Orcha

Orcha, Madhya Pradesh – A quaint historical destination

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Orcha is a quaint destination on the bank of river Betwa. It was founded by Bundela Rajput chieftain Rudra Pratap. The kingdom reached at its highest glory during the reign of Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo, who made the exquisite Jehangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful chattris. From here you will get the spectacular view of the soaring temple spires and the cenotaphs. The interiors of the construction represent the finest flowering of the Bundela School of painting.

Places to see at Orcha: A multi-arched bridge, will take you to the Orcha fort has three palaces set in an open quadrangle. The most spectacular of these are:

Jehangir Mahal

Constructed during the reign of Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo in the 17th century to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir to Orchha. Its strong lines are counterbalanced by delicate chhatris and trellis work, the whole conveying an effect of extraordinary richness. 

Raj Mahal

Situated to the right of the quadrangle, this palace was built in the 17th century by Madhukar Shah, the deeply religious predecessor of Bir Singh Ju Deo. The plain exteriors, crowned by chhatris, give way to interiors with exquisite murals, boldly colourful on a variety of religious themes. 

Rai Parveen Mahal

Poetess and musician, Rai Parveen was the beautiful paramour of Raja Indramani (1672- 76) and was sent to Delhi on the orders of the Emperor Akbar, who was captivated by her. She so impressed the Great Mughal with the purity of her love for Indramani that he sent her back to Orchha. The palace built for her is a low, two-storeyed brick structure designed to match the height of the trees in the surrounding, beautifully landscaped gardens of Anand Mahal, with its octagonal flower beds and elaborate water supply system. Skillfully carved niches allow light into the Mahal which has a main hall and smaller chambers. 

Chaturbhuj Temple

The temple lies upon a massive stone platform and reached by a steep flight of steps, the temple was specially constructed to enshrine the image of Rama that remained in the Ram Raja Temple. Lotus emblems and other symbols of religious significance provide the delicate exterior ornamentation. Within, the sanctum is chastely plain with high, vaulted walls emphasizing its deep sanctity. 

Laxminarayan Temple

A flagstone path links this temple with the Ram Raja Temple. The style is an interesting synthesis of fort and temple moulds. The interiors contain the most exquisite of Orchha’s wall paintings. Covering the walls and ceiling of three halls, these murals are vibrant compositions and cover a variety of spiritual and secular subjects. They are in excellent state of preservation, with the colours retaining their vivid quality. 

Phool Bagh

Laid out as a formal garden, this complex testifies to the refined aesthetic qualities of the Bundelas. A central row of fountains culminates in an eight pillared palace-pavilion. A subterranean structure below was the cool summer retreat of the Orchha kings. An ingenious system of water ventilation connects the underground palace with Chandan Katora, a bowl-like structure from whose fountains droplets of water filtered through to the roof, simulating rainfall. 

Sunder Mahal

This small palace, almost in ruins today is still a place of pilgrimage for Muslims. Dhurjban, son of Jhujhar, embraced Islam when he wed a Muslim girl at Delhi. He spent the latter part of his life in prayer and meditation and came to be revered as a saint. 

Chhatris (Centaphs)

There are 14 Chhatris or Memorials to the rulers of Orchha, grouped along the Kanchan Ghat of the river Betwa. 

Shahid Smarak

This epitaph is built to commemorate the great freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad who lived and worked in hiding in Orchha during 1926 and 1927. Other places worth seeing are the shrines of Siddh Baba Ka Sthan, Jugal Kishore, Janki Mandir and the Hanuman Mandir at Ochharedwara. 

Ram Raja Temple

The Ram Raja Temple is perhaps the most important though unusual of all the temples in Orchha. This is the only temple in the country where Rama is worshipped as a king that too in a palace. According to legends, once Lord Rama appeared in a dream to king Madhukar Shah and directed him to build a temple for him. The king followed the instructions given by Rama and brought his idol from Ayodhya, the birthplace of the lord. However, the construction of the temple was not complete when the idol arrived from Ayodhya. So it was kept in the palace for the time being. Later, the king remembered that in the dream Lord Rama had specifically mentioned that his idol could not be removed from the place where it has been originally kept. This led the king to abandon the construction of the temple and instead the palace where the idol was kept was converted into a temple.

Nearby Attractions around Orcha: Orcha has a number of nearby attractions.

Jhansi Fort

The fort is about 20 km from Orcha and was built by Raja Bir Singh. The fort lies upon a rocky hill in the town of Balwantnagar now known as Jhansi. The fort has fine collection of sculptures which provide an excellent insight into the eventful history of Bundelkhand. The places of interest include Karak Bijli Toup (Tank), Rani Jhansi Garden, Shiv temple, and a Mazar of Ghulam Gaus Khan, Moti Bai and Khuda Baksh.

Barua Sagar Fort

Perches on a picturesque location from where the excellent view of the lake is really captivating. The place is named after the Barua Sagar Tal, which was created about 260 years ago by Raja Udit Singh. The town is situated on the road to Khajuraho from Jhansi.

Jarai-ka-Math

This beautiful temple is located 20 km away from Orcha and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The battle of Maratha and Bundela kings were fought here.

Things to do at Orcha: Lying along the Betwa River which very rough here, if you have any adventurous bend of mind enjoy the river rafting here. Lying on the other side of the river is the Orcha wild life sanctuary. This was once the hunting ground of the Maharajas of Bundela.

Best time to visit Orcha: The ideal time to visit Orcha is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Rail

Jhansi railway station which is 16 km frm Orcha is the nearest railway station. From there you can hire a car to reach Orcha.

By Road

From Jhansi or Gwalior buses leave from Orcha.

By Air

Nearest airport to Orchha is at Gwalior (119 km), which is connected with regular flights from Delhi and Mumbai.

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Where to stay ?

There are some hotels at Orcha.

Orcha Resort: +91-7680-252222, 290390 Website: www.orchharesort.com
Amar Mahal: +91-7680-252102, 252202, 09893496031  Website: www.amarmahal.com
Hotel Aditya: +91-92111 77444 

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Hotel Sunrise: +91-9425342335

Indore

Indore, Madhya Pradesh – A place with rich architectural grandeur

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One of the most prominent cities of Madhya Pradesh, Indore boasts of an imperial past. Designed and built by the Holkar queen Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar; the city is bejewelled with some magnificent monuments belonging to the Holkar dynasty. The ‘Rajwada’ and ‘Lalbagh Palace’ are notable examples that highlight the royal splendor and propitious lifestyle of the Holkars. Besides, Indore is one of the most advanced cities of the state. Its rich variety of edifices, its urban trimmings and its vicinity to other places of interest makes it a perfect holidaying getaway. Get to know the various tourist attractions around the place and explore what excursions from Indore covers.

One of the most prominent cities of Madhya Pradesh, Indore has a glorious imperial background. The Holkar queen Rani Ahilya Bai designed and built this city. It is decorated with some magnificent monuments that belong to the Holkar dynasty. The prominent examples among them are the ‘Rajwada’ and ‘Lalbagh Palace’ highlighting the royal splendour and lavish lifestyle of the Holkars. Indore has become one of the most advanced cities of the state. The place is facilitated with all sorts of urban requirements and well connected with all parts of the country. Beside its vicinity to other places of interest makes it a perfect holidaying getaway.

Places to see in Indore:  Indore is dotted with the architectural grandeur. There are also other places of interest here.

Indreshwar Temple

Indrehwar Temple is a temple of Lord Shiva. It was made by Raja Indra Singh on his way to Ujjain. The city of Indore derives it’s name from this very temple.

Khajrana

The citizens of Indore have great faith in this Ganesh temple, built during the reign of Ahilyabai Holkar. It is believed that all wishes are fulfilled by praying here. Nearby is the dargah of Nahar Sayed. This is an important pilgrimage place for Maita Muslims.

Town Hall:

Made in 1904 and originally named King Edwards Hall, it was renamed Mahatma Gandhi Hall in 1948. Its architectural style is Indo-Gothic. Made in Seoni stone, its domes and staples are a landmark of Indore today. It has a four-faced clock tower in front, because of which it is locally known as Ghanta Ghar. It is frequently the venue for the various book and painting exhibitions, fairs and festivals held throughout the year. The building also has a library, a children’s park and a temple.

Bada Ganpati:

Better known for its size than antiquity, this temple houses perhaps the largest Ganesh idol in the world measuring 25 feet from crown to foot. Created as a result of the dream of an Avantika (Ujjain) resident, Shri Dadhich, it was built in 1875.

Hrinkar Giri:

The largest Jain shrine of Indore, situated at a hillock near Indore Airport.

Lal Bagh Palace

Lal Bagh Palace is one of the grandest monuments the Holkar dynasty left Indore. A reflection of their taste, grandeur and lifestyle, its construction began in 1886 under Tukoji Rao Holkar II, and was carried out in three phases. The final phase was completed in 1921 under Tukoji Rao Holkar III. Many royal receptions were held here. It has a total area of 28 hectares, and at one time it had the reputation of having one of the best rose gardens in the country.

Gita Bhavan

Adorned with many statues of gods of various religions, its construction is inspired by the religious motto “many names to a God is after all of one God.”

Gomat Giri

This is an excellent set of Jain temples built on the top of Gommatesher Hill. The main attraction is 24 feet tall statue of Lord Bahubali, and 24 others temples for each of the 24 jain tirthankars.

Chhatris

Chhatris are the tombs or cenotaphs erected in memory of dead Holkar rulers and their family members. The Chhatris picturesquely poised on the Khan river banks near Rajawada are incomparable in terms of Maratha architecture and sculpture of their period. At Chhatri Baag is the main collection of tombs housed in two compounds. Close by is the beautiful Bolia Sarkar’s Chhatri constructed in 1858 AD in memory of Sardar Chimnaji Appa Sahib Bolia.

Annapurna Temple

This temple was inspired by the Meenakshi temple of Madurai. Four life-sized elephants hold an ornately decorated gate in plaster. Inside the temple of Annapurna Devi are also temples of Shiva, Kal Bhairava, Hanuman and a Pravachan Hall. The outer wall of the main temple is decorated with colourful motifs from mythological stories.

Kasturba Gram

8 km from Indore, the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust was founded by Mahatma Gandhi. Its headquarters were shifted from Wardha to Indore in 1915. The main objective of t his trust is showing ways of improvement in the quality of village life and the welfare of rural women and children. Some of its many commendable activities are : agricultural production, research, training, experiments in fruit orchards, social forestry, new renewable sources of energy, gobar gas, better water management, rural institute for girls, village sanitation programmes etc.

Kanch Mandir

The Kanch Mandir also known as Glass Temple is an exquisite example of a marvel in glass. This JainTemple also known as Jain Mandir was built by Sir Seth Hukum Chand Jain(Kasliwal) in the early 20th century.It is located in the Itwaria Market. The speciality of this temple is that its doors, pillars, ceilings and walls are entirely inlaid with glass with minute detailing. It is one of the most famous tourist attraction of the city. The temple also has paintings which are depicting stories from the Jain scriptures. The top of the temple multiplies the three statues of Lord Mahavir which makes this temple more beautiful place.

Shri Riddhi Siddhi Chintaman Ganesh Temple

It is a famous Ganesh Temple.

Gurudwara

Indore is historically attached to Sikhism. It has numerous Gurudwaras. Gurdwara Imli Sahib is Sikh shrine situated in Indore. In the year, 1567 Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the way of his itinerary diverted from southern states to the north-west and reached Indore. It is centrally located and innumerable devotees assure spiritual knowledge, peace and bliss here.

Gurdwara Charan Paduka Betma Sahib is situated in the small village of Betma. Betma is a town and a nagar panchayat in Indore district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. Betma Sahib is one of the pious gurudwaras of historical significance for Sikhs, as it is believed that Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited this place during his southern Udasi.

Bijasen Tekri

A 2 minutes drive from the airport leads you to a hillock on which was perched a guest house of the Holkars, now converted into Border Security Arms Museum, as well as a small temple of Bijasen Mata, built in 1920, which has a magnificent view of the sunset. A mela (fair) is held during the Navratri. A good picnic spot, with a breathtaking view of Indore city by night.

Nearby attractions from Indore: There are many other tourist destinations that are close to Indore. From Indore also arrange for excursions to places like:

Mhow

23 km from Indore is the Military Headquarters Of War (MHOW) which was supposedly the war management centre of the British during the World War. Presently one of India’s most prestigious military training establishments for senior and higher commands, the whole cantonment is beautifully landscaped.

Patal Pani

36 km from Indore, famous for its waterfall. Water falls from a height of 150 feet into a kund, the depth of which is still unknown. It is believed that the bottom of this unfathomable kund reaches Patal (netherworld), hence the name Patal Pani. It is a popular picnic spot.

Wanchoo Point

A high dam on Narmada and main source of water supply for Indore. A popular picnic spot.

Dhar

64 km from Indore on the Indore-Ahmedabad road is Dhar, the capital of Parmar Kings, among whom Bhoj was the most prominent. During the Muslim rule, Dhar was under the Sultans of Delhi. In the monuments one can see the combination of Hindu, Afghan and Mughal architecture. Bhoj Shala, Laat Masjid, the Fort and the lakes are the main tourist attractions.

Jhabua

151 km from Indore on the Indore-Ahmedabad highway, it is the home of the tribal Bhils and Bhilalas.

Nemawar

128 km from Indore, this is situated on the other side of the bank of the Narmada, and was the place where Jamdagni, the father of Parasuram, meditated. The temple of Renukaji is situated near the village, as also the ancient temple of Siddhanath. At Suryakund, is a statue of Lord Vishnu.

Omkareshwar and Maheshwar

These cities which are sanctified by faith are the popular tourist destinations.

Mandu

Mandav or Mandu’s was earlier known by the name of “Shadiabad” meaning the city of happiness (Anand Nagari), it was after the name of princess Mandvi Chouhan of Khandwa, the name was given by then ruler Allauddin Khilji. The city is the tribute to the Legendary love story of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort, Rani Roopmati. The city is located at a distance of 97 km from Indore.

Ujjan

Known as Ujjayini in the ancient times, it is a City of temples and a home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva. The city perches at a distance of  62 km.

How to go ?

By Air

Indore is connected with Bhopal, Delhi and Mumbai airports.

By Bus

Indore is connected by bus with Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Gwalior, Mandu, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar, Ujjain, Sanchi and Vidisha.

By Rail

Indore is on the Western railway and is connected with major Indian cities.

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Where to stay ?

Indore offers numerous hotels for you to relax and savour various delicacies. Some options are:

Ginger Hotels: +91- 731 – 666 3333
Lemon Tree Hotel: +91 – 99 11 701 701
Radisson Blu Hotel: +91- 731-4738888  Website: www.radissonblu.com
Hotel President: +91-731-2528866, 4040616, 4232425  Website: www.hotelpresidentindore.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Ujjain

Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh – An ancient city & renowned pilgrimage on the bank of the river Shipra

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Ujjain is a sacred and pious land and a renowned pilgrimage of the Hindus. The existence of this city can be traced from the time of Puranas. It was named as Avantinagar at that time.  The bank of the River Sipra  is the hub of devotees for prayers as well as for taking a sacred bath in the river, flowing within the city. One of the 12 jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at the Mahakal is believed to be swayambhu (born of itself) deriving currents of power (shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.

It is in Ujjain that the famous poet Kalidasa wrote his eternal writings. During  the time of the Aryan settlers, Ujjain seems to have acquired importance. By the 6th century B.C. Avanti with its capital at Ujjaini, is mentioned in Buddhist literature as one of the four great powers along with Vatsa, Kosala and Magadha. Ujjain is also an ideal destination for the tourists having true interest in history because of its rich historical tradition. Beginning from the Aryan age, the eminent powers like the Rashtrakutas, the Mughals, passing the Marathas upto the Scindhia’s Ujjain deserves special mention. Ujjain acquires a cultural splendour of its own which is equaled by very few other cities in India.

Today, Ujjain abounds in temples, hoary old tradition attached to each of them. But though most of them have been built upon sites of antiquity, none of them has survived in the original splendour. Desecrated and despoiled time and time again, the structures that stand today are of more recent date, renovated or rebuilt over the years. And yet, the temples form an integral part of the city and contribute to the continuity of Ujjain’s tradition of greatness.

