Our favourite places in India…Orchha
The city of Orchha was established in 1501, by a Bundela chieftain, Rudra Pratap Singh, who became the first King of Orchha. Once one of the most powerful kingdoms in Central India, Orchha is now just a small sleepy village surrounded by a woody forest.
I love the story most of all of the Jehangiri Mahal (palace) within the fort. It was built to commemorate the visit of the Moghul Prince Jehangir to Orchha. He came, was gifted the palace, stayed just one night and on hearing of the death of his father, Emperor Akbar in Agra, he hotfooted it back home to take control of the empire, never to return to Orchha.
The palace was never used again. Frozen in time, this village boasts a magnificent fortress with several palace buildings located on an artificial island within the picturesque Betwa river. In the town itself are amazing temples with very unique histories, palaces and royal gardens, and as if that isn’t enough, the ruins of temples, cenotaphs and palaces the dot the countryside nearby.
Orchha has far more monuments and history than such a small town of its size deserves. It remains unspoilt by mass tourism and with just a handful of hotels, restaurants and shops, it’s a genuinely charming town to spend a day or two.
Tags: Agra, Betwa river, Emperor Akbar, Jehangiri Mahal, Moghul, Moghul Prince, Orchha
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