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.