Orchha is a very old and beautiful town built in the year 1501 by Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh. This place showcases an exquisite range of archaeological monuments. The ambiance of the town is very pleasing and the location on the banks of river Betwa also adds to the serenity of the town. Though the word ‘Orchha’ means a hidden place, this town is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. There are numerous ancient temples that date back to the 16th and 17th century. Despite of being a small town, it has various spots that attract tourists like ants being drawn to a piece of jaggery. Attractions like Rai Parveen Mahal, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Jahangir Mahal, Ram Raja temple, Raj Mahal, and Phool Bagh are worth visiting. The world-class Mural Paintings on the walls of the temples and buildings are another major attraction of the town.
Tourists are enamoured of the unique architecture of its monuments of historical & religious significance. Orchha was originated in the 1501 AD, by the Bundela chief, Rudra Pratap Singh, who became the first emperor of Orchha, (1501-1531) and also built the castle of Orchha.He died in an attempt while saving a cow from a lion. The Chaturbhuj Temple was built, during the time of Akbar, by the Queen of Orchha, whereas Raj Mandir was built by 'Madhukar Shah' during his sovereignty, 1554 to 1591. At the time of Rudra Pratap singh sovereign, the succeeding rulers, Bir Sing Deo, opposed Akbar & aligned himself with prince Salim, who later rewarded him with the kingdom of Orchha & he ruled from 1605-1627 ensuring its ongoing prosperity. Raja Bir Singh Deo constructed the exquisite Jhanagir Palace to commemorate the Emperor’s visit to Orchha. His son, jhujhar could not win the Mughal Emperor’s Freindship & was routed by the imperial army of Shah Jahan.
The foundation of the Bundela dynasty in the 11th century is traced to a Rajput prince who presented himself as a sacrifice to the mountain goddess Vrindavasini; she stopped him and named him 'Bundela' (one who offered blood). Orchha was pillaged & finally in 1783 the Bundela capital was moved to Tikamgarh. Then Hamir singh ruled the region from 1848 to 1874 & which was elevated in the style of maharaja in 1865, Maharaja Pratap Singh (born 1854, died 1930), who succeeded to the throne in 1874, devoted himself utterly to the development of his state, himself designing most of the engineering and irrigation works that were executed during his rule. Then later on Vir Singh, Pratap Singh's successor amalgamated his state with the Union of India on January 1, 1950. The district developed into part of Vindhya Pradesh state, which was amalgamated into Madhya Pradesh state in 1956. Today speckled around the area little shrines & memorials each with its own history, each contributing to the finery & nostalgic beauty that is Orchha.