Adding to its ongoing initiatives to promote Madhya Pradesh as a leading tourism destination in the country, the state tourism board has announced a new cultural festival in the historic town of Orchha.
The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board has recently won ten National Awards and the state has also been listed among the top three 'Best Value Destination' of the world by Lonely Planet.
The Madhya Pradesh government has identified tourism as one of the leading sectors for development and aims to promote the Madhya Pradesh as an attractive destination for both domestic and international travellers.
There is a sustained focus on promoting the local economy by creating employment opportunities, skill-building, infrastructure development, restoration of heritage sites, development of natural reserves and biodiversity, promotion of sustainable and responsible tourism as well as rural tourism.
Orchha has been awarded the Best Heritage City at the National Tourism Awards 2019 and is being developed by the government as 'must-visit' destination along with popular tourism hotspots like Khajuraho, Sanchi, Ujjain, Pachmarhi and Bhimbetka.
Already on the shortlist for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Orchha has the potential to become an alternative destination as part of the Golden Triangle for travellers in India.
Just under 500 kms from Delhi, Orchha is easily accessible from the national capital via road (approximately eight hours), by train up to Jhansi Junction (approximately five-six hours including a 30 minute drive from Jhansi to Orchha) and by air up to Gwalior (approximately four hours including a three hours drive from Gwalior to Orchha).
Orchha is the perfect weekend getaway, a unique wedding destination and nature lovers, photographers and adventurer's delight all rolled into one.
With hitherto unexplored heritage architecture, numerous places of religious significance, a beautiful wildlife park and riverside and plenty of stunning views, Orchha makes a brilliant bid for every traveller.
"Madhya Pradesh is among the most exciting tourist destination in the country and has immense potential to grow inbound tourism. Under the vision of the Honourable Chief Minister, tourism has been identified as a key focus area and we are creating new opportunities and initiatives to promote the state and it's rich cultural, natural and architectural heritage and its traditions and history," said Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, Secretary Tourism, Government of Madhya Pradesh and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board.
"This festival will find a place of pride in the lives of the local populace of Orchha, sharing their home and heart with visitors and will also bring the very best of Madhya Pradesh together in a meaningful celebration," he added.
Celebrating the state of Madhya Pradesh through this ancient and quaint town, the festival promises to bring together diverse experiences of music, art, wellness, travel, photography, nature, adventure, history and culture in a rich three-day extravaganza.
There will also be 'gram' and 'farm' stays to promote rural entrepreneurship; workshops and site-visits for photography, film-making, destination weddings, theatre and dance; and exhibitions featuring the state's handicraft heritage and legacies, sustainable fashion and design showcases in collaboration with master-craftsmen and well known global-local brands.
The festival will offer an opportunity for travellers, history buffs, nature lovers, photography enthusiasts and adventure seekers to explore the beautiful state of Madhya Pradesh.
It will also offer opportunity for local businesses to expand tourism offerings and for the hospitality, films, adventure sports and weddings industries to exploit the yet untapped potential in the state bringing an influx of tourism led economy and fresh investments from the travel and hospitality industry.
Nestled on the banks of the Betwa River, a short 15 km drive from Jhansi, Orchha is replete with stunning architectural heritage steeped in legend and mythology. It also boasts rich wildlife and dense plantations which form a part of the Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Orchha Fort Complex hosts the legendary and unique Ram Raja Temple, built in honour of Lord Ram and is the only place where he is worshipped both as a god and as a king.
There is the imposing Chaturbhuj Temple, with a blend of temple, fort and palace architectural features, the royal palaces - Raja Mahal and the Sheesh Mahal, which is now converted into a heritage hotel; the Jahangir Mahal built by Maharaja Bir Singh Deo in honour of a visit by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir; and the Phool Bagh, an architectural marvel built for natural cooling through a water ventilation system.
Numerous cenotaphs or chhatris, constructed in honour of various erstwhile rulers of the city, dot the vicinity of the fort and the Betwa River.
The rich and unfettered natural resources, biodiversity and pristine landscape are also an unparalleled attraction for nature and adventure lovers to explore Orchha.
From guided tours of the Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary to adventure sports along the Betwa River, picturesque natural beauty to an experience of rural life, there's something for every traveller to take home.
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