Where We Be
The Jehangir Mahal, our lodgings (believe it or not) during our time in Orchha
Orchha, India
We lived like Rajas and Ranis for two nights in the
small town of Orchha, staying at the Sheesh Mahal.
Sheesh, what a place! We stayed in a room which is
literally part of the Jehangir Mahal Palace (pictured
left), a whopper of a building built in the 1600s
during the zenith of medieval Islamic architecture.
There are dozens of balconies and turrets and
precipitous walkways that make the building highly
photogenic. The overall feeling is Islamic baroque.
The cost: $34 US per night, a princely sum by
small-town Indian standards but, considering the
ambience, hard to believe by American standards.

We're both slowly getting used to being stared at
wherever we go. Whether riding a train, or taking
a rickshaw, or walking down the street, we are
constantly being looked at in a frankly curious way.
This is especially the case in smaller towns like
Orchha. We stand out like sore thumbs! This isn't
all bad: Indians come up to us, ask us where we're
from, what towns we're visiting, and what we think
of India. This "reverse tourism," where we are
every bit as interesting to the locals as the locals
are to us, is one of the great things about traveling
even a bit off the beaten tourist path.
Our room was at the base of the palace, in the left corner (behind the red flowers)
We met this old gentleman at the gate ieading into the palace grounds
Bright blooms at the base of the palace
Palace walk at sunset
Dusk falls on the palace grounds at Orchha
These two asked us to take their picture...
...Then the rest of the family wanted their picture taken...
...Then just the women. We never would have presumed to take their photo, but since they asked we were happy to oblige.
Robin relaxes on one of the palace balconies
The amazing Jehangir Mahal from a different angle
Pretty latticework design on the third floor of the palace
Across this bridge is the town of Orchha and its other star attraction, Chaturbhuj Temple
Chaturbhuj Temple with its amazing "beehive hairdo," with Raj Mahal palace in the foreground (taken from the third-floor balcony of Jehangir Mahal)
We've met so many friendly people in India -- like this girl whose father owns a street-side pigment shop
Somehow I found myself getting my arm stamped with henna patterns
The impressive inner courtyard of the Jehangir Mahal
Speaking of exuberance, these monkeys exhibit the same trait
Cute langur (monkey) baby
Lovely stretch of river just outside Orchha
Outer balcony view from Jehangir Palace
This super-friendly uncle and his twin nieces approached us on the train to chat in English for an hour
This friendly young man approached us in the market, gave us free sweets
from his family shop, and showed us his scars from the fighting up in Kashmir
These calves don't know how lucky they are to live in India, a place where
cows are sacred; we found these two wandering around at the train station
Ram Raja Palace has some well preserved paintings in its interior rooms