Orchha

Orchha means ‘hidden’, it is located 16 kms away from Jhansi, on the banks of the river Betwa in Madhya Pradesh, is encircled by attractive hills and greenery. This small village was once the capital of the region (Bundelkhand). Orchha was established in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput chieftain Rudra Pratap who chose this land along the Betwa River as an ideal site for his capital. Graceful chhattries provide some very exotic views. Orchha is now an abandoned land but not forgotten. The enchanting exteriors and interiors are decorated by beautiful Bundela school of painting.The historical monuments of Orchha still hold their immaculate attraction and relate stories of war and peace, of love and destruction. There are enormous palaces and with pleasant views of the countryside from their upper levels.

Particulars about Orchha
Location: In the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India.
Tourist Attractions: Temples of Orchha, Phool Bagh, the Chhattris, The Jehangir Mahal, The Sheesh Mahal.
Best Hangout : Phool Bagh, the Betwa River side.
Nearby Tourist Destinations: Khajuraho, Gwalior, Jhansi.
Best Season : October to March.

How to get there
Air : Nearest airports from Orchha are Gwalior (25Kms) or Khajuraho (1732 Kms.).
Rail : The nearest railway station is at Jhansi (18 km from Orchha). As Jhansi is located on the main Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai route, many trains pass and stop here.
Road : Orchha lies on the Jhansi – Khajuraho road. Regular bus services connect Orchha with Jhansi. There is regular bus service from -Jhansi (25Kms), Delhi, Gwalior, Agra, Bhopal and Varanasi. Autorickshaws are also available on hire from Jhansi.

Places to visit : :

Jehangir Mahal
Built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo in the 17th century to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir to Orchha. It was built as a present to welcome Mughal emperor Jehangir when he paid a state visit in the 17th century. Its strong lines are counterbalanced by delicate chhatris and trellis work, the whole conveying an effect of extraordinary richness.
Raj Mahal
This is situated to the right of the courtyard, built in the 17th century by Madhukar Shah, the deeply religious ancestor of Bir Singh Ju Deo. The plain exteriors, crowned by chhatris, give way to interiors with delicate murals, boldly colourful on a variety of religious themes.
Rai Parveen Mahal
Poetess and musician, Rai Parveen was the beautiful paramour of Raja Indramani (1672-76) and was sent to Delhi on the orders of the Emperor Akbar, who was captivated by her. She so impressed the Great Mughal with the purity of her love for Indramani that he sent her back to Orchha. The palace built for her is a low, two-storeyed brick structure designed to match the height of the trees in the surrounding, beautifully landscaped gardens of Anand Mahal, with its octagonal flower beds and elaborate water supply system.
Chaturbhuj Temple
It is built upon a enormous stone podium and arrived at by a steep flight of steps, the temple was specially built to preserve the image of Rama that remained in the Ram Raja Temple. Lotus emblems and other symbols of religious significance provide the delicate exterior ornamentation.
LaxminarayanTemple
A flagstone path links this temple with the Ram Raja Temple. The style is an interesting synthesis of fort and temple moulds. The interiors contain the most exquisite of Orchha’s wall paintings. They are in excellent state of preservation, with the colours retaining their vivid quality.
RamRajaTemple                                                                 
With its towering spires and extravagant architecture, this temple is surely one of the most unusual and only place in the country where Rama worshipped as a King.
Dinman Hardaul’s Palace
Hardaul was the son of Bir Singh Ju Deo and died to prove his blamelessness to his elder brother Jhujhar who cast fears on his relationship with his (Jhujhar’s) spouse. This saintly prince was, after his martyrdom, worshipped as a god and even today, the villages of Bundelkhand contain platform like shrines where Hardaul is worshipped.
Phool Bagh
Laid out as a formal garden, this complex testifies to the refined aesthetic qualities of the Bundelas. A central row of fountains culminates in an eight pillared palace-pavilion. A subterranean structure below was the cool summer retreat of the Orchha kings.
The Chhatris
Fourteen beautiful Chhattris or cenotaphs or memorials of  Bundelkhand’s former rulers are lined up on the Kanchana Glut of the river Betwa. A sober row of pale brown weed-choked domes and spires.
Panna Tiger Reserve
Panna Tiger Reserve (MP) is situated along the river Ken, which is 32 kms from Khajuraho. Untouched with landscape of rocky hills, it is declared as Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in the year 1995. National park has numerous waterfalls and an exquisite lake of Pandava falls. According to legend, Pandavas of Mahabharata ( famous Hindu Epic) spent sometime here. Panna National park is known for its large cats but you have to be very lucky to see one. In the year 1995, there were 26 Tigers, which was reduced to 22 in the 1997. In high summer, when it is extremely hot and Tigers emerges in search of water. Panna is mainly home to Nilgai, Indian Crocodile, Long Snouted Gharial, Sloth Bear, Wolf, Chital and Sambar.