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Orchha Tourism



INTRODUCTION

Orchha TourismOrchha tourism will help you to provide all the information Magnificent about Orchha, Orchha Tourist Attraction, History Of Orchha, Orchha Restaurant, Sightseeing, Map, Images, Weather, How to reach Orchha and popular places orchha etc. Orchha is a town in Madhya Pradesh near the banks of Betwa River. The medieval city of Orchha seems to have frozen in time, its palaces and temples still retaining their original grandeur. Orchha had the distinction of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India. The Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap, founded the city, located by the side of the beautiful Betwa River, in the 16th century. The word Orchha means 'hidden'. When the Tughlaqs, who were ruling Delhi in the 15th century, pushed the Bundelkhand rajas out of Garkhundar, they retreated to distant Orchha. Orchha isn't on most tourist maps and several travelers club their visit to Orchha with a trip to Jhansi (16 km away) or Khajuraho (170 km away). But with beautiful monuments, both big and small, revealing tales of battles between kings and emperors, Orchha deserves a trip of its own. Orchha's old world charm casts a spell on tourists from all around the world. The middle age architecture of the palaces and temples tell the story of this city's rich cultural heritage. Orchha was the capital of one of the most powerful dynasties to ever rule in India- the Bundelas. The sheer attraction and glory of the havelis and temples are absolutely breathtaking. Orchha is world-renowned for its classic mural paintings and frescos. The world renowned temple, Chaturbhuj Temple was built by Queen of Orchha, Ganeshi Bai. Another famous temple Raj Mandir was built by Madhukar Shah during his reign between 1554 and 1591. Dauji ki Haveli, Chhatris and Lakshmi temple are few other places that cannot be missed by any tourist travelling here. Orchha Tourism is ideal for those people who love to explore historical places as Orchha cenotaphs. It can be visited by people who appreciate art. It is a paradise for the photographers.

ORCHHA HISTORY

Orchha history draws us back to 1501 when it was established by Rudra Pratap Singh- the Rajput chief of Bundela. Rudra Pratap Singh was the first King of Orchha, and the kingdom was in his reign till 1531. After Rudra Pratap Singh's death in 1531, his son, Bharatichand, took over the reins. Bharatichand died heirless in 1554, so his younger brother, Madhukar Shah was named his successor. Both brothers were under siege from Islam Shah Suri and then Emperor Akbar. In fact, Madhukar Shah strongly felt the threat, as his position became quite unstable around 1570. This led him to accept the formation of Orchha as a tributary state of the Mughal Empire. Under the rule of Emperor Jahangir, Vir Singh Deo was placed in charge of Orchha. He built some of the most beautiful palaces that line the town till date. The Mughals, under Emperor Shah Jahan, faced a rebellion in the early 17th century from Raja Jhujhar Singh, who was then thwarted. The Mughals put Jhujhar Singh's brother in charge of Orchha. After the British had taken over, the rulers of Orchha were received the title of Maharajas only, they was not the ruler. During the reign of Hamir Singh, the combined armies of Orchha and Datia marched on Jhansi in 1857 but were defeated by Rani Lakshmibai's forces. Hamir's successor, Maharaja Pratap Singh, who ascended the throne in 1874, focused all his efforts on the development of his state and immersed him in irrigation and engineering projects. Pratap Singh's successor, Vir Singh, consented to his territory becoming a part of the Union of India. In 1956, Orchha became a part of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

