Orchha- Travel Back In Time

This is part of the Gwalior ride and post my Gwalior visit I moved to Orchha, you can read about it here.

On the previous night when I had finally decided to proceed to Orchha, route was not a problem at all as it is pretty straight forward, around 125-128km. I also started pretty late at around 9am after having good roadside breakfast. 

I remember reaching Orchha by 11:30 am. The road leading to this place is in pretty good condition from some good to very good sections. However as you leave from Gwalior for the first 65-67kms only one section is working from right to left so 2 way traffic is happening on single lane so gotta be careful. Construction work going on on this route and there is petrol pumps easily available. 
After reaching Orchha it suddenly became very hot and I thought my run of good weather is over. Now to make things worse here’s what happened. I had made the booking for the hotel in Orchha the previous night in Gwalior. Now this time it turned out to be a huge mistake. This Hotel Yuvraj was completely empty. For some reason I booked a non AC room thinking the weather is good anyways. But as I reached here it had turned unbearably hot so staying in a non AC room was out of question. I tried speaking to the guys of the app and the booking was non refundable (in case of cancellation). I spent 40 mins talking to the only guy sitting at the hotel desk to convince me to take extra money for an AC room. Finally when he accepted I realized there is no one else staying there. What a weird experience. I thought its just one night to sleep here so I ignored everything else. But yes now you know the name so please avoid this hotel at all costs.
After throwing my stuff in the room, it was time to take a stroll around. One thing I had noticed so far in the trip that everything was so huge and I could see the same in Orchha also. These centuries old temples and forts still stand tall today leaving us amazed on their ability to withstand time. Also left me wondering on how these huge structure must have been built in perfect symmetry, yet again.

Meanwhile..kill hunger time at this place apparently listed in Lonely Planet. The chutney was too good!
After lunch I started my ‘heritage walk’ to this place with many of the palaces. Each one of them spoke its own story of grandeur and luxury it must have boasted of centuries ago. I kept imagining the lifestyle of the kings who used to live here back then. And that they must have taken a walk at this place, they must have chilled at this spot, every spot had its own importance. All the palaces felt well ventilated to me because of the well places doors and windows and the connectivity between them. So there are different palaces in this one section you will visit and my favorite was Jehangir palace out of all these. Now I will let the pictures do the talking:
Interesting photography tip there. 

Now there seemed to be something about this town and people which seemed to be fascinated by tea and samosa. You will spot tea and samosa shop at every few steps you take here. Some other  observations:
Post this section of palaces, I visited this one temple from outside
While walking to the other side of the town:
So I could already see some people on the top of this Chaturbhuj temple from distance and decided to visit it. From the outside it looked very beautiful to me but from the inside there was nothing fascinating about it. I tried going up and reached the second floor through these extremely narrow and dark spiral shaped stairs. You have to mind your head. But found it too uncomfortable for further climb. 
By now my legs had given up as I had walked a lot. Please don’t forget to carry water on this walk and wear good shoes. I decided to go back to the room and take rest as it was still about 3-3:30pm. Couldn’t find the channel to watch MotoGP so I slept for a while.

In evening I woke up fresh and now walked to the river side of the town. This is Betwa river and did I mention that there were lot of pilgrims here during the day time to take their holy dip or something as it was some festival today. On a short visit earlier in the day it was too crowded with people bathing, washing clothes and doing all sorts of shit, literally. By now most of them had gone which was a sight of relief because no one wants naked uncles in their photographs.
 During the rains I was told that the water level reaches up to the bridge itself. So I continued across the Kanchan ghat towards the cenotaphs (burial places) which is sort of a popular place you will mostly read about Orchha. There are 5 cenotaphs built in the memory of kings, 4 of them are together while 1 is built outside the compound for some reason. It is a well maintained garden and I enjoyed visiting here. It is also a conservatory site for vultures, which are rarely seen these days. I could spot some huge vultures on top of these cenotaphs. 
There is also a 'bonus' cenotaph of another king right before this group of cenotaph. This one though is shaped tomb like and looks very different from the rest. 
The weather was turning pleasant by now as the sun was setting. I wanted to go by the river and relax for a while. As I got close and went to the other side of the river to find a spot, I had to walk through big rocks. No big deal, but what made it worse was human shit left and right thanks to the religious tourist. This kind of spoilt the whole experience. Still I managed to move a little ahead to find a decent spot to sit for a while and enjoy the view of the river and sunset. After a while policemen asked me to the move from this place (because it was their drinking time at this spot)
Sitting here for few moments itself was a good experience because the sound of the water always refreshes me up. Now again, time to kill some hunger, was back at the same cafe
There was a power outage for a while and the whole traffic there suddenly turned chaotic. I took some time out to take notes for the blog (otherwise I will not remember things okay?) At the same time I struggled to find a place for dinner where a 'single' person can sit and eat in peace. There are some cafes here and I finally went to one of those to have an average spaghetti. What else do I expect in Orchha. I am not complaining though.

It was the end of the Gwalior-Orchha ride which I had unexpectedly enjoyed a lot. These places  completely exceeded my expectations. The next day was sort of a long ride from Orchha to Delhi. Had to start early. Not many options for breakfast and lunch once you hit the highway back towards Gwalior. But the dhaba I stopped at (after 2 hour /145km) offered good views of green fields and cool breeze. The weather was good so far.
Like a fool when I reached Agra I missed entering the expressway and took the Agra bypass by mistake. Had no problems because it was fairly good roads until I had to enter the expressway again from Mathura. The heat had gone terrible by now and so it made me take a lot of breaks. Nothing special about the return ride today. There was lot of traffic while entering Delhi, as usual. Google maps helped me to find a route back to home with lesser traffic and I had reached home by 3:30pm. 

Summary time (2 days):
Food: Rs. 585
Tickets: Rs. 20
Hotel: Rs. 1250
Petrol: Rs. 1100
Total Rs. 2955
Total km (on this day): 488km
Total spend on this ride (Delhi-Gwalior-Orchha-Delhi): Rs. 5150
Total km on this ride: 970

Now you can also include Khajuraho in this itinerary if you have some more time. In fact people do all these 3 places in 3-4 days. So do check it out. And do comment/tweet to me if you need any information at all about these places. All in all a great ride and trip and some more places added in the travel bucket :)
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