Places to see in Ujjain: There are numerous places of visit at Ujjain:

Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir

This temple situated above the tank near the Mahakaleshwar temple, enshrines a huge artistic sculpture of Ganesh, the son of Shiva. An idol of this size and beauty is rarely to be found. The middle of the temple is adorned by an idol of the pancha-mukhi (five faced) Hanuman. There is provision for learning of Sanskrit and Astrology in the temple.

Chintaman Ganesh

The temple is standing across the Shipra on the Fatehabad railway line. The Ganesh idol enshrined here is supposed to be swayambhu – born of itself. The temple itself is believed to be of considerable antiquity. Riddhi and Siddhi, the consorts of Ganesha, are seated on either side of Ganesha. The artistically carved pillars in the assembly hall date back to the Paramara period. Worshipers throng to this temple because the deity here is traditionally known as Chintaharan Ganesh meaning “the assurer of freedom from worldly anxieties”.

Pir Matsyendranath

This is an extremely attractive spot on the banks of the Shipra quite close to the Bhartihari Caves and the Gadkalika Temple. It is dedicated to the memory of one of the great leaders of the Natha sect of Saivism-Matsyendranath. Since muslims as well as the followers of the Natha sect call their saints ‘pir’, the ancient site of Pir Matsyendranath is venerated by both. Excavations at this site have yielded some antiquities which date back to the 6th and 7th century BC.

Bhartrihari Caves

These caves are just above the bank of the Shipra near the temple of Gadkalika. According to popular tradition, this is the spot where Bhartrihari, who is said to have been the step brother of Vikramaditya, lived and meditated after renouncing worldly life. He is believed to have been a great scholar and poet. His famous works, Shringarshatak, Vairagyashatak, and Nitishatak, are known for the exquisite use of the Sanskrit meter.

Kaliadeh Palace

Situated on the banks of the Shipra, the island-like site immediately conjures up the natural beauty of ancient Ujjain which poets down the ages have waxed lyrical. The glorious landscape of the flowing river on both sides of the palace and the man-made tanks and channels, with water gurgling through them, provide a spectacular backdrop to the imposing building. The central dome of the palace is a beautiful example of Persian architecture. Two Persian inscriptions found in one of the long corridors of the palace record the visits of Emperor Akbar and Jehangir to this palace. The palace was broken down in the time of the Pindaris and was restored by Madhav Rao Scindia in 1920 to its present glory. The Sun Temple was also restored by the family.

Durgadas Ki Chhatri

It is a distinctive monument glowing like a small jewel in the surrounding lush landscape. Vir Durgadas earned a secure niche for himself in the history of Marwad by his undaunting, selfless service to the State. He fought for the independence of Jodhpur after the death of Maharaj Jaswant Singh and helped Ajit Singh to ascend the throne against the wishes of Aurangzeb. Durgadas died at Rampura in 1718, and his funeral rites were performed according to his wishes on the banks of the Shipra. The rulers of Jodhpur had built the chhatri to consecrate his memory. This beautiful structure, built in the Rajpur style of architecture, houses a statue of Durgadas which crumbled down.

Harsiddhi Temple

This temple occupies a special place in the nebula of ancient sacred spots of Ujjain. Seated between the idols of Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati, the idol of Annapurna is painted in dark vermilion color. The Sri Yantra, the symbol of power or shakti, is also enshrined in the temple. According to the Shiva Purana, when Shiva carried away the burning body of Sati from the sacrificial fire, her elbow dropped at this place. There is an interesting legend in the Skanda Purana about the manner in which the Goddess Chandi acquired the epithet of Harsiddhi. Once when Shiva and Parvati were alone on Mount Kailash, two demons called Chand and Prachand tried to force their way in. Shiva called upon Chandi to destroy them which she did. Pleased, Shiva bestowed upon her the epithet of ‘one who vanquishes all’. The temple was reconstructed during the Maratha period and the two pillars adorned with lamps are special features of Maratha art. These lamps, lit during Navaratri, present a glorious spectacle. There is an ancient well on the premises, and an artistic pillar adorns the top of it.

Siddhavat

This enormous banyan tree on the banks of the Shipra, has been vested with religious sanctity as the Akashyavat in Prayag and Gaya, Vanshivat of Vrindavan and the Panchavata of Nasik. Thousands of pilgrims take a dip in the Shipra from the bathing ghat built here. According to one tradition, Parvati is believed to have performed her penance here. It used to be a place of worship for the followers of Natha sect. One legend has it that some Mughal rulers had cut off the Banyan tree and covered the site with iron sheets to prevent its roots from growing. But the tree pierced the iron sheets and grew and flourished. The little village of Bhairogarh near Siddhavat is famous for its tie and dye painting for centuries. In ancient times when trade with other countries flourished, exquisitely printed cloth from Bhairogarh used to find its way to Rome and China.

Kal Bhairava

The worship of the eight Bhairavas is a part of Saivite tradition and the chief among them is Kal Bhairava, believed to have been built by King Bhadresen, on the banks of the Shipra. There is mention of a Kal Bhairva temple in the Avanti Khanda of the Skanda Purana. Worship of Kal Bhairava is believed to have been a part of the Kapalika and Aghora sects. Ujjain was a prominent centre of these two sects. Even today, liquor is offered as a part of the ritual to Kal Bhairava Beautiful paintings in the Malwa style once decorated the temple walls, only traces of which are visible.

Sandipani Ashram

The fact that ancient Ujjain apart from its political and religious importance, enjoyed the reputation of being a great seat of learning as early as the Mahabharata period is borne out by the fact that, Lord Krishna and Sudama received regular instruction in the ashram of Guru Sandipani. The area near the ashram is known as Ankapata, popularly believed to have been the place used by Lord Krishna for washing his writing tablet. The numerals 1 to 100 found on a stone are believed to have been engraved by Guru Sandipani. The Gomti Kunda referred to in the Puranas was the source of water supply to the ashram in the olden days. An image of Nandi, belonging to the Shunga period, is to be found near the tank. The followers of Vallabha sect regard this place as the 73rd seat of the 84 seats of Vallabhacharya where he delivered his discourses throughout India.

Gadkalika

Situated about 2 miles from the city of Ujjain, the deity in this temple is believed to have been worshipped by Kalidasa. The legend goes that he was an idiot and it is by his devotion to the goddess Kalika that he acquired great literary skills. Emperor Harshavardhan had this temple renovated in the 7th century AD. There is further evidence of renovation during the Paramara period. The temple has been rebuilt in the modern times by the erstwhile Gwalior State.

Mangal Nath

This temple is situated away from the bustle of the city at a serene location and can be reached through a winding road. The temple looks upon a vast expanse of the Shipra waters and fills the onlooker with an indescribable sense of peace. Mangalnath is regarded as the birth place of Mars, according to the Matsya Purana. In ancient times, it was famous for a clear view of the planet and hence suitable for astronomical studies. Mahadev or Shiva is the deity which is worshiped in the temple of Mangalnath.

Gopal Mandir

This huge temple is situated in the middle of the big market square. It was constructed by Bayajibai Shinde, the queen of Maharajah Daulat Rao Shinde in the 19th century. It is a beautiful example of Maratha architecture. The sanctum sanctorium is inlaid with marble and doors are silver plated. The door in the inner sanctum is said to have been carried to Ghazni from the Somnath temple and from thence by Mahmud Shah Abdali to Lahore. Mahadji Scindia recovered it and now it has been installed in this temple.

Navagraha Mandir (Triveni)

Situated on the Triveni Ghat of the Shipra, the temple is located away from the old site of Ujjaini town. It is dedicated to the nine planets, attracts large crowds on new moon days falling on Saturdays. Its religious importance has increased in recent years though there is no known reference to it in the ancient texts.

Mahakaleshwar

The god of the gods Lord  Shiva, in all his splendor reigns eternal in Ujjain. The temple of Mahakaleshwar, its Shikhara soaring into the skies, evokes primordial awe and reverence with its majesty. The Mahakal dominates the life of the city and its people, even in the midst of the busy routine of modern preoccupations, and provides an unbreakable link with past traditions.

The Vedha Shala (Observatory)

Ujjain enjoyed a position of considerable importance in the field of astronomy. Great works on astronomy such as the Surya Siddhanta and the Panch Siddhanta were written in Ujjain. According to Indian astronomers, the Tropic of Cancer is supposed to pass through Ujjain. It is also the fist meridian of longitude of the Hindu geographers. From about the 4th century BC, Ujjain enjoyed the reputation of being India’s Greenwich. The observatory extant today was built by Raja Jai Singh (1686-1743), who was a great scholar. He translated the works of Ptolemy and Euclid into Sanskrit from Arabic. Of the many observatories built by him at Jaipur, Delhi, Varanasi, Mathura, and Ujjain, the one at Ujjain is still in use actively. Astronomical studies are conducted through the Department of Education and the ephemeris is published every year. There is a small planetarium and a telescope to observe the moon, Mars, Jupiter and their satellites. The observatory is also used for weather forecasts.

Vikram Kirti Mandir

Established on the occasion of the second millennium of the Vikram era, this was the cultural centre to perpetuate the memory of Vikramaditya, the Vikram Kirti Mandir houses the Scindia Oriental Research Institute, an archaeological museum, an art gallery and an auditorium. The Scindia Oriental Research Institute has an invaluable collection of 18,000 manuscripts on various subjects and runs a reference library of important oriental publications. Rare manuscripts in Prakrit, Arabic, Persian and other Indian languages cover a wide range of subjects from Vedic literature and philosophy to dance and music. Palm leaf and bark leaf (Bhurja Patra) manuscripts are also preserved in this institute. Apart from an illustrated manuscript of Shrimad Bhagavata in which actual gold and silver have been employed for the paintings, the Institute has a rich collection of old paintings in the Rajput and Mughal style. The museum also exhibits a rich array of images, inscriptions, copper plates and fossils discovered in the Narmada valley. A huge skull of a primitive elephant is of special interest. Vikram University: A famous centre of learning in the past, Ujjain continues to uphold that tradition. The establishment of the Vikram University in 1957 was an important landmark. Situated on the Dewas Road, this university plays a significant role in the literary and cultural activities of the city.

Kalidasa Academy

The academy was set up in Ujjain by the Government of Madhya Pradesh to immortalize the memory of the great poet dramatist-Kalidasa, and to create a multi-disciplinary institution to project the genius of the entire classical tradition, with Kalidasa as the apex, enable research and study in Sanskrit classical and traditional performing arts, and facilitate its adaptation for contemporary stage in different cultural settings and language groups. The Academy complex consists of a theatre, museum, library, lecture and seminary halls, mini stage for rehearsals, research facilities for scholars, and a large open air theater.

Ram Janardhan Temple, Ram Ghat, Harihara Teertha, Mallikarjuna Teertha, Ganga Ghat, Bohron Ka Roja, Begum Ka Maqbara, Bina Neev Ki Masjid, Maulana Rumi Ka Maqbara, and Digambara Jain Museum are some of the other prominent places of interest in Ujjain.

Nearby Attractions from Ujjain: From Ujjain you can arrange a trip to the places like:

Dewas

36 km from Indore on the National Highway No. 3, Dewas is famous for its hill- top temple of Devi Chamunda.

Agar

66 km from Ujjain it is an ancient archaeological site.

Nagda

60 km from Ujjain. It is an industrial town with ancient temples.

Sailana

Sailana, 21 km from Ratlam is famous for its cactus garden with over 1200 species of cactus (only 50 are Indian); perhaps the biggest collection in Asia. It is also famous for its culinary tradition.

Maksi

39 km from Ujjain, it is famous for Jain temples.

Mandsaur

84 km from Ratlam, Mandsaur is famous for the Ashtamukhi Pashupatinath Temple situated on the river Sivana. The width of the temple varies from 2 to 33 metres and its height from 3 to 55 metres.

Gandhi Sagar

The river Chambal has been dammed at Gandhi Sagar, situated 91 km from Neemuch, at the border of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The water spread is extremely scenic and picturesque.

Bhanpura

Situated in the Mandsaur district, this place gets its name from King Bhaman. It is 127 km from Mandsaur, and has a museum depicting the popular arts of Mandsaur. Illustrated oil paintings are also to be found around Bhanpura. At the museum, art from the Gupta era to the time of the Pratihars and Parmars is depicted, and well- sculpted portraits of Uma- Maheshwar, Kartikaey, Vishnu, Gavoi and Nandi are displayed.

Indore

 It is the Commercial Capital of Madhya Pradesh.

Things to do at Ujjain: Apart from this the sight scene trips, visit to Ujjain will remain incomplete if you come back without buying any souvenir or memento from the place. Ujjain is also known for stone crafts, that is, beautiful small statues carved out of stone. If one ponders on what to buy in Ujjain, one should head straight to the local bazaars and the handicrafts emporium to get exclusive and ethnic artifacts of Madhya Pradesh. Simhastha is the great bathing festival of Ujjain, which is celebrated once in twelve years. Ceremonial bathing in the holy waters of Shipra begin with the full moon day of Chaitra (March) and continue up to the next full moon day.

Best time to visit Ujjain: The best period to visit Ujjain is from October to March when the climatic condition remains soothing.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is at Indore (55 km) which is connected by flights with Delhi, Bhopal and Mumbai.

By Road

Regular bus services connect Ujjain with Indore, Bhopal, Ratlam, Gwalior, Mandu, Dhar and Omkareshwar.

By Rail

Ujjain is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Kolkata, Chennai & Cochin.

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Where to stay ?

There are plenty of lodges and hotels as well as guest houses both government and non government in Ujjain. Some options are:

Shipra Residency: +91-0734- 255 1495
Avantika Yatriniwas: +91-0734-2511398
Hotel Raj Palace: +91-0734-2530325, 4011006 Website: www.hotelrajpalaceujjain.com
Hotel Grand Tower: +91-0734- 255 3699 Website: hotelgrandtower.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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pench-national-park

Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh – The land of Rudyard Kiplings’ famous fictional character “Mowgli”

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Pench is one of the renowned wild life sanctuaries of Madhya Pradesh. Recently the tourist visit here has increased at a huge rate. It lies in the Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh border. Pench Tiger Reserve comprises the Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park, the Mowgli Pench Sanctuary and a buffer. The Park perches in the Southern slopes of the Satpura ranges of Central India. The river Pench, which splits the National Park into two, forms the lifeline of the Park. The area of the present tiger reserve has a glorious history. A description of its natural wealth and richness occurs in Ain-i-Akbari. Several natural history books like R. A. Strendale’s ‘Seonee – Camp life in Satpura Hills,’ Forsyth’s ‘Highlands of Central India’ and Dunbar Brander’s ‘Wild Animals of Central India’ explicitly present the detailed panorama of nature’s abundance in this tract.

Who can forget the famous fictional character Mowgli, the pint-sized ‘Man-Child’ or Bagheera, the Black Panther and the unforgettable the inimitable Sher Khan? These characters taken from “The Jungle Book” are the eternal creation of Rudyard Kipling.  Kipling wrote his Jungle Book, inspired by the luxuriant forest cover of Pench teeming with an astonishing variety of wildlife. Pench was declared a sanctuary in the year 1977. It was declared a National Park in the year 1983 and was also made a Tiger Reserve in the year 1992.

Places to see at Pench: Pench National Park is named after Pench river, meandering through the park from north to south is one of the tourist attraction. The beautiful Totladoha Lake also flows from within the Jungle. Explore the Jungle which is a den of the numerous species of wild animals. Here Mother Nature rests at her original and purest form.

Nearby attractions from Pench National Park: From Pench National Park you can visit to places like

Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park is spread at Vindhya hills in Madhya Pradesh. It is known for the Royal Bengal Tigers. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. BandhavgarhNational Park was the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa and at present is a famous natural hub for White Tigers.

