Once the capital city of the Bundelas, Orcha (hidden place) is now just a village,
set among a wonderful complex of well preserved palaces and temples. The main Palaces were protected inside fortified walls on an island in the Betwa River. It is definitely worth a visit and a lot of travelers are beginning to discover Orcha's peaceful beauty. Tour groups do it in a couple of hours but it's a very relaxing place to stay, and you can even get a room in part of the palace here.
Orcha is approximately 220 Kms from Agra and a 4 hours drive by road. One can also catch a fast train - the Shatabdi Express from Agra and can reach Jhansi Rly Station in 2 hours time. Jhansi is 18 kms from Orcha. From Gwalior, Orcha is approx 110 kms and a 2 hrs drive away.
Crossing the bridge over the Betwa River to the fortified island brings you to three 17th-century palaces. The Jehangir Mahal is an impressive, rambling complex with good views of the countryside from the upper levels. There is a small archaeological museum on the ground floor. The Raj Mahal nearby has superb murals. Below the Jehangir Mahal is the smaller Raj Praveen Mahal, a palace built near a garden. The Hammam (bath house) and camel stables are nearby.
Orcha's impressive temples date back to the 16th century. They are still in use and are visited regularly by thousands of devotees. In the centre of the modern village is the Ram Raja Temple with its soaring spires. Originally a palace, it was turned into a temple when an image of Rama, temporarily installed, proved impossible to move. It now seems to have somehow made its way into the nearby Chaturbhuj Temple, where it is hidden behind silver doors.
The walled Phool Bagh gardens, a cool summer retreat beside the Palki mahal, are a memorial to Dinman Hardol. Also worth seeing are the impressive chhatris (cenotaphs) to Orcha's rulers, down by the Betwa River, about 500 m south of the village.