BUNDELA DYNASTY

Bundela Dynasty was primarily force in the regions surrounding Orchha, which is in Tikamgarh District of Madhya Pradesh. Bundela dynasty was established by a Rajput king named Hemkaran around AD 1048. It is said that, Hemkaran's throne was take over by his younger brother. He, being forced to go away from his own kingdom, prayed to Goddess Vindhyavasini. He even offered to sacrifice himself. He was prevented from doing so by the goddess. She blessed him and gives the name as 'Bundela'. The meaning of Bundela is 'one who offered blood'. It is said that, the king armed with the goddess's blessing conquered the regions surrounding the Vindhaya range of mountains and established his kingdom. The earlier capital of the Bundelas was a place called Garhkurar. The capital fell to the Tughlaqs in the 16th century and the Bundelas was forced to move their base to Orchha. This place prospered under the new rulers. Numerous palaces, forts and temples were built under their reign. The Bundela dynasty came to an end with the capture of Orchha, by the Mughals under the leadership of Aurangjeb. Orchha still blessed with many of the buildings built by the Bundela rulers. These buildings have the famous Bundela wall paintings. Some of the finest specimens of these murals can be seen in the Sheesh Mahal and Laxmi Narain Temple.

LOCATION

Orchha is located in northern part of the state of Madhya Pradesh, in the central region of India. It lies beside the Malwa plateau. The Betwa River flows through the town. The climate of Orchha is temperate. Summers (April-June) are not too hot while winters are cool (November-February) and pleasant. It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in July-September. It is 18 km from Jhansi. 180 kms from Khajuraho, 150 kms from Gwalior, 20 kms from Jhansi. The quaint little town of Orchha encompasses the latitudinal meridians between 25 degrees 35 minutes North and 25 degrees 21 minutes North on one hand and the longitudinal meridians from 78 degrees 65 minutes East to 78 degrees 39 minutes East on the other. The town is perched at an elevation of 231 m above mean sea level.

