I have never seen a place so beautiful. There are literally temples and palaces spilling out into the countryside and the town of Orchha is built amongst the ruins of chhatries, temples and a gigantic palace. I see Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman idols in every corner.
In the mornings I sit amongst the chhatries and when I get bored of the view I change to a different location or a different chhatrie. There are no other people wandering about and I enjoy the peace as I wonder what it was like to be a princess during the 1500s.
Eventually I need water or food and head back into town (read: two restaurants and a store) to buy some water. My favourite store is owned by a shop keeper and his wife who only charge 10 rupees for a bottle of water. The rest of my morning is spent sitting in the store chatting with the couple and locals who wander in. The store sells many odds and ends and during my excursions I have managed to pick up jewellery, pictures, dolls and a kameez.
In today’s conversations I learned a fair bit about Holi — the Hindu Festival of Colors. On this day people throw paint and water at newlyweds and old men. On Sunday night (considered the first day of Holi) there is a big bonfire, created to signify the burning the demoness Holika. Monday is the big day when everyone throws paint and water on one another. On Tuesday there is a plan for a big festival at the Rama temple.
I love sitting with the lady in the store; she is very motherly and we are comfortable together. Her husband was not feeling well so while he lay on the floor I soaked up the atmosphere and her motherly advice. She fed me slices of papaya and milk sweets. For my next visit I shall bring food to share with these wonderful people!
At the end of today’s morning ritual I headed back to one of the restaurants to sit with the Westerners. I learned that Micha is very ill and Inga and I went back to the room to check his temperature. It was very high. We tried to cool him off with wet cloths and water, which helped a little bit. I gave him some pure lime juice (a local trick) and left him to get some sleep. In Orchha when you are sick the doctor makes house calls for 50 rupees. Unfortunately, the doctor only speaks Hindi and I’ve heard that the medicine he gives is out of date. The hotel manager offered a few immediate suggestions and offered to translate for the doctor if we need him.