit the temple during Ram Vivah, which is held every year in November
The Chattris Standing along the kanchana Ghat of the river Betwa are the fourteen cenotaphs. These marble structures are dedicated to the rulers of Orchha.
Sunder Mahal This beautiful palace of Orchha is a venerated place for Muslims. Sunder Mahal was built by Prince Dhurbhajan who was the son of the then ruler of Orchha, Raja Jhujhar Singh. Dhurbajan embraced Islam when he married a Muslim girl at Delhi. He spent the rest of his life in prayer and meditation and became a saint.
Other Attractions - Siddh Baba Ka Sthan, Jugal Kishore, Janki Mandir, Hanuman Mandir, Phool Bagh
Excursions - Asirgarh (49 km from Khandwa), Burhanpur (69 km from Khandwa)
How to Get There
By Air: Gwalior (119km) is the nearest airport, which is connected with regular flights from Delhi & Bhopal.
By Rail: Nearest railhead is Jhansi (16km), on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai main lines. All major mail and express trains stop at Jhansi.
By Road: Regular bus services connect Orchha with Jhansi. Tempos and taxis are also available.