……..in Love with Madhya Pradesh… 😉
She roars like a lioness as she plunges down the rocks creating a smoggy riot named Dhuadhaar and tumbles down the rocky path creating the wavy music. Then, like a tired child, she falls into a deep slumber in a cradle of the silky marbles. Sunbirds sing lullaby to her as she quietly slithers through the rocks, leaving them sculpted with indefinite designs.
Narmada, one of the only 2 rivers flowing into the Arabian Ocean, has a dramatic scenery in store for you.
Khajuraho Temples, tiger havens, weavers’ hub Chanderi to architectural treasures of Maheshwar and Mandu, Madhya Pradesh serves you a travel platter to relish forever. While most of the travellers are crazy about the wildlife, I chose to be amidst nature at Bhedaghat. India’s own version of a Canyon, this place is an oasis of natural art.
So what is there which might interest you?
Stare at the Roaring River, but don’t take her lightly
Still enjoying her childhood, giggling and gushing, the Narmada at Dhuadhar roars like a thrilled child on a roller coaster. It creates such wonderful scenery that it appears to be some desktop wallpaper come live.
Located around 20 km away from the city of Jabalpur, this place is surrounded by tiny villages and the verdant yet rocky ranges. As we walked through a little market at the entrance, I hardly expected Dhuadhaar to be so enchanting. A teenaged child had volunteered to accompany me and show the falls around. He did approach as a guide but eventually joined with no other purpose but to evade away from his boring job of making lemonade. Its first sight literally took my breath away. We couldn’t talk, the roaring overpowered our voices and we had to shout in order to be audible to others.
I could sit there forever and ever. I would not mind jumping into it, the alluring nature and deceive you to be one with it.
The Leap of Faith
While I Just imagined diving into it, I luckily spotted the brave-heart local diver Guru, the hero of Bhedaghat. Confident of his dive in the death fall, he signals his rate. 100 Rupees a jump… 300 rs. A jumppp…. As the tourists would agree, he would move down on the slippery rock and goes straight into the booming river.
‘pachaaas rupayeeee jummp’.. (50 INR a jump), yeah don’t forget to add the ‘wow’ factor to your boat ride and encourage the rising stars of Bhedaghat.
No safety gears and no fear. Straight he went as if it was some play.
The day I had watched the famous documentary on the divers of Bhedaghat, it was one of many things I wished to witness here. The way they take a leap and jump into the 600ft deep water and then again climb the slippery rocks is commendable.
The raw talent of India is truly unfathomable.
A Jovial Boat Ride with Hilarious Commentary
Yeah, people might think what is there in just a boat ride? What is so interesting?
Then here comes the twist, passing through the movie locations and museum with a live commentary mocking the movie scene is something you would want to enjoy end number of times.
Passing through the naturally sculpted rocks, the blue rocks and the pinking rocks form a variety of designs. Somewhere you would be shown a monk engrossed in meditation and another side the children(naturally sculpted) would be seen playing on rocks. And the most exhilarating experience would be to pass through the deep gorge where the movie ‘Mohenjodaro’ was shot and the guide would give the commentary of the whole sequence in the funniest manner.
The thrill garnished with a pinch of fun and laughter is what would make your day
Camp at the Edge of the Gorge
The hotels at Bhedaghat are quite expensive no matter what the season is. However, you can try the Parikrama Lodge and can get some discount if you are good at bargaining.
However, we found a better option. There are villages located at the edge of the canyon. You can go to one of them, pitch a tent and enjoy the night under the stars.
The Balancing Rock and the Madan Mahal Fort
The ‘Butter Ball’ of Mahabalipuram is too famous and has overshadowed its twin in Jabalpur. The rock stands dramatically at the edge of another one. While roaming around the newly built roads of Madan Mahal town, one would hardly imagine a desolate and green forest right near the town. You must take an auto or any other vehicle in order to explore the vast area of Balancing Rock and the Madan Mahal Fort that is now cluttered in ruins.
Chausath Yogini Temple
If you have that history lover in you, you can take the effort to climb the stairs and visit this temple on a mound. And if you are not much religious or history-freak then you can give it a miss.
- How to Reach: Jabalpur is the main railway station to reach Bhedaghat, Govindghat and the Fort. But the Madan Mahal Station (at 10 minutes distance) is more convenient to reach anywhere.
- Gurudwara Premnagar or Madan Mahal Gurudwara are within walking distance from Madan Mahal Station and may provide you a stay if you are with your family or in a group. Dear solo travelers, they won’t welcome you much. (I, as a solo female traveler, wasn’t allowed in)
- Where to Stay: Hotel Satyam at Madan Mahal is a cheap stay option. At Bhedaghat, it is almost impossible to find a hotel that costs below INR 1000. Hotel Parikrama may reduce a little on bargaining.
- If you are a family, the room at the Tourist Rest House would be a perfect and the cheapest place for you.
- Bhedaghat has a number of good restaurants, but the dhabhas near the main falls ‘Dhuadhaar’ would serve you the authentic/desi taste.
- Morning time is best for the boat ride at Bhedaghat.