India is home to hidden gems tucked away in each corner of the country. These places are replete with art, history, culture, diversity, architecture, and much more - each place exhibiting its unique charm. Two such places are Orchha Fort and Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary, both located in Madhya Pradesh, also known as the heart of India. Let's explore more about them and why they must be on your itinerary list as well.
Orchha is a small and quaint town built in the year 1501 by Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh. It is located on the banks of the Betwa River, which adds a serene aura to it. The word "Orchha" means a "hidden place". The town is abundant in natural beauty and historical monuments. One such structure is the Orchha Fort, which is the main attraction of the town. There are various structures inside the Orchha Fort complex, including palaces and temples built by various successive Maharajas (or kings) of the region. One finds the prominent influence of the Mughal and Rajput architecture in structures like Raj Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Rai Parveen Mahal, Phool Bagh, and Sheesh Mahal.
The fort is popular amongst masses and foreign tourists owing to its light and sound show. Every evening, visitors look forward to the show, which is available in two languages. When you are in Orchha, do not miss this! The English show starts from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm while the Hindi version is available from 8.45 pm to 9.45 pm. One will get acquainted with the rich history and heritage of the region during the show.
Around 2 km from the fort lies the gorgeous and serene Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary - home to a wide array of animals. The wildlife is well-known for various reasons, such as rich flora and fauna and its proximity to the Betwa River. One can spot many animals here, for example, deers, blue bulls, monkeys, wild pigs, jackals, nilgai, and sloth bears, even though their sightings are rare. Carrying your camera is a good option. We also recommend sunscreen and mosquito repellent lotion.
Additionally, the sanctuary is an ideal place for bird watching and is home to nearly 200 bird species. One can even spot migratory birds. Some of the popular ones are kingfisher, woodpecker, owls, jungle bush quail, black swan, geese and many more. Nature lovers must not miss this adventure. The place is very calm and glistening with greenery. The flowing river Betwa from the region adds to the beauty of the sanctuary. It is also ideal for nature walks. Some other popular activities are fishing, river rafting, boating, trekking, camping, jungle trekking, and hiking opportunities.
The ideal time to visit the sanctuary is during winters when the river Betwa is not over-flooded. The sanctuary timings are from 9 am to 5.30 pm. The entry charges are Rs 40 for Indians and Rs 350 for foreigners.
So, when you are in Madhya Pradesh, head to Orchha and explore the unique tranquillity this place has to offer. Visit the Orchha Fort to live the marvellous historical past of the royalty. From there, explore the rich nature in its full glory at the Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary. It will be the right time to unpack the stress and create wonderful moments for life.
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