Kanha National Park

Kanha National park is located in Banjar and Halon valleys in the Mandla / Balaghat districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh. KanhaNational Park is one of the India’s finest tiger reserves. It’s an outstanding national park and wildlife reserve of Central India, noted for its last remaining population of the hard-ground race of the Swamp Deer (approximately 380). Spotting wild animals is always a matter of luck, but Kanha is so rich in wildlife that the odds are titled in your favour. Most people are keener to meet Kanha’s most famous citizen: the Tiger.

Nagzira National Park

Nagzira National park is situated in the Gondia district of Maharastra. The wildlife sanctuary is having the beauty of the nature with its picturesque landscape, luxuriant vegetation and serves as a living outdoor museum to explore and enjoy the best of the nature. The sanctuary is a miraculously preserved “Green Oasis” and has a great importance from bio-diversity conservation point of view. Nagzira is home of many endangered species. The vertebrate category of animals including, more than 34 species of mammals, approx 166 species of birds including migratory land and water birds, about 36 species of reptiles and about 4 species of amphibian and a number of fishes. This sanctuary is notable for its wealth of birds and is indeed a bird watcher’s paradise.

Tadoba National Park

Tadoba is situated in the Chandrapur district of the Maharashtra State of India. The Reserve contains some of the best of forest tracks and endowed with rich biodiversity. It is famous for its natural heritage. Tadoba Tiger reserve was created in 1995. Often referred to as “The Jewel of Vidharba”, the Tadoba National Park lies in the heart of a reserved forest, it is an infinite treasure trove of innumerable species of trees and plants – and wildlife that includes tigers, panthers, sloth bears, hyenas, jackals, wild dogs, bison, barking deer, nil gai, sambar, and cheatal.

Things to do at Pench: Explore the immense forest and wild life of Pench.

Best time to visit Pench: February to June although cool season (October to February) is much more comfortable and still very good for wildlife. 

How to go ?

By Air

Nagpur is the nearest Airport only 88 Km. by road 2 – 3 hrs. Jabalpur is also another Airport only 200 km, by road from Pench, Jabalpur well connected with Delhi and Mumbai, another many city of India.

By Rail

Nagpur is the nearest railway station from Pench National park, Nagpur Junction is well connected to all the city of India.

By Road

Nagpur is only 88 km from Pench via Seoni (NH No. 7). Nagpur is well connected with all the Major City of India.

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Where to stay ?

There are many hotels and resorts located at Pench. Some options are:

Tuli Tiger Corridor: 1800 209 9050 (toll free), +91-07695-6653666 Website: www.tulihotels.com
Kipling’s Court: +91- 07695- 232830,  232850,  232855
Pench Jungle Camp: + 91- 9999742000,  07695-26119096

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Khajuraho

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh – This temple city is famous for ancient erotic sculptures

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Khajuraho is the temple city of Madhya Pradesh. In the temple architecture of India, the Khajuraho complex remains unique. The eye catching temples of Khajuraho are the enlisted  under the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE list. One thousand years ago, under the generous and artistic patronage of the Chandela Rajput kings of Central India, 85 temples, magnificent in form and richly carved, came up on one site, near the village of Khajuraho. Today, of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time; these remain as a collective paean to life, to joy and to creativity; to the ultimate fusion of man with his creator. It was the capital of the Chandelas. The place was the favourite destination of the foreigners. The whole site was built from the span of 950 AD-1050 AD. The main temples lie on the western group. It is possible given the eclectic patronage of the Chandelas and the wide variety of beliefs represented in the temples, that they had the concept of forming a seat of religion and learning at Khajuraho. The temples represent the expression of a highly matured civilization.

Places to see at Khajuraho: Being a temple city Khajuraho represents a wide variety of temple architecture.

The Temples 

The architectural style of the Khajuraho temples is unique, very different from the type of temple constructed in that period. Each stands, instead of within the customary enclosure, on a high masonry platform. Combined with the upward direction of the structure, which is further accentuated by vertical projections, the total effect is one of grace and lightness, reminiscent of the Himalayan peaks. Each of the chief compartments has its own roof, grouped in such a way that the highest is in the centre, the lowest over the portico, a triumph of skill and imagination in recreating the rising peaks of a range. The temples of Khajuraho are divided into three geographical groups: Western, Eastern and Southern.

The Western Group 

This is certainly the best known, because it is to this group that the largest and most typical Khajuraho temple belongs: The Kandariya Mahadev. Perfectly symmetrical, it soars 31 km high. Though the four temples that stand at the corners of the main shrine are now in ruins, the main shrine has an exquisitely carved entrance arch with a multitude of themes. Celestial beings, lovers serenading musicians. movements captured in stone, frozen in time, yet retaining a quality of warm, pulsating life. The very stone seems to have taken on the living, breathing quality of the carved figures. Beyond the archway of the Kandariya Mahadev, lie the six interior compartments; the portico, main hall, transept, vestibule, sanctum and ambulatory. The ceilings are particularly noteworthy and the pillars supporting them have intricately carved capitals. The transept’s outer walls have three horizontal panels showing deities of the Hindu pantheon, and groups of lovers, a pageant of sensuousness, vibrantly alive. 
Also in the western group is the Chaunsat Yogini, the only granite temple in the Khajuraho group. Dedicated to Kali, it is also unique in being quadrangular in plan. Only 35 of the original 65 cells remain and no image of Kali has survived: Not surprisingly, since this is the earliest surviving shrine of the group dated to 900 AD. Another Kali Temple (originally dedicated to Vishnu) is the Devi Jagadambe Temple.

North of it facing eastward to the rising sun, is the Chitragupta temple, dedicated to the sun-god, Surya. The image of this powerful deity in the inner sanctum is particularly imposing: 5ft high, and driving a seven-horsed chariot. The group scenes depicted are equally spectacular: royal processions, elephant- fights, hunting scenes, group dances. The lavish lifestyle of the Chandela kings and their court is here in all its pomp and glory.

Similar in plan to the Kandariya Mahadev is the Vishwanath Temple. Lions flank the northern steps and elephants the southern, leading up to the temple. Within, there is an impressive three headed image of Brahma. The exteriors are profusely carved. Facing the shrine is a Nandi Temple with a massive, 6 ft high Nandi bull. Since the first few Chandela rulers were devotees of Vishnu, there are some important Vaishnavite temples in the Khajuraho group, the finest of which is the Lakshmana Temple. The lintel over the entrance shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, with Lakshmi, Vishnu’s consort. The sanctum is richly carved and has a three-headed idol of Vishnu’s incarnations, Narsimha and Varaha. The boar incarnation also appears in another Vaishnavite shrine, the Varaha Temple. The statue here is a mammoth 9 ft high one, its surface covered with figures from the Hindu Pantheon. The Khajuraho temples are no longer living places of worship, with a few exceptions. The Matangeswara Temple for example is still a place of worship. Dedicated to Shiva it has an 8 ft high lingam. South of this temple is the open air Archaeological Museum, which has a beautiful displayed collection of statues and friezes collected from the area: the remains of long vanished temples.

The Eastern Group 

Hindu and Jain temples make up the Eastern Group, which lies close to the Khajuraho village. The largest Jain temple, Parswanath, is in this group. Exquisite in detail, the sculptures on the northern outer wall make this temple perhaps the finest in the group. The themes of these carvings are the timeless ones of every day, mortal activity. A woman sits bent pensively on a letter; a lovely young girl removes a thorn from her foot, the master craftsmen of Khajuraho display here their deep understanding of the trifles that make up a human life. Within, the sanctum has a throne, which faces a bull : emblem of the first tirthankara, Adinath. The actual image of Parswanath from which the temple derives its name was installed as recently as 1860. The other Jain temple in this group is the Ghantai Temple. Though almost in ruins now, it still bears evidence of its original splendour. Particularly, arresting is the frieze which depicts, in graphic detail, the 16 dreams of Mahavira’s mother and a multi-armed Jain goddess riding on a winged Garuda. North of Parswanatha is the more modestly sized Adinatha Temple. The three Hindu temples in the Eastern Group are the Brahma, Vamana and Javari Temples. A double row of apsaras, celestial nymphs, adorn the outer walls of the Vamana temple. A variety of sensuous attitudes: languid, provocative, mischievously inviting, give credibility to the theory that Khajuraho’s erotica were meant to test the devotees who came to worship their gods at the temples.

The Southern Group 


5 km from the Khajuraho village, lies the Southern Group of temples. The fine Chaturbhuj Temple in this group has a massive intricately carved image of Vishnu in the sanctum. Duladeo Temple, another of the southern group, is a little away from the road to the Jain group of temples. Though remains of temples belonging to the Khajuraho group have been discovered at Jatkari, 3 km away and even at Maribag in Rewa, it is at the 3 main groups that the imperishable glory of Khajuraho, the sensuous celebration of life, the aspiration towards the infinite, remains.

Nearby Attractions in Khajuraho: From Khajuraho you can make excursion to places like:

Panna National Park 

The so called Gharial Haven is situated just 25 kms away from Khajuraho. Entry fee: Rs 25. Guide Charge: Rs 75. Entry fee of the car: Rs 50.

Visitor’s timings: 9 a.m- 3 p.m.

Pandav Falls 

Located on Panna Road, these falls are around 34 km away from Khajuraho. They make an excellent scenic spot for the tourists.

Raneh Falls

Located at around 20 km away from Khajuraho. Like Pandav falls even these make a beautiful picnic spot on River Ken.

Things to do at Khajuraho: This fascinating Son-et-Lumiere spectacle evokes the life and times of the great Chandela Kings and traces the story of the unique temples from the 10th Century to the present day. Mounted in the complex of the Western Group of temples, the 50-minute show runs in Hindi and in English every evening. Amitabh Bachchan, the Indian super star, narrates the story of Khajuraho in his mesmerizing voice.

Timings of Sound & Light Show at Western group of temples: English: 06:30 pm to 07:25 pm. Hindi: 07:40 pm to 08:35 pm.

Best time to visit Khajuraho: The best time to visit Khajuraho is during the months of October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Khajuraho is connected to Delhi & Agra with regular flights.

By Bus

Khajuraho is connected by regular bus services with Mahoba, Harpalpur, Satna, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra, Jabalpur & Bhopal

By Rail

Khajuraho has its own rail head. Apart from that, the other nearest railheads are Mahoba (64 km) and Harpalpur (94 km). Jhansi (175 km) and Satna (117 km) are convenient railheads for visitors from Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Agra & Varanasi.

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Where to stay ?

You can stay at both government guest houses and private hotels at Khajuraho. The government guest houses include:

Hotel Jhankar (MPSTDC) :+91 07686- 274063, 274194
Hotel Payal (MPSTDC) : +9107686- 274064, 274076
Tourist Village (MPSTDC) : +9107686- 274062

There are also some private hotels.

Hotel Surya: +91 07686-274145, 274143, 274144
Hotel Siddharta: +91 07686-274627
Gupta Palace and Pramod Palace: +91-9830152169

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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The heart of Incredible India

Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh – A religious place where you will find the solace of your soul

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Lying at an altitude of 1065 mt, at the intersection of the Vindhya and the Satpura mountain ranges amongst sylvan surroundings, Amarkantak is an esteemed pilgrimage centre for the Hindus. This region forms the source of the rivers Narmada and Sone. The Narmada River flows westwards from Amarkantak and the Sone flows towards the East. Nature has blessed Amarkantak whole-heartedly with Holy ponds, lofty hills, forested surroundings, mesmerizing waterfalls and the cool and serene air gives an ecstatic feeling thus making Amarkantak a much sought-after destination for the religious-minded as well as for the nature-lover.

Many mythological stories relating to Lord Shiva and his daughter Narmada have been woven around this mystical town of Amarkantak. Amarkantak is primarily a religious place. There are about 12 temples here devoted to Narmada maiyya. The Narmada temple is the most important one, which has been built around the origin point of the river Narmada.

The religious importance of the place is responsible for attracting the devotees of all sorts in Amarkantak. Amarkantak is situated in a picturesque/rustic location, and has rich vegetation and moderate climatic conditions. The temperature of Amarkantak ranges from 25 degree centigrade to -2 degree centigrade around the year.

Places to see at Amarkantak: Popularly known for its religious importance Amarkantak is dotted with various tourist destinations.

Narmada Mandir

Narmdeshwar temple is the most important temple at Amarkantak. The temple has a holy kund and is made at the source of river Narmada.  There are about twenty small temples in the premises of the Narmada Mandir each one of which is important in its own way. There is the Sati temple, which is, devoted to Parvati. The protected site of the ASI is close to the main Narmada temple.

Mai Ka Bagiya

About 1 km from the main temple, there is a garden, which lies in a densely forested area. It is popularly believed that the Narmada devi used to pluck flowers in this garden.

Sonmuda

From here originates the Sone river. It is also a “sunrise” point.

Bhrigumandal

Around 3 km from Amarkantak on a difficult forest trek route, it is here where the Bhrigu Rishi meditated as the myth tells. The Parasvinayak and Chandi caves are on this route.

Kabir Chabutra

Saint Kabir spent time here in meditation.

Jaleshwar Mahadev

The origin of river Johilla. There is a temple deep in the forest of Jwaleshwar Mahadev . There is a ‘sunset point’ close to this temple.

Kapildhara

At a distance of 8 Km from the origin of river Narmada, the river falls from a height of 100 feet creating a waterfall known as Kapildhara. It is believed that the Kapil rishi meditated here.

Dudhdhara

At a distance of 1 Km. from Kapildhara there is another beautiful waterfall on the river Narmada called Dudhdhara.

Shambhudhara and Durgadhara

Two other extremely beautiful waterfalls are situated deep in the forest. One has to walk a few Kms. to see these breathtaking waterfalls.

Things to do at Amarkantak: The spiritual person can find pleasures while visiting numerous religious places. Enjoy the splendid natural beauty of the place and the soothing climate that makes the place an ideal tourist place.

Nearby attractions at Amarkantak: There is a Ganesh Temple at Baigarh which is a small village that is few kilometes from the Amarkantak. An idol of Lord Ganesha blessing the devotees is the sight of divine attraction. The temple is surrounded by forest area with springs of pure water originating from the river Narmada. The temple is located in a landscape of natural beauties and herbals which would offer the devotees a great place for worship and meditation. An Ancient temple, which is said to be built by the Pandav is also situated behind this Ganesha’s temple..

Best time to visit Amarkantak: You can visit the place throughout the year. However the best time to visit the place is from March to September which is good for all kinds of tourist activities.

How to go ?

Amarkantak is 71 Km from Anupppur, which is an important railway junction of the South Eastern Central Railway. Amarkantak is at a distance of 320 Km from Jabalpur and 265 Km from Rewa by road and around 100 Km. from Shahdol. Jabalpur, Rewa, and Shahdol are all railway stations. The nearest railway station from Amarkantak is Pendra, which is 65 Km from Amarkantak. Pendra is in Bilaspur district of Chhatisgarh state. One can also reach Amarkantak by air. There is a permanent helipad at Amarkantak. There is also an airstrip at Lalpur in district Shahdol the specifications of which are at Annexure-1. From Lalpur, one can reach Amarkantak by road. (90 Kms).

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Where to stay ?

There are all kinds of hotels at Amarkantak suitable to budget. Some options are:

Sal Valley Resort: +91-07751-297518 Website: www.wildamarkantak.in
Holiday Homes: +91-07629-269416
Sarvodaya Vishram Griha: +91-07629-269517
Hotel Sree Mata Sadan: +91-09993914486, 09752317432, 07629-269520 Website: www.hotelshreemata.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Jabalpur

Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh – An ideal holiday destination having multiple tourist attractions

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The River Narmada, too, is a beautiful woman, as most rivers are, in India. But though she passes close to Jabalpur, she shyly avoids the town. Or, perhaps the town has grown away from her, and its own past, consequently, there is really very little in Jabalpur town to capture the attention of the visitor. But a short drive out of the long narrow plain holding the town, brings one to sub-montane lands: rocky, rugged and a natural bulwark against attackers. One of the more intriguing monuments to Jabalpur’s past is the Madan Mahal Fort. On a historical note, a pleasure resort and capital of the Gond Kings during the 12th century, Jabalpur was later the seat of the Kalchuri dynasty. The Marathas held sway over Jabalpur until 1817, when the British wrested it from them and left their impression on the spacious cantonment with its colonial residences and barracks. Today Jabalpur is an important administrative centre, a bustle with commercial activity.

