15 Best Things to Do in Orchha

The list of things to do in Orchha covers a range of activities that will make you fall in love with this place. Resting royally on the banks of river Betwa, this historic town was founded in the 16th century.

The brainchild of Bundela Rajput Chief, Rudra Pratap, Orchha features brilliant architecture in the form of beautiful display of Mughal-influenced Rajput palaces, temples and royal chhatris. Frozen in time, this town seems to retain the original grandeur of the monuments, even till this date.

Being located in a place that is covered with forests and the river Betwa splitting into seven channels, this town was given the name Orchha, meaning ‘a hidden place’. With every turn the river makes, one can find historical landmarks on either side of the river.

Despite being the capital of the Bundela Rajput kings, Orchha seldom witnessed ferocious battles, leading to unscratched monuments that would help you visualize the earlier phases the town has witnessed. 

The place is not on many tourist maps but that only tells how unexplored it really is. Less crowd and more peace, this place is just 16 km away from the city of Jhansi. The best way to reach here from Jhansi is by the ever-reliable auto rickshaw. Passing through the narrow winding roads, a time travel back to a more peaceful era is evident.

The best time to visit this town of solitude is from October to March when the cool breeze adds on to the serenity of the place.

Here are some of the best things to do in Orchha:

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Go for River Rafting in Betwa River

On the list of things to do in Orchha, river rafting should be the first activity one should indulge in. The turbulent currents of the river Betwa offer an adventurous trail for you before eloping into the Yamuna. Rafting through the fresh waters of the Betwa river, the energy flowing through the water will charge you up.

Highlight: There are Grade I to Grade II rapids that would bring out the adventurer in you. The river flows along the beautiful Chhatris of the Bundela rulers, offering you a quick tour across the Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary.

Location: Most of the government and private adventure sports center can be found near the Orchha Fort.

Price: The cost per person ranges from INR 800-2000 depending on the length of the course you choose.

There are various other water sports adventure in Madhya Pradesh apart from river rafting. Follow the link to know more.

Jungle Safari at Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary

The sanctuary lies within the area through which the Betwa river flows. The next thing on the list of things to do in Orchha is a safari at this scenic marvel in a little corner of Madhya Pradesh. Established in the year 1994, the sanctuary is the home to a few of dense plantations of Dhawa trees and Kardhai Trees and is among the best wildlife sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh

Along with the Betwa River, the Jamni River also quenches the thirst of the wildlife of this sanctuary. The sanctuary is around 46 sq.km. and offers adventure sports like fishing, canoeing, trekking, and camping.

Highlight: Animals like the spotted deer, Blue bull, Jackal along with many species can be seen in their natural habitat, adding to the variety of fauna are 200 species of birds

Location: A 10-minute drive from Sheesh Mahal, Orchha Fort, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

Price: A ticket costs INR 15 per person.

Timings: The gates open at 10:30 AM and close at 5:30 PM. The sanctuary is closed on Sundays.


Witness the Captivating Architecture of Orchha Fort

Built on an island on the Betwa river, this architectural marvel houses many temples and palaces. There are three important palaces encapsulating history in its purest form: Jahangir Mahal, Raj Mahal, and the famous Rai Praveen Mahal.  The Jahangir Mahal is the supremacy of the architecture that prevailed in Orchha.

The Raj Mahal is one of the most historic monuments in the fort. Rai Praveen Mahal which once was beautiful now is left with stories of the glorious past in its ruins.

Highlight: The Jahangir Mahal is multi-storeyed and offers a spectacular view from its balconies, giving you a taste of what the royals used to enjoy back in the glorious days of Orchha, counted as one of the best places to visit in Orchha.

Location: Orchha, Tikamgarh district, Madhya Pradesh.

Price:  INR 10 for Indians, INR 250 for foreigners, additional INR 25 for Camera and INR 220 for a Video camera.

Timings: The fort is open for tourists between 8 AM – 6 PM.


Peek into the History by Visiting the Chattris on the Betwa River

The Chattris are the memorials to the rulers of Orchha. There are 14 Chattris to be explored when one seeks to plan out the things to do in Orchha.

Each Chattri is different from the rest in size, resembling the length of the reign of those rulers over Orchha. These cenotaphs recite the stories of the kings on its colossal structure.

Highlight: Amidst the group of these spire shaped structure is a cenotaph that is not of the Rajput architecture. This Chattri was built in the memory of Bundela chieftain, Bir Singh Deo. 

History has it that the chieftain helped Prince Salim escape Abul Fazl who was sent to capture him from his father, Akbar. The Mughal prince later reconciled with his father but did not forget the favor of Bir Singh Deo. He was showered with Mughal patronage after his death.

Location: Situated opposite to the Orchha Sanctuary, near the banks of the Betwa river.


Pay a Holy Visit to the Laxminarayan Temple

The temple is one of the three most important temples in Orchha, offering a perfect and unique mix of fort and temple architecture. The fascinating thing about this temple is that despite its dedication to Goddess Laxmi, there is no idol of the Goddess kept inside.

