ओरछा राजा महल / Orchha Royal Fort-Palace, MP. Surrounded by rustic forests and bright orange Palash tree groves (constructed in 17th century)
It is a small, very less touristy town where you can walk around and cover all the historic and scenic locations. The small town charm, little traffic and an always-visible view of the many historical artefacts makes for a great solo travel location!
The royal fort is a great architectural example of the Bundela dynasty. It combines stylistic elements from different schools yet have a very refined and detailed aesthetic quality of their own. The murals are breathtaking, and it's a wonder how they have survived for over 400 years in such immaculate condition! The maze of staircases is fun to navigate :) Unlike most 'popular' forts and palaces all parts of this are completely accessible to tourists! That's why I love going to places less trodden upon 😋
ओरछा राजा महल / Orchha Royal Fort-Palace
This time last month I went on a solo, go-with-the-flow kind of trip to Orchha, MP. Was planning to go to Ajanta-Ellora Caves, which didn't happen, so this was a kinda consolation trip 😋
Didn't know what to expect. But boy, what an amazing trip this was! Short in terms of the time spent - 2 days & 1 night. But full of stories, experiences and exploration of the self and the place 😇 The landscape was fascinating and innumerable times I caught myself gazing at it while my mind was lost in deep meditation. The stories of Bundela kings and their military and moral conquests were worthy of admiration, got my wondering why they are not discussed more in general discourse. And their architecture needs to be seen to be believed - elegant, efficient, innovative and timeless (5 centuries old murals in almost perfect conditions)! I shall be sharing some of the monuments that I visited in subsequent posts.
About Orchha: This was the centre of the Bundela kings, established in the 16th century. Legend goes that a Bundela king landed in this area during a hunting expedition and so fell in love with the area that he decide to make it his capital. I have no doubt why - the Betwa river snaking through dense jungles of green and orange Palash trees and low hills in the distance makes for an incredibly peaceful and beautiful setting!
Raja Mahal - 16th century construction, still in immaculate condition! Intricate and elegant details, perfectly preserved murals depicting religious and royal life, and innumerable stairs and pathways left a lasting impression on me. And unlike the more popular forts where you can only access some parts of the place this was almost empty of tourists and fully accessible - it was fun to explore the narrow stairs and alleyways up and down the fort. 😃 You get an amazing view of the surrounding landscape from the top floor balconies.
How to reach:
Overnight trains from Delhi take you to Jhansi. From there ₹20 shared auto or ₹200 private auto takes you on a 15km/30 min ride to Orchha.
Many people visit Orchha on way from Jhansi to Khajuraho.