Where to go
Orchha meaning a "hidden place" is located in the Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. The town lies on the banks of the tranquil River Betwa. Orccha was founded by a Bundela Rajput chieftain, Raja Rudra Pratap in 16th century who chose this piece of land as a perfect site for his capital. This medieval city is dotted with many temples dedicated to Lord Ram. It is perhaps the only place in India where he is worshipped as King. The grand palaces and fort of Orchha reflect the rich Indian heritage in their fascinating architectural styles, which is predominated by the use of domes brackets, chajjas, arches and pillars.
The remarkable proportions of the exteriors are matched by the grandeur of the interior-rich repositories of Bundela art. The richness of its palaces, temples and cenotaphs is reflected in the gently flowing water of the Betwa River.
The most notable is the Jahangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful chhatris (domed pavilions). From here, the view of soaring temple spires and cenotaphs is spectacular.
The richness of the Jahangir Mahal contrasts nicely with the austere beauty of the Raj Mahal, built by Madhukar Shah who was a religious-minded person.
The last of the trio of palaces which embellish the Orchha fort is the Rai Parveen Mahal, built in the 17th century for Rai Parveen, the talented and artistically inclined lover of Orchha’s king, Raja Indrajit Singh.
Of the three main temples, the Laxminarayan Temple is a curious mix of fort and temple architecture. Most of its walls are decorated with murals, some with secular themes. On the other hand, the Ramaraja Temple is unusual in that here, Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu (the Hindu Preserver of the Universe), is worshipped as a ruler, and the building is actually a palace.