Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday November 1

Today's plans are sightseeing around Orchha and Jhansi and then come back to Amar Mahal.

Our first stop was the Ala Udal 's guru's temple on the way to Samthar Palace/Fort.

The Samthar Fort is almost inaccessible through some small villages and narrow roads.

We managed to find it after stopping to ask for directions many times.

Rarjit Singh Juda - present king of Sampthar, still lives here but was away in Lucknow. He has leased part of the unused section to the local police for using as their quarters.

From the outside, the palace looks pretty dilapidated, maybe the inside is all renovated. Wish we could go inside.

There wasn't much to see here and definitely could have been skipped.

We then went to the Jhansi Fort, which was built in 1613 but had no significant history until 1853, when the widowed Queen Rani Lakshmi Bai reluctantly at first but then with fiery courage took on the British.

As mentioned in the Forts of India by Virginia Fass - The visitor to Jhansi comes not so much to view the walls and battlements and deserted terraces as to be touched by the spirit of the place.

This is very true, there are many other better forts visually but standing here one can distinctly feel the courage and spirit of Rani Lakshmi Bai as she charged on horse back dressed as a man using her sword with both hands and holding the reins of the horse in her mouth.

I am glad I got a chance to see this fort. I have probably read everything on her when I was growing up and have been in utter awe of her as has been generations of women who knew about her.

Our next stop was some distance away and so we decided to stop for lunch at a local hotel/restaurant called Sreenath Palace. The food was very tasty and the people warm and friendly. I am glad we decided to stop here.

After lunch we proceeded on to Talbehat Fort. This is yet another magnificent fort from the eleventh century and pretty much in ruins. I was glad to see some restoration work is taking place.

We reached the top after a steep climb and it was easy enough to visualize its splendor before it was abandoned.

We had plans to take a boat ride and take pictures of the Fort from the lake, but it was getting to be evening and so decided to skip it.

At Orchha we stopped at the Chaturbhuja temple before going back to Amar Mahal.

Will be freshening up and going for dinner shortly.

The restaurant is crowded and noisy today. There are large tour groups here, we were hoping to have a quiet dinner but no such luck.

The wifi here is so weak that it is getting frustrating, oh well one can't have everything I guess.

Back to our room to retire for the night.

Location:Amar Mahal - Orchha

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