Saturday, December 24, 2011

Jabalpur & around

Jabalpur - on the banks of Narmada
I had visited Jabalpur for the first time in 1982, having been selected for the B.Tech(Agri.) course at Jwaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (JNKVV for short). However, my father who had accompanied me, somehow was not conducive to the idea of students preparing their own food, as the hostel mess was in a mess, the contractor having run away with the students money without providing for the meals. However, I had liked the ambiance of the place and therefore, when I got an opportunity to visit my younger brother studying in the Regional Engineering College, Iimmediately grabbed the opportunity with both hands and visited the place again in 1990.
Jabalpur, is situated in Madhya Pradesh and is in the Mahakoshal region. The place is surrounded by small hillocks all around with deep gorges creating many small lakes all around.Jabalpur is linked to all major cities of India by train and also by limited Air services. Jabalpur is on the Itarsi sector of Western railswaysand about 961 odd Kms. from Delhi by train, there are several trains running from the Hazrat Nizzamuddin station and journey time varies from 20 odd hours onwards. The place is also well connected by road and the National Highway Number 7 passes though it. The place is quite hot during the summers, but the winters are mild and the best season to visit is between October to March/April.
Historically speaking, the emergence of the name of the city of Jabalpur has conflicting versions. Whereas, one version is that since Sage Jabali is said to have performed penance on banks of river Narmada here, the place derived its name from him. The other version is that this place was an important transit & business centre of foreign Arabs and even today many a graves with tombstones dedicated to them can befound in the local graveyards andthe name was derived from the Arabic word Jabal which means rocks. Jabalpur was ruled by the Tripuri rulers between the 9th to 12th Centruy AD and one of the most significant pieces of architecture of this period is the Chausatyogini temple dedicated to Goddess Durga and boast of Kaluchari style. The regin thereafter got partly transferred to subjugation of Mughals, followed by the Marathas, who in turn turned it under the rulers of Nagpur and remined under their control till it was taken over by the British. During the British rule, Jabalpur became a major cantonment and still retains the status with many important military installations existing on date.
Sunset as viewed from Gunhill at Jabalpur
Narmada flows at a little distance away from the main city of Jabalpur. The topography of the area around, with hillocks and deep gorges, has forced Narmada to flow through a deep gorge. As explained above, due to presence of such hillocks, Narmada at one point takes a deep plunge downwards. Due to the narrowing down of the river bed, coupled with the fact that such concentrated volume of river water falls down from a higher elevation, causes immense noise as well as spill over of the water thus creating a misty ambiance. This place has been appropriately names as the Dhuandhar falls (Dhuandhar in hindi means misty/smoky). This place is approximately 23 Kms from the Jabalpur city and many public transport facilities are available both on shared as well as indiviudal rented basis from all important locations, be it the Railway station or the city centre or tregadha mor etc.
Dhuandhar falls panoramic view
Dhuandhar falls closeup
One can traverse a bit upstream and the water of Narmada flowing down towards the Dhuandhar falls is a real treat to watch. There are a lot of vendors here who sell all kinds of soapstone artifacts & trikletsaround this spot. A little before the Dhuandhar falls is the gorgeous Marble rocks gorge through which the Narmada flows. This spot has been chosen for shooting of many a Hindi movies. The place from where one can launch oneself for this stupendous journey is called 'Bedaghat'. This spot is about 21 Kms. from the Jabalpur City centre.
In the boat at Bedaghat
The famed marble rocks of Bedaghat
Another view of the marble rocks
Close up of the Marble rocks
Panoramic view of the gorge at Bedaghat - Narmada river
N.B - Viewers will have to pardon me for the quality of photos as they are now almost 17 years old and I was using a fixed focus camera then (Yaschica MF-II motor model). But it will give you a fair image of the place.

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