Oh bugger, I had almost finished this update when we had a nice little blackout (sorry, I mean “load sharing”), so here goes again…
We were actually in Orcha nearly two weeks ago, so this is a bit out of sequence. It was just before Agra.
Orcha itself is a pretty small village, only a few streets really, although the main market and guest house area are pretty lively until the small hours of the morning. Thats not nightlife lively by the way, India is rarely like that, just people lively.
The bus dropped us off at the turn off to Orcha, about 13km away, so we had to arrange a ride from there. The taxi we found was the king of auto rickshaws, a huge rusty car sized three wheeler which the driver had to start by repeatably turning a crank, kind of like one of those old bi-planes.
The main attraction in Orcha is the old ruined fort and temple. We have definitely seen a few old temples and forts by now, but this was perhaps the most memorable. It was in the process of being restored, although much of the beauty of the place was the timescape effect the old ruined parts had. The fort is massive, definitely a few kilometres long, and you can climb all the way up to the battlements and towers, which presents you with a panoramic view of the surrounding jungle. Scattering the landscape in all directions are more old temples and ruins, some just protruding from the treetops.
As you explore further from the main fort itself, old dirt roads wind through the trees and you come across seemingly endless further ruins (and cows of course, cows are everywhere in India, even in the ruins at Orcha, cows cows cows).
We even found some stairs descending into darkness, and followed them a little way, only to find they came to an abrupt drop. It seemed man made though, so who knows what was down their (more cows probably).
The other major building there was a masive old temple. You could climb through tiny dark passages that made their way up into the various stories of the temple, sometimes popping out in small dwarf like balconies several stories high. You could also get to the roof, which had incredible views like the ones from the top fort towers. I’m sure a temple like this in New Zealand would have bars and locked gates all over it to prevent you accidentally popping out of a small tunnel and falling a few stories, as the place didn’t seem the safest of buildings, but the fact that you could access anywhere really added to the fun of it.
There wasn’t really anything else of note in Orcha. We played more Canasta until we decided it might ruin our friendship, it can be most frustrating losing that stupid game to say the least!. We love it though (mostly).
It is perhaps the capital of flies in India though, eating outside here is only for those with strong stomachs. I would say I’d have one land directly on my nose at least a few times a day (law of averages).
I don’t really want to leave Orcha on the topic of flies though, as it was an incredible place, and a must see for anyone who finds themselves in this area of India in my books.
Until next time then, bye.