I had heard about Jabalpur as an army base and Kanha National Park. Never knew anything much about it. When I saw Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan, who shooted at Jabalpur for Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo Daro, I took the decision to visit Jabalpur. I did thorough internet research some evening and was surprised to know there are many beautiful places in and near the city. Jabalpur is well connected by bus and train. I was in Kolkata and so decided to take a train from Kolkata to Jabalpur (about 1125KM by train) and found a decent budget hotel with the help of internet. Here I am posting my Jabalpur trip in two parts. Here is second one titled Jabalpur Diary- Part II.
Vinoba Bhave, the contemporary saint philosopher of India, named this Jabalpur as Sanskar Dhani- the capital of various cultural influences. He was overwhelmed by its cosmopolitan character and communal congruence. The city has an ample population of people from Bengal, Gujarat, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and South India who live in total coordination and peace and add richness to the life in the city. The best time to visit is September to March. Summers should be avoided. Rains are attractive too if you live in a better location (July to September).
Next day morning we started for Bedaghat Boat as per the suggestion of our cab driver. Bhedaghat is 24KM from the city. It was very popular excursion from Jabalpur. We took a cab which dropped us at the Dhuandhar Falls near Bedaghat. The holy river Narmada plunges down with so much force that area around it is covered with the mist (or smoke) and hence the name Dhua (smoke)! We took a cable car ride so that we could get an aerial view of the waterfalls. I took pictures from all directions. It was stunning!
From the main road one has to walk up to the waterfalls and the street is lined with souvenir shops. Most of them are marble artifacts, religious as well as fancy ones. Near the rickshaw stand there is an aloo-vada-tea stall.
1. Bhedaghat – Marble Rocks – This small place of Jabalpur situated on the banks of river Narmada and widely famous for its marble rocks are at a distance about 24 Km from Jabalpur rail station. We parked our vehicle in the parking lot. It charged around 20 Rs and on the left side of parking you has to walk a few steps and you would see stairs on your right. You would also see many stores of handicrafts, ornaments made up of stones, Art and craft made from the stones and many more while walking downstairs.
The boat ride cost was around
Rs. 750(full boat)
Rs. 100 (share boat/head)
Guide Tip extra.
We took a shared boat ride at Marble Rocks. The boat cruises through a narrow passage between high standing marble cliffs. Rising in sparkling magnificence, the marble rocks at Bhedaghat rise to 100 feet on either side of the Narmada. The tranquil beauty of the scene is one of cool quiet, the sunlight glittering on the marble-white pinnacles and casting spotted shadows on the waters. The boatman had great sense of humor and for the whole ride passengers laughed.
At one place we saw teenagers on the marble rock they said that if we gave them any money 50 Rs-20Rs they will jump from that height. Few tourists gave money and kids taken their life risk. Surely I did not support these type of activitiies.We got to see Rocks that are been carved in many shapes, the water was Crystal clear.
We enjoyed the boat ride, it worth every penny, Do not try to swim. Remember they didn’t give life jacket, there were no divers to save you and as you go ahead the water gets deeper and our boatman told us its around 600ft deep.
I only know Bhedaghat for the marble rocks, Narmada River, and yeah many movies like Mohenjo Daro, Ashoka, Bobby was shot here.The boatman also told the boat ride during full-moon night is memorable! As the full moon night was one week to come I had to skip full moon night boat ride.
2. The Chausath Yogini (64 Yogini) temple of Jabalpur – A short walk from the waterfalls is a Chausat Yogini temple. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and his companion Goddess Parvati riding their divine vehicle Nandi. It seems it is a rare style. Yes! Even I have not seen any other shrine with Shiva-Parvati riding Nandi. The temple has a circular yard and there are 64 (chausat) figurines of goddesses (yogini) around. It is a beautiful architecture.
It was built in the 10th Century AD by the Kalachuri kingdom and has a distinct resemblance to the temples of Khajuraho in structure. Climbing the 100 odd steps to reach the compound is an easy climb and the temple looks beautiful in sunlight and inside the idols of the Mother Goddess and Lord Shiva lend a divine aura. There are 64 sculptures of Yoginis inside the temple are seated along a semicircular compound wall which have been ravaged by time. Walking along the wall, the view from behind the temple, overlooking the Narmada and the greenery around is soothing and calm. I sat on the bench under the tree next to the temple for a while hoping one of the Yoginis will at least awaken and slay my inner demons.
We had lunch after the boating point and Temple darshan. Then we went to the previous place and went to see dhuandhar falls.
3. Dhuandhar Waterfalls- The famous waterfall is located just 25 km from Jabalpur. Cable car fare is Rs. 100 for return visit. Dhuandhar falls was beautiful, the water was so clear. You would be mesmerized to see the beauty of waterfall. This water flowing down with full force creates a smoke cascade hence Dhua (smoke)-Dhar (flow). The place was really pleasant, sit near the river put your legs in ice-cold water and get relax. Remember there was no changing room; the place was about 1 KM from our parking which cost around 20 Rs. You can also park near dhuandhar but the VIP Parking will cost around 200 Rs. You could also go to the other side of the river by rope-way /cable car service.
The ropeway point was at the parking place. So this means after getting an astonishing view of dhuandhar falls you have to again walk for 1 KM. You would get beautiful view of dhuandhar falls meeting marble rocks and this side of Narmada River was not so crowded, so you can peacefully sit here have a good time.
After spending an hour we came back to parking lot. Then we started for Kanha which is about 8 Km from Jabalpur.
Also read JABALPUR DIARY- PART I
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