Amarkantak is a small but beautiful world famous pilgrim place situated in Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is nearer to neighbouring state Chhattisgarh and popularly known as Teerathraj ‘King of Pilgrimages’. This beautiful town situated at an altitude of 1000 m. lies at the meeting point of three hill ranges of Central India i.e. Satpura, Vindhya and Maikal. Amarkantak is popular globally because two great rivers of India, the Narmada and the Sone emerge from here. While the Narmada flows westwards, the Sone flows to the East. Narmada is considered as one of the most sacred rivers of India. According to the Puranas, it is necessary to bathe once in the Ganga, thrice in the Saraswati and seven times in the Yamuna to attain salvation, but just the sight of the Narmada is enough to ensure eternal bliss. Amarkantak receives large number of tourists throughout the year not only because it is a pilgrimage destination, but it is also a popular hill station of central India.
Amarkantak is surrounded by Teak and Mahua trees, variety of medicinal plants, beautiful waterfalls, lush green mountains which attract tourists towards it. UNESCO included Amarkantak’s bio reserve in its list. It encompasses most of the original natural and cultural features.
All these things were enough for me to explore this wonderful destination of Central India.
We booked our train tickets from Gwalior to Pendra Road (which is nearest Railway Station) and reached there by morning 08:30.
Took a book bus and our journey begins to the mountains. Road was surrounded by trees both the sides. Bus was passing by valleys, mountain slopes and between the green forests.
We reached there in 90 minutes and check in local hotel.
After taking breakfast we move for exploring the city. Tourism attractions within the city are very nearer to each other so one can explore it by walk only.
Our First attraction was Narmada Udgam (Origin) Temple:
It is large temple complex houses the Kund (tank) from where the holy river Narmada originates. There are two temples facing each other and connected with a mandapa. One is known as the Narmada Udgam Temple and other as the Narmada Mai Temple.
Outside the Narmada Mai Temple there is one stoned elephant, according to local customs if devote can pass beneath the elephant his/her wish will be completed soon. There were some more temples in the complex like Shiva Temple, Lord Rama Temple, and Lord Krishna Temple etc. Some were in its original condition rest were renovated.
After worshipped in Narmada Udgam Temple, we moved for ‘Amarkantak Group of Temples’. The group of ancient temples was built by Kalchuri King Karma Deva (1041-1073). The Group of temples namely the Pataleshwar Temple, Shiva Temple and Karan Temple besides others belongs to Nagara style of architecture.
1.5 km from Narmada Udgam temple was Sonmuda, the source of river Sone.
We got tired by full day temple explorations so get in bed early so we can get energized for the next day.
Next day we hired a local taxi and move for first place to see i.e. Kabir Chabutara which is nearly 5 km from Amarkantak town. Mystic poet, Sant Kabir, is said to have meditated at Kabir Chabutara.
Near to Kabir Chabutara, there is beautiful pond named Kabir Talab (Pond).
After clicking picture we moved for Kapil-dhara waterfall which is 6 km from Amarkantak town. It is a spectacular sight as the stream of the Narmada plunges down a 24 m high vertical cliff-face into a gorge, transforming into a large river.
The little downstream from Kapil-dhara, the Narmada river creates another waterfall, Doodh-dhara. Literally, ‘the milk stream’ the fall gets its name from the frothing waters of the river.
It was an adventurous day but not tired, we back to hotel and next day leave this wonderful city for Pendra Road Station to get return train to my home town
Some other important places we missed to see are Mai Ki Bagiya, Jwaleshwar Temple etc.
Amarkantak is also known for Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU).
If you are planning to go Amarkantak, Don’t forget to visit Achanakmar Tiger Reserve Sanctuary which is only 40 km.
Some Random clicks from my Journey to Amarkantak.
How to Reach:
Air: Nearest Airport is Jabalpur (228 kms) and Raipur in Chhattisgarh (230 kms) which connected with all major cities of India.
Rail: Nearest Railway Station is Pendra Road (42 kms) connecting with all major cities of India.
Road: Direct bus to all neighbour town and cities available from Amarkantak Bus Stand. Direct buses are available from Rewa, Allahabad, Mandla, Raipur, Katni, Jabalpur and Bilaspur.
Where to Stay:
Best place to stay in Amarkantak is Holiday Home of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board.