"I've stolen a bright summer day in the midst of an ongoing winter. The fields are bright green, the sunlight falls softly kissing its bare cheeks and then dances through a curtain that won't budge anymore, to light my frail skin.
Now and then they begin, the sunkissed yellows sprinkled on the calm spruce greens. For a moment, I stand there in those vast stretches of mustard fields. My hand lightly runs over the crops, feeling the tickle they leave me with. And soon I'm back again at my onlookers seat, behind the dusty windows."
-Thoughts on a train(New Delhi to Jhansi Via Samta Express)
When I planned my trip to Jhansi in lieu of a friend's wedding, little did I know that I'd be traveling to the Bundela's headquarters in a small city called Orchha. I reached Jhansi at 7 pm while the arrival time was 2:30, itching to finally deboard. A warm greeting followed a scooty ride through the numerous narrow streets of the small town that is Jhansi. In about an hour, we had covered all the directions, circling around the Jhansi Station twice. So this is it, my friend announced. I guffawed while I breathed in the local culture of the place.
The next day I got up to a surprise getaway to a place called Orchha. 20 minutes after the Jhansi traffic, the roads transitioned into something beautiful. A gradual rise and green fields on each side. I welcomed the change and the sun with a big YAWP! Night in Jhansi was comparable to Delhi Winter, but the morning was pleasant as pleasant could be. With the warm sun grinning directly at us and the light cold breeze easing our senses, the weather was perfect.
After an hour of driving, we finally reached our destination. Crossing over a bridge situated on the Betwa river, we saw the most spectacular view of the city. On the left were the Chaturbhuj Temples, their giant stairs leading to the river. And on the right was the turquoise stream gushing down the rocks and peaking temples from behind the cliffs.
Trampling down the rocks I finally found a perfect spot to leisurely sit and dip my feet in the surprisingly clear water. Although you would find many people washing their sins away in the river, the water is very clear if you steer away from the moss laden sides.
Basking in the warm sun and the cool water, we had poha to satiate our hungers. Far from the humdrum of big cities, Orchha takes you to a bygone era.
After the gushing of the water had cleared our minds we took to the road. Short on time, we glimpsed through the various temples, Chaturbhuj, and Raja Ram Temple while hearing the stories that surround them. If you are interested in knowing them, drop me a message for I fear I might digress too much here.
The next stop turned out to be the highlight of the trip. I took off from the car outside the Jahangir Mahal for I was so mesmerized by the view. As I walked on towards the entrance looking at the world through my Canon Lens I was transported into a different time. The lighting changed inside the Mahal, considerably. I looked up and the fort walls peeked through the web of skinny naked branches of the tall trees.
Tickets cost are cheap(Rs5-Rs10) though there are extra charges for photography(Rs25) and videography(Rs200). My steps led the way and my eyes followed. Walking around the Mahal was in itself a time warp. I reached the top left window and the first thing that hit me was the raging cold wind. I sat on the window crouched with my friends eyeing the place till eternity. The unsurpassable amount of green, the Betwa originating from the sky and running through several rocky boulders. Bundelkhand came alive from my History textbooks of forgotten past.
A vulture stood perched atop the tomb camouflaged with the monument. Later I realized it was a common sight. I swamped through the palace for a little while until it was finally time to leave. Balancing my head on the car window I let the cool breeze ruffle my hair. We returned to the erratic traffic of Jhansi much sooner than I wanted.
A complete day to roam around Orchha is much required. On the road ahead is Khajuraho about 250 km away.
So, go all the way, experience the multiple small towns of Incredible India and get amazed. At least that's what I intend to do.
Disclaimer: All pictures and GIf's are copyright under Pramati Anand. Use of pictures can be done with valid attribution.