The commercial town of Jabalpur was once the capital of Gond and Kalchuri dynasty in the 12th century. The beautiful River Narmada which is a beautiful woman passes close to Jabalpur shyly avoiding the town. A short drive out of the long narrow plain holding the town, brings one to sub-montane lands: rocky, rugged and a natural bulwark against attackers. Jabalpur is a pleasure resort dotted with numerous visiting spots and a perfect holiday destination.

Places to see at Jabalpur: Jabalpur has quiet a lot of tourist attractions.

Rani Durgavati Memorial And Museum

Dedicated to the memory of the great Queen Durgavati, it is her memorial and museum which houses a fine collection of sculptures, inscriptions and prehistoric relics.

Tilwara Ghat

It is here that Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in the Narmada. The Ghat also forms the venue of the open session of the Tripuri Congress in 1939. The 12th century Mala Devi Mandir, Pisan Hari Jain Temples and Roopnath are some of the other sites in and around Jabalpur which merit a visit.

Madan Mahal Fort


Built by the Gond ruler, Raja Madan Shah, in 1116 atop a rocky hill, the fort dominates the skyline and provides a panoramic view of the town and the country side around it. Sangram Sagar and Bajnamath: These medieval constructions were built by the famous Gond King, Sangram Shah, in between the period of 1480-1540.

Sangram Sagar And Bajnamath

These medieval constructions were also built by the famous Gond King, Sangram Shah, between 1480-1540.

Hanumantal Jain Mandir

Built in the 19th century, this temple has 22 shrines (vedis), making it the largest independent Jain temple in India. The images range from the Kalchuri period to modern times. The main room with glasswork was built in 1886 by Bholanath Singhai, who helped initiate the first two Hitkarini Sabha schools. This room contains the only image of the Jain goddess Padmavati, that is still worshiped in central India. It is the main Jain temple in Jabalpur, and the annual Jain procession on the birthday of Lord Mahavira, starts thereand terminates at Bada Fuhara. Daily shastra-sabha and evening classes are held.

The Jackson’s Hotel and Royal Hotel

The Jackson’s Hotel was the retreat of the European elite in the British period. Kipling stayed here when he visited Jabalpur and comments on its “obsequious servants and cooks who understood British cooking.” The original neoclassical building of the hotel was built like a wedding cake as observed in 1887. During 1879–1882 it was called Jackson’s Family Hotel. Later the building was acquired by Raja Gokuldas and became residence of his granddaughter, the Jackson’s Hotel shifted to a bungalow style building. It was described as having a baronial appearance—a large white structure, with verandahs and ornamental columns, with deep verandahs built all round the Indian style buildings. In the 1950s, a person wearing a dhoti was expelled from a Christmas function at the hotel, leading to a complaint in the legislative assembly. Modern Narmada Jackson’s Hotel stands on the site on the later Jackson’s Hotel. The neoclassical building became Royal Hotel after it was sold by the Raj Gokuldas Family. The building of the Royal Hotel, now run down, is currently owned by the MPEB, it is about half-a-kilometer from Narmada Jackson Hotel.

Shaheed Smarak

A historic and monumental circular building in what was known as Gole-Bazar during British times and also as Wright Town, Shaheed Smarak has fresco-secco by Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and his colleagues from Santiniketan on the walls, balcony, parapet and dome. The central theme of the frescoes is India’s war of independence, fought between 16th and 19th century CE, starting with Rani Durgavati gearing-up against Moghul Emperor Akbar’s attack on Garha-Mandla (Jabalpur). Painted by Beohar Rammanohar Sinha. it is the first unambiguous painting ever made of Rani Durgavati. The provincial congress committee in the 1950s constructed an auditorium in the shape of a miniaturised version of Delhi’s Parliament House with a hall in the middle, a corridor running around it, and rooms for art and cultural activities including an Art Gallery. It is now looked after by a Public Trust.

Radha Krishna Temple-Complex

These Vaishnav and Shaiva temples in Jabalpur were constructed by the Beohar dynasty in c. 17–18th century CE and were the first temples in India to be opened to the Dalits in c. 1928–29 by Beohar Raghuvir Simha with his friends Ghanshyam Das Birla and Jamnalal Bajaj. The Radha Krishna temple houses the idols of Shri Radha-Krisna (given by Maharaja Chhatrasal of Panna to the ancestors of the Beohar dynasty, supposed to be replicas of the idols of Bhagwan Jugal Kishore ji), alongside Shri Ram-Janki ji and other gods and goddesses.

Kachnar City

A Vijayanagar suburb of Jabalpur, famous for a 76 feet (23 m) high Lord Shiva statue housing a cavern with replicas of Shivalingam from 12 important holy shrines of Lord Shiva all over the country.

Nearby attractions from Jabalpur: You can easily organize a tour to the places like:

Bhedaghat

Some 25 km from Jabalpur Bhedaghat includes the leading tourist attractions of Dhuandhar Falls and Marble Rocks. The boats leaving from Panchavati Ghat will take you to Dhuadhar Falls, created by the Narmada River. Savour the beauty of the meandering NarmadaRiver flowing between the two walls of the marble mountain rocks. As you cross the stones you will reach to the viewpoint. Adore the marvellous sight of the Dhuadhar falls. Rope-Way in Dhuandhar is also good experience for tourists. It is available from 10 a.m to 6 p.m.

Roopnath

Roopnath, 84 km from Jabalpur, is famous for a Lingam dedicated to Shiva and placed in the cleft of a rock.

Bilhari

14 km from Katni. Many pieces of ancient sculpture have been found here.

Nohta

81 km from Jabalpur, Nohta is believed to have been the capital of the Chandela kings in the early 12th century. About 2 km from the village of Nohta is a Shiva temple, where a Kartik fair is held annually. A few Jain ruins can also be seen in Nohta

Mandla and Ramnagar

95 km south of Jabalpur, Mandla is known for its fort which is situated in a loop of the Narmada river so that the river protects it from three sides, with a ditch on the fourth. Built in the late 17th century, the fort is now subsiding into the jungle, although some of the towers still stand. About 15 km away is Ramnagar with a ruined three- storey palace overlooking the Narmada. The palace and then the fort were both built by Gond kings, retreating South before the advance of Moghul power. Near Mandla there is a stretch of the Narmada where many temples dot the riverbank.

Rookhad

101 km from Nagpur on N.H. No 7 (26 km from Seoni) lies Rookhad, a charming retreat in Bison country. Rookhand is a wildlife sanctuary adjacent to the Pench National Park.

National Park of Fossils

A unique destination, blessed with a priceless treasure trove of plant fossils.

Pench National Park

It is aLand of ‘The Jungle Book’.

Things to do at Jabalpur: Explore the sightseeing destinations. Don’t forget to taste the unique “Khoye ki Jalebi” a food stuff popular only in Madhya Pradesh and enjoy the spectacular sight of river Narmada.

Best time to visit Jabalpur: The ideal time of visiting Jabalpur is during the winter season i.e from from October to January.

How to go ?

By Air

Jabalpur is connected with regular flights from Delhi & Bhopal.

By Bus

Jabalpur is connected by regular bus services with Bhopal, Indore, Satna, Raipur and Nagpur among other place

By Rail

Jabalpur is on the Mumbai-Howrah (via Allahabad) main line. All mail, express and passenger trains halt here.

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Where to stay ?

The site features adequate no. of hotels suitable to budgets.

Hotel Kanak: +91-761 -4009959, 2426945, 9303813090, 8085756654 Website: www.kanakhotel.com
Hotel Krishna: +91- 761-4004023, 4004024, 2403318 Website: www.krishnahotels.com
The Penthouse: +91- 98935 97111 Website: www.thepenthouse.in
Hotel Vijan Palace:
 +91-0761-4063309, 4063310, 4018121 Website: www.hotelvijanpalace.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Pachmarhi-travel-waterfall

Panchmarhi, Madhya Pradesh – The Queen of Satpura Ranges

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Panchmari is the only hill station in Madhya Pradesh. Its excellent climatic attracts the tourist all the year round. The Satpura forest emboldens this sight. It was a favourite place of the Sahibs. It is a verdant gem. The place offers excellent tranquility and is an ideal destination for spending a holiday absolutely idle enjoying the beauty of nature. Complementing the magnificence of nature are the works of man; Pachmarhi is also an archaeological treasure- house. In cave shelters in the Mahadeo Hills is an astonishing richness in rock paintings. Most of these have been placed in the period 500-800 AD, but the earliest paintings are an estimated 10,000 years old. Pachmarhi is ideal for unwinding, effortlessly. Roads meander gently. The groves of trees, open spaces and heritage cottages sit peacefully in their old gardens. It seems as if the town has a quiet gentility about it as if Victorian traditions and high collars still governed most people’s lives. Much of this ambience has been set, and is still being maintained, by the strong presence of the Army whose Education Corps is head-quartered here. The old cottages are maintained by the Military Engineering Services, have changed little since the days of Kipling.

Places to see at Panchmari: Panchmari offers quite a lot of attractions.

Priya Darshini (Forsyth Point)

This view point marks a clear view of the place from where Pachmarhi was discovered by Captain Forsyth in 1857. The British developed Pachmarhi as a resort and their influence is embodied in its churches and colonial architecture. 

Jamuna Prapat (Bee Fall)

It is a spectacular fall in the stream that provides drinking water to Pachmarhi. The bathing pools above the fall are very popular. Handi Khoh: Pachmarhi’s most impressive ravine has a 300 feet high precipice and dramatically steep sides. 

Apsara Vihar (Fairy Pool)

Easily accessible from Jai Stambh, this ‘fairy pool’ is an ideal picnic spot for families with small children, since the pool is shallow, deepening only towards the base of the fall.

Rajat Prapat (Big Fall)

Those seeking adventure will find it in this ten-minute walk over rocks and boulders from Apsara Vihar to the top of Rajat Prapat, the ‘big fall’. IRENE POOL This pool was discovered by Irene Bose, wife of Justice Vivian Bose, and named after her. The route upstream leads to a cave, through which the stream goes underground and then over a khud in a series of falls. 

Jalawataran (Duchess Falls)

The descent is steep and the trek strenuous for almost all of the 4 km to the base of the fall’s first cascade. 

Sunder Kund (Saunder’s Pool)

Crossing the stream below Duchess Fall and following a footpath about 2.5 km in a south- west direction, brings one to a huge rocky pool that is excellent for a refreshing swim. 

Mahadeo

Mahadeo hill, that is regarded as holy for countless of generations,  has a shrine with an idol of Lord Shiva and an impressive Shivlinga. On the East side of the hill is an excellent cave shelter with beautiful cave paintings. 

Chhota Mahadeo

Revered as a sacred spot, this is a narrow point in the valley with rocks overhanging a stream and a spring from where water cascades down. 

Chauragarh

4 km from Mahadeo, it is one of Satpura’s prominent land marks, the summit crowned with emblems of Mahadeo worship. 

Jata Shankar

It is a sacred cave under a mass of loose boulders in which the Jambu Dwip stream has its source. A rocky formation of this place resembles the matted locks of Lord Shiva, hence the name. 

Dhoop Garh

This is the highest point in the Satpura range, with a magnificent view of the surrounding ranges. A very popular spot for viewing sunsets. 

Pandav Caves

The five ancient dwellings excavated in the sandstone rock in a low hill, Pachmarhi derives its name from these caves which, as the legend goes, once provided sanctuary to the five Pandav brothers. These caves are now protected monuments. 

Tridhara (Piccadily Circus)

A popular picnic spot where two streams meet in a junction. 

Vanshree Vihar (Pansy Pool)

A beautiful spot on the Denwa stream, cool and shady among trees, ferns and semi-tropical vegetation. 

Reechh Garh

A wonderful natural amphi-theater in the rock, approached through a cave-like entrance on the South-side. 

Sangam (Fuller’s Khud – Waters Meet)

This is the lowest of the picnic spots on the Denwa and offers fairly good bathing pools both below and above the meeting of the waters. 

Catholic Church

Built in 1892 by the British, the Catholic Church is a blend of the French and Irish architecture. Its Belgium stained-glass windows add rare attraction and beauty to the building. The church has a cemetery attached to it and graves date from 1859, World War I & II. 

Christ Church

This Church built in 1875 by the British has a fascinating architecture its ‘sanctum- sanctorum’ has a hemispherical dome on top with its ribs ending with faces of angels. The stained glass panes adorning the walls and rear of the altar were imported from Europe. They present a gorgeous view as the sun rays pass through them. The nave of the church does not contain even a single pillar for support. The baptismal font is a rare brass piece and the bell is as old as the church and its chimes can be heard from a long distance. 

Satpura National Park

Set up in 1981, Satpura National Park is 524 sq km in area. It spreads through dense forest of evergreen sal, teak and bamboo. The high peaks of Dhoopgarh and Mahadeo, Bori’s legendary teak and bamboo forests, Pachmarhi’s fascinating natural beauty of deep valleys, high mountains, rivulets, waterfalls and Tawa’s vast reservoir combine to give this park unique beauty and a breathtaking variety of attractions. The park is home to the bison, tiger, Leopard, bear, four-horned deer, blue-bull and a rich variety of birds. 

Bison Lodge

The Bison Lodge built in 1862,  is the oldest house in Pachmarhi. It now houses a beautiful museum depicting the rich flora and fauna of Pachmarhi. 

The Cave Shelters

Some of the best cave shelters and groups of shelters around Pachmarhi are, Dhuandhar, approached from the footpath to Apsara Vihar, the paintings mostly in white include a group of archers with the typical Gond bun and hooped earrings. Bharat Neer (Dorothy Deep), has well executed animal paintings and when excavated in the 1930s yielded many pottery shards and microliths. Asthachal (Monte Rosa), there are four shelters with paintings, comparatively early linear drawings. Along the northern side of Jambu Dwip valley are some six shelters with many paintings of animals and human figures, including a detailed battle scene. Harper’s Cave, so named because of one of its paintings – a man seated and playing a harp is close to the Jata Shankar Shrine. The Chieftain’s Cave derives its name from a battle scene showing two chieftains on horses. A terrace that runs the length of the South, South East and East faces of Kites Crag has some fine cave paintings, the majority of which are in white or outlined in red.

Echo Point

Here the people can experience the presence of the voice in the nature and can feel the moving spirit in nature.

Ramya Kund

The entry to Ramya Kund is from the small passage of reach garh. The water continuously comes out from the Ramya Kund. It is on the way when you go from Reachgarh to Chauragarh.

Handi Khoh

It is 300 feet deep ravine in V-shape created by two gigantic hills. It is said that the British officer Handi has committed suicide by Jumping into the ravine.

Patalkot

This is a valley inhabited by tribals surrounded by rich flora.

Nearby attractions from Panchmarhi: Located 78 km from Pachmarhi,  Tamia is a picturesque site in the Satpura ranges and offers one of the most spectacular spots of the area., it is a sought after place by adventure seekers and nature lovers with its wide botanical diversity.

Things to do at Panchmari: Enjoy the sight scenes and breathe in fresh air in the lap of nature. If you are doing nothing just savour the lush scenic environment of Panchmarhi.

Best time to visit Panchmarhi: The best time to visit Pachmarhi is October to March for the pleasant and enjoyable weather as well.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport is at Bhopal (195 km) connected by regular flights with Delhi, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Indore, Kolkata and Mumbai.

By Bus

Pachmarhi is connected by regular bus services with Bhopal, Hoshangabad, Nagpur, Pipariya and Chhindwara. Taxis are available at Pipariya.

By Rail

Pipariya (47 km), on the Mumbai-Howrah mainline via Allahabad, is the most convenient railhead.

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Where to stay ?