The temple was built by Vir Singh Deo around 1622 but inadequate maintenance brought down the magnificence of the temple. It was reconstructed around 1793 by Prithvi Singh and brought it back to its glory.

Highlight: The current structure stands firmly with frescoes and paintings hanging on the temple walls. Based on certain social and secular themes, the vivid colours of the frescoes are still intact. The temple also has geometrical carvings of scenes from the life of Lord Krishna.

Location: Opposite to the Orchha Fort, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

You can also check this list of temples of Madhya Pradesh to explore few more historic temples.

Enjoy the Delicious Food at Jharokha Restaurant

Next on the list of things to do in Orchha is enjoying the delicacies at the Jharokha restaurant. This restaurant is a part of the former royal guesthouse and is run by the government.

Highlight: The place offers Indian, Chinese and Continental food and is located in the Hotel Sheesh Mahal. The chefs here do not disappoint if a person has a thing for spicy food. The Dal Maharani is one of the most popular dishes here and can be enjoyed at a very reasonable price.

Location: Opposite to the Ram Raja Mandir, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

Price: The price range of the main course lies between Rs 140- 350, along with enough items on the menu to fill your taste palette. 

Timings: Open from 8 AM- 10:30 PM

Where to Stay: Scenic resorts and places to stay in Orchha.


Stroll Around the Beautiful Phool Bagh

The highly polished aesthetic sagacity of the Bundelas is carefully preserved in the Phool Bagh. The beautifully laid garden in Orchha served as a summer retreat for the kings. 

The garden was built in the memory of Dinman Hardaul, the prince of Orchha, who died a martyr to prove his innocence to his elder brother. 

The engineering of the place is done in a magnificent way. A stroll in the park is one of the many ways to get in touch with the serenity of the town.

Highlight: The garden houses the Badgir Sawan Bhadon towers which were built to provide a cooling effect to the place. The water ventilation connects the palace with Chandan Katora, a beautiful fountain driving all the attention to itself.

Location: Palaki Mahal, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

Timings: The park is open for a stroll from 8 AM to 8 PM. 


Witness the Architecture of Chaturbhuj Temple

Built by Raja Madhukar in between 1558 and 1573, this temple is one of the oldest architectural marvels of the Bundela time in the town. 

The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and houses an idol of the Lord with four arms. However, the temple was originally meant for Lord Rama’s idol. The story behind this unique history is very fascinating.

Highlight: Legends say that the idol of Lord Rama kept in the residence of the Raja’s wife- Maharani Ganesh Kunwar, rejected to move to the temple. Hence the idol was replaced with Lord Vishnu’s idol, giving the temple the title of Chaturbhuj.

Location: Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

There are various other amazing historical places of Madhya Pradesh which you should not miss. Click to know about them.

Learn the Exciting History of Ram Raja Temple

The history of the Ram Raja Temple opens for the tourists an explored part of the life of Lord Rama and the Bundela kingdom. It is believed to be the only place where the Lord is worshipped as the ruler, the divine king. 

Although, Ram Raj also refers to the kingdom of the perfect king, a place where all are happy and well taken care of. If you have time, sit back along the river and hear the tales and folklore from the locals or the tour guides.

Highlight: The history of the temple is not easily found in the Vedas and Puranas that depict the Ramayana.

Interweaved with both personal and political concerns, the tale of the temple will lead you to have a long conversation with the guides and locals on what else could have happened during that particular time-period.

Location: Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.


Attend Light and Sound Show at Orchha Fort

The magnificent history of Orchha is displayed beautifully at the light and sound show at Orchha Fort. The brilliance of the medieval Indian architecture can be easily noticed when the palace turns into a digital orchestra.  

Highlights: The show is a beautiful mix of music and laser lights reciting the history of the Bundela dynasty.

Location: Orchestrated at the Raj Mahal in Orchha Fort, the light and sound show are permanent on the list of things to do in Orchha.  

Price: The fee for attending the light and sound show is INR 100 for Indians and INR 250 for foreigners.

Timings: The show is run in two languages and the timings change for the months of January and February. From March- November the English show starts at 7:30 PM and Hindi at 8:45 PM. For those who love to travel during December- February, the English version starts at 6:30 PM and Hindi at 7:45 PM.

Witness the beauty of the state at these vibrant forts of Madhya Pradesh.

Nature Trail in Orchha Nature Reserve

A trail of greenery that goes for 25 km without any empty patches is a view to be memorized forever. Among the many other things to do in Orchha, a stroll in the Orchha Natural Reserve will bring you closer to peace and calmness.

This natural reserve lies at the junction of the river Betwa and Jamni. The only thing missing from this reserve is the big cats of the Indian Subcontinent.

Highlight: Home to many endangered species of birds and trees, this natural reserve is next to heaven for birdwatchers. When the sky is not filled with the 200 species of birds, they can be spotted hunting and enjoy a bath in the water of these rivers.

Location: Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

Price: The entry fee for Indian nationals is INR 15.

