Long before I visited Orchha I knew it was a great location for sunsets. In fact, I was completely oblivious that the place even existed until I one day stumbled across some photos of the sun setting behind the Chhatris.
At that very moment I knew it was somewhere I should look into further. Less than an hour later I realised just how much Orchha has to offer with the Chhatris, Fort, Chaturbhuj Temple, and Lakshmi Narayan Temple, plus the close proximity to world heritage sites such as Khajuraho and Sanchi. It didn’t take long for me to build out a 10 day itinerary that encompassed all of these and lot more besides, starting and ending in Bhopal.
Having now returned from Orchha, I thought it might be useful for others to know where the best locations are to capture the sunset with those Chhatris and the Betwa river in the foreground. I went on a few evenings to scout locations, the weather conditions were not perfect for sunsets so you might be faced with a more impressive scenes than I was during my stay in Orchha.
Option 1 – On the bridge
This is where the majority of people go to capture the sunset at Orchha. Here you have the classic view of the Betwa river in front and the scene dominated by the Chhatris.
It’s almost perfect except for a couple of slight inconveniences…
As you can see from the above photo, the bridge is only just wide enough for a single vehicle, and there’s no barriers at the side of the bridge either. So, every time a vehicle tries to use the bridge in either direction, you need to walk back to the bank and get off it. This bridge is one of the major routes into the town, so it’s hugely busy. To be frank, it’s a quite dangerous.
The second issue is the barbed-wire fence to your left, which is the direction of the setting sun. This prevents anyone entering the Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary (more on that shortly), so you have to try and get far enough long the bridge to get the fence out of sight, whilst also trying to simultaneously ensure you’re not about to be bumped off into the river by a passing vehicle. I can’t swim, enough said about this option I think.
Option 2 – On the banks of the river
Because of the fenced off area right by the bridge to the west, another option is to go east, slightly further away from the Chhatris and shoot them with the bridge in the foreground (see above map for location).
For those not wanting any humans or vehicles in the sunset shot, this will pose some challenges, but if you embrace the situation it can work to your advantage I think. You do miss out on having so much of the river in the foreground, but it is at least safe. Here you can sit on the rocks, set up a tripod, and have a bit more of a relaxing experience.
Note : This area is rife with aggressive and confident monkeys, don’t leave any bags or camera equipment away from you as they will certainly come over and take things.
Option 3 – Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary owns a good portion of the southern bank of the river Betwa immediately west of the bridge, which accounts for all that barbed wire fencing right by the bridge itself. I have to confess I didn’t visit this place, reviews were extremely mixed and there was quite a high entrance fee with camera. I’m also not convinced it would be the best place, you would be directly opposite the Chhatris but perhaps a little too close. I would love to hear from anyone that gives this location a try.
You’re welcome to ‘Like’ or add a comment if you enjoyed this blog post. If you’d like to be notified of any new content, why not sign up by clicking the ‘Follow’ button.
If you’re interested in using any of my photography or articles please get in touch. I’m also available for any freelance work worldwide, my duffel bag is always packed ready to go…