There are plenty of private and government hotels available in Panchmarhi. Few options are:

Satpura Retreat (MPSTDC): +91- 07578- 252097
Glen View (MPSTDC): + 91- 07578- 252533, 252445
Hilltop Bungalow (MPSTDC): +91-07578- 252846
Hotel Pachmarhi: +91-07578 – 252170 Website: www.pachmarhihotels.com
Hotel Utkarsh: +91- 09425433747, 9479651567,  9479651566, 07578-252162, 252016 Website: www.hotelutkarsh.com 

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh – A retreat of the Royal Bengal Tiger and various other wild species

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Stretching over an area of 940 sq km  Kanha National Park is one of the biggest park in Madhya Pradesh, India. The sal, and bamboo forests, the rolling grasslands and meandering streams cover the majority of the area of the National Park. This national park which is also a Tiger Reserve is located in the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, India. In the 1930s, Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, of 250 and 300 km² . Kanha National Park was created on 1 June 1955. Since then, a series of stringent conservation programmes for the protection of the park’s flora and fauna has given Kanha its deserved reputation for being one of the finest and best administered National Parks in Asia, an irresistible attraction for all wildlife lovers and a true haven for its animal and avian population.Together with a surrounding buffer zone of 1,067 km² and the neighbouring 110 km² Phen Sanctuary it forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve. This makes it the largest National Park in Central India.

The park has a significant population of Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, the sloth bear, Barasingha and Indian wild dog. The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel “Jungle Book “.

Kanha national park has species of tiger, leopards, wild dogs, wild cats, foxes and jackals. Among the deer species Swamp Deer or Hard Ground Barasingha is pride of the place as it is the only sub species of swamp deer in India (Cervus duavcelli branderi). The animal is adapted to hard ground unlike swamp deer of the North which live in marshy swamps. Kanha National Park has been instrumental in rescuing the “Swamp Deer” from extinction. Indian Gaur (Bos guarus), belonging to the ox genus, is found in Kanha but seen mostly as winter ends. In summer gaur inhabit meadows and water holes in the park.

Other commonly seen animals in the park include the spotted deer, sambar, barking deer and the four-horned deer. The latter can be seen at Bamni Dadar climb. Recently, mouse deer have also been discovered in the tiger reserve.

Black buck were once found in Kanha, but became very rare for unknown reasons. They vanished completely, but have been reintroduced recently inside a fenced area in the park. Nilgai can still be seen near the Sarahi Gate, while the Indian Wolf once commonly seen at Mocha is a rare sight now. Hyena and sloth bear are seen occasionally. Langurs and wild boars are common, but the pugnacious rhesus macaque is seen less often.

Nocturnal animals like fox, hyena, jungle cat, civets, porcupine, ratel or honey badger and hares can be seen outside the park confines.

Reptiles like pythons, cobras, krait, rat snakes, vipers, keel backs and grass snakes are nocturnal animals, and are therefore rarely seen. There are many species of turtles as well as amphibians found in or near the water bodies.

Kanha and Satpura forest being a part of Gondwana, now famous as tiger reserve, once upon a time were ruled by wild Indian Elephants.

Places to see at Kanha National Park: Forest Department guides accompany visitors around the park on mapped-out circuits which enable viewers to see a good cross-section of Kanha’s wildlife. The best areas are the meadows around Kanha, where blackbuck, chital and barasingha can be seen throughout the day. In the 1930s, the Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, of 250 and 300 sq km each. Though one of these was subsequently disbanded, the area remained protected until 1947. Depletion of the tiger population in the years that followed led to the area being made an absolute sanctuary in 1952.

Nearby attractions around Kanha National Park: Near Kanha National Park  is Bamni Dadar visited by every tourist who comes to the national park. It is the sunset point of this region from where the view of sunset is mesmerizing. The dense luxuriance of Kanha’s forests can be seen from here. Animals that can be sighted around this point are typical of the mixed forest zone: sambar, barking deer, gaur and four-horned antelope.

Kanha Museum

There is a museum at Kanha national park, showcasing the attributes and activities of the park and the tribal culture of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The Baghira Log Huts

Located amidst the raw jungle, the restaurant of Baghira Log Hut, Kisli provides the visitors a chance to enjoy the nature at a close. In the wild, guests can take a ride to the jungle, venture further and explore the rich valley fed by rivers and lakes. In the dense sal and bamboo forests where over 350 species of birds and some rare flora and fauna flourish. One can indulge in generous dose of Birds watching, nature walks, swimming, fishing and boating and not the least tracking down the tiger in KANHA National Park.

Things to do at Kanha National Park: This destination is ideal for the nature and the wild life lovers. Here the wonders of nature will astonish you. Explore the entire site and savour the natural beauty.

Best Time to Visit Kanha National Park: The park is closed from July to mid-November during monsoon. The ideal season to visit the park is during winter which is quite pleasant here.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport is at Jabalpur (156 km.), connected with regular flights from Delhi & Bhopal.

By Bus

Daily bus service available for Kisli and Mukki from Jabalpur and back. Taxis are available for hire from Jabalpur, Bilaspur and Raipur. Vehicles are not permitted within the park after dark.

By Train

Most convenient railheads are at Jabalpur and Bilaspur.

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Where to stay ?

Kanha being a popular tourist destination has plenty of hotels suited to budgets. Some options are:

Kanha Village Eco Resort: +91- 9977853263 Website: www.kanhavillage.com
Mahua Tiger Resort: +91- 07566-656456 Website: www.thewildliferesorts.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Gwalior Fort

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh – The city of the forts

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Located to the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior’s tradition as a royal capital continued until the formation of present day India. From the Tomaras in the 8th century, it passed to the Mughals, then the Marathas under the Scindias (1754) having their dynastic seat here. Gwalior owes its name to Gwalipa a sage of former times.  In 8 A.D, a chieftain called Suraj Sen was stricken by a deadly disease. He was cured by this hermit saint, and in gratitude founded a city which he named after the saint who had given him the gift of new life. The new city of Gwalior became, over the centuries, the cradle of great dynasties and with each, the city gained new dimensions from warrior kings, poets, musicians and saints, contributing to making it a capital renowned throughout the country. One of the most exquisite cities of India, is an integral part of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Places to see in Gwalior: Gwalior is dotted with a number of tourist attractions. Whether someone has a taste for the age old edifices or likes to visit the most recent tech houses, Gwalior fulfils everyone’s desires.

The Fort

Standing on a steep mass of sandstone, Gwalior Fort dominates the city and is its most magnificent monument. It has been a scene of momentous events : imprisonments, battles and jauhars. A steep road winds upwards to the Fort, flanked by statues of Jain tirthankaras, carved into the rock face. The magnificent outer walls of the Fort still stand, two miles in length and 35 feet high, bearing witness to its reputation for being one of the most invincible forts of India. This imposing structure inspired Emperor Babar to describe it “the pearl amongst the fortresses of Hind.” Within the fort are some marvels of medieval architecture. The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument to the love of Raja Man Singh Tomar for his Gujar queen, Mrignayani. After he had wooed and won her. The outer structure of the Gujari Mahal has survived in an almost total state of preservation; the interior has been converted into an Archaeological Museum.

Also built by Raja Man Singh is the Man Mandir Palace, built between 1486 and 1517. The tiles that once adorned its exterior have not survived, but at the entrance, traces of these still remain. There is a charming frieze here of ducks paddling in turquoise waters. Within, the palace rooms stand bare, stripped of their former glory, mute testimony to the passing of the centuries. Vast chambers with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the great masters of the day. Below, circular dungeons once housed the state prisoners of the Mughals. The Emperor Aurangzeb had his brother, Murad, imprisoned, and later executed, here. Close by is Jauhar Pond, where in the Rajput tradition, the ‘ranis’ committed mass ‘sati’ after their consorts had been defeated in battle. Though the major portions of the Fort were built in the 15th century, references to this gigantic complex can be traced back to 425 AD. Older than the city is the Suraj Kund within the Fort walls, the original pond where Suraj Sen, or Suraj Pal as he was later known, was cured by the Saint Gwalipa.

The Sound and Lights Show Gwalior Fort

For many decades now, the Fort of Gwalior has slumbered in silence, broken now and then by the patter of curious feet and awed tones.
Come sundown, the deserted Fort is once again left with only memories for company. But now it comes alive every night. Well remembered incidents, and well-loved voices once more echo through its lonely corridors and its dark and sad facade now glows with the colours of life. Red-gold, blue-green lights illuminate every nook and cranny of the superbly tiled ‘Man Mandir’. The Gwalior Son-et-Lumiere has begun. The Sound and Light show at the Man Mandir Palace of Gwalior Fort gives you a glimpse into its glorious past. The story of this ‘pearl’ begins with the sonorous and eloquent narration by Amitabh Bachchan as Gopachal, the sutradhar (narrator).

Teli Ka Mandir

The Teli ka Mandir is a 9th century edifice, towering at 100 ft high. This is a Pratihara Vishnu temple of a unique blending of architectural styles. The shape of the roof is distinctively Dravidian, while the decorative embellishments have the typically Indo-Aryan characteristics of Northern India. Also dedicated to Vishnu is the graceful little Sas-Bahu-ka-Mandir, built in 11th century. Another landmark is the historic Gurudwara Data Bandhi Chhod built in the memory of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the 6th Sikh Guru who was imprisoned here by Jehangir for over two years. At the time of his release, he wanted 52 Hindu kings who were his fellow prisoners, released with him. Jehangir was very impressed with the Guru and agreed to his condition. And, finally, within the Fort complex, housed in the erstwhile barracks of the British soldiers, is Gwalior’s unique gift to modern India : Scindia School. Acknowledged as one of the finest schools in India, it is only fitting that the country’s young citizens receive the best educational grounding surrounded by monuments to a past which is a constant inspiration. 

Jai Vilas Palace

A splendour of a different kind exists in the Jai Vilas Palace, current residence of the Scindia family. Some 35 rooms have been made into the Scindia Museum, and in these rooms, so evocative of a regal lifestyle, the past comes alive. Jai Vilas is an Italianate structure which combines the Tuscan and Corinthian architectural modes. The imposing Darbar Hall has two central chandeliers, weighing a couple of tonnes, and hung only after ten elephants had tested the strength of the roof. Ceilings picked out in gilt, heavy draperies and tapestries, fine Persian carpets, and antique furniture from France and Italy are features of these spacious rooms. Eye-catching treasures include: a silver train with cut-glass wagons which served guests as it chugged around on miniature rails on the tables; a glass cradle from Italy used for the baby Krishna each Janamashtami; silver dinner services and swords that were once worn by Aurangzeb and Shah Jehan.

There are, besides, personal mementoes of the past members of the Scindia family: the jewelled slippers that belonged to Chinkoo Rani, four-poster beds, gifts from practically every country in the world, hunting trophies and portraits. The ScindiaMuseum offers an unparalleled glimpse into the rich culture and lifestyle of princely India.

Monuments

The father of Hindustani classical music, the great Tansen, one of the ‘nine Jewels’ of Akbar’s court, lies buried in Gwalior. The memorial to this great musician has a pristine simplicity about it, and is built in the early Mughal architectural style. More than a monument, the Tansen’s Tomb is part of Gwalior’s living cultural heritage; it is the venue of a music festival on a national scale held annually in November-December. Leading musicians of the country gather here to give performances during the festival. More opulent than Tansen’s Tomb, is the sandstone mausoleum of the Afghan prince, Ghous Mohammed, also designed on early Mughal lines. Particularly, exquisite are the screens which use the pierced stone technique, as delicate as lace. The earliest freedom fighters, Tatya Tope and the indomitable Rani of Jhansi, are commemorated in memorials in Gwalior. There are cenotaphs at major public crossings, memorials to Scindia kings and queens. Throughout the city, there are these reminders of a proud past, of the great men and women of Gwalior who have their place in the nation’s roll of honour. Located near the Residency at Morar, the newly constructed SunTemple takes its inspiration from the famous KonarkSunTemple in Orissa.

Art Galleries and Museum

The Gujari Mahal Archaeological Museum houses rare antiquities, some of them dating back to the 1st century AD. Even though many of these have been defaced by the iconoclastic Mughals, their perfection of form has survived the ravages of time. Particularly worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur, the tree goddess, epitome of perfection in miniature. The statue is kept in the custody of the museum’s curator, and can be seen on request. The museum is open every day except Monday, from 10 am to 5 pm. The Kala Vithika is another treasure house of the arts. It remains closed on Sunday and public holidays. The MunicipalCorporationMuseum, which is open all days except Mondays, has a very fine natural history section. The old ancestral house of the legendary Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan has recently been converted into ‘ Sarod Ghar’ – Museum of Music by the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Trust under the patronage and guidance of his great son and sarod maestro Ustad Amzad Ali Khan. The museum has been rebuilt keeping in mind the old traditional architecture of Gwalior and houses in it ancient instruments of the great Indian Masters of yester years.

Gwalior Zoo

The zoo has some rare species of Indian wildlife kept in natural surroundings.

Nearby attractions from Gwalior: From Gwalior you can visit to places like;

Datia 

69 km from Gwalior, on the Delhi-Chennai main line, Datia is a town whose antiquity can be traced back to the Mahabharata. A town of great historic significance, Datia’s seven-storeyed palace built entirely of stone and brick by Raja Bir Singh Deo in 1614, is considered to be one of the finest examples of Bundela architecture in the country. Within the palace are some fine wall paintings of the Bundela school. An interesting blending of cultures can be seen in the frescoes in a temple; Datia’s other attraction is its imposing GopeshwarTemple.

Sonagiri

This sacred Jain hill lies 3 km to the North West of Datia and is 5 km from the railway station. There are 77 Jain temples, built in rows on the hill and its slopes, and date back to the 17th century. Of these the temple dedicated to Chandranatha, the 8th of the 24 Tirthankaras, is quite a large one and the most beautiful. A large annual fair is held here in the month of Chaitra (April).

Pawaya

Known as Padmavati in ancient times is a fascinating complex of ruins, 68 km away, on the Gwalior-Jhansi road. Pawaya’s ruins still bear testimony to the days when it was the capital of the Nag Kings, in 3 AD. Particularly noteworthy is the lifesize statue of Chaksha Manibhadra of 1 AD. The ruins of the medieval fort built by the Parmars and the nearby Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo temple are Pawaya’s other attractions.

Kuno-Palpur Sanctuary, Chambal Ghariyal Sanctuary and Ghatigaon Sanctuary.

Things to do at Gwalior: Tourists to the sanctuary can enjoy its many sights by motor boats specially provided by the Forest Department of Madhya Pradesh. Complete safety within the peripheries of the sanctuary is ensured by the local authorities. And one can freely enjoy the natural wonders of the sanctuary which during the 50’s & 60’s was largely hidden due to the presence of dacoits.

Stringent measures to protect the fragile ecosystems of the sanctuary are followed by the authorities. The visitors are also advised not to disturb, spoil the serenity of the surrounding environs or help in poaching activities directly / indirectly.

Best time to visit Gwalior: Best season to visit Gwalior is from October to March, keep off freeze winter days.

How to go ?

By Air 

There are regular flights to Gwalior from all major destinations.

By Bus

Gwalior is connected by regular bus service with Agra, Mathura, Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhopal, Chanderi, Indore, Jhansi, Khajuraho, Rewa, Jabalpur, Ujjain and Shivpuri.

By Rail

Gwalior is on the Central Railway’s main Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai lines. Among other major trains, the Shatabdi and the Taj Express connect Gwalior with Delhi and Agra daily.

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Where to stay ?

You will find an array of accommodation options in Gwalior in different price range and locations.

Tansen Residency: +91 (0751) 4056789, 4056777, 2340370, 4010555, 4010666.
Hotel Surbhi: +91 9425726777, 0751-2443265-66
Hotel Landmark:  +91 (751) 401 1271, 401 1272, 401 1273, 234 5780
Hotel Sita Manor: +91 (751) 4010485, +91 (510) 2442956

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Chitrakoot

Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh – The hill of many wonders, a spiritual place to rest your soul

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Chitrakoot, ‘the hill of many wonders’, rests peacefully in the northern fringes of the Vindhyas. The tranquillity of the forest glades, quiet rivers, streams, the over all calm and repose atmosphere really makes the place ideal for holiday trip. Chitrakoot is one of the loveliest lands of nature. It is a sacred place and a popular pilgrimage. The spiritual legacy stretches back to legendary ages. It Chitrakoot-2 Chitrakootwas in these deep forests that Rama and Sita spent eleven of their fourteen years of exile; here that the great sage Atri and Sati Anusuya meditated; and here where the principal trinity of the Hindu pantheon, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh took their incarnations. So if you are looking ahead for some soul searching then make a trip to Chitrakoot, one of the most revered spiritual places in India.

