Last month I got back from an incredible two-week adventure around India and Nepal. One of my favourite places we visited during that trip was Orchha – a town in the North of India. After the hustle and bustle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, Orchha was definitely a breath of fresh air. It’s a relatively small town, renowned for its rich history and beautiful architecture. From magnificent palaces to ancient temples, there is so much to explore… and, best of all, it can all be done at a leisurely pace.
Visit Orchha Fort
Orchha Fort is one of the most famous attractions in town. Built in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap Singh, the fort is a remarkable structure that offers a glimpse into the town’s glorious past. The fort is a popular spot for photography, and you can also enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from the top.
Explore the Jahangir Mahal
Located inside the Orchha Fort complex, Jahangir Mahal was built by Raja Bir Singh Deo in the 17th century. The palace is named after Emperor Jahangir, who visited Orchha in 1606. The architecture of the palace is a unique blend of Rajput and Mughal styles, making it a must-visit attraction for history and architecture enthusiasts. You can climb all the way to the top of the ruins, but it’s not for the faint-hearted as there it’s very high and there are no barriers.
Visit Ram Raja Temple
Ram Raja Temple is a unique temple in Orchha as it’s the only temple in India where Lord Rama is worshipped as a king. It was originally a palace built by Madhukar Shah in the 16th century, which was later converted into a temple and is famous for its architecture and beautiful paintings. To get the full taste of the temple, you can attend at 8pm to witness the Hindu prayer ceremony (this occurs every day). It’s the busiest you’ll see Orchha but a fantastic experience.
Take a sunrise nature walk
One of the best activities we did in the whole of our India trip was a sunrise nature walk in Orchha. Compared to the intense pace of Delhi and Jaipur, Orchha is pretty chilled anyway – and in the mornings when nobody is around, it’s even more so! The walk through took us around by Orchha Fort and then down by the river. Along the way we spotted several owls, many types of birds, and got to explore some of the abandoned temples along the way.
See the Chhatris at sunset
The Chhatris in Orchha are a group of cenotaphs or memorials of the Bundela Rajput kings and queens. They are located on the banks of the Betwa River and offer lovely views of the river and the surrounding landscape, making them a popular photography spot. The best time to see them is at sunset. As you can see below, we weren’t gifted with a sunset during our visit (a running theme during our India trip) but the view was still amazing nonetheless.
Orchha was one of my favourite places we visited in India, and it’s not somewhere I had heard much about prior to my trip, which is surprising given its history, culture, and natural beauty – there is so much to explore and experience here. Let me know if you’ve been to Orchha in the comments below.