We visited, a small, charming town of Orchha, where most travelers make a short stop to break the long drive to the magnificent temple town of Khajuraho. What makes it worth a stop for many are its grand temples as well as its medieval forts and palaces built in the 16th and 17th centuries by Bundela dynasty.

However, we were feeling so “templed-out” by the time we got here and didn’t feel like dragging ourselves to any kind of ancient ruins. Besides, we wanted to reserve some of our remaining “temple energy” for Khajuraho’s greater and more ancient temples, which were the reasons for our travel in this central region of India in the first place.

Betwa River and Ram Raja Temple, Orchha, IndiaAs we entered the town, we were charmed by the sight of people bathing in Betwa River. We decided that we would rather explore the town itself and see more of its local scenes than its temples, fort and palaces. From here, we were satisfied just to have a glimpse of the town’s famous Ram Raja Temple across the river.

Women washign clothes in Betwa River, Orchha, IndiaWe were fascinated seeing these women washing and drying clothes on the bank of Betwa River.

People bathing in Betwa River, Orchha, IndiaWe felt refreshed just watching the locals bathing in the river.  It was one of the cleanest body of water we saw during the trip.

People bathing in Betwa River, Orchha, IndiaA man soaping up and a boy getting ready to take a dive.

Women walking on street, Orchha IndiaWe followed these women and children as they walked the street to the town center. Women here wear very colorful and beautiful clothings; they are feast to the eyes.

Wedding in Orchha, IndiaIt was a wedding season in India. We chanced upon this wedding reception under a tent and it struck us how miserable the bride and groom looked. We learned  that it was a typical arranged marriage and they were probably meeting each other for the first time.




Colorful dyes for saile in Bazaar in Orchha, IndiaWe came across the town’s bazaar where there were many stalls selling colorful dyes.

Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha, InidaRight behind the bazaar is a magnificent Chaturbhuj Temple, a non-working temple. It was built in the 1500’s to house the statue of Lord Rama. According to legend,  as the idol was being transported to the temple it got stucked at one place and couldn’t be moved. People took it a sign that the statue wanted to stay at that place and decided to build a temple around where it was.  That temple is Ram Raja, the temple in the first photo.

View and children in Chaturbhuj TempleTemple in OrchhaWe went inside the empty temple just to see the view from above and found a lovely view of the town’s fort (left). We also met some lovely children who were running around the temple and who happily posed for us (right).

View of town square from Chaturbhuj, Orchha, IndiaWe also had a good view of the town square from the temple.

Wedding in Temple, Orchha, IndiaWe chanced upon another wedding. Women relatives of the bride were waiting at the temple entrance for the arrival of the groom.

Wedding guest arriving in the temple, Orchha, IndiaWedding guests arriving at the temple.

Groom marching to the temple, Orchha, Inida

Here comes the groom accompanied by drums and male entourage. He didn’t look too happy; we wondered if his was an arranged marriage, too.

Men sitting by the in town square, Orchha, IndiaThe town was very laid back. We were the only travelers around. Unlike most of the places we visited in India, no touts and hawkers followed us around. It was very refreshing.

Women in the Town Center in Orchha, IndiaMen and women socializing in the town’s square.

Sadhus in town square of Orchha, IndiaWe notice many sadhus (wandering monks) hanging out in the town square.

Sadhus are widely revered for their holiness. Hindus believe that the holy practices of the sadhus help to burn off their karma and that of the community at large. As they are believed to benefit society, sadhus are supported by donations from many people.

Saddhus in Orchha, IndiaSadhus enjoying meals donated to them by town’s people. The monk on the left was giving a blessing to the people who gave him the meal.

Homeless Widows in Orchha, IndiaWe also noticed many old women that looked like they were “living” in the square. We learned that they were “homeless widows.”

We saw a film documentary years ago where we where learned that widows in India were ostracized in the society a long time ago. We were surprised that this sad fate of the widows still exists today in parts of India. Widows are considered a financial burden to their families. Cast out of their homes, they live the rest of their lives in poverty and isolation.

Gate to town's market, Orchha, IndiaWe found a beautiful arched gateway that lead to town’s bustling marketplace. And of course, an Indian town wouldn’t be complete without a cow on the scene.

Street Food Vendor, Orchha, IndiaSome of the many food vendors at the market.

Sweet shop at the market, Orchha, IndiaA stall selling sweet treats.

Fruit stall at the market, Orchha, IndiaA colorful fruit stall.Women at the Market, Orchha, IndiaWomen socializing while shopping in the open fruit and vegetable stalls.

Women, goats and cow at the market, Orchha, IndiaAlong with the women, the goats and cows also made their presence in the open market.

We were happy with our decision to skip the temples, forts and palaces of Orchha. We may not see the relics of the grandeur of its bygone era, but we were sure glad to see the rythymn of life of its present. The walk around its town was certainly a very rewarding experience.  I hope you enjoyed the walk with us.


Linking to Weekend Travel Inspiration, Travel Photo Thursday, A Brit & Southerner’s Weekend Wanderlust, The Weekly Postcard.

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About Marisol

Taking you on our journey one photo - and footstep - at a time.

40 responses to “India: A Walk Around the Town of Orchha

    • Marisol

      Hi Alex, thanks. It’s an incredible land of contrast indeed.

