Saturday, December 8, 2012

Madhya Pradesh Tour - Day 5 (Bhedaghat)

The glittering and soaring Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat (20th & 21st Nov 2012) 
          We drove down in time from Pachmarhi to Pipariya and en route saw a few peacocks again. The difference in the weather became obvious between Pachmarhi and Pipariya. As we waited for the Intercity Express which was to take us to Jabalpur, we had some hot yummy jalebis and chai.

          If you are traveling from Pipariya to Jabalpur by train, don’t sleep – keep looking outside and you will be rewarded. We saw huge herds of deer in not 1 but many fields.

          As we got down at Jabalpur, the rickshaw touts lost no time and didn’t leave us alone for a minute. Everyone wants to take you everywhere! I said we want to go to Bhedaghat and someone quoted INR 600 so I sarcastically smiled at him and when he asked how much I would give, I said INR 100 and he gave me a glare and advised me to go walking. I said I will. The next rickshaw guy who was hearing the conversation quoted 400 and I started walking, so he said 350, and I said that it is just 24 kms and the poor guy finally said 300 and we agreed. I have started to get good at haggling.
          So the same story of 6 people with their entire luggage in a single rickshaw repeated again and we autoed away towards Bhedaghat.
         
          Jabalpur is a crowded town like any other in this city and is an industrial city. It is also the pass through for most of the tiger reserves like Pench, Kanha and Bandhavgarh. Not sure of buses, but one can hire private vehicles to go to these places from here. The rickshaw guy thought I was a crackpot to have booked a hotel at Bhedaghat and not at Jabalpur and I made him feel proud by giving a stupid look and feigning him my ignorance.
         
          And so after about an hour, we reached Hotel River View at Bhedaghat. Since we reached before 12, we had to wait but not for long.
          And then we were allotted our room.
          And then we saw that it opened up to a small lawn
          And then we saw that the lawn was overlooking the Narmada River and the Marble Rocks we were here to visit.
          And then we went bonkers at the sight and jumped in joy! It was spectacular – total paisa vasool! From the open area, one can also see the ‘Nauka Vihar’ ghat, from where the boating and a tour of the Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat commences and where the Narmada Arti is performed every day as an ode to the river Goddess.

View of the Narmada from Hotel River View
          We quickly had our lunch and ventured first to the Dhuandhar waterfalls which are at a 15-20 minutes walking distance from the Nauka Vihar. You can also get dropped down by an auto rickshaw at a nominal charge of INR 5 per person.

Dhuandhar Falls:

The roaring Dhuandhar Falls
          To get to the Dhuandhar Falls, you walk across small alleys with shops selling artifacts, various marble statues, incense stick holders, marble turtles, vases and everything that can be made with marble. You can even get your names inscribed on marble designs. Turtles seem to be the favorites as you see them designed in various forms and materials. If you have females in your troupe, keep aside at least 1 hour extra for every spot as they will not be able to resist buying tidbits from here and there. The shops here and near the Nauka Vihar will be one of the highlights of your trip here. Even in the roadside shops, you will see all marble artifacts and huge statues of Gods and Goddesses. 

          The shops end and you come to an open space where you get a glimpse of the river and as you walk down the cemented steps, you can see cable cars hovering over you and crossing the river. They say you get a better view of the waterfall from the cable car/ropeway, but I didn’t try as we were short on time and boating on the Narmada watching the Marble Rocks was our prime objective. Here the River Narmada roars and comes to life. It is not your normal fall where water falls from huge rocks or mountains above. Water gushes down a naturally formed pit and you can feel the splash and the drops of the foamy water at quite a distance. It is definitely a scenic location and must visit on your trip to Bhedaghat. The energetic sound of the river brings in a strange excitement in the traveler.

          The place was pretty crowded and everybody wanted to get their exclusive photos clicked with the waterfall as a background. My nephew went a step ahead and put his feet in the water at a small inlet and washed himself in the holy water and we followed him. Though there is no fee for this attraction, the ropeway charges are around INR 55 per person as it is a relatively small distance to cover.
          If one minuses the crowd, this would be a great romantic spot and am sure can get only better in the rains.

Marble Rocks
The Marble Rocks in all its grandeur
           There’s something about rocks and Madhya Pradesh, In Sanchi, we saw huge Stupas built of stone, in Bhimbetka, we saw the pre-historic rock shelters, in Pachmarhi we saw rock caves of various forms, Lord Shiva being the prime occupant and here, at Bhedaghat, the glittering marble rocks rising to a hundred feet ooze a different grandeur that needs to be seen and experienced.

