Orchha

Ram Raja Orcha
This palace-temple, which lies opposite the Orchha Fort, holds a special significance. Legend has it that Bundela king Madhukar Shah was a huge devotee of Lord Vishnu, while his wife worshipped Lord Ram. The clash in devotion resulted in the king demanding that the queen go to Ayodhya, and return with her deity in tow. Lord Ram agreed to visit Orchha in the form of a boy, but put forth a condition - he won't move from the spot that initially houses him.
The king, overjoyed on hearing the news, started building a grand temple. However, it remained incomplete when the entourage arrived, and Lord Ram was housed inside the queen's palace. Later, when the temple was ready, the idol refused to move. Incidentally, this is probably the only place where Lord Ram is worshipped not just as a God, but as a king as well. Police personnel guard the temple, and the king gets a gun salute from them daily. The temple is shut in the afternoons, so do visit in the morning or catch the evening prayer at 8pm.

Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary
Regardless of its 46 sq.km size, Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a wide range of animals. Ever since it was established in 1994, the sanctuary has been one of the top tourist destinations in Orchha. Some of the animals found here include tigers, leopards, langur, jackal, sloth bear, blue bull, monkey and peacock. The place is a delight for bird watchers as there are nearly 200 species of birds. The migratory birds that visit the place include kingfisher, woodpecker, owls, jungle bush quail, black swan and geese. River Betwa flowing through the area makes the sanctuary more appealing.

Orcha Fort
Orchha, situated on river Betwa, has various historical legends associated with it. However, not much of it is known before the 1501 A.D. when the city was founded by Rudra Pratap sinhg, a Rajput ruler of Bundelkhand. He was the first king of Orchha and built the Orchha Fort.
The city was attacked by the Mughal Army under the generalship of Shah Jahan, in the early part of the 17th century. The Mughals gained reign over the city and ruled here till 1641 A.D. All the attempts of the Marathas to rule over Orchha went in vain and in the year 1783, Tehri was declared as the capital of Orchha.
The city was ruled by Hamir Singh from 1848 to 1874 A.D and in the year 1865, the king gained the title of the 'Maharaja'. Maharaja Pratap Singh sat on the throne of Orchha in 1874.
Orchha was declared as a part of Madhya Pradesh in the year 1956.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple Orcha
Lakshminarayan Temple is dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and her consort, Narayan. It was built in 1622 on the orders of Bir Singh Deo but has needed extensive renovation over the centuries.
It's an odd mixture of temple and fort (with musket embrasures in the crenellated outer wall) and an even odder mixture of concentric forms - it is basically an octagonal central tower inside a triangular temple within a square compound that has bastions at each corner. In line with this eccentricity, the entrance gate is set in a corner rather than the wall.
Despite that unpromising description, it is gorgeous and its eclectic ceiling paintings have been successfully restored in the past two decades. They are a mixture of ancient mythology and relatively recent history. The hall with a long panorama of the siege of Jhansi by the British in 1857 is brilliant.
And because it is so little visited it is wonderfully tranquil. You can lie on the floor and look at the painting for hours - or sit in the cupola at the top of the entrance tower and admire the skyline of Orchha's palaces and temples a little over a kilometer away.
Jhansi Fort
One of the beautiful tourist places in Uttar Pradesh is Jhansi. One of the beautiful towns, Jhansi is famous all over the world for its valiant struggle against the British troops. The name of Jhansi is synonymous with Rani Lakshmi Bai who fought single handedly with the British troops during the freedom struggle. Indianholiday.com offers online information on Jhansi Fort, Jhansi and other tourist attractions of India.
In 17th century, this fort was built by King Bir Singh Judeo of Orchha on top of a hill as an army stronghold. The fort has been a witness to the fiery battle led by Rani Laxmi Bai. There are temples of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha within the fort. The Karak Bijli and Bhawani Shankar cannon of the queen are also kept inside the fort. There is also a museum which has a collection of sculpture and provides an insight into the history of Bundelkhand.
he Jhansi Fort is one of the fortified areas located atop a hill in the city of Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh in India. It was Raja Bir Singh Deo of Orchha who had commissioned this fort during early 17th century. This fort has treasured a few of the remnants of the Sepoy Mutiny. In June 1857 some of the soldiers of 12th native infantry seized the fort. The fort had stored ample supplies of treasure and magazine. They used the supplies from the Jhansi Fort, Jhansi and killed an number of European officers of the garrison. In early 1858, Rani Lakshmi Bai was defeated.
Later on the British handed over the fort to the Maharaja of Scindia. But again in 1858 the British exchanged it for Gwalior in 1866. The Karak Bijli tank is located within the fort and this is also one of the tourist attractions of Jhansi. The Jhansi Museum is located inside the fort as well. It has good collections of sculpture and provides us a detailed information on the history of Bundelkhand.
It is about 20-30 minutes from Orchha. The popular Jhansi Fort can be explored in a day.
The sound and light show is organised in Jhansi Fort and is based on the life of Rani laxmi Bai and the First War of Independence in 1857.

