Happy to be today at the center of this beautiful country, India. We are in ‘Madhya Pradesh’, a land of timeless wonders and incredible nature.
In fact we landed up yesterday morning from Kolkata and spent the day enjoying being in a nice little Thermal Power township. And when you are back after long in the company of a part of your family, it is always going to be a lot of fun. It was in fact.
We were in Jamnipali, in Chattisgarh, a state carved out of it’s neighbour, Madhya Pradesh sometime back. And today morning we took this four hour car journey to reach this historical town, Amarkantak.
The last few hours of the journey going up the mountains with beautiful nature all around was just awesome.
Situated at an altitude of 1000 m, Amarkantak is a well frequented Hindu pilgrimage center that is popularly known as ‘Teerthraj’, ‘the king of pilgrimages’.
The Amarkantak region has a rich natural heritage. It is the meeting point of the Vindhya and the Satpura Ranges, with the Maikal Hills being the fulcrum. Three rivers – the holy Narmada, the Sone and the Johila – emerge here. And they each set out in different directions. The Narmada to the Arabian Sea. The Sone to the Bay of Bengal. And Johila merges with River Sone.
The forests surrounding Amarkantak have a rich variety of plants with medicinal properties, which make it extremely significant from an ecological point of view.
The exposure to fresh air perhaps made us feel hungry and hence just after checking in to our hotel, we decided to venture out for lunch. By the way, this town is entirely vegetarian and even eggs are not available. I quite liked the idea and the change from the normal non-vegetarian food we are used to gorging on.
We chose the clean looking eating joint on the main road which was owned by this middle aged man named Brij. A name so familiar, as it happened to be the same as my next door Delhi neighbor, while I used to stay there till a couple of years back. I was happy and more so because of the hospitality shown by not only Brij, but the entire clan. His wife, sons & daughter. They together ran this place. We were offered to feast as much as we could, at a fixed price. Only Rupees Fifty. And the food? Just awesome Have a look 😎
After lunch we went back to our hotel for a while to relax before we went out exploring the town. The one place that touched my heart was the flower and plant horticulture garden with it’s beauties all around. Enjoy nature beautiful 🌿🌲
After a spin around and as it was approaching evening, we visited the pilgrimage attraction, the Narmada Temple. There are as many as 16 small temples within the temple complex of Narmadakund. Such a beautiful peace heaven.
We kept sitting there and enjoying the tranquility of the place till the “Aarti” or evening prayers started at 7 PM and it went on till late in the evening.
Ma Narmada Temple (Mother Narmada Temple)
The” Aarti”. At the Kundh from where the Holy River Narmada emerges. So very fascinating.
Wish to get a real feel? Have a look.
Also inside the complex we noticed a group of devotees and learnt that they had come from Andhra Pradesh, another state in India, who have come down to perform Yagna for 7 consecutive days, an offering ritual in Hinduism done in front of a sacred fire and chanting of mantras.
Enjoy this experience..
The evening was was well spent with a sense of fulfillment before heading off for our dinner and retiring back to our hotel. It was such a beautiful spiritual experience.
The next morning we got up early at 5 AM, spent some relaxing moments and then got prepared to visit the temple back to offer our prayers and offerings.
And We feeling so happy & refreshed after offering our Puja (Prayers and offerings)
Enjoy a walk around this historical masterpiece, the Narmadakund Complex
After a wonderful breakfast of Puri Subzi, Aloo Parathas & Curd followed by some special local touch tea, we set exploring.
Just opposite the Narmadakund complex is the historical “Amarkantak Group of Temples”. It dates back to 8th Century when Shankaracharya built a Surya Kunda to specify the origin of the Narmada. The complex has the Pataleswar Mahadev Temple, Shiv Temple & Karan Temple besides other temples.
We now head towards the other attractions and first to the complex which again has a number of temples including the “Kunda” from where River Sone emerges.
It moves ahead..
And then it goes down into the mountains below. And all this while we were going around we had all around us, these ladies & gentlemen to give us company. In return all they expected was some snacks & a few fruits.
Let’s proceed now to have some more fun and much more of nature.
And now some scenic beauty which will make you feel we are blessed to be born human & living.
And this is a fall..
The beauty around is just mesmerizing. Have a feel.
Let’s now go down into the valley to experience Narmada even closer and then go down even further to another fall, the Dugdhadhara fall. Time to check our fitness 😁
Back where we left from after a trek up, it was time for some refreshing Shikanji (Lemon Water) before we moved further towards some other attractions.
If you are coming to Amarkantak there are various options for accommodation available. You have the Holiday Homes from MPSTDC but it is a little away from the center. You also have few resorts & hotels including the one we stayed in. And there is also Ramakrishna Ashram cottages, not far away from the center of town but very beautiful. But you need to book in advance and pay what you can afford to. Food though is not available here as an option.
The hotel that we stayed in, Hotel Shreemata Sadan was not too fancy but very neat and clean with a lot of greenery around in the campus. It was also very strategically located very close to the Narmada Temple with most other places that we visited, except the falls, within close vicinity. It looked like the best around too.
When you are coming over to Amarkantak, you could plan to visit the other places of interest nearby which are Royal Bandhavgarh, a place of mythological and legendary significance. The ancient Bandhavgarh Fort here is of great importance as it is believed to have been gifted by Lord Rama to his younger brother Lakshmana. Also, the Kanha National Park. Spread across 940 sq.km, Kanha National Park is one of the largest parks in Madhya Pradesh where the majestic royal Bengal tigers are found in good numbers. Both these attractions are approximately four hours away from Amarkantak by private transport.
Raipur Airport is the nearest airport to Amarkantak located about 200 kms away. Pendra Railway station is the nearest rail head located about 40 km away. It is also well connected by regular bus/cab service with Jabalpur, Bilaspur and Pendra Road.
Amarkantak. Truly a land of timeless wonders and incredible nature. Come over. Experience, India Beautiful 🇮🇳