Bhedaghat: The Gorge that would make you Fall……..

Bhedaghat: The Gorge that would make you Fall……..

……..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.

Bhedaghat Dhuadhaar travel Madhya Pradesh

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.

Bhedaghat Dhuadhaar travel Madhya Pradesh

‘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

Boat ride?

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.

Bhedaghat Dhuadhaar travel Madhya Pradesh

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.

‘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.

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.

 

Off the Grid in Orchha, A Rejuvenating Experience in a Bundeli Village

Travel tips

  • 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.
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Ayodhya Beyond Its Controversy, What’s in for a Traveler?

Ayodhya Beyond Its Controversy, What’s in for a Traveler?

Ayodhya is a gem for the travellers as it is totally untouched when it comes to the development from the point of view of tourism. The town of Ayodhya has the temples built by the kingdoms of ancient India that also includes the Kingdoms of South.  While roaming around this temple town, I came across the temples built by the kingdom of Orchha, Golconda, Datia, Banaras and many more. Thus, you get to see the architecture style of each ancient kingdom of India right here in this town. Read more

The Palace of Datia ; An Architectural Gem of India

The Palace of Datia ; An Architectural Gem of India

A bustling town of Datia, near Orchha, stands out as a mini-Vrindavan with more than a hundred of Krishna temples. It shines proudly as if it were the testimony of its king’s devotion to Lord Krishna. The little town is also mentioned in Mahabharat as Datiyavakra and also boasts of a few temples dating back to the era of Mahabharat. Read more

Witness The World’s Most Complicated Textile in India : Patan Patolas

Witness The World’s Most Complicated Textile in India : Patan Patolas

Being a garba crazy child in Gujarat, I used to hum the Gujarati folksongs mentioning the expensive Patolas of Patan. Back then, I hardly cared about what patolas were and why were they so expensive. I hardly cared to even know about it until we planned a road trip to North Gujarat covering Modhera, Patan and Sidhpur. Read more

Vohra Wad; A European Colony in an Indian Town

Vohra Wad; A European Colony in an Indian Town

Have you ever been mesmerized by those images of the colourful houses that Copenhagen Tourism keeps flashing to attract the tourists? Well, then you would be surprised that India has its own set of such houses with a little pastel shade.

Siddhpur is a little town in Gujarat and surprisingly, the travel-crazy Gujaratis also seemed unaware of this quintessential gem. Read more

Backpacking in Gujarat; Think beyond the Rann of Kutch

Backpacking in Gujarat; Think beyond the Rann of Kutch

The shivery wind of winter brings along a flood of tourists to the only white desert of India which makes it a crowded carnival. Gujarat being my home state, I really find Rann of Kutch a touristy extravaganza during the season.

Trying to move off the touristy roads, I marked the lesser explored stops for my road trip from Gujarat to Rajasthan. Coastal Gujarat trip is what came to my mind on a first note, forests and hills were the second. In the end, I settled for the North Gujarat route considering the reasons that neither did I want to spoil the untouched coast of Gujarat nor did I want to disturb the animals in the National Parks. (I mean why… why the hell do we need to disturb the already troubled ones?) The roads will take you through the yellow blooming mustard fields and verdant farms. Though the route is quite common among the Gujjus, they hardly stop over these unsung heritage towns. Read more

A Bodhi-Muslim Himalayan Village with ‘Religion No Bar’

A Bodhi-Muslim Himalayan Village with ‘Religion No Bar’

“My great-grandfather was a Haji, but, he sent my grandfather to study Buddhism. My grandfather thus became famous as the lama of the Chongzee House in our village. He had studied the scriptures for around 19 years,” narrated the eldest family member of the Chongzee family. The story continued, the lama then asked his father to accept Buddhism. Read more

India’s Most Underrated Destinations You Need to Visit

India’s Most Underrated Destinations You Need to Visit

 

India is a huge country, and there are tonnes of famous (and fascinating) tourist destinations to visit.

But what if you want to do something different, and see somewhere a little less well known? Especially, for the travellers who wish to stay away from the touristy stuff and crazy crowd, finding the least known places becomes quite a task. There are many jewels hidden in almost every corner of India.

