Featured in one of Madhya Pradesh tourism advertisements,Garadia Mahadev commonly known as Grand Canyon of India (though it is not !) is a Lord Shiva Shrine of Kota located few minutes drive off National Highway 76 where river chambal makes a U turn through gorge with huge cliffs on either side.this place will not disappoint you if you are someone who love to be in the lap of Mother Nature and looking for some spectacular views of calm blue river with beautiful gorge resembling a horse shoe.
I was in Kota for a day and with too much heard and read about this place i made sure to explore this less explored region of Kota.Tranquility and peace all around with sweet sounds of birds chirping,monkeys squeaking adds to its pristine beauty and make it more desirable to be here and it worth efforts and the journey.
Famous as picnic spots for locals it is less explored and travelled and not all knows about it which is why it remain untouched from human interference.if you wish to take some break from city noise and man made architectures it is perfect getaway to have some peaceful time with mesmerising views and astounding wilderness of nature.it was so quiet you can hear wind whistling in your ears.i sat there for 2-3 hours and i wish I could stayed a bit longer.if you feel adventurous go ahead of temple on the other cliff through a small trek and take a walk in forest,sit there for a while to get wider view of gorge.To visit temple climb down few steps and you are there,pray and take prasad (blessings) from priest living in the temple.
Except Drinking water no shops available for snacks (may helps stop littering) ,it is better to carry your own.as it is little far from highway deprived of electricity and any amenities try to leave before it gets too dark.
On your way you will come across newly built hanging bridge where you could take some nice pictures and spend few minutes but be safe it is on main highway and the vehicles are coming at high speed.road to the Shrine is a narrow patch and not in good shape but that is what make it more interesting with little off-roading in nature trail full of bumps and jumps.
Best time to go:
August to February specially in monsoon as forest becomes lush green and water falling from cliffs making numbers of waterfalls throughout its width.
How to get there :
Being a remote location from highway either you can hire taxi /auto rickshaw from Kota or take your own car/bike.
Directions:-Enroute to Chittorgarh on NH76 just before a flyover of village Khadipur there is a sign board of Garadia temple,take left from board and then right after 1 km to reach Shrine.a lot of open space available for parking your vehicle.
How much it cost:
Entry to the temple is free but this area comes under Mukandra Tiger Hills Reserve so an Entry fee of 75/- person plus 250/- charged for vehicle as i was driving my own car.you could get some discount if you are a student with valid identity card.
Do not miss Garadia Temple if you ever plan to visit Kota.