A Sleepy Hamlet

West India

On the banks of the Betwa River, lies a sleepy hamlet named Orchha. It was the capital of the erstwhile eponymous princely state, and usually slips out of itineraries, partly because of its remoteness, but we made sure not to let that happen and took the five-hour ride on the potholed highway to this tiny village. We could not miss the simplistic beauty of its sixteenth-century temples, palaces, and cenotaphs that still stand, largely intact.  Located in a picturesque landscape of dense green wilderness and the seasonally roaring Betwa, the view was indeed a sight to behold, with the enormous structures embellished in stone. The solitary Jahangir Mahal greeted the gods with its regal presence. The rolling green forests formed an ocean around the rising tower of the Chaturbhuj Temple. On our way out of the village, looking back on all the images we had captured, we couldn’t help but be enthralled by the Shikharas (the towers) of the temples, the domes and turrets of the palaces, towering over the landscape like a protective, ever vigilant father devoted to keeping his family out of harm’s way.