Amarkantak

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 😎

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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.

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Narmada Temple

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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.

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It is here inside this temple that the holy River Narmada originates from

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Ma Narmada Temple (Mother Narmada Temple)

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The” Aarti”. At the Kundh from where the Holy River Narmada emerges. So very fascinating.

Wish to get a real feel? Have a look.

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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.

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The Kund where Narmada River emerges

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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.IMG_20181027_082913215

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Pataleswar Mahadev Temple
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Shiv Temple

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Karan Temples

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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.

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The Kunda from where River Sone energes

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It moves ahead..

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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.

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Shri Yantra Temple
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Amarkantak Gurudwara

And now some scenic beauty which will make you feel we are blessed to be born human & living.

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The Narmada flows on

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And this is a fall..

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Kapildhara 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 😁

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A lovely bridge that we cross to go down into the valley
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Enjoying the moment
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Kapildhara Fall

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Dugdhdahara Fall

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.

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Jaleswar Dham & Kundh from where River Johila emerges
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Annapurna Dham

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 🇮🇳

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. aalokbhattacharya says:

    Excellent write ups

  2. Nityan Gulati says:

    Very nice write-up you feel as if you are there at Amarkantak. There is always a great religious and spiritual feeling when you visit places where rivers originate. It is a pity that while we treat rivers as life giving mothers but we pollute them causing grave damage to our own lives.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Agree so much with you. Wish we could be more passionate towards our country. It’s such a shame we are not. Lots to learn for us from the West in this one area at least 😐

  3. Arundhuti says:

    A wonderful post. So well written and it seems I myself took the journey. Look forward to many more such experiences.

  4. chandrima roy says:

    Have always wanted to go to Amarkanthak….this description just helped me firm my resolve. It is also informative , which is really helpful for planning like
    what to carry along and how many days would it take to see the place properly.

  5. Dr. Nupur says:

    Very interesting. I haven’t been here , neither did i know much about it. Thanks for sharing such vivid description.

  6. Gervin Khan says:

    I have never been to India and it sounds like you are having wonderful time exploring the place of Amarkantak. I will definitley add this place to my bucket list, thanks for sharing your beautiful description of this place.

  7. Surekha Busa says:

    India is one of a beautiful places on my lists, and I’m really excited to see India next year.

  8. Hirra Pervaiz says:

    very informative post. It is always great to learn about different cultures.

  9. beautiful! your photos and trip details were very insightful. i have wanted to visit india for years and see the Taj Mahal and Amritsar’s Golden Temple. Do you think they use eggs in American Indian restaurants? I imagine not since they also serve meat here.

    Joy at http://www.thejoyousliving.com

    1. travelwisesr says:

      They normally don’t use eggs unless you wish.Welcome to India.You would love to be here.

  10. Catherine Santiago Jose says:

    I really don’t have any knowledge about this country and your article made me learn something about this place. I hope to visit India next year for me to learn their culture and to explore their beautiful places.

  11. Diana Tidswell says:

    Nice blog, very passionate, wish i could get a tour there someday too with my son.

  12. Excellent write up about Amarkantak. I particularly like the info about the three rivers – the holy Narmada, the Sone and the Johila, and how they merge and go on different directions. Kapildhara Fall is particularly stunning. Amarkantak sounds like a wonderful place to visit. It’s indeed rich in culture and natural heritage.

  13. How interesting to be in an all vegetarian town! My husband was in one in India last year and he had a hard time with that.

  14. Elizabeth O says:

    I did not know much about this place but I guest it’s kindly interesting to on . Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. melisvida says:

    great post thanks for sharing, its always fun to hear about other places.

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