Timings: Open from 10:30 AM- 5:30 PM, Sundays closed.


Go for Kayaking in Betwa River

A true adventure sports activity that the Betwa river offers. The most easily spotted monuments along the kayaking course are the 14 Chattris, which stand tall and reflect in the river.

Another key part of Orchha, the river takes the kayakers along the boundary of the Orchha Natural Reserve. This gives the adventure sports lovers a closer look at the vivid species of birds that have made the reserve their home.

Highlight: With Grade I and Grade II type rapids making the river a magnet for kayakers, the experience of kayaking is enhanced by the forest and historic monuments along the bank of the river.

Location: Most of the government and private adventure sports center can be found near the Orchha Fort.

Price: Similar to rafting, the kayaking course also is divided into two sections and is open for adventurers. The price varies from INR 800- INR 2000 depending on the distance.

Click here to know more about other adventure activities in Madhya Pradesh.

Enjoy a Royal Stay at Sheesh Mahal

The perfect blend of old-world charm, contemporary facilities, and the impeccable Indian hospitality is what the Sheesh Mahal offers. The sophisticated décor is coupled royally with the enchanting colors which magnify the glorious history of Orchha.

The luxury hotel was once the residence of Raja Udait Singh, Maharaja of Orchha. The palace also has an on-site restaurant that offers Chinese and South Indian cuisines.

The place is also famous for its sumptuous Indian cuisine delicacies which are served in a palatial area, refining the fine dine experience.

Highlight: The property has 8 well-furnished rooms with all types of modern world-class amenities. Beautiful pictures adorn the walls along with the exemplary artworks and handicrafts resembling the art forms of medieval India.

Location: Opposite Ram Raja Mandir, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

Price: Bookings start at INR 14,000.

Timings: Check out time is 12 PM.

Looking for a heritage stay in Madhya Pradesh? We have compiled a list of best heritage resorts of Madhya Pradesh. Click to know more.

Go for Boating in Betwa River

The last on this list, but not on the list of things to do in Orchha. A calm and serene boat ride on the waters of Betwa would take away all the stress your body and mind bears. The boating in the river does come at a price, which again depends on how far you are willing to explore.

For people seeking solitude, a 30-minute boating experience in the tranquil waters of the Betwa rivers would redefine peace for you.

Highlight: The river, ornamented by the numerous temples around it, offers a beautiful setting for the birdwatchers. With over 200 species of birds hunting for food near the banks, the river attracts thousands of tourists around the year.

Location: One can find numerous adventure sports centers near the Orchha Fort.

Price: The boat rides start at INR 1000 or more per raft, each carrying a maximum of 6 people.


Learn to Cook the Best Recipes of MP at Rajni Cooking Classes

The best way to explore a place is through the locals. Rajni cooking classes would teach you how to make masala chai, eggplant curry, cabbage and potato curry along with a number of local dishes. 

The localite, Rajni has whipped up her family recipes with grace and passion. After the class, if you are interested, Rajni can decorate your wrists and palms with her beautiful mehndi designs. 

Orchha, in its simplest form, can be easily seen through the windows of her home.  

Highlight: The best part of the experience is that it’s all home cooked food. It’s not very often for a person to have such an authentic experience of the local cuisine.

Location: Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.

Orchha Top Attractions

Places To Visit In Orchha
it was great fun really enjoyed the ride if you want to explore the city Cycle On Rent in Orchha is a best deal to go for.
12 December 2019
Eekalabya Devar Educational Tour To Orchha
Educational Tour To Orchha With Camping was great experince we had with our students it was amazing service with thrillophilia.
18 July 2019
Tarun Deshpande Educational Tour To Orchha
I booked this Orchha educational Tour for my coaching students from pick up to drop everything was well managed and from booking to Delivery everything was well managed 5 Star for thrillophilia.
Shree Ram Homestay have Very nice stuff and a good view from the roof. I enjoyed my stay there, it was very clean and is not far from the city centre. Rooms got no daylight and one shower was cold, but I don't mind. Good conditions for a cheap price!
Achalesvara Khanna Shree Ram Homestay, Orchha
Shree Ram Homestay Orchha is a very friendly and clean homestay. The family is understanding and always ready to help. Spacious and clean rooms. Toilets and entrance can be more clean
Ashlesh Varrier Car Rental In Orchha
good car quality in chap price Car rental in Orchha Offers quality services.
Giriraaj Marar Car Rental In Orchha
well maintained high quality car & Quality service car rental Orchha is one of the rental services so far !
Ajit Khan Bike In Rental
Nice services without any problems and better way to roam in the city and visit various tourist places.
Shresthi Sharma Bike In Rental
The service was very good. The staff is really kind. The vehicles they provided were in good condition because of which we were able to complete our trip effortlessly. We appreciate their service.
Orchha is a amazing place to enjoy the cycle ride. Forts and Palaces were amazing. Cycle On Rent In Orchha is really cheap one can get cycles for 350 only for whole day

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