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Tag: Orchha

Jahangir Mahal: Mughal Architecture in Orchha, India

The most photographed spot, and rightly so, in the city of Orcha, India is the Jahangir Mahal. This is the massive castle like building up on the hillside overlooking it. You can…

The most photographed spot, and rightly so, in the city of Orcha, India is the Jahangir Mahal. This is the massive castle like building up on the hillside overlooking it. You can easily walk to it from the city center and doing so will take you down a stroll into history as you walk these old city streets, past the Raj Mahal and its beautiful paintings, into the amazing Jahangir Mahal.

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A ticket to here includes both the Cenotaphs and the Raj Mahal as well, so you really should go to all three; however, if you only have time for one, this is probably the most impressive.

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From the outside this palace is majestic with its rugged domed buildings, rusted to photographic perfection and the few small blue stones that still cling to the old walls, giving a glimpse of what is was like centuries before.

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After getting the ticket man to unlock the door you will be in the inner courtyard of the palace that took 22 years to build.

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It is stunning when you first walk in, the sheer size of the structure is impressive and the plethora of domes draw your eyes to the top. This is also a place that birds love and when I was there I enjoyed just sitting and listening / watching all of the birds as they flew around the top.

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The big hole middle of the courtyard is the old spa / pool for the king that would have been majestic to see when it is was in its glory I am sure.

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I headed out the main door, which is on the opposite side of the palace from where I came in and the guide who was with me painted a vivid picture of the king riding elephants as he returned from war and arriving at these 3 story tall teekwood gates, bookmarked on either side by symbolic elephant structures.

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Even the area surrounding the castle was a lush green with dotted walls and arches. It made for an amazing vista from the castle entrance.

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After gawking at the gate I headed back to the courtyard and started to climb the steps up to the top of the palace just as the sun was starting to set.

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The views over the city, the courtyard and all of Orchha was something I will never forget and the top of the castle will make you take way more pictures then you planned to. Here are some of my favorites.

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I loved my time here and I loved this city, a beautiful place to explore in India.

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Cenotaphs in Orchha, India

While in Orchha, India, a small town in the Eastern part of the country, I was blessed to stay at a hotel located right next to the amazing cenotaphs that…

While in Orchha, India, a small town in the Eastern part of the country, I was blessed to stay at a hotel located right next to the amazing cenotaphs that the city has. These cenotaphs are a series of 15 different monuments all dedicated to a fallen king from the region. These massive structures are unlike anything you have seen and rise out of the ground right next to the river creating a beautiful old relic in this small Indian town.

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I went to explore them one afternoon with my friend Matt and we paid the fee to enter and started our adventure. The ruins themselves are all open except for one, and what is unique about them is that most have a series of rough steps that will lead you up to the very top of the monument.

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This is no small feat as each of them are 30 to 40 feet high, so climbing up to the top is a great was to get an awe-inspiring vista of both the river and the other Cenotaphs.

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As we walked up the cruel steps to the top of the tallest monument I was overwhelmed by how well maintained and beautiful these were in a town that was pretty far off the tourist path. I was also shocked that no one else was there, it was literally only us two enjoying the monuments.

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At the top of the monument we climbed was a family of vultures that had started to take up residence. They were not the least bit scared of us and even posed for some pictures.

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When I was up there I saw another cenotaph that I knew I needed to climb up right next to the river so I exited the one I was on and headed around to the other cenotaph.

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This one was even more awe-inspiring then the first. The views of the gardens and monuments as well as the town itself were amazing from this point and it quickly became one of my favorite things I did in the city.

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After exploring for a while I recommend heading across the small one lane bridge for sunset. Be careful as traffic can be crazy, but it will provide amazing views of the Cenotaphs from across the river.

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If you are in Orchha you must spend some time here.

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What to do in Orchha, India

During my time in India, I got to visit all of the main tourist places as well as some off the beaten path places, Orchha was one of those. It…

During my time in India, I got to visit all of the main tourist places as well as some off the beaten path places, Orchha was one of those. It was a beautiful rural town, 45 minutes from the closest train station that had many wonders to explore. It was one of my favorite places I visited in India and here are my recommendations if you make it there.

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Attractions

Cenotaphs

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Probably my favorite spot in the city, these old tombs are dedicated to the fallen kings of the region and are beautiful examples of the cultural and architecture of the region. I loved being able to climb to the top of them and just to lose myself in the exploration of something this old, without anyone around,

Raj Mahal

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Part of the massive palace you can see from the city itself, this is a great place to see the famous incarnations of Vishnu painting which is over 500 years old and just explore the palace.

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Jahangir Mahal

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This is the most impressive thing in the city as it is a massive palace set on the hillside that overlooks both the Raj Mahal and the city. It reminds me of Ankor Wat in Cambodia but with much fewer people. It is majestic and beautiful and cannot be missed.

The Palace of Vishnu

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This palace was created simply for the God Vishnu and is situated right in the center of the city. The inside is not as impressive but the exterior is worth the visit.

The Temple of Rama

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One of the most holy temples in India, this place is dedicated to the God Rama and prayers can be attended at either 8 in the morning or 8 at night any day of the week. People come from all over to see the Rama statue from 83 BC and it is an experience you must do in India to get a better understanding of the culture.

The Market

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Right out front of the temple is a fun market to stroll through that sells many touristy things such as the colored paints that are so popular in India. There are also lot of bracelets and metal pieces in the market as well. My favorite is the mangos though, I couldn’t get enough of them.

Real Orchha

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While there I had the opportunity to visit the rural area of the town with a small city tour lead by Master G It was one of the best things I did there are it really helped me to see the true city face, not the one put on for tourists.

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We visited children in their school, watched a clay pot maker working, visited a generation of women that make baskets and even got to see a women preparing for her arranged marriage that next day.

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It was amazing, here are some photos.

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Cooking Class

Another touristy thing that is a lot of fun in the city is visiting a local family for a cooking class.

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There are a few that do this and if you enjoy cooking this is an amazing way to bring a life long souvenir back to your home in the form of recipes. The women that taught us was a great teacher who repeated all of the items many times. She made a total of 8 items for us.

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She even did Henna afterwards for anyone who was interested, a fun way to relax in the city.

So there you have it, my recommendations for Orchha. It is a beautiful town to get lost and relax in and if you have suggestions for me, be sure to leave them in the comments.

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