Sunday, May 31, 2009

Of colors in stone

Captain Forsyth described it as a "Gorge in the River Narmada" though simple English the phrase appears to be poetic - by all means. Marble Rocks or Bhedaghat, the latter precisely means a gorge is actually composed of rocks of raw marble saturated with hues of mind boggling colors. Through the steep rocks flows the river Narmada.

The river enters the gorge at Dhuandhar Falls. The fall was once impressively deep, but after Bargi Dam was built the water level has risen reducing the depth. Never the less the spread of the falls is still impressive, the speed with which the waters gush through makes it enchanting.

The white waters rush through the narrow and steep inlet of the gorge at a break neck speed. At this juncture the river is impossible to navigate. The boat rides at Marble Rocks begin at the right bank of the river at place called Panchavati. The river is spread wide here, but soon narrows down as the cliffs arrive. The slow hand rowed boats offer the greatest pleasure in boating betwixt the amazing color splattered rocks of marble. Visitors are wonder struck by the hues of colors. The shapes intrigue as well.

The fast rushing waters make boating a little tense affair nevertheless the boatmen are highly experienced lot. Before inundation by Bargi Dam, the river was much more placid in summers and boating was a serene experience. This river ecosystem harbored many life forms including crocodiles once. I have seen them myself in younger days.

Marble Rocks in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh is worth visiting for the magnificent falls and boat ride in the river Narmada. The place is about thirteen kilometers from main town Jabalpur with private taxis, buses and other means of accessing it.

There is an old temple on the hills called "Chausath Jogini" with set of idols. The idols have been plundered by a barbaric Moghul invader, but nevertheless the place is worth visiting.

Accommodation is available in Jabalpur Hotels and  for those interested in a night stay at Marble Rocks MPTDC owns resort nearby. The booking can be done from MPTDC office at Railway station or through MP online kiosk or regional offices.
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