Jahangir Palace Orcha
Orchha is an emerald of Madhya Pradesh, and has a proud to be the city of Rajputs. The town situated Northern part of Central Indian in Madhya Pradesh state. Rudra Pratap Singh was a Bundela Ruler who initiated the construction of Orchha, during the medieval times of 16th century, but couldn't complete it as he had been killed while saving a cow from the clutches of a Tiger. As Rudra Pratap has no child so his younger brother Bharti Chand became king and continued the work. After Bharti Chand next king was his son Ram Shah (1592-1605). But turn around took place when Bir Singh Dev was declared as Maharaja of Orchha by Mughal Emperor Jahangir as he helped Jahangir during his revolt against Akbar. Just to give thanks to Jahangir, Bir Singh ordered to construct Jahangir Palace and later invited Jahangir to visit Orchha and stay here. The most dashing Bundela Ruler Bir Singh Deo built around 52 forts and other things across the region during his 22 years of odd age, in them famous were citadel of Jhansi, the rembling Narsingh Dev at Datia, apart from Sheesh Mahal, which is now converted into a Heritage Hotel.

ARCHITECTURE
This palace was built by Raja Bir Singh Deo-1 in between years 1605 to 1626. It was made in honor of Mughal emperor Jahangir. During that time Bundela rulers of Orchha maintains good relationship with Mughals. Here entire palace is constructed around a square shaped courtyard with side of 67.6 meter each. It is a three storied palace built mainly with red and yellow sandstone and have 136 rooms decorated with wall paintings. Being constructed to resemble the good relationship of Bundelas (Hindus) with Mughals (Muslims) here we can identify the confluence of both Hindu and Islamic architectures like in domes, rooms, entrance gates, terraces, corridors. It is a percy-brown monuments covering a square of 220 feet side and rising into an immense rectangular mass supporting 8 graceful domes. It encompasses all qualities that is expected in a medieval castle. Palace is built on the bank of Betwa river with surrounding of green forest offering picturesque and romantic surrounding view. Presence of elephant images and painting inside rooms gives a touch of hindu architecture in building. Behing palace their is a camel stable. Although whole building is dedicated to Jahangir and Raja Bir Singh Deo friendship but when Jahangir came here, he stayed here for just one night.

TOURISM
Jahangir palace is just adjacent to Raj Mahal of Orchha. It is a Betwa river facing palace covering about 220 square feet area. It is now maintained by Madhya Pradesh Archeology department. Raj Mahal and Jahangir palace are main tourist attractions for visitors. It is open for visitors from sunrise to sunset. Tourists are required to take entrance ticket from ticket counter their before visiting this historical monument. Guides are available their in the service of visitor but it is not mandatory for visitor to take their service. Here we can get guides of different languages like Hindi, English, French, Spanish etc. Ticket taken from counter is not just limited for Raj Mahal and Jahangir Palace but can be used as entrance pass for visiting other nearby monuments like cenotaphs, temples etc. Usually it takes about one hour or more to completely visit the palace. Photography is allowed inside the palace. While visiting the Jahangir palace, one can notice the presence of vultures mostly on palace domes as inviting visitors to shoot them. If you want to see the palace in night under artificial light system, you can attend light & sound show just similar to Khajuraho light & sound show. It is separately charged where visitor can visit the monument in night and can also hear the commentary explaining the history, facts and myths of these monuments.

