Orchha, located on the Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh, is known for the 15th century temples and palaces that dot the landscape. The shape of the towers is familiar - one sees it all over India, Southeast Asia, the Silk Road and into Spain - they are examples of Mughal architecture. Walk around town at sunset to see the structures turn golden in the setting sun or visit the Lakshmi Palace during the day to see the familiar detail of this era.
Orchha, in Central India's Bundelkhand, is perfectly situated for a stop when touring the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It a photographers' paradise, with the pageantry of the Bundela Rajputs' medieval courts echoing across a boulder-strewn landscape. All that remains of the feudal kingdom are crumbling palaces, pavilions, walls and gates.
For me, the draw was an opportunity to wander among the cenotaphs, fourteen in all, as birds of prey circled the spires above and bright green parakeets posed for my camera against the domed brick structures. Even better: the hauntingly beautiful ruins along the Kanchana Ghat, viewed from across the Betwa River.
If you are building a travel itinerary to follow the heritage circuit of Agra, Gwalior and Khajuraho, consider including Orccha!