Still on a high from the Tiger Ramp Walk at Panna, we start for Jabalpur, stopping en route to have lunch at a roadside joint. The waiter goes through a pile of 50-60 white plastic plates to find few without stains for us. A waiter, who made me feel like a valued guest in his house rather than just a customer. I asked him if the curd would be sour, given the heat and he was like “Ji, pehle aapko taste karayenge” (will make you taste first). And the sample was a full bowl of curd :-)
A relaxed evening with dinner in the room over loads of gupshup.
Next morning we leave early for the Dhuandhar falls and Bhedaghat. It is at Bhedaghat that the River Narmada is known to be the most spectacular and it is here that it displays such magnificence through the beautiful Dhuandhar falls.
Bhedaghat is known for the Marble Rocks where the river flows gracefully for nearly 3 kms through towering layers of marble nearly 30mts high. These are the only of its kind in India. White, green, yellow and black – the marble has many hues and the sun plays along making the rocks glint and shine. We take the recommended boat ride to get a closer look at the ethereal Marble Rocks. The guide starts his commentary in poetic style - he points out the various types of marble in a dramatic rhyming fashion making the usual jokes about Bollywood, women, wives and marriage. His favorite seemed to be Kareena Kapoor and her boots! He points out specific rock formations like Kareena’s boots , Hanthi ka Paon among others.
At one point there are a lot of undercurrents and the boatmen work hard and row in a way so that we cross the river where the undercurrents are the least. At that point, suddenly it seemed as the mountains on the two sides were closing in on each other and we would get engulfed in between – an optical illusion which was so surreal yet breathtaking!!!
So serene at Bhedaghat and then just around the corner we see the Narmada in an altogether other form –full throttle with the water gushing down with full force creating the smoky cascade – breathtaking nature's power. We hang around for some time, dipping our feet in the chilled water. It was a bit sad to see people offering to jump into the waterfall for Rs 10/ :-(
On the way back we pass by the Chausat Yogini Temple standing on a hillock. Even though we were quite tired and the150 odd steps leading to the shrine look quite steep the girls decide to climb up while the guys decide to hang around in the car and wait.
It’s a long way up but worth the climb. A 10th century ancient temple that is the abode of Goddess Durga along with 64 yoginis or shaktis considered to be the different forms of the Goddess. The 64 exquisitely carved shrines, each one depicting a unique posture are placed in a circular fashion around the main shrine where Shiva and Parvati are seen riding on Nandi.
Lunch at a friend’s restaurant where we are overfed and a visit to his office. Jabalpuri Special Paan, for which we created such a fuss were not so special after all. The Chocolate Paan was supposed to be good but sold out and so we missed it.
Evening some of our group want to go watch a movie to kill time. They zero in on Queen which 2 of us had seen quite recently so even though it was a good movie, we decide to watch something else. Not a good decision, considering I don’t even remember the name of the movie I ended up watching, forget the story!