Road Trip Through Madhya Pradesh - Second Stop - Orchha

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Road Trip Through Madhya Pradesh - Second Stop - Orchha

If you have just joined me on my journey through Madhya Pradesh, you can read all details about when and where we started from and our travel through Gwalior in the post Road Trip Through Madhya Pradesh [ Gwalior, Orccha, Jabalpur, Bandhavgarh, Khajuraho]

Continuing with the road trip series.....

We started around 12 from Gwalior towards Orchha. The road is quite bumpy in a lot of places before it clears out. Took us 3 hours to reach Orchha fort.

Orchha,Madhya Pradesh

There is a ticket of Rs 10 for adults and Rs 15 for the camera. The same ticket is needed at Cenotaphs so make sure you keep it safe. Parking is outside the fort almost in the market area. We had lunch (thali) at a small restaurant just outside the fort (RamRaja Restaurant & Cafe - expensive as compared to other places since its targeted towards foreigners but the thali was good).

Keel Darwaza (door) Orchha Fort, Madhya Pradesh
Keel Darwaza (door) Orchha Fort, Madhya Pradesh
Orchha fort has two main palaces, Raja Ram palace and Jahangir Palace. Sheesh Mahal is also there which is now turned into a hotel. You can drive up to Sheesh Mahal and walk down to the other two forts which are adjacent .Both are in a very bad state with mostly the outer structure standing now. There are a lot of steep steps throughout the fort if you wish to climb to the higher floors - the view is amazing from the top but yet my legs were crying when I came back.




Orchha Fort, Madhya Pradesh
Orchha Fort, Madhya Pradesh
After spending around 1.5 hours at the fort we crossed across to visit the Chaturbhuj temple. This is a stunning structure architecturally. It does house an actual temple inside which is quite small.

Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

We found a guy called Manoj inside this place who took us right to the top of the temple and happily became our photographer suggesting us different poses. He did not harrow us for money later which was very surprising so we tipped him generously.

Sunset at the Cenotaphs, Orchha
Sunset at the Cenotaphs, Orchha

We then drove across the bridge on the Betwa river - just where the bridge ends is the perfect spot for watching the sunset and you gt to see the cenotaphs across the river. The bridge has no walls or railings and is extremely dangerous to stand on since there are vehicles crossing  the bridge. Some people walk down and sit on the rocks to get a view but the rocks can be slippery and the water is gushing at high speed. I'd recommend to carefully walk down the bridge (park your vehicle at the start of the bridge (you will see some tea stalls where you can park) Carefully walk to the end of the bridge, there is a forest-y area on your right with a small gate. If the gate is open enter and walk down towards the rocks, here the rocks are more flat so you can stand more easily to watch the sunset and click photos.

Sunset at Betwa River, Orchha (Cenotaphs in the background)
Sunset at Betwa River, Orchha (Cenotaphs in the background)
After the sun sets walk back the bridge towards a flight of steps on your left - here the pujari (priest) does an aarti of the Betwa river. Aarti happens everyday after sunset. After the aarti we had a cup of ginger tea at the stalls and then headed to our hotel - Faagun Haveli - 3 km from the fort on the outskirts where there is no network connectivity.

Aarti at Betwa River, Orchha
Aarti at Betwa River, Orchha

 The haveli has 10 rooms and is owned by Mr Sharma. It's like a home with basic modern amenities provided in each room with an attached bathroom. Each room also has its own sit out area. We relaxed for half an hour before heading towards the Ram Raja temple.

Faagun Haveli - Orchha
Faagun Haveli - Orchha

The temple opens from 7 pm to 9 pm and in the morning from 9 am to 1 pm. Entrance is in queues of women and men. First the women's queue is allowed inside. Once they exit the men's queue is allowed in. And this alternates every 5 minutes or so. The significance of this temple is that the queen of Orchha had a dream about Lord Ram asking her to keep his idol. She got an idol from Ayodhya and placed it in her palace while the temple  (Chaturbhuj ) was being made. But when they tried to move the idol to the temple no one was able to move it so the idol was kept in the palace itself. The idol has Lord Rama in a sitting position (Lord Ram idols usually have him in a standing pose) It is said that if you look at the toe of his  foot that he has folded over his left leg, it is considered auspicious and your wish comes true. We went inside once all the devotees had left so that we could ask the priest about this. With a donation of Rs 20 you can get the Prasad which is two besan laddoos, one paan, some perfume (which they had run out of on the day we went) and Tulasi leaves.

After the darshan around 8:30 we ate daal and roti at a small dhabba outside the temple complex before heading back to the hotel. The night was extremely cold and we needed a good sleep since the plan for the next day was to leave at 7 am for a the longest leg of our trip - Bhedaghat, Jabalpur.

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15 comments:

  1. Sounds like your trip is progressing on a wonderful track. Keep enjoying it all.

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  2. Wow! I'm loving the architecture - so gorgeous!

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  4. I love seeing all the architecture. What a beautiful trip!

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  5. Looks like a fabulous time and beautiful sights!

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  6. I enjoy reading your travel post, it makes me feel like I am there too

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  7. I just love reading your vacation posts. What a fun trip!

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  8. Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing your trip with us :)

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  9. Great photos! These buildings are definitely cool. Enjoy your trip!

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  10. So many great photo! So neat your getting to visit so many places and enjoy!

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