“Jab aati hai bahar, doob jate hain pahad,” said the guide breaking the mesmerized silence in the cable cart. My travel buddy Nikhil Kashyap and I were trolleying over one of the most splendid waterfalls in India – ‘Dhuandhar’ in Bhedaghat. This place is magical…a faint rainbow dancing over the heavy gush of water falling, creating an illusion of thick smoke – living up to its name ‘Dhuandhar’. The back-breaking 450 odd km drive from Varanasi to Bhedaghat that we’d endured the previous night for over 13 hours were forgotten...
Recently, a friend asked me which place topped my list for having surprised me during my travels. “Bhedaghat” was my reply. My friend didn’t seem convinced until I shared the beauty of this serene township that lies about 20 kms from Jabalpur.
No denying the drive from Varanasi to Bhedaghat gives you a sense of what it is to ride on a bullock cart even if you are driving in a Scorpio! The people of this town sweeten the memory of this place. They all speak in a lyrical manner…and I don’t mean just the guides, even the flea market fellows.
It was early in the morning when we reached Bhedaghat. With droopy eyes, we’d randomly checked into a hotel named ‘River View’. Later in the day, we woke up to the most charming view – the Narmada river dawning the beautiful marble rocks right outside our balcony! It was motivation enough to step out and explore the town.
We walked towards the ghat from where the boats take sail. The bylane leading to the ghat is decorated by tiny shops of artisans crafting marble souvenirs. The one hour boat ride in the Narmada river passes by in a flash. The splendid marble rocks put up a visual show that is captivating. The boatmen with all their native creativity add to the background score making for a cinematic experience. “That’s where Rekhaji was push in the river by Kabir Bedi….Let me take you’ll to the place where Kareen Kapoor danced to ‘raat Ka nasha abhi,” the enterprising boatman went on. They take pride in their town being featured in Bollywood movies such as ‘Khoon bhari maang’ and ‘Ashoka’.“Jab aaye thi Kareena,nikle Gaya boat waalon ka paseena,” added boatman smiling to glory.
They are filmy and how! That’s what makes this place special and travelers smile. Our boat ride came to an end just at the start of the evening ‘aarti’ at the river banks. At sunset being by the banks of Narmada, the prayer gathering under the open starry night remains itched in our memory. One can only imagine the glow of this river that beds the magnificent marble rocks, on a full moon night.
Later that night we drove to the much spoken about ‘Dhuandhar’ waterfall just to figure out if it was over rated. We were put to shame for our assumption and revisited the place the following morning for the cable ride.
Before we drove out of Bhedaghat we visited the Chaunsath Yogini temple. The temple is known for its 64 carvings of female yoga mystics believed to have been built in the 10th century. It is also said to be the only temple where you’ll see Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati riding on the sacred bull Nandi. Photography of the idol is not permitted.
On a happy lyrical note we were on our way to Nagpur.