As you float by the pristine white marble cliffs with green and black seams, overlooking the Narmada river you wonder if you just entered a fairy tale. 25 kms from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh is a small hamlet which has abundance of other-worldly beauty, mind-blowing facts and stories related to it. Bhedaghat is a hidden gem of Madhya Pradesh that can easily be called one of the best natural wonders of India. The town has quite a few breath-taking sites but the most striking of them all is the marble rock cliffs along river Narmada. These craggy cliffs were naturally formed as a result of Narmada’s gushing water cutting them to make her way. Also, this is exactly the spot where Shah Rukh Khan wooed Kareena Kapoor in the song Raat Ka Nasha Abhi from the movie Asoka. Watching the song it is hard to believe that this ethereal corner of the world is nestled in one of the least explored places of our subcontinent. Floating along the river, gaping at the marble cliffs that are hundred feet high and change colors with the light, you wonder how is this place still untouched by any earthly corruption? The rocks don’t really change colors like the Ayers of Australia, they are in fact, comprised of colorful rocks. Hence, the rocks changing colors with the position of the sunlight is an illusion which will furthermore, transport you to a different world, a fantasy world. It is advisable to hire a boat with a guide who would introduce you to interesting stories and legends related to the place and will also enlighten you about the formation of the marble rocks. The place is also rich in fossils and it is said that scientists had once unearthed dinosaur eggs on one of the ghats of Bhedaghat, which is safely preserved in a Shiva temple under the assumption that these are signs left by Lord Shiva after battling asuras (demons). With the guide pointing out various rock carvings done by the locals, there will not be a single dull moment in the 90-minute boat ride. One of the highest cliffs has a Shiva carving, another cliff has a carving in shape of a demon’s face. This thrilling ride will truly, be an escape from your mundane world. With majestic marble rocks rising from either sides while you float between them listening to the many engrossing stories of its existence, this tale of a hidden parallel universe will stay with you forever. During the annual Narmada Mahotsav you can experience the spiritual side of Bhedaghat. A pooja for river Narmada is organized at the Gawrighat. After a visit to the temple located right in the middle of the river and a ferry back to the ghat, you will feel yourself in touch with something beyond the ordinary. This feeling of undiluted contentment is rare. The amazement doesn’t end here; float on a boat through the canyon on a full moon night, you can see the white marbles turning every bit silvery, the moon cast its shadow over the water and as the water ripples you would crave to scoop in a little liquid mercury. During this ride, all the fascinating stories that you heard in the daytime will keep flocking in your mind while you leisurely pan your eyes through the silvery surroundings. This stillness will be broken by the splashing sound from the oar hitting the water. A return ride will surely fill your heart with joy. You can also take a swing through the gorge on a rope way or cable car and be mesmerized by the aerial view of this splendid place. Not far from the marble rocks is the Dhuandhar falls where river Narmada cascades with a dizzying force giving the area a smokey feel. Before returning to Jabalpur, stopping to watch this roaring cascade and collecting various marble souvenirs with different shapes, colors and carvings will make this visit of yours a fulfilling and unforgettable one.
MADHYA PRADESH DECODED
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