Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat
The Bhedaghat Story
One of my cousins (from in-laws) lives in Jabalpur and until I had met her, Jabalpur was little-known to me. Soon, her wedding date was announced and the whole family was re-uniting in the City I was long waiting to explore. For the special bond I share with her, I didn’t want to miss a single moment of the celebration. It was a 3 days packed scheduled.
Day 1 – All guests arrive at the wedding, followed by Mehendi ceremony
Day 2 – Thread ceremony of another cousin, followed by Wedding- Sangeet
Day 3 – Wedding and Reception
Day 4 – We were heading back to Pune
There was really no time to explore the city without spending an extra day, only for site-seeing. But we formulated an alternative plan, which was to wake up early morning on Day 3 to explore the city and return home before the family wakes up. The tough part was, of course, to wake up early when the celebrations continued into wee hours of the night!
About the Place
Jabalpur is home to meandering River Narmada with a popular destination Bhedaghat attracting majority of the tourist. I was quite surprised to see a large number of foreign tourists there, especially from the States. Later the guide explained that Bhedaghat is a convenient location for an itinerary to Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench jungle safaris. And most tourists usually prefer to rest here for a leisurely stay before their long journeys to any of the National parks in Madhya Pradesh.
The river Narmada, one of the most sacred rivers in India, plunges through a short fall creating what is called as ‘Dhuandhar Fall’ at Bhedaghat. It then sweeps through some lime stone cliffs of Marble Rocks and that site is inexplicable. The reflections of the Marble rocks are bewildering for all those colours they exhibit along the way. The textures on those Marble rocks are a very interesting site if you look closely.
There are two boat options at Bhedaghat – the sharing boat accommodates about 10 people that would cost Rs. 100 or less per head (approx) and the private boat that would cost about Rs. 1000 per couple including optional tip of Rs. 100 and one stop over. Two oarsmen accompany you through the journey and provide a compelling poetic narration of every formation you see around. They are so well rehearsed with the narration, that it will make you giggle almost throughout the ride. There were several Bollywood movies shot here and the guides have met many well known stars. A little on them and their lifestyle are also included in the narration. 😉
We picked a private boat ride and headed through the silent flowing river. The stillness of the river is captivating and it is an extremely romantic place. We didn’t want this boat ride to get over and continue as far as it can get. There was nobody around that early in the morning. The loudest sound we could hear was rowing of the boat and the water dripping off from the oars.
You are allowed to stop the boat anytime and climb one of the rock mountains. There will be kids standing on the top most hills ready to jump in the waters from great heights if you offer them a tip. With less job opportunities in the village, this becomes an additional source of income for the local families here.
The ride will have a slow pace and it takes about an hour to return back.
1. Try the boat ride at Sunrise or Sunset time. Highly recommended on full moon night. The river has a silver reflection of the moon-lite sky and marble rocks look even more lustrous.
2. Rates for the boat rides are non-negotiable.
3. The boat ride is closed during monsoon season.
4. You can request the boatman to park the boat at whichever marble rock hill you wish to climb. Every halt would cost you Rs. 100
5. Ohh and you are not allowed to move around in the boat to click pictures.
6. There are cable cars that operate around for a panoramic view of River Narmada, if you are interested to do after your boat ride.
7. Expect basic facilities at your stay in Bhedaghat. Stay options: Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. For more comfortable options, try staying in Jabalpur city (around 15 kms from Bhedaghat).
Chausasth Yogini temple
Chausasth Yogini temple built in 10th century AD is about 2 km away from Dhuandhar falls. The temple is famous for the ruins left of 64 Yoginis from where it derives its name. A Yogini is a female yoga practitioner and in this temple, they have been beautifully carved displaying different Yoga poses. Most statues have sadly been destroyed by various invaders over the years but what is left speaks greatly about the artists that lived in the past. They are carved dancing, hunting or practising Yogas with heads and body parts of different animals or birds. The Yoginis are associated with tantric mantras practised by Rural or Tribals in Medieval India, hence they are not worshiped by Brahmins. The followers believed that by worshiping these Yoginis, you can channelise your negative energies into Supernatural powers. Interesting isn’t it?
There are only five temples in India with 64 Yoginis – three in Madhya Pradesh(one being completely destroyed with only one or two statues remaining) and two in Orissa.
For all the love I have for old sculptures, I regret not knowing about this temple before my visit to Bhedhagat. But surely, I will get another chance to be there again for a wedding in Jabalpur.
Aarti at River Narmada
India is a land where Rivers are treated as Goddess and Aartis are performed every evening. Aartis at River Ganga in Haridwar and Varanasi are most popular. On a smaller scale, there is an Aarti performed at the Banks of River Narmada everyday at 7.00PM by the villagers. They also allow a boat ride after the Aarti that is worth visiting especially on a full moon night.
If you plan an overnight stay at Jabalpur, all of these places can be covered in a day.
To visit MP Tourism site click here.