Orchha, one of the finest offbeat travel destinations in the country, is a picturesque town located on the banks of Betwa river in central India. Frozen in time, the grandeur of Orchha’s forts, palaces, temples, and ghats transport us back in time. The 16th century Bundelkhandi architecture with Mughlai influence tells tales from history through its intricate stone carvings. Chaturbhuj temple dominates the skyline of Orchha while on the other hand, the cenotaphs, when viewed from the other end of the river make a beautiful backdrop during the time of sunset.
Orchha was established as the capital town of mighty Bundela Rajputs, by Rudra Pratap Singh in the 16th century. The word Orchha means ‘hidden’, hence a suitable place for a Rajput capital. It’s one of the rarest places across the country that has still maintained its ancient glory and magnificence. The very perfect amalgamation of nature and heritage make Orchha an inviting place for all kinds of visitors.
Let’s set on a journey in a group of wonderful individuals to experience the charm of this 16th-century old town and to relax away from our noisy metro cities for a few days.
1. Orchha Fort Complex: It houses a large number of ancient monuments consisting of the fort, palaces, and temple. The most visited landmarks in Orchha Fort Complex are Raj Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, and Phool Bagh. Raj Mahal used to be the abode of kings and queens until it was abandoned in 1783. The secret passages, murals, and mirror work inside Raj Mahal are fabulous. Jahangir Mahal was built inside the fort in the 17th century to mark Jahangir’s visit to the town. It’s a combination of both Mughal and Bundela architecture. Sheesh Mahal is now a heritage hotel inside Orchha Fort complex offering a royal experience.
2.Ram Raja Mandir: Lord Ram arrived to Orchha from Ayodhya in a child form in the lap of Queen Ganesh Kunwari and took his place inside the palace of the queen which is now known as Ram Raja Mandir. It’s the only temple in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king. The temple is guarded by police personnel and an armed salutation is offered to Lord Ram every day. Why Lord Ram is worshipped here as a king is an interesting story which we shall discuss during the trip!
3. Chaturbhuj Temple: Almost 105 meters high, Chaturbhuj Temple is one of tallest, fabulous and the magnificent structures of ancient India. It was built by king Madhukar Shah in between the years 1558 and 1573. The temple houses an idol of Lord Vishnu with four arms but was originally meant for Lord Rama’s idol. It has a complex multi-storied structure which is a blend of the architectural features of temples, forts, and palaces. The temple has tall spires in the shape of pine cones built atop a high platform.
4. Laxmi Narayan Temple: As the name suggests, Laxmi Narayan Temple is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi, but still there is no idol of Goddess kept inside the temple. It’s one of the most interesting and unique temples of Orchha. It exhibits a perfect combination of temple and fort architecture. It has captivating mythological murals and geometrical carvings of scenes from the life of Lord Krishna. It’s one of the preferred places to view a sunset in the town.
5. Sunset at Kanchana Ghat: Words are less to describe the unforgettable beauty of Kanchana ghat. The mesmerizing view of the reflection of cenotaphs (chhatris) in the shimmering waters of Betwa river, when viewed from Kanchana ghat, is worth a hundred photos. It’s an experience and the exquisiteness of this place which shall keep haunting you to return to this place.
6.Village Walk: Rural life of every region has its simplistic charms. Innocent faces, kids playing in the farms, livestock grazing on vegetation patches, unadulterated food, fresh air and hearts filled with love is the essence of rural life. We will go for a short village walk where we get to see the cute colorful houses and many other joys of a village life.
7. Trekking in Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary: We will go for a short trek inside Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary. The calm and composed time we spent inside the forest while hearing the chirping of birds would us much-needed relaxation from our fast life. The sound of water of Betwa river flowing on one side of Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary is definitely going to be an icing on the cake. Not to mention that a person with average stamina can do the trek extremely well.
8. White Water river rafting: Orchha is one of the best places in India to do white water river rafting. It’s an enthralling experience to do white water river rafting in Betwa river where on one side of the river we get to see the magnificent temples and the forest on the other side. The level of the rapids encountered here is Grade 1 and Grade 2.
9. Gwalior Fort: Sitting on a big rocky mountain, Gwalior Fort is one of the most impenetrable fortresses located in India. It’s also known as ‘the pearl amongst fortresses in India’ because of its strong defensive built and an imposing structure which is the best example of architectural marvel and the excellent craftsmanship. The entire fort complex is well maintained and includes temples, water tanks, and palaces such as Zero Temple, Saas Bahu Temple, Maan Singh Palace, etc.
10. Sun Temple: Sun Temple, also known as Surya Mandir, is an exact replica of the famous Sun Temple located in Konark city of Odisha. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Sun God. The exterior of the temple is built with red sandstone while pure white marble has been used to build the interior. Extreme intricacy has been put into the architecture and the walls of the temple are adorned with the numerous stone carvings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
11. Stay in countryside home cum villa: We will stay in a countryside home in Orchha which is a couple of minutes away from the hustle-bustle of the town. The interesting thing about this property is that they grow their own food and hence you would be eating an organic and healthy diet during your stay. It’s built in a haveli style with local charm and lot of open space around the property. Did we mention that all the rooms have balconies?
We will start driving in a comfortable private vehicle exclusively booked for our group from Delhi at 10.30 PM. With a fun introduction and a few group games, we will continue our journey towards our destination.
Reach Orchha in the morning
Orchha Fort Complex (Raja Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Bagh)
Light and Sound Show
Ram Raja Mandir
Laxmi Narayan Temple
Walk on the banks of Betwa River
Sunset at Kanchana Ghat
Trekking in Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary
White Water river rafting (Duration: 1-1.5 hours, Rapids: 2nd Grade)
Walk on the banks of Betwa River
Exploring Orchha local market
Please note that today’s trekking and river rafting requires an average stamina. We strongly encourage all the participants to both the activities. However, you also have the option of skipping both or one of the activities. You can either hang out in the property or in the markets of Orchha.
Leave from Orchha after an early breakfast
Gwalior Fort (Zero Temple, Saas Bahu Temple, Maan Singh Palace, Gurudwara)
Start driving to Delhi
Reach Delhi around 10.30 PM
The group will be lead by our Founder, Chandni Aggarwal, who is a globetrotter. She has traveled to 18 countries till date and knows how to curate the best of the best experiences. She believes in delivering a lifetime experience even through a weekend trip. Chandni is a very people friendly person who will soon turn the entire group of strangers into great travel companions and friends.
You can read more about her journey from being a traveler to a travel entrepreneur by clicking “From big cities to the heart of villages”.
Apart from a great travel experiences, we also offer great transformational social experiences. Keeping such a small group allows us to personalize the experience completely. So, you are in for a travel treat!
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15300 if registered before December 7, 2018
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