          The Narmada River originates from Amarkantak before snaking through the Marble rocks here. Boating starts as early as 7 am and the last boat returns before the Narmada Arti at around 6:30 pm. There are 2 kinds of boating options. Either you go along with the crowd in a larger boat costing INR 40 per person or you can take a small boat for yourself at a cost of INR 320. The larger boat travels for only 30 minutes and covers less whereas the latter option takes you for a longer tour and gives you a glimpse of the real thing. Boating is also available from 8-10 pm on full moon nights.

          On every boat, a person to steer, 2 oarsmen and 1 guide accompany you. The guide will be quite vocal and bring in a fun element in his commentary as he shows around or rather shows off the Marble Rocks. He shows you a naturally formed Nandi, 3 faces of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswari, a hermit being pushed by his disciple, Bhims’ ring and many other formations and for safety sake, applies an asterisk of ‘Terms and Conditions’ mentioning that if you see them, it is well and good, else it is meant only for the ones good at imagination. He boasts about all the movies having been shot here, the recent one being Kareena Kapoor, in a round raft like boat, singing ‘Raat ka Nasha abhi’ in the movie Ashoka. He shows you all the different kinds of marbles, white, black, slate, pink etc. He informs you about the river being around 600 feet deep at the deepest end and moderately being around 300 feet deep.
We went for the boating at the marble rocks twice, once during sunset and again in the early morning and what we experienced are left for you to see in the photos I clicked!! I would definitely like to visit again on a moonlit night, wading through the silvery water and the shiny rocks – just imagining exponentially increases my craving!! It just makes you feel that if you are ever marooned, it should be a plce like this - it is an amalgamation of the different beauties of nature.

Chausat Yogini Temple

Chausat Yogini Temple
          The Chausat Yogini temple was at a 2 minute walking distance from our hotel and very near to the Nauka Vihar as well. Getting to the temple takes your breath away as the steps are quite steep.

          It is a beautiful temple with Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati riding Nandi as the main statue being worshipped. The panditji said that this is the only temple in the whole of India which has such kind of a statue.

          Outside the temple, in a circle are the beautiful carved yet ruined statues of the deities belonging to the Kalchuri period i.e. Sixty Four Yoginis which gives this temple its name.
There is another temple just adjacent to the Hotel River View and it houses 5 smaller temples within it and is worth a visit.

A little on Jabalpur and its other tourist destinations

          Capital of the Gond kings in the earlier days, Jabalpur belonged later to the Kalchuri Dynasty later before being wrested by the Marathas and then the British. Today, Jabalpur is an important administrative centre.
          Jabalpur is the most convenient base for visiting Kanha (165 km) and Bandhavgarh (190 km) National Parks
          Jabalpur prides itself in being the originating place for the game of Snookers.

Madan Mahal fort: Built by the Gond ruler, Raja Madan Shah, the fort perched above a hillock gives a panoramic view of the city of Jabalpur.

Rani Durgawati Memorial & Museum: Dedicated to the great Queen Durgawati, it houses a collection of pre-historic sculptures and relics.

Dumna Nature Reserve is an eco tourism site and is spread over 1058 hectares.

Bargi: At a distance of 35 kms from Jabalpur, the Bargi Boat Club offers local cruising and on demand cruising to Mandla.
Hotel River View

View of a ghat from the hotel lawn

View from the hotel

A grand affair - Grandmother, Grandfather and Grandson

A lot of catching up to do!!

Temple beside the hotel

Desi Bond

Walking towards Dhuandhar

Ropeway at Dhuandhar

Kitne aadmi the - ee Ramgarh nahi, Bhedaghat hai


Bhedaghat - This one looks like a rhino

Serene

A rocky ship

A view of Hotel River View from the river

Experiencing the sun set from a boat

Beautiful!!

Anna khao ganna

Charlies Angels

The easy process of purifying

Having some fun!!

Dhuandhar















The Navigator





Outside the Chausat Yogini Temple

Being pious

Chausat Yogini Temple

One of the deities at the Temple




At the Chausat Yogini Temple





7 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photographs... Very well articulated... Bedhaghat is a true delight...

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  2. Very good, descriptive helpful guide to Marble rocks etc, Good job done. thanks

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  3. fantastic blog. thanks for such details.

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  4. Nice Photographs and nice place for visits...

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  5. Wonderful pics. You guys had lot of fun. Thanks for sharing your trip experience. Rich in history, varied in geography, and increasingly growing modern, Jabalpur is now also emerging as a popular family destination. Check out best hotels in Jabalpur.

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  6. Nice post. Thanks for sharing. Jabalpur is home to the meanderings of the Narmada river. Bhedaghat is an major tourist attraction 25 kms from here, famous for the Chausath Yogini Temple and the Dhuandhar Waterfalls. Check out best Jabalpur hotels.

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  7. Just before a week we visited bhedaghat falls, it was an awesome trip. We enjoyed there very much. I would like to visit the bhedaghat falls again. Thanks for sharing the post regarding Jabalpur tourism.

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