Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Aug 27, 2005

Metro Plus Chennai

White cliffs, green waters
Once a Gond kingdom, there's more to
 Jabalpur than the world famous Marble Rocks

The Chausat Yogini
 Temple in Jabalpur

One of Jabalpur's claims to fame is that it dates back to
the upper Jurassic period. The other famous aspect of
this town in Madhya Pradesh is the Marble Rocks, located
at Beraghat, about 23 km away.

At Beraghat, the deep green waters of the Narmada
 weave their way through serrated white cliffs 100
feet high. An unforgettable experience is the boat
 ride into the gorge in the morning, past several
picturesque spots such as Bhul Bhulaiya, Suicide Point
and the Monkey's Leap.

However, there's more to Jabalpur than just the
awesome rocks. The once Gond kingdom is en route
 to the tiger reserves of Pench, Kanga and Bandhavgarh.

Then there is the 10th Century Chausat Yogini
temple, once dedicated to the worship of female
demons, and till a few decades ago, ritual sacrifices
 and Tantric practices. Now shorn of its sinister
antecedents, this structure with tiered steeples
and chatris, boasts 64 intricately carved statues
of yoginis. This is believed to be a temple of
the Gond Rani Durgavati, who had access to it
through an underground tunnel from her palace.

The other spot worth a visit is the Duandhar Falls, a
 few km away from the Marble Rocks. Here, the waters 
of the Narmada drop over a 30-ft ledge into a river
 in a lacy pattern. During festivals, the place is 
overcrowded with pilgrims waiting to take a holy
 dip. For some history, there's the Madan Mahal 
fort, which dates back to 1116. Perched on 
a single rock, the fort offers a panoramic view of
 Jabalpur city and some lakes near by.

How to get there: Jabalpur is well connected by
 road and also has an airport. There are several
 hotels in and around Beraghat, including the
motel run by Madhya Pradesh Tourism.
For details, contact the Madhya Pradesh
Tourism Development Corporation
 at Jabalpur, Ph: 0761-2322111.

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