Even though Orchha has its own history, still the debate remains whether it is a copyscape of Khajuraho or has its own identity. That’s quite interesting, Nuh! I won’t spill buckets of erotic talks on Khajuraho’s rich architectural work over here but< Orchha showcases some fabulous architecture – temples and palaces. Just when you step into the village of Orchha, which is located on the banks of Betwa River, you will discover the quaint colours of Indian history and culture.
Coming to the culture of Orchha… you are surely going to capture a little bit of rural India. Well, Orchha could be one of your picks if you are for a cultural tour in India. Don’t be surprised to see a sadhu walking towards you and showering some mantra. If you are a traveller seeking to experience more of the rural atmosphere of Orchha then live with a local family as it will help you to get acquainted to all sorts of traditions and rituals that will arouse your curiosity. The rural rays split to Bundeli music, Bundelkhandi language and dressing style thus reflecting the era of Bundela Rajput kings of the 15th century. Let’s have a glimpse of the rural ambiance of Orchha from the following video as shot by Michael Grobman.
The above video takes you deep into the traditional lifestyle of the Orchha. You will come across locals bathing in the Betwa River, performing rituals and folk music, and on the streets of Orchha. Although the inflow of travellers in Orchha is less than Khajuraho, but one could surely drive off ramp to Orchha and make your heritage tour in India a distinct one along with the rural rays.
The people of Orchha are a little curious about a traveller’s trait and hence you can expect a very simple, hospitable and spontaneous reception. On the other hand, the locals are skilled in carpentry, pottery and weaving work… you will also be surprised to see their knowledge of traditional medicine. If you want to frame one complete rural picture of Orchha, then step into Rudraani Kalagram, which is a Bundeli Art Village. Experience the rural colours along with a host of artistic work that include miniature paintings, sculptures, woodcraft, hand painted articles, metal works, Bundeli toys, terracotta works and baskets. Don’t forget to try out some anchar (pickle)… chatkara!!! (lip smacking) The video below displays a diorama of rural Orchha, which was a dream project of Sushmita Mukherjee. The video also takes you to the chapters of paathashala (rural education). Let’s walk through one of the best Orchha travel videos… my words may bore you.
The quaint village of Orchha represents the lost era of the Bundela Rajputs. So, now you can expect a lecture on history of Orchha from me. Ah! I won’t bore you to YAWN so let me cut it short. Orchha was the seat of Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh, who established the town in 1501. Later his son Raja Madhukar Shah converted the palace into a temple a.k.a. the Ram Raja Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Rama; later Maharaja Bir Singh Deo 1 completed the Chaturbhuj temple and built Jahangir Mahal in the fort at Orchha. From the early 17th century Orchha came under the influence of the Mughals under Emperor Shahjahan and hence you can capture some beautiful specimen of Mughal architecture. The Jahangir Mahal is considered to be one of the best examples of Mughal architecture. Some other noted works during the period are the Rai Praveen Mahal and Raja Mahal. The Laxminarayana Temple demonstrates the rich religious history and architectural legacy of the ancient times. Being in the midst of medieval era many of us thus often dub Orchha as one of the pilgrimage cities of India. The following video by Madhya Pradesh Tourism atitled, “Orchha – Medieval Legacy in Stone” gives a glimpse of the rich and artistic history of Orchha along with shots of artistic temples. Now, let us turn back to the chapter ‘History of Orchha’ from this video.
I wonder where you are going to put up. My recommendation is that you stay close to the cultural hub and heritage diorama of Orchha. Hence step into the Sheesh Mahal Hotel and thereafter walk through the medieval era, vibrant markets, rural aroma and temples. Jen and Frank got something for us in this video below. Jen captured the hotel room at the Sheesh Mahal Hotel while Frank shot the main street from Shri Mahant Hostel. They will drive you through the crowded Ram Raja Temple market and later to a rooftop candle night dinner overlooking the main Orchha street.
If you are seeking for a refreshing weekend at Orchha, you have the option of checking into the Orchha Resort, owned by Oswal Motels and Resort Ltd. that is set in the midst of a sprawling landscape. Let’s have a tour of the resort and its ambiance from the below video as shot by simplysoftindia.
Orchha is just not about the rich heritage and culture. Guys! Don’t forget to take a tour to Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary. Compared to other wildlife sanctuaries in India, the Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary is smaller but it is a home to many species of animals like spotted deer, Blue Bull, Peacock, Wild pig, Monkey, Jackal, Nilgai andSloth Bear. It also houses more than 200 species of birds.
What is as another big attraction in Orchha is the colourful Women Festival. With folk drum beats and songs… women of Orchha during the festival burst into a different mood. The video below as shot by “sanikopenocka” (may be the person’s fictitious name) will bang your mood also. It is one of the best Orchha travel videos that you can check it out.
Now before I conclude I will share another unique folk clamour. If you visit Orchha during Diwali, which is one of the popular festivals in India, don’t miss to capture the weirdo dance steps of the villagers and jungle inhabitants. Lol… they are often dubbed “Jungle Dancers”. Let’s check out their crazy steps and beats from this video below.
That was more of a SKILLED FIGHT than a dance… I SUPPOSE!