  1. India is so colorful. It has so much to offer the visitor. And I love, love, love their fabric.
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    • Marisol

      Thank you, Jackie. I’m glad that you have decided to get off your cruise in India. It will be quite an experience and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

  2. Ruth

    Wow! I have never heard of this town before. I know you guys where not into temples for this particular visit but the structures in your first photo (not sure if they are temples) are just stunning. They look so high in comparison to the people in the river. Felt like I traveled there by your photos. Thanks for sharing!
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    • Marisol

      Hi Ruth, yes those were temples in the first photo. They really look stunning even from afar. I saw photos of it unclose and it was pretty magnificent. Alas, we had no energy for it. I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos.

  3. Anda

    Hi Marisol, it’s so refreshing to read your posts. You always bring so many unusual places to the table. India is one of those very intriguing countries where culture and beauty abounds in a curious mix of richness and poverty. Thank you for joining me for the #TheWeeklyPostcard this week.

    • Marisol

      Hi Anda, thank you. I’m please that you found it refreshing. India is intriguing indeed in so many ways. Thanks for hosting the link-up.

    • Marisol

      Hi Lo, thank you. I’m glad we inspire you aspire to visit India.

  4. I love these colorful pictures! I especially love the captures of the sudhas. I really like seeing candid shots of locals. Such an interesting culture! I always want to take more pictures of locals, but always too scared to point a camera in their faces. How do you guys do it?
    Anna | slightly astray recently posted..A year of travel (in food!)My Profile

    • Marisol

      Hi Anna, thank you I’m glad you enjoyed the candid shots. Be as relaxed as you can when taking photos of people. When you are, they many not even notice you’re taking photo of them and it they do, they will mirror your disposition; they will be relaxed in front of the camera.

  5. Bama

    It’s such an eye-opening post, Marisol. I’ve always heard about arranged marriage in India through media, but to see how the practice goes from a traveler’s eye is truly humbling. I hope things will change the time those cute girls have grown up and get married — they should marry someone they love, not someone their parents choose for them.

    • Marisol

      Hi Bama, sadly arranged marriage in India is so deeply ingrained in their culture that I don’t see that tradition being eradicated in the near future and for many years to come. You know, even the Indians here in New York still adhere to this tradition. I just wish that those arranged couples eventually fall in love and live heavily ever after. I know it sounds cliche -ish but I truly wish it from the bottom of my heart.

  6. Bob R

    ‘Templed-Out’. Great term. :) Nice selection; I like the food court shots best. And the second shot, the laundry washing. Very nice slice of life moment.
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    • Marisol

      Hi Bob, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the glimpse of life in Orchha.

  7. wow, stunning photography that captured all the color that is India. For me, I would not have been able to leave the street food area because Indian foods are among my most favorites.

    What did you try and what was your favorite? I love spicy, like Vindaloo, but hear that they don’t make it as spicy in the US as they do there. Was that true?

    I so have to get to India very soon.
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    • HI Bob, unfortunately we didn’t try any street foods here. I’m sure they were delicious. We’re not into spicy food and didn’t try Vindaloo during our visit but I heard they can come really super hot. We tried a lot of food, and as always, shag paneer and other veggie dishes are my favorites. I hope you get to visit India soon.

  8. You captured the ‘rythm of life’ in the present so well! I love these shots, my favourites would the colourful dye one, the goats and cow and so many of the people images. We love travelling in India, haven’t done it in so long now…loved looking at your images and reminding ourselves we need to be back here again :-)
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    • Hi Samiya, thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the images of the everyday life.. I hope you get to return to India soon.

  9. Corinne

    Marisol, I’ve never heard of this town in India, but I do love traveling the sub-continent. The people, the colors, even some of the smells make it a feast for the senses. Love, love, love your photos!
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    • Hi Corinne, it’s a bit off-the-beaten-track. True, the whole subcontinent is an assault to the senses. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos.

    • Hi Paula, thanks. I’m pleased the you enjoyed the experience.

  10. You tell such a complete story here I almost feel like I have been there. It made me a bit sad to see the wedding photos, and at the same time happy that I was able to marry the love of my life. The bathing in the rivers, the people, so much to take in here. Thanks for sharing and for linking it to Weekend Travel Inspiration.
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    • Hi Paula, I’m sure a lot of us can appreciate more what we take for granted – like being able to choose our own life partners. I’m glad we were able to take you with us through our photos.

  11. I love this glimpse into everyday life in this interesting town. The temples look amazing in your first photo across the river but I know what you mean about being templed out and sometimes it’s important just to take a step back from “culture” and enjoy the normal stuff too. Lovely post Marisol.
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    • Thank you, Phoebe. I’m glad you enjoyed the glimpse of the town life. It was really refreshing just to walk around and see the mundane than the usual attractions.

  12. What a lovely peek into life in India. Skipping out on the uber touristy stuff sometimes is the best option when you really want to immerse yourself into a different culture.

    • Hi Rachel, thanks. It’s so true and we were glad we did skip the usual tourist stuff.

  13. Nancie

    Sometimes it’s good to leave the temples for another day, and experience the local life. I love the colors. The people getting married do look miserable. I cannot imagine an arranged marriage!

    • Hi Nancie, I know it’s hard to imagine arrange marriage at this day and age where we are but sadly it’s still a norm in some part of the world.

  14. Lady Fi

    What gorgeous shots that capture the flow and colour of life.

    • Thanks a lot, Fiona. Glad you enjoyed the images.

  15. I would LOVE to be in India during their wedding season. It’s so colorful! Wonderful photos as usual, Marisol.

    • Hi Aleah, thanks. It’s definitely an interesting season to be in India. It’s wonderful to observe all the rituals and festivities that come with wedding productions.

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