I ’ve put together a few of India’s most underrated destinations to help you make up your mind. Plan your trips now… Read more

A Glittery Christmas Eve in a Portuguese Colony of Mumbai

A Glittery Christmas Eve in a Portuguese Colony of Mumbai

Long before the British Colonised the islands of Bombay(Bom Bahiya), the tiny Portuguese villages flourished at the shores of the Arabian Ocean. There were a number of such Gaothans (Shore villages) earlier but now only a few exist in their original form.

The city of Mumbai is now a metropolitan and the people no longer remember the antique architectural jewels of the city. Unfortunately, these antique precincts are now overshadowed by the high-rise buildings and the modern architecture. However, despite too much of development, a few little towns tucked among the concrete jungles of Bandra, Vasai and Charni Road area have been successful in preserving the heritage.  Read more

In Pictures; The Rustic Charm of Ayodhya

In Pictures; The Rustic Charm of Ayodhya

The city of Ayodhya is all geared up for a brand new temple which would almost resemble the Swaminarayan Temples all over the world. There are chances that it may lose its rustic charm of the temple ruins, houses with wooden carved balconies and of course the overall antique look of the town.

The town is a blessing for all the street photographers with the colourful doors and the painted walls all around the city. During my exploration in Ayodhya, I could capture a few of them and I just love all of them.

Rajeshbhai was totally engrossed in the work of carving a pillar for Ram Mandir despite being surrounded by a number of visitors. He belonged to Gujarat. Elated by the fact that he was from my state, I soon plunged into a long conversation with him. He said that he has been a sculptor ever since his childhood. He has been a worker for the construction of many of the stunning Jain, Hindu and Swaminarayan temples of Gujarat. He has been devotedly working for Ram Mandir since past 2 years and is expecting the time span of another 4-5 years that would be spent in Ayodhya while building the actual temple after completion of the carving work.

The Stunning Streets of Ayodhya

And he was not distracted even a bit while working with that hammer and a nail! A true unsung artist indeed!

Ayodhya streets temple photographs

A few of the best-decorated flower bowls can be seen in  Ayodhya. During a morning walk at Ram ki Paidi, the flower market takes you back to the bygone era when King Ram might have also walked through this place for his swimming at his pool created out of Saryu River.

The Stunning Streets of Ayodhya

The century-old houses constructed in a temple style are another unique thing about Ayodhya. And such saffron clad people can really be your stunningly vibrant subject 😛

The Stunning Streets of Ayodhya

A part of Ayodhya flourishes with such grand structures while the others are tiny one floored rooms. It clearly shows the societal hierarchy in the ancient city of Ayodhya where the rich lived in the havelis while the lower class and the sepoys were allotted the tiny rooms along the fort streets.

Ayodhya streets temple photographs

If you see the people having conversations with cows on the streets of Ayodhya don’t be surprised. The cows here are pampered a little too much and sometimes, just like a little child, it would follow you eyeing your bag or hand if you have food.

Ayodhya streets temple photographs

Most of the houses have a common compound where they park their cycles and have a well for their daily water need. If you enter any one of them, it reminds you of Mumbai’s old chawls. This wasn’t probably meant for the poor but a huge rich family having a number of members. The wells definitely look pretty with that rustic charm.

Ayodhya streets temple photographs

The size of the house doesn’t degrade its beauty. The tiny houses are painted in red, blues, pink, purple and saffron.  They look utmost beautiful in the mild light of the morning. The streets starting from the Lakshmi Dwar have the best tiny frames waiting for you.

Ayodhya streets temple photographs

And yea! you would see more of cycles and cycle-rickshaws in the streets than the cars or other vehicles. Not so crowded streets make it an all the more beautiful frame for you.

Ayodhya streets temple photographs

Did you ever try climbing up your running cycle? I mean when? When do we even use cycle for a regular commute like this!

Ayodhya streets temple photographs

And then you have the evenings with such photography set in the streets.

The Stunning Streets of Ayodhya

I had taken almost hundreds of pictures with different people against this background. But she nailed the candid pose. The vibrant blue background and her pastel shades blended in to create this lovely frame.

Ayodhya streets temple photographs

This did remind me of a jail but looking at his zeal on a Sunday evening, my mind was forced to change.

The Stunning Streets of Ayodhya

The city centre keeps bustling throughout the day, and such scenes can be seen throughout the day.

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