Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat
Soaring in glittering splendour, the Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat rise to a hundred feet on either side of the Narmada. The serene loveliness of the scene is one of cool quiet, the sunlight sparkling on the marble-white pinnacles and casting dappled shadows on the pellucid waters.
In his Highlands of Central India Caption J. Forsyth speaks eloquently about the infinitely varied beauty of the rocks : "The eye never wearies of 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 with bright the prominences to the middle heights; and again losing itself in the soft bluish greys of their recesses...
Here and there the white saccharine limestone is seamed by veins of dark green or black volcanic rock; a contrast which only enhances, like a setting of jet, the purity of the surrounding marble".
What to See
The perpendicular magnesium limestone rocks fringe the crystal clear placid waters of the Narmada providing a fascinating site. Boating facilities are available between November - May. Boating on a moonlit night, when the whole stretch of water is transformed into a sheet of liquid silver is absolutely magical. In the narrow channel of the mighty river, there is a place approached so closely from the opposite banks that the local people have aptly named it the "Monkey's leap" (Bundar Kundi).
The Narmada, making its way through the Marble Rocks, narrows down and then plunges in a water fall known as Dhundhar or the smoke cascade. So powerful is the plunge that its roar is head from a far distance. The falls and the breaking of the volume of water at the crest present an awesome spectacle of nature's power unleashed.
Chausat Yogini Temple
Situated stop a hillock and approached by a long flight of steps, the Chausat Yogini Temple commands a singularly beautiful view of the Narmada flowing through the Jagged Marble Rocks. Dedicated to goddess Durga, this 10th century temple has exquisitely carved stone figures of deities belonging to the Kalchuri period. According to a local legend, this ancient temple is connected to the Gond Queen Durgavati's palace through an underground passage.
The soapstone revealed by the Narmada provides occupation to families of carvers of gods and goddesses, lingas, crosses, madonnas, ashtrays and trinket boxes.
How to Reach
By Air : Jabalpur (23 km) is the nearest airport.
By Rail : Jabalpur, on the Mumbai-Howrah via Allahabad main line, is the main railhead. All mail, express and passenger trains halt here.
By Road : Frequent buses, tempos and taxis are available from Jabalpur.