Orchha

The balmy and cool months of October and November are a perfect time to enjoy the magnificent palaces and forts in Orchha. Situated on the River Betwa, this town with an undulating topography is surrounded by hills. A visit to Orchha would transport you to a
bygone era and this ambience surely enhances the experience of the various palaces here. While Raj Mahal is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture, the exquisite Jahangir Mahal displays the unique Bundela style of Architecture. Another magnificent palace in Orchha is Rai Praveen Mahal which is surrounded by lush gardens with flowerbeds and shrubs trimmed in artistic shapes. There are many shrines and memorials in the city including Laxminarayan Temple and Chaturbhuj Temple. Orchha is accessible by road from nearby cities Jhansi, Gwalior and Khajuraho, with the nearest airport at Gwalior and nearest railhead at Jhansi.
Best Time to Visit: September to March
Languages Spoken: Hindi
Climate: Hot and humid summers, average monsoon, pleasant winters
Heritage sites: Raj Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Rai Praveen Mahal
Holy places: Laxminarayan Temple, Chaturbhuj Temple

Experiencing the Heart of India

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Hey there. I don’t know where to start. India has opened my eyes to a whole new culture I have never before seen. I’ve been born and brought up in Auckland, New Zealand, and often visit my home city Pune. However, this time, my relatives and I decided to visit the heart of Madhya Pradesh to get a historically and culturally rich experience. After having an initial debate on which places to go to, we came to the official conclusion of touring Khajuraho, Orchha and Gwalior.

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Outstanding Orchha

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Orchha is breathtakingly beautiful. Regal on appearance and serene in ambiance. Apart from Jehangir Mahal, the Raja Mahal, Rani Ki Mahal, Rai Praveen Mahal and Sheesh Mahal adorn the dusty hill tops of Orchha. The last named has been converted into a heritage hotel by M.P. tourism with limited accommodation and unlimited scope for improvement in maintenance. There is an interesting anecdote about the Rai Praveen Mahal. Rai Praveen was a courtesan and an accomplished poetess in the Orchha kingdom. For her legendary beauty, she was once sent to the “Harem” of Emperor Akbar against her wishes, as she was deeply in love with Raja Indramani of Orchha. On a face to face meeting with the great Emperor in the Mughal court, she recited one of her poem telling that only “a crow and a dog eat off the used plate of another”. Akbar was too smart and generous to understand the subtle hint and immediately ordered Rai Praveen’s return to Orchha in full honour. All other palaces have their attendant history as well.

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Of Bundelas and Mughals, Palace of Datia

Of Bundelas and Mughals, Palace of Datia

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I found the view from the terrace particularly charming with the scenery dotted with temples and cenotaphs, and spent some time relaxing there with the cool breeze blowing on my face. Coming out, I had another good look at the Palace. It was hard to believe that this Palace was of the seventeenth century.

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