HOW TO REACH
Jahangir Palace in Orchha is just 20kms from Jhansi city. Orchha is a small town in Madhya Pradesh state and easily accessible by road.
By Flight: Nearest airport is Gwalior Airport (IATA Code: GWL) at a distance of 150kms by road. It is well connected with Mumbai & Delhi. Second option is Khajuraho airport (Iata code: HJR) which is well connected with Varanasi and Delhi. It is about 195kms from Orchha.

Chaturbhuj Temple Orcha
Chaturbhuj Temple in Orchha is one of the most fabulous and ancient architectural marvels of the time in the town. It was built by king Madhukar 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.
Legends say that when Lord Rama's idol which is placed at the Rani Niwas, the private residence of Raja Madhukar’s wife- Maharani Gansh Kunwar, rejected to move to the temple, an idol of Lord Vishnu with four arms was kept in the temple and this is how the temple came to be known as Chaturbhuj Temple.

The magnificent architecture of Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha in Madhya Pradesh attracts thousands of visitors every year. The temple stands on a huge, stone platform, which itself is a lofty rectangular building with a very simple exterior, ornamented on two large and four small spires. Chaturbhuj temple's interior is rather devoid of carving ornament. The great loftiness of its ceiling is an unusual feature in a hindu temple.

Chaturbhuj temple, seemingly divided into three portions. The main temple with the Garbha Griha has the tallest Shikhara which gives a beautiful impression of a temple architecture blended with that of palace. The central portion of the temple has gone up in four storey. The third portion of this temple on all the three sides resembles the palace of the central portion. While, the fourth and last portion is in the shape of a gateway which is still remained unfurnished. Lotus emblems and other symbols of religious significances provide a delicate exterior ornamentation. Within the sanctum is chastely plain with high, vaulted walls emphasizing its deep sanctity.
A visit to the Chaturbhuj Temple in Orchha is one of a lifetime experience for the travelers who seek beauty and magnificence in the places they travel.

Royal Chattris Orcha
Orchha has 15 chhatris or memorials for its rulers, located near the Kanchan Ghat on River Betwa. The chhatris provide a beautiful view to tourists from the bridge on River Betwa, from where tourists can enjoy the look of the magnificent monuments and their reflection in the river.
These cenotaphs include the Chattris of Madhukar shah, Vir Singh Deo, Jaswant Singh, Udait Singh, Pahar Singh & Others. Most of the cenotaphs are designed in Panchaytan style. Out of which the cenotaph of Vir Singh Deo is most popular and frequently visited by the visitors and enthusiastic travelers due to its unique architecture and mesmerizing designs.
Vir Singh Deo was a Bundela Rajput chief and the ruler of the kingdom of Orchha from 1605 to 1627 AD during Jahangir's reign as the Mughal emperor of India. He was an ally of Jahangir's in the latter's struggles against his father, Akbar. Vir Singh killed Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, an adviser of Akbar's in 1602. Vir Singh Deo's mausoleum is located in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh, India, and features Hindu and Mughal architecture.
The rule of Vir Singh deo (1605-1627 A.D) is regarded as the golden era in the annals of Bundela dynasty. He built the grand & Majestic building i.e Jahangir Mahal, Phoolbagh,Lakshminarayana Temple, Hamam and Naubatkhana. The cenotaph of Vir Singh Deowas build was Jujhad singh in 1627.1628 A.D. construction on an elevated square platform. The sanctum sanctorum too is square shaped and in structure is three storeyed. The joining on each of the floor has balconies, most of which have not been able to survive and ravages of the time. The flow of the Betwa River touches the bottom of platform making it more scenic.