Marble Rocks and Dhuandhar Falls, Bhedaghat, Jabalpur, MP
Marble Rocks and Dhuandhar Falls
Bhedaghat, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (MP)
“The eye never wearies of about the ……… effect produced by the broken and reflected sunlight, now glancing from a pinnacle of snow-white marble reared against the deep blue of the sky as from a point of silver, touching here and there and with bright lights the prominences of the middle height; and again loosing itself in the soft bluish greys of their recesses.”
Captain J. Forsyth, Highlands of Central India
The Narmada River, often considered as the “life line of Madhya Pradesh,” flows between the Satpura and Vindhya Range.
Most of the South Indian rivers flow in the West to East direction, but Narmada along with Tapti, flows in the opposite direction.
Narmada River originates at Amarkantak, in Western Madhya Pradesh (MP) and flows eastwards through a rocky terrain.
Just South of Jabalpur the Narmada makes a mighty plunge and makes its way to the narrow gorges of towering limestone cliffs, an awesome spectacle of nature.
The shear limestone rocks, rising perpendicularly out of the placid waters of Narmada River, creates a stunning spectacle. The towering cliffs are popularly known as marble rocks, and are best explored on boat.
The boat services operates throughout the year, except for the monsoon period, and on full moon days there are special night rides.
The approximate 6 km (both way) long boat ride, on a rickety boat along the 3 km long narrow gorge, guarded with shear cliffs, rising to a height of 100 feet, is an experience not to be missed.
Group boat rides are available for Rs 100 per person for a 45 minute ride, but if you want to explore the Marble Rocks in more details, a personal boat is advisable.
Six seater boats charge about Rs 800 and a ride lasts over an hour. A few bucks more can take you further up the Narmada River.
The boats are operated by three person, consisting of two rowers and a steerer, who controls the direction of the boat. One of the rowers usually doubles up as a guide.
The guide narrates the story of the Marble Rocks in a poetic and comical way, with frequent references from Bollywood blockbusters.
No wonder the sheer marble cliffs of the Marble Rocks have been the shooting spot of several Bollywood movies.
Over the centuries forces of nature have curved out strange structures on the marble cliffs.
As the boat progresses up the Narmada the guide cum boat – man points to strange structure and tries to correlate them with elephant & horses and even fighting kids.
There are even structures representing the three monkeys of Gandhi ji or the Hindu trinity of Bramha, Vishnu and Maheshwara, but one needs a lot of imagination to visualize these figures.
The Narmada consists of several rocky marble outcrops and the boatmen skillfully negotiates their boat past these islands and head upwards towards the Dhundhar Waterfall.
As the boat moves upstream, the texture and colour of the marble on the cliffs changes. From dazzling white to pale yellow and from pinkish hue to different shades of green, the Marble Rocks of Jabalpur changes colour as the sun makes his way across the sky.
Every place along the boat ride trail has its own nomenclature. A open area with several prospective outlets is called the Bhulbhulia, the maze. While the narrow cliffs at the very end of the route is known as Bandar Kodini (Monkey’s Leap).
The standard boat ride ends just before the Bandar Kodini but if you have your own boat, you can make your way through the narrow gorge, minus the monkeys, into an open area with a small waterfall, at the end.
After the boat ride in Marble Rocks, its time to head for the Dhuandhar Falls, a short drive away.
But before you head for the water fall you can stop at one of the marble artifacts stores to buy marble artifacts for for your friends and relatives or even for your own self.
Dhuandhar, literally meaning misty falls, is a 10 meter drop of the Narmada River, creating a misty and smokey environment.
Viewing platforms are constructed next to the falls offering grands views of the the plunging water.
If you are lucky you can even spot a rainbow across the falling water, but you will definitely fill the spray from the falling water and not to mention the thundering roar of falling water.
The other way of viewing the Dhuandhar Fall is to take the ropeway (two way rides cost Rs75), the rope ways provides an unique birds eye view of the Dhuandhar Falls.