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Things to do in Orchha: Your perfect guide to planning your vacation

By Shrinivas - August 6, 2020

The word ‘Orchha’ means ‘hidden palace’ and this majestic city is, true to its name, one of the country’s hidden treasures. Located in India’s central state Madhya Pradesh, Orchha was once the capital of Bundela Rajput Kings and was established by Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh in 1501. Despite being a small town, this place ‘s grand history and monuments make it a must-visit for tourists.

Also read: Best places to visit in August in India

Things to do in Orchha

Here is a list of things to do in Orchha.

  1. Laxminarayan Temple
  2. Orchha Nature Reserve
  3. Jehangir Mahal, Orchha Fort
  4. Ram Raja Temple
  5. Raja Mahal
  6. Rai Praveen Mahal
  7. Phool Bagh
  8. Betwa river
  9. Shopping in Orchha
  10. Ayurvedic Massages
  11. Chhatris (Cenotaphs)
  12. Chaturbhuj Temple
  13. Dauji ki haveli

1. Laxminarayan Temple

Laxminarayan Temple can be a treat for art enthusiasts. The temple was built in 1662 dedicated to Goddess Laxmi, with a rare combination of a temple and a fort. Inside the temple, there are stunning murals in various themes – secular, spiritual and mythological – along with a number of post-mutiny paintings. It is one amongst the top things to do in Orchha

Laxminarayan Temple
Source: Google Images

2. Orchha Nature Reserve

This 12 kilometre long Orchha Nature Reserve can be an enriching experience for those who love nature, flora, and fauna. The reserve is the part of a 44-square kilometre long island surrounded by the river Betwa and the river Jamni. The path is well defined, with periodically updated signposts. Tickets can be obtained from the reserve office from 8 am to 6 pm. It is one of the recommended things to do in Orchha for nature lovers.

3. Jehangir Mahal, Orchha Fort

Built as a Mughals garrison and citadel for greater influence over the Bundela area, this palace was completed by Bharath Bhushan in 1598 after defeating Bundela’s Vir Deo Singh. This place reflects a typical example of Mughal architecture. The domes are designed according to Timurid traditions, and the gates or Iwans are wide enough to enable War elephants to join.

Jehangir Mahal
Source: Google Images

4. Ram Raja Temple

Ram Raja temple is amongst the best things to do in Orchha. There’s an interesting tale behind this magnificent Ram temple. The idols which were to be placed in the majestic Temple of Chaturbhuj were held on the ground where this temple now stands. This identified the holy spot and constructed a temple where the idols were housed. Ram Raja Temple is adorned with a marble courtyard and vibrant walls and has a serene design.

5. Raja Mahal

If you’re someone who’s keen on historic architecture, then you’re sure to love Raja Mahal. This 17th-century masterpiece, which remains within the Orchha Fort Complex, is a brilliant work of art. The palace ‘s beautiful construction is what gathers visitors from all over the country. There are myths and imaginary creatures and wildlife on colourful murals. Raja Mahal’s windows and arcade passages are designed to create varying temperatures and moods throughout the day when sunlight enters the palace. Within the palace still, there are several hidden corridors which makes it one of the unique things to do in Orchha.

6. Rai Praveen Mahal

Rai Praveen, the Orchha Nightingale, was a famed singer and poet in King Indrajit Singh ‘s palace. The king designed this magnificent palace in appreciation and recognition of her sculpture, which has come to be known as the Rai Praveen Mahal. The palace has excellent designs all over it, and exquisite carvings. The palace’s second floor has numerous picturesque scenes of Nritya Mudra which are Indian dance poses and postures. Also, Rai Praveen Mahal has a Tope Khana or cannon foundry which has been used to guard the palace from any external threat.

7. Phool Bagh

Phool Bagh is a garden complex which depicts the Bundelas decorative architecture. In a pavilion of eight pillars, it has intricately designed fountains all around. The water is collected in a large bowl called Chandan Katora; it is then delivered through the roof, which makes it look like rain. The garden originally served as a summer retreat for kings of Orchha. There’s a main monument designed for Prince Dinman Hardaul, who committed suicide to show that this elder brother was innocent.

8. Betwa river

Adventure junkies can enjoy a good time in Orchha too. River rafting and boating can be experienced at Betwa river. Betwa rafting starts from the boat club, for which MP Tourism arranges tickets at the Hotel Sheesh Mahal and Betwa Retreat. The tickets cost INR 1,000 for one hour per person or depending on how many rafts you take. A single raft takes about one to six people; so whether you’re going with family or friends, there’s a great time here.

9. Shopping in Orchha

Except for souvenirs, handicrafts, beaded rings, gemstones, etc., Orchha has nothing to sell to shopaholics. Various small shops can be found near most tourist attractions, selling these products. It is best to agree on the amount.

Orchha Fort
Source: Unsplash

10. Ayurvedic Massages

When you want a calming and stimulating Ayurvedic Massage, you should go to Orchha Resort or the Amar Mahal. The payments range from 500-2000 rs. During the evenings even meditation sessions are offered here on a regular basis.

11. Chhatris (Cenotaphs)

Chhatris of Orchha are the magnificent, anciently constructed royal tombs on the banks of the Betwa river for the Maharajas. The Chhatris was founded on a pillar-supported elevated base, and the Chhatris’ domes have beautiful paintings. To witness the beauty of these magnificent Chhatris in the best way, you must approach them from Betwa’s opposite side. Picturesque is the image of the graves in the river bed making it one of the beautiful things to do in Orchha

Cenotaphs
Source: Google Images

12. Chaturbhuj Temple

Under the reign of the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty in 875 A.D. the Chaturbhuj Temple was built. To Lord Vishnu committed. Chaturbhuj ‘s actual sense is ‘person with four wings.’ Lord Vishnu has been known in Hindu scriptures as Chaturbhuj, hence the temple name. The temple has beautiful architecture that draws many historians and archaeologists from all over the world. It is one of the best things to do in Orchha for history buffs.

13. Dauji ki haveli

Orchha, the hub of commercial enterprise, gave rise to a new type of people — the merchants. We used their riches as wise and powerful as they were to create magnificent temples that were replicas of the palaces in which the monarchy resided. Dauji ki Haveli is a beautiful illustration of one such Merchants-built building. It seems like a smaller variant of the Royal Palace, this mansion’s architecture as majestic as the larger Hasli. Dauji ki haveli houses exquisite murals well maintained over the years.

Also read: Beautiful places in India

Plan your trip with Pickyourtrail

The list of things to do in Orchha contains a number of activities to make you fall in love with this town. Resting royally on the banks of the Betwa River, this city was founded during the 16th century. Orchha features brilliant architecture in the form of a beautiful display of Rajput palaces, temples and royal chhatris influenced by the Mughal influence. This town still retains the original monumental grandeur. Taking the help of a reputed guide certainly adds to the benefit. Pickyourtrail’s customisable packages are not only cost-effective but also is a seamless process. Log on to www.Pickyourtrail.com for more information or leave a Whatsapp inquiry for more options.

Also read: Indian Destinations Under 20K: Affordable Travel In India

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