Amarkantak – king of pilgrimages in India

Amarkantak may not be one of the most popular tourist destinations of India but to those who know Indian culture and tradition is well aware of the fact that it is one of the most sacred pilgrimage destinations of the Hindus. Popularly known as “Teerthraj” (the king of pilgrimages), Amarkantak is deemed to be the door-way to “Nirvana”. Apart from being a sacred pilgrimage destination, Amarkantak with its verdant hills, forested surroundings and breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls has all the ingredients for a memorable tour in the midst of nature. This great-unexplored tourist destination of Madhya Pradesh is a place worth a visit.

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Narmadakund temples in Amarkantak

About Amarkantak

Amarkantak – a hill town at an average elevation of 1065 m above sea at the meeting point of the Vindhya and the Satpura mountain ranges is a major pilgrimage destination of the Hindus. Being the source of the River Narmada (considered by many as the most sacred river of India), Amarkantak has grown into a sacred pilgrimage destination over the years. Another important river of India, Sone, also originates here.

Amarkantak is indeed bliss of nature. Holy ponds, lofty hills, forested surroundings, glittering streams, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls and an ever-pervading air of serenity makes Amarkantak a palce where sacredness of Mother Nature is bound to mesmerize you. Though Amarkantak is known to most as a pilgrimage destination of the Hindus, but the natural beauty of the place is so awesome that it has all the potential to develop as a popular hill tourism destination as well.

The dense forest of Amarkantak depicts a unique ecosystem and is an internationally acclaimed natural heritage zone. Its far-off valleys showcase an exceedingly diverse floristic genre which hardly has any comparison.

Where is Amarkantak?

The popular pilgrimage destination of Amarkantak is situated in the newly formed district of Anuppur in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Amarkantak Sightseeing

Narmada kund

Narmada kund is the open pool from where the river Narmada originates. Being the source of the sacred river Narmada, the place enjoys great pilgrimage importance and a dip in the waters of the kund is believed to take one closer to attainment of nirvana. Around the kund there are a number of temples dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses.

Narmada Udgam Temple

It is by far the most popular and eye catching. Built by the Bhonsles of Nagpur, the view of the shining white temple against the blue sky in all its divine glory in the morning light is all set to mesmerize you.

Other temple in the complex includes Shiva temple, Kartikey temple, Shri Ram Janki temple, Annapurna temple, Guru Gorakhnath temple, Sri Shuryanarayan temple, Vangeshwar Mahadev temple, Durga temple, Shiva Pariwar, Siddheswar Mahadev temple, Sri Radha Krishna temple, Eleven Rudra temple etc.

Though bathing inside the complex is prohibited, but there is well built bathing Ghats just outside the complex where devotees takes holy dip with the belief of attaining nirvana.

Sonemuda

At a distance of about 1.5 Km from Narmadakund is Sonemuda, which is the origin of River Sone. Being situated at the edge of Maikal Mountain, the place enjoys panoramic view of forested hills and valleys. River Sone, known for gold dust in its water, cascades below from the mountain top forming a 100 ft long waterfall. The place is extremely popular among tourists visiting Amarkantak.

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View of kapildhara waterfall

Kapildhara

At a distance of about 6 Km to the north-west of Narmadakund is the 100 ft long waterfall named Kapildhara. Believed to be the place where famous sage Kapil Muni performed meditation and attained the divine light, Kapildhara is a major pilgrimage destination of Hindus. It is one of the major waterfalls on River Narmada. It is a major sightseeing destination of Amarkantak.

The nearby Kapileshwar Temple dedicated to Kapil Muni sees large influx of pilgrims throughout the year. The scenic beauty of the entire place needs special mention.

Dudhdhara

At a distance of about 1 Km from Kapildhara is another waterfall on River Narmada named Dudhdhara. A milky water of the waterfall falling from a height of about 50 ft is a huge attraction for pilgrims and tourists visiting Amarkantak. Though the fall is not a lofty one but is bound to catch your eyes because of its bewitching whiteness.

Kabir Chabutra

Believed to be the place where the great Indian saint Kabir performed meditation and attained divine light, Kabir Chabutra is one of the most holy places for the followers of Kabir. All religious minded people in pilgrim tour of Amarkantak do make it a point to visit this sacred place associated with one of the great saints of India, Kabir. The place gained further significance as Kabir met the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak and discussed spiritual matters pertaining to human life.

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Way to Mai Ki Bagiya

Mai Ki Bagiya

This natural garden in the midst of dense forest at a distance of about 1 Km from Narmadakund is a huge attraction for tourists and pilgrims. Tour of Amarkantak is certainly incomplete without visiting this garden where there are Mango trees, Banana trees, varieties of Roses etc. Named in the honour of goddess Narmada, this beautiful natural garden enjoys large influx of visitors throughout the year.

Jwaleshwar Temple

This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated at a distance of about 8 Km from Amarkantak on the road to Shahdol. The temple in the midst of deep forest is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva and the Shivlings here is said to have been planted by Lord Shiva himself. The origin of River Johilla is nearby and the place provides some panoramic vistas.

Sri Yantra Temple

This is a unique temple of Amarkantak shrouded in mystery. The temple is known to be the place for the people practicing tantric rituals.

The temple is constructed on an elevated platform and is surrounded by forest on two sides. On the western side of the temple, is present an ancient kund (a sacred pond) known as the Batte Krishna Kund. On the north to the temple is a water reservoir, recently constructed by the government for the benefit of the local people.

The entrance to this unique temple is through an enormous gate having faces on four sides. The eastern face is of goddesses Maha Saraswati. There are also one statue each of the gods Ganesh and Kartikeya. The southern face is of the goddesses Maha Kali, the western of goddesses Maha Bhubaneshwari and the northern of the goddesses Maha Laxmi. Along with each face on four sides are statues of yoginis that accompany the goddesses. These are 16 in number on each side thereby being 64 in all.

How to reach Amarkantak?

By Air

Dumna airport of Jabalpur at a distance of about 240 Km is the nearest airhead from Jabalpur.

By Rail

Though Pendra Road at a distance of about 17 Km from Amarkantak is the nearest railhead, but Anuppur at a distance of about 42 Km on the south-western railway is the more convenient one.

By Road

Amarkantak is well connected with cities like Shahdol, Umaria, Jabalpur, Rewa, Bilaspur, Anuppur and Pendra Road.

Where to stay at Amarkantak?

MPSTDC Holiday Home – undoubtedly the best place to stay in Amarkantak is the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation run Holiday Home. Apart from having all the amenities of modern living, this holiday home also provides the option of staying in tents. For booking contact at 07629-269416.

Sal Valley Resort – Sal Valley Resort is situated just 20 Km from Amarkantak and is a great place to stay amidst nature during Amarkantak tour. The resort offers 02 AC and 05 Non AC double bedded comfortable rooms built in village style with all modern amenities. To know more about this beatiful resort, just click HERE.

Shree Mata Sadan – It is a budget accommodation of Amarkantak at a very cheap rate. This economical yet clean staying option needs to be booked beforehand. For booking contact at – 07629-269520.

Sarvodaya Rest House – This is another budget staying option of Amarkantak. For booking contact at its Kolkata office at 033-22127715.

Hotel Prince – It is another good staying option of Amarkantak. This clean and economical hotel can be booked at 07629-269430.

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About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.

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