is a sleepy little hamlet but it was once the capital city of the
mighty Bundelkhand Empire. From time immemorial, Bundelkhand has been
an important destination for all sorts of tourists and travellers.
The famous Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsang, visited the area in the 7th
century a.d. and gave a vivid account of the kingdom of ‘Jejakabhuti’,
which corresponds to modern day Bundelkhand and a small part of
Bagelkhand as well.
Orchha as it stands today, was founded in the 16th century a.d. by the
Bundela chieftain, Rudra Pratap. The Bundelas were a warrior tribe who
traced their ancestry to a medieval Rajput prince who sacrificed his
life for the mountain goddess, Vrindavasini. In return, the goddess
proclaimed that henceforth, he and his descendants would be known as ‘Bundelas’,
or ‘those who gave blood’. The Orchha Bundelas are said to be chiefs
of the Bundela clan settled all over the plains of North India.
Agra is the nearest
airport to Orchha and is well connected with Delhi & many major
cities of India.
Jhansi Railway Station
is well connected with all major states & cities of India.
Orchha lies on the road
between Jhansi and Khajuraho.
Although Orchha was never
really a very affluent place, that did not deter the fiercely proud
Bundelas from undertaking ambitious projects. Orchha’s legacy has been
captured in stone and frozen in time, a rich legacy to all ages.
The remarkable proportions of the exteriors are matched by the
grandeur of the interior-rich repositories of Bundela art. The
richness of its palaces, temples and cenotaphs is reflected in the
gently flowing water of the Betwa River.
The most notable is the Jahangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by
graceful chhatris (domed pavilions). From here, the view of soaring
temple spires and cenotaphs is spectacular.
The richness of the Jahangir Mahal contrasts nicely with the austere
beauty of the Raj Mahal, built by Madhukar Shah who was a
The last of the trio of palaces which embellish the Orchha fort is the
Rai Parveen Mahal, built in the 17th century for Rai Parveen, the
talented and artistically inclined lover of Orchha’s king, Raja
of the three main temples, the Laxminarayan Temple is a curious mix of
fort and temple architecture. Most of its walls are decorated with
murals, some with secular themes. On the other hand, the Ramaraja
Temple is unusual in that here, Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu
(the Hindu Preserver of the Universe), is worshipped as a ruler, and
the building is actually a palace.
hh - heritage hotel ; ph -
palace hotel ; bh - boutique hotel ; gh - guest house ; hs - home stay