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Orchha, India

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An essential stop en route to or from Khajuraho, ORCHHA ("hidden place") certainly lives up to its name, residing amid a tangle of scrubby dhak forest 18km southeast of Jhansi. In spite of its generally tumbledown state, the fortified and now deserted medieval town is a former capital of the Bundela rajas and remains an architectural gem, its guano-splashed temple shikharas, derelict palaces, havelis and weed-choked sandstone cenotaphs floating serenely above the banks of the River Betwa. Clustered around the foot of the exotic ruins, the sleepy village of neatly painted houses, market stalls and …
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