Madhya Pradesh Amarkantak Hill Station
Amarkantak is a religious town and a nagar palika situated of Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is also known by the name of “Teerthraj”(the king of pilgrimages). The region is very traditional as well as exceptional. Here the Vindhyas and the Satpuras meet each other while the balkrum is the Maikal Hills. The Narmada river, the sone river and the Johila rivers emerge from this place.
The sacredness of Amarkantak is associated greatly with the sacred river Narmada. It may be due to the presence of this river that this area of the Vindhyas gained popularity as a pious centre. According to the holy scriptures, River Narmada rises above all other holy rivers with her strong quality as the daughter of Lord Shiva.
Vedic literature does not mention anything about Amarkantak and rivers originating from it. But Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Vashishtha samhita and “Shatapatha Brahmana” have information about them. The history of a period of about 3000 years after Mahabharata remains of dark. According to Professor Arjun Chaube Kashyap, the puranic name of Amarkantak was Riksh parvat. The suryavanshi samrat Mandhata discovered a town of the valley Riksh parvat about 6000 years ago and named it Mandhata. Mandhata’s son, samrat Purukutsa’s queen gave the title of Narmada to the river. Since this area was occupied by the Mandhatas, the descendants of Yayati dynasty shifted from this place to west of Madhya Pradesh and settled on the banks of river Narmada.
Traditionally, this Vindhyachal area was within the Ayodhya kingdom. There were ashrams of Kapila Muni, Bhrigu Muni and Markandeya Rishi at this place. It has been also told that Pandavas stayed at this place when they were outside their kingdom and gained divine benefits.
How To Reach
Jabalpur is the nearest airport to Amarkantak. It is 245 km away from Amarkantak city. There are pre-paid taxi services available from airport to Amarkantak. The total cost is about Rs. 3000.
The closest railway station to Amarkantak is Pendra Road that is at a distance of 17 km from the city. Anuppur at distance of 48 km from Amarkantak is also convenient for the tourists.
Bus services are also available of Amarkantak. State government buses are there from Pendra Road, Shahdol and Bilaspur. The distance between Amarkantak and Jabalpur by bus is 245km, between Amarkantak and Rewa is 261km (by bus). Amarkantak is also connected to Shahdol (261km) by bus.
Places To Visit
Narmadakund And Temples
Narmadakund is an open pool at the origin place of Narmada River. There are numerous temples around this kund. They are Narmada and Shiva temple, Kartikey temple, Shri Ram Janki temple, Guru Gorakhnath temple etc.
Mai ki Bagiya (Goddess garden):“Mai ki Bagiya” is a place where there is a group of trees of thick forest. It is situated at one km distance from Narmadakund. The place is named “Mai ki Bagiya” to honor goddess Narmada. This garden area consists of fruit trees like Mango, Banana and others along with Gulbakavli, roses and other flower plants.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
Tourists prefer to visit during March to June of order to enjoy the beauty. During this season the maximum temperature moves around 25’C to 30’C.
The monsoon season is from July to September. Moderate rains occur during this time. The weather remains very pleasant. The rains make the place attractive with magnificent plant life.
Winters are extremely cold with the minimum temperature moving down to 2’C.
Best Time To Visit
The weather from October to March is cold and comfortable. During this time visitors can visit the religious places of the town.
The time from March to September is suitable for all types of tourist activities.
Language And Culture
People mostly speak Hindi, Punjabi and pahari languages. English is also understood by them.
In food the main attractions are the spicy achar gost (pickled lamb), the lavish keemas (minced meat), the tasty rogan josh (mutton dish) and lots of pulaos (aromatic rice). Shairi programme is quite popular and it is one of the favorite pastimes amongst the older generations. The old quarter is well known for its traditional crafts like embroidery, zardozi work, bridal wear and tailor-made sherwanis.
Ramakrishna Kutir, Amarkantak
Ramakrishna Kutir is a famous hotel of Amarkantak. Visitors can get all sorts of comfort. Seventeen rooms are available of the hotel. All the rooms are very comfortable.
Address:Sri Ramakrishna Kutir, Post : Amarkantak, District : Anuppur, India.
Holiday Homes, Amarkantak
Holiday Homes at Amarkantak is government owned and managed by MPTEDC. There are twenty seven rooms of the hotel. All the rooms are maintained very well.
Address: Amarkantak-484886, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Festivals And Activities
Narmada Jayanti, one of the important festivals of Amarkantak is celebrated of January at the time of MAkar Sankranti.
Shiv Chaturdashi is also celebrated of a grand way. Amarkantak is also known as Teertha Raj and so sadhus from all over India arrive for the festival.
Among other festivals, Nag Panchami and Kartiki Poornima are also celebrated of Amarkantak.
Promotions are done to make mountaineering attractive for the adventure lovers. Hiking, Skiing, Surfing are also famous of Amarkantak.
Sal Valley Resort, Amarkantak
Sal Valley Resort is situated of the village of Kheochi and is surrounded by abundant green sal forests. It is far away from the chaos of city life. Here people can relax and spend time with nature.
Address: Village Keonchi, Pendra Road, Amarkantak, India 491001
Sarvodaya Vishram Griha, Amarkantak
Sarvodaya Vishram Griha, Amarkantak is not only popular among Indians but also known by foreigners. There are more or less twenty rooms of the hotel. The rooms are very comfortable and have advantages like tinted walls, good beds, equipped floors etc.
Address: Narmada Temple Road, Main Market, Amarkantak, District-Anuppur, India.
The best way to travel within Amarkantak is by foot. People can hire taxis but they are not easily available and are also very costly. For visiting nearby places one can take auto-rickshaws. Fares are negotiable and they do not have meters.
Nagpur, also known as the winter capital of the Maharashtra state is also the largest city of central India. Large variety of orange fruit is grown of several orchards of and around the city and so the city is also known as “Orange City”. Nagpur also indicates the center of India being identified with the “Zero Mile” marker.
Ranchi is a picturesque town situated of the Chota Nagpur plateau. It is the summer capital of Bihar and the current capital of Jharkhand. It got the name from “Archi” which is a nagpuri word and which means Bamboo forest.
Amarkantak is not for the people who love to do shopping since it is a religious place. Spiritual photographs are mostly available here.
Horticulture Garden, which is situated 2km away from the temple on the way to Dudh Dhara has a shop. The shop sells medicines and beauty products. The products are all herbal. People can buy plant seedlings which are very rare.