Orchha today is a sleepy little hamlet but it was once the capital city of the mighty Bundelkhand Empire. From time immemorial, Bundelkhand has been an important destination for all sorts of tourists and travellers.
The famous Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsang, visited the area in the 7 th century a.d. and gave a vivid account of the kingdom of ? Jejakabhuti ', which corresponds to modern day Bundelkhand and a small part of Bagelkhand as well.
The best climate to visit Orchha is between October and March.
Panna Tiger Reserve (174 km) - Panna is famous for Tiger, leopard, Spotted Deer, Sambhar Deer, other mammals and over 300 species of birds. The Ken River flows through this beautiful park and is home to crocodiles, turtles and fish.
Khajuraho (168km) - Once a great Chandela capital, Khajuraho is now a World Heritage Site for its temples built between AD 950 to 1050.
Datia (46km) - The Fort of Bir Singh Deo which is the twin of the Orchha Fort was built in 1626. The Datia Fort is called Gobind Mandir and was built after Jahangir Mahal with a central tower.
Jhansi (18km) -Is Famous for its Fort built in 1613 by Maharaja Bir Singh Deo of Orchha and Rani Mahal, the former Palace of Rani Lakshmibai which is now a museum containing hundreds of sculptures.
Shivpuri (104 km) - Is the old summer capital of the Scindias. Shivpuri is known for Chhatris (tombs) and the Madhav National Park.
Deogarh (160 Km) - Famous for temples from 2nd Century A.D with Jain and Hindu sculptures
BaruaSagar (17km) - Is known for its Fort built by the Raja Udait Singh in 1730 and is built on the lake.
Garh Khundar (30 km) - Known for its Fort on top of the hill and a Lake built by Bir Singh Deo of Orchha
The Cenotaphs - Orchha
Castle near Khajuraho - Orchha
Attractions and Places to Visit in Orchha
Ram Raja Temple is the palace of Raja Madhukar Shah where the icon of Lord Ram was brought from Ayodhya by Maharani Ganesh Kunwar.
Chaturbhuj Temple was built by Raja Bir Singh Deo.
Laxmi Narayan Temple . The wall paintings in the Lakshmi Narayan Temple are worth a visit and depict scenes from the epics and even the 1857 uprising.
Chhatris (Cenotaphs) to Orchhas rulers are down by the Betwa River.
Jahangir Mahal is an impressive Palace with a small archaeological museum on the ground floor. The Fort of Orchha has 3 Palaces - the Jahangir Mahal, Raj Mandir and Sheesh Mahal and also the Haveli and Garden of Rai Praveen who was an accomplished courtesan in the reign of Raja Madhukar Shah.
The Phool Bagh has a Baradari in honour of Diwan Hardaul, who was poisoned by Rani of Raja Jujhar Singh, his brother. The Phool Bagh also has the Badgir Sawan Bhadon Towers. These cooling towers, which caught the prevailing wind, came to Orchha from their origin in Yazd in Iran
Boating on Betwa River next to Bundelkhand Riverside
Bundela Chhatris from the Betwa River
How to Reach Orchha
By Air: The nearest airport is Gwalior (120 km), connected with Delhi, Bhopal, Indore and Mumbai. Khajuraho (170 km) is linked with Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is at Jhansi (16 km), on the Mumbai - Delhi and Delhi - Chennai lines. All major mail and express trains stop at Jhansi.
By Road: Orchha lies on the Jhansi - Khajuraho road. Regular bus services connect Orchha with Jhansi. Autorickshaws are available on hire from Jhansi for a tour of all the tourist spots in Orchha. Places to Visit.