HOW TO REACH

Orchha has its own railway station, but the nearest major railway station is at Jhansi (15 km). Travelling from Jhansi to Orchha can be done in two way- you can either take an auto-rickshaw or go for a more expensive but comfortable cab. Orchha is also pretty close to Khajuraho and a lot of tourists typically visit Orchha from Khajuraho. They can reach here by taking a train to Orchha or to Jhansi and then a cab or auto rickshaw after that. You can also enjoy the ride from Jhansi to Orchha on a tuk-tuk (a horse driven cart) which will also be the most economical option. Buses also ply between Orchha and other nearby places like Khajuraho, Gwalior, Bhopal, Delhi and Varanasi.
By Train: Orchha is a small township. Although it is having its own railway station but major trains don't have stoppage at this small station. It is just 20kms from Jhansi which is an important railway station in Uttar Pradesh state. Tourists uses Jhansi railway station to reach Orchha by train option. It is having direct train connectivity from major cities and tourist destinations like Agra, Gwalior, Bhopal, Delhi, Mumbai etc. By Road: Orchha is located in Northern Madhya Pradesh state. It is just 20kms from Jhansi city of Uttar Pradesh state. Form Northern India, it can be reached by road via Agra, Gwalior, Jhansi. For reaching Orchha from Southwards direction, tourists can travel via Lalitpur, Tikamgarh, Mauranipur etc. Khajuraho is just 180kms from Orchha and lies in South-East direction. It is also well connected by road option. By Flight: Orchha is a small town thus don't have its own airport. Its nearest airport is Gwalior airport at 150kms but have very limited connectivity. Second best option is to visit Khajuraho Airport, having flight connectivity from Varanasi and New Delhi.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Orchha is a heritage tourism destination so can be visited throughout the season. Still tourists have their own best time to visit Orchha. According to their personal choice and circumstances they decide when to visit any tourist destination. Here we have tried to offer some valuable information about all three seasons which will help tourists to decide their plan to visit. Summers of Orchha are extremely hot and exhausting due to rocky surrounding. Its a arid region and vegetation is poor which maked us feel more hot during tour. The temperature ranges from 23°C to 47°C in the months of March to June. A visit to Orchha is generally avoided during these months. July marks the beginning of Monsoon season in Orchha and lasts till September. The rains bring newness and rejuvenating greenery to the place. Winters approach Orchha in December and lasts till February. The climate is pleasantly cool and the temperature ranges from 9°C to 35°C. Winters are the apt season for sightseeing in Orchha. It is accessible to tourists for most time of the year. However, the best time to spend a fulfilling holiday in Orchha is during the winter time.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Here we can find list of prominent Orchha tourist attractions. One time capital of Bundelas (northern Madhya Pradesh), Orchha was main power center. Royal family was living here thus many construction work took place within Orchha and its surrounding areas. Broadly we can categorize Orchha tourist attractions as Cenotaphs, Temples, Fort, Palace, River bank and wildlife sanctuary. It means lot of variety in a small but magical tourist destination. It is best combination of nature and heritage tourism. Let us read about them. Cenotaphs : There are many Chhatris or Cenotaphs (empty tombs) built as homage to various rulers of Orchha. Chattris were located on the bank of Betwa river. In Hindu religion, Chhatri is built at the point where dead-body was cremated.
Raja Mahal: Raja Mahal was built by the Madhukar Shah in 17th century. Madhukar Shah is believed to be religious and there are many mural paintings on religious themes inside the palace.
Jahangir Mahal : It was built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo and it is a fine example of Mughal architecture and Hindu architecture. It was made in honor of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, when he was visiting Orchha. Jahangir spend just one night in this palace.
Chaturbhuj Temple : Chaturbhuj Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the architecture is a blend of temple, palace and fort structures. It construction begun during reign of King Madhukar Shah and completed during rule of his son Vir Singh Deo. Its a massive structure built in main township, just close to boundary of Orchha fort complex.
Betwa River : The town of Orchha located on the banks of the Betwa river and it adds to the beauty of this heritage site. It is the lifeline of Orchha. Presence of river is the main reason for establishment of Orchha as a capital city. Here tourists can do rafting, subject to sufficient water-level.
Lakshmi Temple : The Lakshmi Temple is a unique architecture; a blend of fort and temple. The frescoes inside the temple are most amazing to see.
Ram Raja Temple : Ram Raja Temple in Orchha is a famous one; here Lord Rama is worshiped as a king and the temple is inside a palace. In all over India, we can find various Rama temples where Lord Rama is worshiped as God but their are very few place where Rama is worshiped as a King. This is the special feature of this temple.
Bir Singh Ju Deo Cenotaph : One can find cenotaphs for each ruler of Orchha. This one is dedicated to Bir Singh Ju Deo who ruled from 1605 - 1627 AD.
Mural Paintings :Mural painting inside Jahangir Mahal. Frescoes and mural paintings are a main part of the interiors of the buildings in Orchha complex.
Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary : It is a small wildlife sanctuary, located just across the Betwa river. Tourists can easily visit this wildlife sanctuary by paying entrance charges. Here we can find wild animals like Spotted Deer, Sambar, Jackal, Wolf, Birds etc. Form this wildlife sanctuary, we can have best picture of Orchha cenotaphs so carrying camera is highly recommended.

ACCOMMODATION

Even though there are limited accommodations, Orchha has an range of options in terms of location and climate. The Sheesh Mahal, which was once a palace of a Bundelkhand king, is now a heritage hotel and a beautiful place to stay. You can also stay in a backwater resort, some of which offer tent accommodation facing Betwa River. The MPSTDC runs a hotel that offers budget accommodation as well. Orchha Resort is another delightful place to stay here, though it might serve you well to give their rooms a pass and book yourself in one of the tents that overlook the banks of Betwa.

NEXT TO ORCHHA

There are many places near Orchha that may visit on a day trip from here. Some of the prominent places near Orchha include Jhansi, Datia, Gwalior, and Shivpuri. Situated at a distance of 17 kms from Orchha is the historical city of Jhansi. Jhansi Fort is the main attraction of Jhansi built in 1613. Datia is located at a distance of 47 kms from Orchha. Buglamukhi Devi Temple, Gopeshwar Temple, Siddhapeeth of Shri Peetambra Devi and Sonagiri are the places worth visiting in Datia. Gwalior is also a nearby attraction for tourists from Orchha. Gwalior, 119 kms away from Orchha is worth visiting. The forts, museums, monuments and palaces of Gwalior show the brilliance of the architects. Shivpuri that is located at a distance of 121 kms. Shivpuri is well-known for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

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