Marble Rocks in Jabalpur
Jabalpur is situated in the centre of India, in the State of Madhya Pradesh. It is a large town known for its natural splendour and the Marble Rocks. The town is also popular because of its proximity to the tiger reserves of Central India. It is also a starting point for Pachmarhi and Amarkantak Hill Resorts.
Jabalpur has many scenic places besides the Narmada River which is visited by many devout Hindus. Hindus pray on the river banks and perform various rites and rituals. Dhuandhar Falls and Marble Rocks are part of Narmada River, they constitute one of the most scenic place in the city. The spots can be reached after a short drive from the town for which taxi and busses are available.
Marble Rocks are also known as Bedhaghat or Beraghat in Hindi language. The river banks were popular grounds for Hindu ascetics - for meditation and prayers. Saint Jabali is associated with this destination and is ascribed with the name of the town
Dhuandhar Falls & Marble Rocks
The Narmada River originates in Amarkantak Hills, and flows down to Jabalpur. At the outskirts of the town the river tumbles down into a gorge called Bhedaghat (Hindi). As the river strikes the rocks a fine spray of mist emerges and rises up to form a curtain resembling smoke. Hence Dhuandhar literary mean smokey falls. There is a distance of two km between Dhuandhar and Marble Rocks, hence you can imagine the long stretch of wonderful boat ride.
The spectacle can also be viewed from the cable car that intersects from one end to another over the falls. Chausath Yogini Temple Complex is quite nearby and contains many stone idols of Yoginis dedicated to Goddess Durga. A number of steps have to be climbed before one reaches the complex on top of a low rise hillock.
For boating, one has to reach Panchvati Bank this is where the ride begins. You to have buy a ticket for the ride and share one of the boat. However you can have the whole boat to yourself by paying the full amount. Panchvati is also the place to buy curios made out of the local marble. Hard bargaining will result in economical purchase.
The boat ride takes you towards Dhuandhar falls but not right up to it. But nevertheless your boat passes through many interesting spectacles especially the Bunder Kudini which is where the gorge narrows down. Earlier the monkeys used to leap across hence the name in English translates to Monkey's leaping point. After this the flow of water increases tremendously, and it is dangerous for the boat to be rowed further. The ride takes about forty five minutes as only row boats are allowed here by the tourism department.
After the creation of Bargi Dam on Narmada the depth of the fall has decreased, but nevertheless the spectacle remains as enchanting as ever. This is also the beginning of the gorge which flows down between a wide rocky wedge that runs three km down. The gorge is called Marble Rocks and offers a wonderful boating experience.
All through the ride one encounters rocks of bizarre shapes with wide melange of colors. The rocks bedazzle like the beauty of the Taj Mahal does, more so on full moon night. The boat ride is serene and calm and takes about 40 minutes. The boat appears to move in a timeless void with sound of splashing oars against the placid waters of Narmada. But as the ride nears the falls, the experience is like whitewater rafting - adventurous down to the bone.
The place is also famous for its carvings on local marble in order to create artifacts . The artifacts are hand crafted by local artisans and sold worldwide. They are made of soft and hard marble and exhibit fine artwork and skills.
The virgin Narmada River is at its scenic best at Marble Rock as it continues on a thousand km journey to the Arabian Sea at Bharuch in Gujarat.
The distance from Jabalpur town is 21 km towards Shahpura road. The approach has been made from many areas, hence the distance may vary depending upon the starting point.
Dhuandhar Falls Near Marble Rocks
Cable Car Ride
The cable car ride offers a topside view of the magnificent falls and the gorge at river Narmada. The ride begins from one end of the falls and ends at the other end. This is a short ride but pleasant and mesmerising.
Operated by MPTDC the cable car can seat about eight people - it is affordable and safe. It is one of the main recreational feature of Marble Rocks apart from the boat ride.
Marble Rocks & Jabalpur
Photos of Marble Rocks
Accommodation & Eateries
Though tourists come from Jabalpur and all over the country on a day visit, but many like to stay overnight to relax in the serene environment. The accommodations are in form or hotel and resort. There is one private hotel in Marble Rocks with few rooms facing the riverfront. The accommodation is basic with a restaurant that serves local food.
A resort owned by MPTDC offers accommodation in many rooms and contains a restaurant. This luxury resort is very popular among the tourists. The situation provides extraordinary view of boating area at Marble Rocks called Bandar Kudni.
Down the road on entrance to the boating area there are many eateries and dhabas (local restaurants) serving piping hot snacks and meals. These are cheaper and tasty hence large number of visitors make a stop here for refreshments and some savories.
Chusath Yogini Idols
Chuasath Yogini Temple Complex
This is an ancient Hindu Temple depicting sixty four yoginis or consorts of Goddess Durga. In the centre there is a Shiva Temple. The figures of yoginis are situated in a circle, but are in a disfigured state. The monuments were built by Gond rulers in 10th century AD. They were vandalised by the Mughal invaders who reached Jabalpur during their rule. Such temples are also built at many other places in India.
The complex is situated on a hillock and one has to climb up the steps to reach it. The hillock offers a stunning view of the surroundings. The ascent could be tiring hence not advised for old and infirm visitors. The temples are situated between Dhuandhar Falls and Marble Rocks in Narmada River.
Sunset at Marble Rocks
How to reach
The visit to Marble Rocks takes about two and a half hours via Tewar Village on Jabalpur Bhopal Road. The visit includes boat ride, shopping, visit to Duandhar falls and cable car ride. If you are planning to visit Chausath Yogini monuments than add one more hour. You can also stay at MP Tourism hotel with modern amenities and restaurant. There is only one private hotel here, the rest houses belong to Government Departments.
The visit is most comfortably made by a taxi but many buses also ply to the destination. One can also travel by a private car.
The tour can be made when en route to other destinations near by. If you are staying in one of the good hotels in Jabalpur then they can arrange a taxi for you. The taxi will offer you a to and fro ride which can be shared with other guests if available.
Artifacts and Curios
At Panchvati you will come across many shops selling idols, carvings and curios made of marble. These shops are well known for the master craftsmen who specialise carving statues out of soft marble available nearby. The carvings are available in various size.
You can buy curious and idols of Hindu Gods as well as birds and animals. Since the products are fragile extra care is required to transport them.
© 2012 Uday Patel
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