Places to see at Chitrakoot: Bearing the spiritual legacy, Chitrakoot has a number of sites of spiritual importance.

Ramghat

The ghats that line the banks of the river Mandakini, reveal a constantly moving and changing kaleidoscope of religious activity. Here, amidst the chanting of hymns and the sweet fragrance of incense, holy men in saffron robes sit, in silent meditation or offer the solace of their wisdom to the countless pilgrims who converge here. With the very first rays of dawn that gleam upon the river, Ramghat stirs into life as the devout of all ages take the ritual, purifying dip in the waters and invoke the blessings of the gods. The rippling blue green waters of the Mandakini can be traversed by boats, readily available for hire.

Kamadgiri

Kamadgiri, the original Chitrakoot, is a place of prime religious significance. A forested hill, it is skirted all along its base by a chain of temples and is venerated, today, as the holy embodiment of Rama. The Bharat Milap temple is located here, marking the spot where Bharat is said to have met Rama to persuade him to return to the throne of Ayodhya. Many are the faithful who perform the ritual circuit (Parikrama), of the sacred hill, to ask for a boon or a blessing.

Sati Anusuya

Sati Anusuya is located further up-stream, set amidst thick forests that resound to the melody of birdsong all day. It was here that Atri Muni, his wife Anusuya and their three sons (who were the three incarnations of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) are said to have meditated. The Mandakini is believed to have been created by Anusuya through her meditation. Sati Anusuya lies about 16 km from the town and can be reached by road – an undulating, curving drive through densely wooded areas.

Bharat

Bharat Koop is where Bharat stored holy water collected from all the places of pilgrimage in India. It is a small, isolated spot a few km from town.

Sphatik

A few km beyond Janaki Kund is again a densely forested area on the banks of the Mandakini. One can climb up to the boulder which bears the impression of Rama’s footprint and where Sita was pecked at by Jayant in the form of a crow. There are large fish in the river here easily visible in the pellucid water, and a few temples.

Bharat Milap

Bharat Milap temple is located here, marking the spot where Bharata is said to have met Rama to persuade him to return to the throne of Ayodhya. It is said that the meeting of four brother was so emotional that even the rocks and mountains of Chitrakut melted . Foot prints of Lord Rama and his brothers were imprinted on these rocks and are still present today and seen in Bharat Milap Mandir.

Hanuman Dhara

Located on a rock-face several hundred feet up a steep hillside is a spring, said to have been created by Rama to assuage Hanuman when the latter returned after setting Lanka afire. A couple of temples commemorate this spot which offers a panoramic view of Chitrakoot. There is an open, paved area here in the shade of a massive peepul tree, a lovely halting place after the long climb-up.

Gupt-Godavari

Gupt-Godavari is situated at a distance of 18 km from town. Here is a pair of caves, one high and wide with an entrance through which one can barely pass, and the other long and narrow with stream of water running along its base. It is believed that Rama and Lakshmana held court in latter cave, which has two natural throne-like rocks.

Pampapur

It is situated in the valley of Devangana. Here we find sacred caves. Sacred caves related to Lord Rama.

Hanuman Dhara

Located on a rock-face several hundred feet up a steep hillside is a spring, said to have been created by Rama to assuage Hanuman when the latter returned after setting Lanka afire. A couple of temples commemorate this spot, which offers a panoramic view of Chitrakut.

Ram Shaiya

This place is located on the way between Chitrakoot and Bharat Koop, in an isolated location. It is the place where Shri Ram, Sitaji and Laxmanji used to sleep and rest in the evening after wandering around the forest of Chitrakoot. It is located between mountains with no town near-by, with absolute silence in the environment. It has a large flat-bed rock which bears imprints of Shri Ram, Lakshman, and Sita Mata. There is a tree above it and the entire place is walled by brick structure on the sides to preserve it. It falls in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Janaki

Upstream from Ramghat is a serenely beautiful stretch of the Mandakini, a symphony of nature in tones of earth- brown and leaf-green, the intense blue of the river waters finding a paler echo in the canopy of the sky. There are two approaches to Janaki Kund, 2 km up from Ramghat by boat, or by road along a foliage-lined drive.

Nearby attractions of Chitrakoot: Chitrakoot is adorned by a number of nearby tourist attractions.

Chachai and Keoti Falls

Situated 46 km from Rewa on the banks of the river Bihad, Chachai Falls are a beautiful spectacle of water falling in torrents from a height of 130 mts. Nearby, the Keoti and BahutiFalls are also worth a visit. Maihar:40 km from Satna, Maihar is famous for its Sharda Devi Temple built on a hilltop. It is an important centre for Indian classical Music.

Govindgarh

Situated amidst sylvan surroundings, Govindgarh is 19 km from Rewa, the capital of the old Vindhya State, on National Highway 7. it is famous for its scenic beauty, mangoes and the White Tigers. The Govindgarh Palace on the banks of a huge lake houses the personal museum of the Maharajah of Rewa. The first White Tiger, \Mohan, captured in 1951 in the nearby jungles, was kept in this palace till his death.

Mara Caves

These caves are situated in the Singhrauli tehsil of Sidhi district. The ancient caves stand in the middle of the jungle about 22 km from Singhrauli. For sheer majestic beauty, they can be compared with the caves of Ajanta and Ellora. 

Sohagpur

Only 3 km from Shahdol, Sohagpur in the former State of Rewa has a beautiful Hayahaya temple dedicated to Shiva as Virateswara that bears close resemblance to the Khajuraho temples. It has a square sanctum, a vestibule and a large enclosed hall, in front of which originally was a beautiful pyramidal roof.

Things to do at Chitrakoot: If you are in Chitrakoot and have an adventurous bend of mind, you must go for a trek to Kamdgiri Hill. Here you will enjoy the taste of samosas. Sightseeing is a major activity of the people visiting Chitrakoot. Pilgrims visit in thousands to Chitrakoot during festive times.

Best time to visit Chitrakoot: The best time to visit Chitrakoot is from July to March.

How to go ?

By Air: The nearest airport is at Khajuraho (175 km), connected with Delhi & Agra.

By Bus: Regular bus services connect Chitrakoot with Jhansi, Mahoba, Chitrakoot Dham, Harpalpur, Satna and Chhatarpur.

By  Train: The nearest railhead is at Chitrakootdham (Karwi) (11 km) on the Jhansi-Manikpur main line.

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Where to stay ?

There are not many accommodation facilities in Chitrakoot. You can stay at MPSTDC tourist bungalow. For booking details please contact:
Tourist Bungalow:+91 (07670) 265326.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh – A retreat of the wild animals, declared as the national park

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One of the distinguished national park in India, Bandhavgarh is located in the in the Vindhya Hills of the Umaria district in Madhya Pradesh. It is declared as the national park in 1968. Bandhavgarh spans over an area of 105 sq. km. The name Bandhavgarh has been derived from the most prominent hillock of the area of Umaria. The place is famed to have highest density of white tiger population. The park also houses the largest breeding population of leopards and various species of deer. With the passing of years the park has shown the rapid growth in the count of tigers. The white tiger tours are famous in the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve which attracts large no. of tourists.

There are three entrances in the park which are Tala, Magdi and Bamera. The Tala zone attracts the tourists most by offering the tiger sighting opportunities. The Magdi zone is also being developed by the park authorities. The elephant shows are also being organized in the Magdi zone of Bandhavgarh National Park so that the tourist may catch the sight of the elusive king of jungle i.e the elephant. You will find ample opportunities to spot majestic Indian tiger and some rarely seen animals like leopard and sloth bear.

Places to see at Bandhavgarh National Park: The national park besides being a home to no. of species of wildlife has many other tourist attractions.

Baghel Museum

The Baghel Museum in Bandhavgarh is the storehouse where you will find all the personal belongings of Maharaja of Rewa are being kept intact for display. Tourists come here and explore the royal and jungle life of Bandhavgarh. Along with that the museum also displays the stuffed body of the first white tiger being spotted by the Maharaja of Rewa. Besides this, the museum also boasts ancient hunting equipments by the Maharajas along with some of the military equipments. The museum is located 100 meters away from the reserve (park) and is being famous for keeping the belongings of Shikargarh, or a game preserve that the tourists certainly want to discover at Bandhavgarh. The timings to visit the Baghel Museum are: 10 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm.

Village Tala

One of the locations that the tourists prefer to visit repeatedly while visiting Bandhavgarh is the TalaVillage. It gives the total reflection of an Indian village which still brings the most ethnic way of living. There are many attractive glimpses a tourist can explore while spending a day at this village. The modest dwellings, the mud clustered houses, elders smoking hookahs sitting on a cot are such magnificent scenes that brings a standstill on the time. The lowest region of Bandhavgarh, the TalaVillage is a picturesque location with landscapes all around. Along with that while visiting the village the tourists can find different hotels and resorts for magnificent accommodations in the village.

Mahaman Pond

The Mahaman Pond is located near the Bandhavgarh Fort which is being surrounded by bamboo clumps where large varieties of herding of wild creatures can be found. This place is called the “Place of Quench the Thirst” where the variety of herbivores and carnivores inhabiting the national park can be found.

Kethika

Also known as the Pendanus Point in Kethika a lump of an aromatic plant called Kewra can be found amidst the supercilious Jammu and Arjun trees. It is undoubtedly a real floral treasure of Bandhavgarh Reserve.

Climber’s Point

It is one of the most amazing place in Bandhavgarh National Park symbolizing the serene natural beauty. This location brings an aerial view of the entire park and the forest in this location is filled with Sal and Bamboo trees. Along with that the place is also being flourished with some f the best and unique species of fauna like butea superba and bauhinia wahlii along with Sal trees. This is an ideal place for the tourists to take some rest and for the peace of mind.

Bari Gufa

The Bari Gufa which means the “The Giant Cave” is showcasing the ancient monument of past. Undoubtedly it is one of the most ancient creations in the Indian history. It is being believed that the Bari Gufa is the biggest man-made cave of the reserve dating back to 10th century.

Three Cave Point

The three cave point is one of the most fascinating points in Bandhavgarh National Park that is easily visible from the Ganesh Hillock road. This beautiful location has many beautiful carvings that typically signify the perfect blend of the architectural techniques that were prevalent in the ancient times. Today, this place is perfectly being the ideal home for many wild animals including leopards, tigers and sloth bears.

Rajbahera

It is a marshy meadow which can be viewed from the Bandhaini Hillock and is the origin of the river Dammer. The Rajbahera that brings the Bandhaini Hillock view along with the glances of sorks, vultures and herds of chital, samber and wild pigs is definitely an additional attraction of Bandhavgarh.

The Shesh Shaya

The Shesh Shaya is a marvellous 11 meter long statue of Lord Vishnu in the laying position with umbrella of “Shesh Nag” along with the “Shivling” and the “Lord Brahma” are situated here. It is placed on the main entrance of the footpath, the way towards the Bandhavgarh Fort. The origin of the river “Charan Ganga” inflows from the foot of “Lord Vishnu” and so the name is being derived from. The statue is believed to be the asset of 10th century.

Cheshpur Water Fall

The Cheshpur Water fall is a natural water fall in River Johila, situated at a distance of 50 km from Bandhavgarh. It is an ideal location for the tourists to enjoy picnic here.

Jwalamukhi Temple

It is the temple of the goddess Jwalamukhi situated in the bank of river “Charan Ganga”. About 11 km away from Bandhavgarh, this temple is also 10th century founding.

Fossil National Park

About 110 km away from Bandhavgarh, the Fossil National Park s named so since it brings all its floras in the fossil form that existed in India anywhere between 40 million and 150 million years ago. This park is being spread over an area of over 274,100 square meters.

Nearby attractions of Bandhavgarh National Park: From Bandhavgarh National Park you can visit the places like the Kanha National Park, Jabalpur, Khajuraho, Panna National Park, Pench National Park.

Things to do at Bandhavgarh National Park: Enjoy the jeep and elephant safari to view the wildlife at Bandhavgarh. Jeep safaris are undertaken during the early morning hours till evening. A forest department guide is always there with the visitors on these jeep trips taken inside the park. Elephant safari trips are organized for tiger tracking early in the morning.

Best time to visit Bandhavgarh National Park: As the summer’s heat is unbearable the ideal season for the tourists to visit the park is between November and March.

How to go ?

Bandhavgarh is spread at Vindhya hills in Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh consists of a core area of 105 sq km and a buffer area of approximately 400 sq km of topography varies between steep ridges, undulating, forest and open meadows. Bandhavgarh is known for the Royal Bengal Tigers the density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India.

By Road

Bandhavgarh National Park is well connected from the nearby town & cities like Jabalpur, Satna, Umaria, Khajuraho etc. Distance & approx driving time of Bandhavgarh National Park from some of the nearby cities are mentioned below:

 By Train

The nearest railway stations for BandhavgarhNational Park are Umaria & Katni. Umaria is 35 Kms (45 Minutes drive) & Katni is 100 Kms (02 Hrs drive) from Bandhavgarh.

 By Air

The nearest Airport for Bandhavgarh National Park is Jabalpur & Khajuraho. Jabalpur 200 Km / 04 Hrs Drive & Khajuraho 250 Kms / 05 Hrs Drive from Bandhavgarh. One can get regular flights for Jabalpur & Khajuraho from all major airports of India.

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Where to stay ?

There are many hotels to stay at Bandhavgarh National Park. Few options are:

WhiteTigerForest Lodge: +91 (07629) 265366, 265406
Tiger Inn: +91 (07627) – 265425, 265424, +91 9425-194-766
Greenwoods Resort : +91 9981038846, 9826150017
Junglemantra Resort: +91-9425331207

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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mandu

Mandu, Madhya Pradesh – Witness of the eternal love story of Rani Roopmati and Baz Bahadur

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Perching upon the Vidhya Range at a height of 2000 feet Mandu is a historical destination. The fragrance of the eternal love story of Rani Roopmati and Baz Bahadur still fills up the entire environment. Mandu was previously known as the Shadiabad meaning city of joy. The natural beauty of the place is spectacular. The carpet of green grasses covers the entire area of Mandu. During the monsoon season the natural beauty is at its fullest. Mandu is ideal for a getaway trip.

Places to see at Mandu: Mandu is a historical place with numerous historical sites.

THE DARWAZAS

The 45 km parapets of walls that encircle Mandu are punctuated by 12 gateways. Most notable of these is Delhi Darwaza, the main entrance to the fortress city, for which the approach is through a series of gateways well-fortified with walled enclosures and strengthened by bastions such as the Alamgir and Bhangi Darwaza, through which the present road passes. Rampol Darwaza, Jehangir Gate and Tarapur Gate are some of the other main gateways.

THE ROYAL ENCLAVE
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Jahaz Mahal

It is a 120 mt long “ship palace” that was built between the two artificial lakes, Munj Talao and Kapur Talao. It is an elegant two storeyed palace. Probably it was built by Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din-Khilji for his large harem. With its open pavilions, balconies overhanging the water and open terrace, Jahaz Mahal are an imaginative recreation in stone of a royal pleasure craft. Viewed on moonlit nights from the adjoining Taveli Mahal, the silhouette of the building, with the tiny domes and turrets of the pavilion gracefully perched on the terrace, presents an unforgettable spectacle.

Hindola Mahal

An audience hall, also belonging to Ghiyas-ud-din’s reign, it derives its name of “swinging palace” from its sloping sidewalls. Superb and innovative techniques are also evident in its ornamental facade, delicate trellis work in sand-stone and beautifully moulded columns. To the West of Hindola Mahal there are several unidentified buildings which still bear traces of their past grandeur. Amidst these is an elaborately constructed well called Champa Baoli which is connected with underground vaulted rooms where arrangements for cold and hot water were made. Other places of interest in this enclave are Dilawar Khan’s Mosque, the Nahar Jharokha (tiger balcony), Taveli Mahal, the two large wells called the Ujali (bright) and Andheri (dark) Baolis and Gada Shah’s Shop and House, all worth a visit.

