I got a chance to visit the beautiful city of Jabalpur on the occasion of my friend’s wedding. It was planned for the first week of May, one of the Hottest in India. However, this couldn’t stop me from getting out there and visiting Dhuandhar and Bhedaghat – The Miracles situated on the outskirts of Jabalpur district.
A Guide to Jabalpur: An Introduction
|Best time to Visit||Peak Season: September – March, can also be visited from April – June but the temperatures are soaring high|
|Climate||Average annual temperature is 25.5 °C, which can get to a high of 41 °C in peak summer and can be as low as 10 °C in winters|
|Getting there (By Road)||Jabalpur is connected to major Indian cities like Nagpur, Indore, Bhopal, Pune, Aurangabad, Kanha and Bandhavgarh by regular interstate bus service.|
|Getting there (By Flight)||Nearest Airport – Dumna Airport about 20 kms from city center. Jabalpur is well connected from Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Nagpur, Bhopal and Indore|
|Getting there (By Train)||Jabalpur Railway Station lies on Mumbai-Howrah-via Allahabad main line. Served by the Western Central Railways, Jabalpur Railway Station is an important rail junction of the state as it connects Jabalpur to major Indian cities like Delhi, Nagpur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Patna, Bhopal and Lucknow.|
Places to Visit in Jabalpur
Having heard a lot about the Jewels of Jabalpur – Dhuandhar and Bhedaghat, we decided to visit these miracles.
1) Dhuandhar Falls
The word Dhuandhar has originated from two words of the Hindi Language – Dhuan (smoke) + Dhar (flow). It means a waterfall where we get smoke-flow like feeling. This smoke is formed by water vapours or the smoke cascade. The Dhuandhar Falls are situated on Narmada River in Bhedaghat and are 30 meters high. The river flows through the world-famous Marble Rocks, narrows down and then descends in a waterfall known as Dhuandhaar. This descent is infact a plunge, which creates a bouncing mass of mist.
It took us about an hour to reach the Dhuandhar Falls from the city center by car. As I walked towards the falls, I could clearly hear the powerful roars of the hurtling waters. The sight of the falls was indeed spectacular. I could not take off my eyes of the breathtaking extravaganza. I simply stood there on the viewing platform for listening to the symphony being created by the picturesque falls. This Smokhindhra Waterfall is a popular tourist destination due to its charming beauty. If you visit the place in summers, do enjoy a glass of soothing sugarcane juice and freshly cut cucumber to keep yourself hydrated in the scorching heat of Central India.
|Timings – 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
2) The Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat
A 5 minute ride from Dhuandhar will take you to another jewel in Jabalpur – The Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat. One has to walk for about 10 minutes to get to the Panchvati Ghat from where we can take a Motor Boat ride through the marble rocks. Elegantly carved marble handicraft shops flock the pathway leading to the ghat. There was a wide variety from delicate earrings, houses, name boards and artefacts all carved out of the marble from the rocks. After making a note to stop by these luring delis while returning, we finally reached the ghat.
We quickly bought the tickets and grabbed our seats next to the Helmsman cum guide. We began our ride through the fascinating rocks along the graceful Narmada river. Now came the interesting part of the ride. As we moved ahead, the tall mountains started changing their shapes magically change shapes. The guide started introducing them to us in his unique comic and poetic style which added fun to the spellbinding ride. A number of Bollywood movie songs have been shot here including – ‘Raat ka Nasha Abhi’ from Ashoka, ‘O Basanti Pawan Pagal’ from Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, crocodile fight scenes of the Hindi movie Mohenjo Daro and Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye and the guide’s narration made it more intriguing.
At a point, the boat crossed the “Bandar Kudni” – a point where the marble mountains come close enough to let a monkey jump across. There are other rock formations like a deer (Miran Kunch), Hanthi ka Paon (Elephant Foot), the horns of a cow and the Horse’s footprints which are noteworthy. Another interesting fact is that egg shells of dinosaurs have been found at a number of ghats in the region. These marble like magnesium limestone rocks cast different colours in different lights and look especially beautiful in the moonlight.
|Boat Ride Charges – Rs. 30/- per head per side|
Timings – 7 am-7 pm and 8 pm-midnight only on Full moon nights.
In his Highlands of Central India, Captain J. Forsyth speaks eloquently about the infinitely varied beauty of the rocks:
“The eye never wearies of the effect produced by the broken and reflected sunlight, now glancing from a pinnacle of snow-white marble reared against the deep blue of the sky as from a point of silver, touching here and there with bright lights the prominence of the middle heights and again losing itself in the soft bluish grays of their recesses. Here and there the white saccharine limestone is seamed by veins of dark green or black volcanic rock; a contrast which only enhances like a setting of jet, the purity of the surrounding marble.”
The beautiful sights of Bhedaghat will definitely put a smile on your face, bringing alive the child in you.
3) Chausath Yogini Temple
The Chausath Yogini Temple is also known as the Golaki Math (circular lodge) and is one of India’s yogini temples. There are exactly 64 carved figures of Yoginis, each one in her own designated shrine, skirting the inner wall of the circular premises of the temple. The large temple is on a hilltop above the river Narmada in Bhedaghat giving a panoramic view of the mighty river. After a climb of about 150 stairs, you will get a prolific idea of 10th-century central Indian architecture and the significance of Yoga tantric beliefs.
|Timings – 7:00 AM – 8:30 PM|
If you have more time on hand, you can visit a few other places like – the Madan Mahal Fort, Balancing Rocks outside the fort, Dumna National Park, Tilwara Ghat (point where Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed).
Jabalpur has a lot to offer to the discerning tourist – temples, marble mountains, lakes and dams. So, plan a trip when the weather is pleasant. A scuttling city known for its flourishing industries and historical importance, Jabalpur has it all to leave you in awe of this place.