You will be picked up from your hotel for the 4-hour drive to Orchha, a 15th century town located on the banks of the River Betwa. On arrival in Orchha take lunch (own expense) at a local restaurant before you start your visit.
After lunch visit Raj Mahal, a 17th century palace, that has some colorful murals depicting religious themes. Next visit Jahangir Mahal, a palace built in honor of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir to commemorate his visit to Orchha. The palace is an excellent example of Mughal architecture. Rai Parveen Mahal is another beautiful palace dedicated to the musician-poetess, Rai Parveen, Raja Indramani’s paramour. Emperor Akbar was so taken in by her beauty that he summoned her to Delhi but sent her back to Orchha impressed with her dedication and love for Raja Indramani. The smallest palace in Orchha (and one that is in ruins) is the Sunder Mahal that was constructed by Prince Dhurjban who embraced Islam after marrying a Muslim girl and devoted his life to prayer and meditation. Dhurjban eventually came to be revered as a saint and Sunder Mahal became a pilgrimage site for Muslims.
The center of Orchha is the Ram Raja temple dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Rama whose idol was supposed to be installed in the magnificent Chaturbhuj temple. Legend has it that the idols refused to move after being installed here and so a temple was built around them!
Chaturbhuj temple is yet another impressive piece of architecture and was built to house the idols that are now inside the Ram Raja temple. Today, it houses the idols of Radha-Krishna.
Another important temple to visit is the Laxmi Narayan temple. The architecture of the temple is a fascinating mix of a fort and a temple. It has some exquisite, well-preserved wall murals which depict mythological themes.
Orchha also has 14 cenotaphs or chhatris situated in the midst of well laid-out gardens that serve as memorials to Orchha rulers.
Next drive to Jhansi. A 30-minute drive from Orchha, Jhansi is located in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It was the site of India’s first war of independence in 1857 that was fought by its brave Queen, Rani Laxmi Bai. Visit the Jhansi Fort and the Palace of Rani Laxmi Bai that has now been converted into a museum. The Government Museum also holds various historical artefacts and the entire first floor is dedicated to Rani Laxmi Bai.
At the end of the tour you will be driven back to your hotel in Khajuraho.