THE CENTRAL GROUP
Hoshang Shah’s Tomb

This is India’s first marble edifice, and is one of the most prominent examples of Afghan architecture. Its unique features are the magnificently proportioned dome, marble lattice work of remarkable delicacy and the courts and towers consisting of porticoes to mark the four corners of the rectangle. Shah Jahan sent four of his great architects to study the design of and draw inspiration from the Tomb. Among them was Ustad Hamid, who was also associated with the construction of Taj Mahal.

Jami Masjid

Inspired by the great mosque of Damascus, the Jami Masjid was conceived on a grand scale, with a high plinth and a huge domed porch projecting in the centre, the background dominated by similar imposing domes with the intervening space filled up by innumerable domes. One is struck by the huge proportions and the stern simplicity of its construction. The great court of the mosque is enclosed on all sides by huge colonnades with a rich and pleasing variety in the arrangement of arches, pillars, number of bays, and in the rows of domes above.

REWA KUND GROUP
Rewa Kund

A reservoir, built by Baz Bahadur with an aqueduct to provide Roopmati’s palace with water. Today, the pool is revered as a sacred spot.

Baz Bahadur’s Palace

The palace was built by Baz Bahadur in the early 16th century. Its unique features are its spacious courtyards surrounded by halls and high terraces which afford a superb view of the surrounding countryside.

Roopmati’s Pavillion

The pavilion was originally built as an army observation post. From its hilltop perch, this graceful structure with its two pavilions was a retreat of the lovely queen, from where she could see Baz Bahadur’s palace and the Narmada flowing through the Nimar plains far below.

The other monuments include:

Nilkanth

This sacred Shiva shrine is sited in a magnificent setting, at the very edge of a steep gorge. In its tree- shaded courtyard, a sacred pond is fed by a stream, and pilgrims still gather to worship here.

Nilkanth Mahal

Belonging to the Mughal era and close to the Nilkanth shrine, this palace was constructed by the Mughal governor, Shah Badgah Khan for Emperor Akbar’s Hindu wife. On the walls here are some inscriptions of the time of Akbar referring to the futility of earthly pomp and glory. Hathi Mahal, Darya Khan’s Tomb, Dai ka Mahal, Dai ki Chhotti Behan Ka Mahal, Malik Mughit’s Mosque and Jali Mahal are some of the other fascinating monuments. There is also the Echo Point, the ‘Delphic Oracle’ of Mandu. A shout from here reverberates far below and is heard clearly back. The Lohani Caves and Temple Ruins, not far from the royal enclave area also merit a visit due to their association with Mandu’s history and monuments. Sunset Point, in front of the caves affords a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.

Nearby attractions of Mandu: From Mandu you can make excursion to Dhar fort.

The Dhar Fort is located 35 km away from Mandu. Situated on the hill, on a rectangular hillock this fort is built of red stone. The construction of this strong and imposing fort could become possible due to solid muram and black stone of this hillock. The main entrance of the fort was built to the west.

As mentioned in the diary (Rojnamcha) of Emperor Jehangir this was built by Mohammad Tughlak in 1344 A.D. In 1732 A.D. the rulers of Pawar Dynasty captured the construction plan of the fort suggests that it was built following the injunctions of Samrangan Sutradhar. Kharbuja Mahal and Sheesh Mahal are some of the important buildings in this fort. The Kharbuja Mahal was built in 16th century A.D. This palace is called as Kharbuja Mahal because of its musk melon shape. During the Maratha struggle, Anandi Bai, the wife of Raghunath Rao took shelter here. She gave birth to Peshwa Bajirao II in this palace.

Things to do at Mandu: If you visit during the time of Ganesh Chathurthi you can enjoy the 10 days celebration of the festival there. This is the biggest celebration in Mandu. It’s an interesting blend of Hindu and tribal culture. Besides this enjoy the panoramic beauty of the place along with the historical places.

Best time to visit Mandu: Time to visit Mandu is all through the year and the best during July to March.

How to go ?

By Rail

Mandu does not have a rail station. The nearest station is Indore, at a distance of 64 kms from Mandu.

By Air

The nearest Airport is Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport, Indore, roughly two hour drive from Mandu.

By Road

Mandu is connected with other cities by a good road network. Regular bus services connect Mandu with Dhar (35 km), Indore, Ratlam, Ujjain (154 km) and Bhopal (285 km via Indore).

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Where to stay ?

There are plenty of private hotels and lodges available in Mandu. Some options are:

Hotel Royal Palace: +91-099 77 078671, 07292-263336, 07232-263277 Website: www.hotelmandu.com
Malwa Resort: +91-07692-263235, 263221

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Bhedaghat

Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh – You will never have a single dull moment, during your stay at this exquisite location

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Lying by the side of River Narmada Bhedaghat is situated at the Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh. The Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat are a dazzling magnificence. It rises to a height of hundred feet on either side of the Narmada. The placidity and the Bhedaghatloveliness of the site will steal your heart. The sunlight sparkling on the marble-white pinnacles and casting dappled shadows on the pellucid waters. These white rocks with views of black and dark green volcanic seams are truly majestic, and produce a magical effect on moonlit nights. The holy river flows by tranquilly flanked by the towering cliffs which reflect in it like a mirror the changing moods of nature. A little distance away, it becomes turbulent as it plunges in a mighty water fall known as Dhuandhar.

Places to see at Bhedaghat: At Bhedaghat the marble rocks are really a visual delight and are a must watch. You can avail the boating facilities here. Boating in a moonlit night is a thrilling experience.

The Chousat Yogini Temple is located near the marble rocks is also an important tourist spot which you must visit. It is believed that the temple has a Secret Underground Passage Leading to Palace of Gond Queen Durgavati.

BhedaghatThe Dhuandhar falls is another place worth seeing. The Narmada Falls makes its way through the marble rocks and then plunges into the Dhuandhar falls or Smoke Cascade.

The soap stones artifact are a unique architecture of the place. These soap stones are uncovered by the NarmadaRiver. It provides occupation to the families of carvers of gods and goddesses, lingas, crosses, madonnas, ashtrays and trinket boxes.

Nearby attractions at Bhedaghat: From Bhedaghat make a trip to the Bargi Dam which is 50 km from Bhedaghat and the beautiful city of Jabalpur which is just 25 km away.

Things to do at Bhedaghat: You will never have a single dull moment, during your stay at this exquisite location. The adventures of boating on the heart of Narmada, the marvellous Dhuadhar falls will make your itinerary fun filled. Don’t forget to carry an item of soapstone artifact. These soap stones are revealed by the river Narmada. It is then carved to make different beautiful things.

Best to time to visit Bhedaghat: The best time to visit Bhedaghat is from November to May.

How to go ?

By rail: Jabalpur, on the Mumbai-Howrah (via Allahabad) main line, is the main railhead. All mail, express and passenger trains halt here.

By road: Jabalpur, on the Mumbai-Howrah (via Allahabad) main line, is the main railhead. All mail, express and passenger trains halt here.

 By air: Jabalpur (23 km) is the nearest airport connected to Bhopal & Delhi with regular flights.

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Where to stay ?

There are no such accommodation facilities at Bhedaghat. The tourist can stay at Jabalpur which is only few kilometers from Bhedaghat. Some options are:

Hotel Rishi Regency: 0761-4046001, 0761-5046464, 094251-51520, 09301273125
Hotel Prestige Princess: 2627550, 2627551, 2627552, 2627553

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Bhojpur-MP

Bhojpur, Madhya Pradesh – The town is famous for the Lord Shiva Temple named Bhojeshwar Temple

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Situated around 28 km from the capital city of Bhopal, this is one of the few less known enchantments of Madhya Pradesh. Bhojpur was founded by Raja Bhoj of Dhar in 11th century. It was after him, the city was named Bhojpur. The town is famous for the Lord Shiva Temple named Bhojeshwar Temple. In eastern Part of India, the temple is more popularly known as Somnath. The lingam in the sanctum rises to an awe-inspiring height of 7.5 feet with a circumference of 17.8 feet. Set upon a massive platform 21.5 feet square, and composed of three superimposed limestone blocks, the architectural harmony of lingam and platform creates a superb synthesis of solidity and lightness.

Places to see at Bhojpur:

Bhojeshwar Temple: In plan, a simple square with an exterior dimension of 66 feet, it is devoid of the re-entrant angles usual in such buildings. The richly carved dome though incomplete has a magnificent soaring strength of line and is supported by four pillars. These like the dome have been conceived on a massive scale, yet retain a remarkable elegance because of their tapering form. Divided into three sections, the lowest is an octagon with facets of 2.12 feet, from which springs a 24-faced section.

Cave of Parvati: Immediately opposite the temple, on the west side of the gorge facing the Betwa, is a rock-shelter or cave, now occupied by religious mendicants. Popularly known as Pārvati’s Cave, the cave contains a number of sculptures and architectural fragments dating to the eleventh century.

Jain Temple: Also, incomplete, and with a similar stone-raising ramp, is a Jain shrine that stands close to the Bhojeshwar temple. Three figures of the tirthankaras are contained within; one of a colossal statues of Mahavira 20 feet high, and the other two of Parswanath. Rectangular in plan, this temple probably belongs to the same period as the Bhojeshwar.

Cyclopean Dam: West of Bhojpur once laid a vast lake, but nothing remains except the ruins of the magnificent old dams by which its waters were contained. The site was chosen with great skill, as a natural wall of hills enclosed the whole area except for two gaps, 100 yards and 500 yards in width respectively. These were closed by gigantic eastern dams, faced on both sides with enormous blocks of sandstone. These embankments held up an expanse of water of about 250 square miles. This great work is ascribed to Raja Bhoj, but it may possibly be of an earlier date.

Remains of Bhoja’s Royal Palace: On the low plateau above the Cave of Parvati and opposite the Bhojpur temple are the remains of Bhoja’s palace. Only the foundations survive. The complex is laid out as a grid in a square, with a courtyard in the centre (see site plan above). It is oriented on an exact north-south axis as prescribed in the Samaranganasutradhara, an architectural treatise ascribed to Bhoja. Among the many features of interest are unfinished carved blocks and graffiti engraved on the rock floor. The latter includes diagrams for games and a series of names dating to the eleventh century and later. The palace is a unique survival, being the only medieval building of its kind in northern India. Its association with Bhoja and its close conformity to a text ascribed to the king mark it out as a site of national and international cultural importance. The site of the palace, like the neighbouring dams, is unprotected. The remains of the palace are being slowly destroyed as local people collect stones for modern building purposes.

Nearby Attractions from Bhojpur: Make a trip to Bhimbetka(20 km) and Hoshangabad (40 km) from Bhojpur. Both the places are popular tourist destinations of Madhya Pradesh and are worth a visit.

Things to do at Bhojpur: A place laden with historical heritage Bhojpur is idyllic for the history lovers.

Best time to visit Bhojpur: You can visit the place during any time of the year.

How to go ?

By air:

Bhopal (28 km from Bhojpur ) is the nearest airport. It is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior.

By bus:

Bhojpur is connected by bus with Bhopal.

By rail:

Bhopal, on the Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai mainline is the most convenient rail-head.

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Where to stay ?

There are not much accommodation facilities at Bhojpur. It is better to stay at Bhopal having hotels suited to all budgets. Some options are:

Hotel Shagun: +91-755-2544250, 2542105,4205250,4205400
Hotel Lake Princess:  +91-755-4271051, 4271052
Hotel Noor-Us-Sabah Palace: + 91 – 755 – 4223333, 4239996

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Burhanpur

Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh – The city beholding the glorious era of medieval history

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Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh brings forth the forgotten glory of the medieval Indian Architecture. The city has rich cultural history. It was founded in 1400 AD by the Faruqi King, Nasir Khan, on the northwestern banks of the Tapti. For the next two centuries the Faruqis ruled Burhanpur. It was in the year 1600 that the Mughal Emperor Akbar captured Burhanpur. and for a century thereafter, until Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, it remained integral to Mughal ambitions in the Deccan. Burhanpur remains a city of great architectural importance, but its fame rests largely as a piligrimage for Bohra Muslims as well as for Sikhs. Today the place is well known for its Isabgol plant.

Places to see at Burhanpur: Standing on the banks of river Tapti, Burhanpur contains numerous sites of historical importance.

Jama Masjid

Located at the very centre of town in Gandhi Chowk, was begun by the Faruqi ruler, Adil Shah, and completed by Emperor Akbar. Its symmetrical arches and sparsely decorated pillars create a sense of severe beauty, while the two 36 m high minars tower over the mosque’s arched compound.

Badshahi Qila

A well fortified fort having many structures added to it, the fort houses the Diwan-e-Khas and Diwan-e-aam maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India are set beautifully manicured gardens which come alive in the evenings with families and young couples.

Zenana Hammam

The most striking structure in the Badshahi Qila is the Zenana Hammam. Built in a combination of Mughal and Persian styles, the bath were once decorated with beautiful frescoes on the ceiling, some of which still survive. Visitors can still clearly see an image of what the local guides claim is an early drawing of the Taj Mahal.

Kundi Bhandara

A rare water system (collection and distribution of water) was formed in the rule of Abdul Raheem Khankhana in 1615 A.D. such systems were prevalent in Uran and Iraq. The techniques of these system were taken from these countries, during that period eight water systems were built to supply pure water to the citizens.

Dargah –e –Hakimi

About 3 km from Gadhi Chowk in Burhanpur is the Dargah-e-hakimi, a most sacred pilgrimage for Dawoodi Bohra Muslims. It is the mazar of Syedi Abdulqadir Hakimuddin. Hakimuddin came to Burhanpur in 1729 to spread the word of the Prophet. The entire complex is so well kept that locals refer to it as chhota Amreeka or “little America”.

Nearby attractions at Burhanpur: From Burhanpur you can easily make excursions to places like:

Mahal Gulara

Beautifully located on the banks of the Badi Utaoli river is Mahal Gulara, a Mughal pleasure retreat 21 Kms from Burhanpur on Amaravati Road when, as a prince, Shahjahan arrived to govern Burhanpur, he is said to have fallen in love with a beautiful and talented singer named Gulara. Shah Jahan would spend many moonlit night in this palace as she sang for him. The prince married the singer and named the nearby village after her.

Asirgarh Fort

Perched high on the Satpura range, just under 25 km north of Burhanpur is Asirgarh, one of the most magnificent forts of India, rivaling even the great Golconda in impregnability. Initially ruled local chieftain, Asa Aheer, the fort was captured by the Faruqis in 1400.It soon became the region’s most coveted fortification mainly for its strategic location. Any ruler with ambitions on the Decca had to first control Asirgarh. Indeed, Asirgarh was known as the Dakkhan Ka Darwaza or Gateway to the Deccan.

Ichhadevi Temple

The famous temple of lchhadevi is located 23 km from Burhanpur. Believed to answer any prayer made to her, the Goddess in much revered by the locals. Though the present structure is fairly recent, the original site is said to be over 450 years old.

Things to do at Burhanpur: Explore the historical places of Burhanpur.

How to go ?

By Air:

The nearest airport is Devi Ahilya Bai International Airport at Indore (180km).

By Bus:

Regular bus services connect Burhanpur with Indore, Khargone, Jalgaon, Khandwa Omkareshwar, Maheshwar, Ujjain, Dhar and Bhopal .

By Train:

Burhanpur has its own railway station, 8 km from Gandhi Chowk that is well connected by all major rail routes of the country.

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Where to stay ?

The accommodation facilities at Burhanpur are adequate. Some options are:

Hotel Ambar and Holiday Resort: 094240 – 24949, (07325) 251197, 255154
Hotel Panchvati: 
+(91)-7325-255633, +(91)-9893857555
Hotel Ambika Residency: +91-7325 242-238, 9752689880

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

 

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Bhopal

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh – The land of Lakes

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Located on the Malwa plateau Bhopal the capital city of Madhya Pradesh combines both the scenic beauty and the modern urban planning. It is a city of lakes. The city also has rich historical heritage. It was founded by Raja Bhoj in 11th century and was originally known as Bhojpal. The city today has an all round development. Loaded with various market places and fine old mosques and palaces Bhopal still bears the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers. Besides the broad avenues, the exquisite parks and gardens, and the modern edifice makes Bhopal a real urban city.

Places to see at Bhopal: A city of history Bhopal is dotted with numerous historical sites mostly. However there are also other sites of tourist attraction.

Jama Masjid

Gold spikes crown the minarets of this beautiful mosque built in 1837 by Kudsia Begum.

Taj-Ul-Masjid

The Taj-ul-Masjid is one of the largest mosques in Asia, built by Nawab Shahjehan Begum around a courtyard with a large tank in the centre and with an imposing double storey gate-way with 4 recessed archways and 9 imposing cusped multi-foiled openings in the main prayer hall. The Quibla wall in the prayer hall is carved with 11 recessed arches, while the mimber is made of black basalt.The structure is enlivened by the limpid expanse of water in the tank outside the northern wall. The monumentality of this structure was much greater originally when it faced the towering bastions of the Fatehgarh Fort. A three-day Ijtima congregation held here annually draws people from all over the country.

Moti Masjid

Architecturally akin to Delhi’s Jama Masjid, this imposing mosque was built by Sikander Jehan, daughter of Kudsia Begum, in 1860.

Shaukat Mahal And Sadar Manzil

Situated at the entrance to the Chowk area in the heart of the walled city, Shaukat Mahal is an architectural curiosity. Its mixture of styles in Occidental idioms sets it apart from the predominantly Islamic architecture of the area. It was designed by a Frenchman, said to be a descendent of an offshoot of the Bourbon Kings of France. Post Renaissance and Gothic styles are combined to charming effect here. Nearby is the elegant once-opulent Sadar Manzil, Hall of Public Audience, of the former rulers of Bhopal.

Gohar Mahal

Situated behind Shaukat Mahal on the banks of the Upper Lake is Gohar Mahal, which is an architectural gem dating back to the times of Kudsia Begum, also known as Gohar Begum, who built this sprawling palace in 1820. The Mahal is a magnificent expression of the fusion of Hindu and Mughal architecture.

Bharat Bhawan

One of the most unique national institutes in India, Bharat Bhawan is a centre for the performing and visual arts. Designed by renowned architect, Charles Correa, the contours of Bharat Bhawan merge in exquisite harmony with the landscape creating a visual impact of spacious and natural elegance. The centre houses a museum of the arts, an art gallery, a workshop for fine arts, a repertory theatre, indoor and outdoor auditorium, a rehearsal room and libraries of Indian poetry, classical and folk music. It remains open from 2 pm to 8 pm every day except Mondays.

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (A Post Colonial Museum)

The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (National Museum of Mankind) is a unique Museum, spread over 200 acres of undulating land on the Shamla Hills on the Upper Lake front. It is situated in a prehistoric site and may be the only museum in the world strewn with numerous prehistoric painted rock shelters. It is a post-colonial museum of communities rather than objects, dedicated to in situ revitalisation of local knowledge systems and life enhancing traditions rather than ex situ display of objects. It is engaged in recollection rather than collection. The museum display has been curated directly by the folk and tribal communities, camping at site, to create a miniature presentation of Indian folk ways through display of eco-specific habitations & subsistence practices in the tribal, coastal, desert, and Himalayan habitats. The library, audio-visual archive, computerised documentation and the collection of ethnographic specimens in the Museum, though modest in size are among the best in the world.

Government Archaeological Museum

A fine collection of sculptures are on display here from various parts of Madhya Pradesh. Highlights of the collection are: paintings of various schools, copies of paintings from the Bagh caves near Mandu and the statues of Alakshmi and the Buddha. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Laxmi Narayan Temple and Museum

This beautiful temple on the Arera Hills has a Museum attached to it which houses a collection of sculptures from Raisen, Sehore, Mandsaur and Shahdol districts of Madhya Pradesh. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day except Mondays.

Van Vihar

This safari-park is located on a hill adjacent to the Upper Lake, with an area of 445 hectares. In these natural surroundings, wildlife watchers can view a variety of herbivorous and carnivorous species. Open everyday, except Friday, (Timings: 1st April to 30 September, from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM and 01 October to 31 March, from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM)

Regional Science Centre

Basically a science museum, located on the picturesque Shamala Hills, Regional Science Centre houses about 300 participatory exhibits distributed equally in ‘Invention’ & ‘Fun Science’ galleries, and a ‘taramandal’ (Planetarium). The museum remains open from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm on all days except Mondays.

Chowk

In the heart of the city, the Chowk is lined with old mosques, havelis, reminds of a bygone era. The shops in its narrow alleys are treasure troves of traditional Bhopali crafts : silver jewellery, exquisitely fashioned bead work, embroidered and sequinned velvet fashioned purses and cushions.

Upper and Lower Lakes

The Upper Lake is divided from the Lower Lake by an over-bridge. M. P. Tourism’s Boat Club on the Upper Lake provides facilities for exciting trips by sail, paddle and motor boats.

Aquarium

Facing the Lower Lake, the fish-shaped aquarium houses a number of fascinating species of fish in all shapes and sizes.

Nearby Attractions from Bhopal: Tourist visiting Bhopal can arrange for some interesting trips to nearby destinations.

Islamnagar

Islamnagar is 11 km away from Bhopal. It was a palace of the Afgan rulers and built by Dost Mohammed Khan.

Kerwa

17 km from Bhopal, Kerwa is a dam and an ideal picnic spot.

Raisen

Another renowned nearby tourist destination from Bhopal is ancient fort of Raisen on the Bhopal-Sagar road. The fort was built in the early 6th century. It is situated on a high hill and once had 84 lakes and ponds, of which only 15 remain. The fort was under the famous Hindu king Rai Puran Mal before it was seized by Sher Shah and brought under Afghan control.

Ginnorgarh

The historical fort standing on an isolated hill about 1,127 metres long and 266 metres broad is situated 3 km away from Delawadi. Buses ply the route, but from Delawadi to the fort one has to travel on foot. The fort was once a stronghold of Gonds, but fell to Mohammad of the Bhopal State.

Delawadi

It is 62 km from Bhopal. Situated in a lovely forest glade, Delawadi is a picturesque picnic spot, rich in scenic splendour.

Things to do in Bhopal: In Bhopal you can enjoy a ride to a toy train look alike open bus. This trip is called Bhopal on wheels. It departs from a place called Palash Residency and winding through the hills stops at some definite destinations. The bus contains minimum five passengers.
The MP tourism boat club offers motorboat rides, pedal boats and even jet skiing.
Lake Princess one of the famous lakes of Bhopal also arrange a cruise trip for 45 min provided the water levels are high.

Best time to visit Bhopal: Throughout the year.

How to go ?

By air:

Regular flights connect Bhopal with Delhi, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Indore and Mumbai.

By bus:

Regular bus services connect Bhopal with Indore(186 km), Mandu(285 km), Ujjain(188 km), Khajuraho (383 km), Pachmarhi(195 km), Gwalior(423 km), Sanchi(46 km), Jabalpur(295 km) and Shivpuri(311 km).

By rail:

Bhopal is on the Delhi-Chennai main line. Major trains going from Mumbai to Delhi via Itarsi and Jhansi also go through Bhopal.

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Where to stay ?

Bhopal being a celebrated tourist destination is dotted with a number of hotels.and lodges suited to all budgets.

Hotel Kamal Regency: + 91-755-4042400, + 91-755-4042401
Hotel Kasturi Continental: 0755-4277789
Hotel Reva Regency: 9993160487, 9425944802
Hotel Sarthak: 0755-4023200, 4023220

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Chanderi_Fort

Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh – Surrounded by hills, lakes & forests here you can trace the footsteps of history

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Surrounded by hills, lakes and forests the picturesque town of Chanderi is located in the Ashoknagar district of Madhya Pradesh. It is a town of great historical importance. The documented history of Chanderi goes back to the early 11th century and is a kaleidoscope of movement and activity prompted by its strategic location. The place is spotted with numerous monuments reminding one of the era of Mughals, Malwa Sultans, Scindias and Bundelas.

Places to see at Chanderi: Being a historical town Chanderi is spotted with a number of historical destinations.

The Fort

Dominating the skyline of this lovely old town, is a Mughal fort. The vast fort was built on a 200 metre high hill during the Mughal period. Its main gate is known as the “Khooni Darwaza”.

Koshak Mahal

According to historical records, Koshak Mahal was ordered to be built by Mahmud Khilji of Malwa when he passed through Chanderi in 1445 AD. The original plan of the Khilji ruler was to construct a seven-storey palace though only two could be completed during his life time. The Mahal is divided into four equal parts and has architecture similar to Mandu.

Badal Mahal Gate

A gate without a Mahal, it was constructed to commemorate some important victory.

Jama Masjid

With imposing domes and long arcades, this is possibly the biggest mosque of the erstwhile Madhya Bharat State.

Shahzadi Ka Rouza

The name is attributed to some unknown princess. The building is decorated on the exterior with ornamental arches and a band of geometrical designs.

Parameshwar Tal

Built by Bundela Rajput Kings, the picturesque Parameshwar tank is situated half a mile to the north-west of Chanderi town. It has on its bank a well-carved temple and cenotaphs of three Rajput Kings.

Battisi Bavdi

Built by Sultan Ghiyasuddin Shah in 1485, the Battisi Bavdi derives its name from a flight of thirty two steps.

Buddhi (Old) Chanderi

The old Chanderi city has a number of Jain temples of 9th and 10th centuries. It attracts thousands of Jain pilgrims from all parts of the country every year.

Thruvanji

26 km South-West of Chanderi is the old village of Thruvanji. The village has a number of Jain temples of the early medieval period.

Handloom Unit

The weaving tradition that occupies the pride of place of Chanderi today, with its shimmering fabrics having survived the trials of time and changing ruler-ship. While handloom weaving was always a significant activity in Chanderi, for the past 400 years it has been the primary occupation of the town’s residents.

Archaeological Museum of Chanderi

The museum houses an impressive collection of sculptures from in and around Chanderi. The museum is open from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm for visitors.

Nearby attractions of Chanderi: While staying at Chanderi you can easily make excursions to places like

Boodhi Chanderi

Located on the right bank of the Urr River, Boodhi Chanderi, Chandrapuri of the ancient past, was a large settlement of the Gurjara Pratiharas and possibly their capital.

Deogarh

On the banks of the Betwa River, Deogarh is not only a place of captivating natural beauty but also of great historical importance. Situated 71 km from Chanderi, today it is just a small village but in times past, it must have been a flourishing town and an important religious centre.

Thubon

From Chanderi, Thubon lies at a distance of 28 kilometres on the road leading to Ashok Nagar. Located between the rivers Urr and Lilawati, Thubon’s importance, historically, is as yet unrecognised. However, with the remains of innumerable temples in evidence, this importance is by no means deniable.

Kadhvaya

The ancient construction in Kadvaya is an 8th century monastery which appears to be Shaiva in affiliation and is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The next structures belong to the 11th and 12th centuries. These are the half-preserved Hindu temples which would have been patronized by the Gurjara-Pratihara kings.

Malhargarh

The only place of historical and architectural importance is the Pathrigarh – Hasangarh Fort which was founded during the Mughal era. It later came to be controlled by the Khinchi rulers and in the 17th century it was under Malhar Rao Holkar.

Things to do at Chanderi: Shopping is an important thing you can do at Chanderi. The place is famous for its textile products i.e the Chanderi sarees that derives its name from the place. This saree is a must keep in every women’s wadrobe. So the shopaholics do not delay to bag at least one of it. Beside this the scenic place of Chanderi with its historical remnants is itself a visual delight and worth a visit.

Best time to visit Chanderi: The best season to visit Chanderi is the winter season. The temperature remains comfortable and is apt for visiting the places of interest in Chanderi. The best period to visit Chanderi is from October to March.

How to go ?

By air:

The nearest airports are at Bhopal (258 km) and Gwalior (259 km).

By bus

Chanderi is connected by bus with Gwalior, Indore, Guna, Shivpuri, Ashok Nagar, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Tikamgarh, Vidisha, Sanchi and Bhopal.

By rail

Lalitpur (36 km) and Jhansi (124 km) on the Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai main line, are the convenient rail-heads. Ashok Nagar (46 km) and Mungaoli (38 km) also serve Chanderi.

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Where to stay ?

Chanderi offers accommodation in medium and budget ranges. Mid-range hotels can be found all over the town. Some options are:

Hotel Tana Bana: +91-(07547) 252222
Hotel Shrikunj: +91-075 47 253225
Hotel Yuvraj Inn: +91-07543-225511

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Bhimbetka

Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh – Here you will find the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent

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An archaeological site of the Paleolithic Bhimbetka rock shelters is where you will find the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent. Painted mainly in red and white with the occasional touch of green and yellow, the themes are taken from the every day events of aeons ago. The scenes usually depict hunting, dancing, music, horse and elephant riders, animals fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, disguises, masking and household scenes. The animals such as bisons, tigers, lions, wild boars, elephants, antelopes, dogs, lizards, crocodiles, etc. have been abundantly depicted in some caves. Popular religious and ritual symbols also occur frequently.

It is said that the name Bhimbetka is named after Bhima, a hero-deity of the epic Mahabharata. The word Bhimbetka is said to have derive from Bhimbaithka, meaning “sitting place of Bhima”.

The beginning of the South Asian Stone Age is also evidently traced from here is located in the Raisen District in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. At least some of the shelters were inhabited by Homo erectus more than 300,000 years ago. Some of the Stone Age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are approximately 30,000 years old.[2] The caves also deliver early evidence of dance. They were declared a World Heritage Site in 2003.

Places to see at Bhimbetka: The superimposition of paintings showcase that the same canvas was used by different people at different times. The drawings and paintings can be classified under seven different periods:

Period I – Upper Paleolithic: These are linear representations, in green and dark red, of huge figures of animals such as bisons, tigers and rhinoceroses.

Period II – Mesolithic: Comparatively small in size, the stylized figures in this group show linear decoration on the body. The depiction of communal dances, birds, musical instruments, mother and child, pregnant women, men carrying dead animals, drinking and burials appear in rhythmic movement.

Period III – Chaleolithic: Similar to the paintings of Chaleolithic pottery, these drawings reveal that during the period the cave dwellers of this area had come in contact with the agricultural communities of the Malwa plains and started an exchange of their requirements with each other.

Period IV & V – Early Historic: The figures of this group have a schematic and decorative style, and are painted mainly in red, white and yellow. The association is of riders, depiction of religious symbols, tunic-like dresses and the existence of the scripts of different periods.

Period VI & VII – Medieval: These paintings are geometric, linear and more schematic, but they show degeneration and crudeness in their artistic style. The colours used by the cave dwellers, prepared combining manganese, haematite, soft red stone, wooden coal and also sometimes by animal fat and extracts of leaves is still remains intact.

Nearby attractions from Bhimbetka: While in Bhimbetka you can make a visit to Bhojpur just 20 km from the place. Here the great  Shaivite Bhojpureshwar temple was constructed by the legendary Raja Bhoj.

Another place called Hoshangabad is about 40 km away from Bhimbetka. It is a city based on the banks of river Narmada famous for the Sethani Ghat along the banks of River Narmada and the Hoshangabad Fort.

Things to do at Bhimbetka: At Bhimbetka observe the wonderful paintings painted on the same canvas in the different ages.

Best time to visit Bhimbetka: The best time to visit Bhimbetka Rock Shelters is between the months of June to March – with the monsoon rains ((June to September) arguably being the most optimal with cool temperature adding to the scenic beauty of the location.

How to go ?

By air: Bhopal (46 km from Bhimbetka ) is the nearest airport. It is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior.

By road: Bhimbetka is connected by bus with Bhopal.

By rail: Bhopal, on the Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai mainline is the most convenient rail-head.

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Where to stay ?

There are not many hotels at Bhimbetka. It is better to stay at Hoshangabad or Bhopal Some options are:

Highway Treat: (07480)281558
Amer Greens: +91-755-40127701, 9630097156, 9630097155, 9630097157
Hotel Classic: 0755- 4276412, 2469412, 2469413.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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