Trip Report – Amarkantak, Ujjain, Indore, Omkareshwar, Maheshwar and Mandu 8th to 18

#1 Feb 23rd, 2013, 23:05
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  • saibalkrroy is offline
#1
Day 1 : Started the trip on Friday evening by Mumbai Mail from Howrah, heading towards Bilaspur. The train started in time and the journey was comfortable.
Day 2 : Reached Bilaspur two hours late, supposed to reach by 7.15AM, but actually reached at 9.15AM. We hired a car from Kolkata only and made a contract with him to show us the entire Amarkantak. The driver cum guide Mr. Anil Pradhan (Contact No.09098866989) was very friendly and enthusiastic. He waited for us at Bilaspur Rly. Station from previous night and greeted us warmly with his smile on our arrival.

Bilaspur is a busy and second most important Rly. Station of Chattisgarh and it is far off from our destination Amarkantak (One way around 118 Km). As we had two elderly members in our team, we decided to travel the entire distance by car instead of bus, though there are bus services also available from Bilaspur to Amarkantak.
It took around 4 hours to reach Amarkantak with moderate speed. Of course we took lunch break at a roadside Dhaba in between. The road to Amarkantak was good with around 22 Kms runs through Achnakmar Tiger Reserve. However we could see only monkeys on the way.

After reaching Amarkantak we checked in at Sri Ramkrishna Kutir. It is a good Ashram cum rest house. Rooms were pretty good with big attached toilets. The place was around 2 km away from the main attraction Narmada Udgam and it is on the way from Jabalpur/Bilaspur to Amarkantak and therefore frequent buses are available from Sri Ramkrishna Kutir to Bus Stand which is around 1Km away from the temple.

However as we had Anil and his BOLERO, he took us to temple and showed us Narmada Udgam Temple and Cluster of Ancient Temples at Amarkantak same day. We decided to pay our Pujas next day after taking dip at Narmada Kund.
Came back to Sri. Ramkrishna Kutir and took part in the evening prayer held there. It was really fascinating and we enjoyed it very much. After the prayer, Prasad was served at 8pm and we went to bed after taking food.
Day 3 : We got up at 5.30am next day with sound of conch. Later we came to know that it is daily routine at Ramkrishna Kutir to welcome dawn by conch sound. Morning Prayer started thereafter. After prayer we took our baths and got ready for Anil to take us to Narmada Udgam Mandir. As committed yesterday Anil came sharp at 8AM and took us to the temple. We offered Pujas after taking holy dip and purchased two coupons worth Rs.51/- each for Prasad. We then took breakfast and started our sightseeing at Amarkantak – Kabir Chabutora, Arandi Ashram, Kapil Dhara, Dudh Dhara, Jain Temple, Durga Mandir (Waterfalls), Mai Ki Bagiya, Sri Jantra Temple etc and came back to Sri Ramkrishna Kutir at 6pm. Again took part in evening prayer and got Prasad at 8pm as usual and went to bed.

Day 4 : We planned to take transit from Amarkantak to Pendra Road wherefrom we would proceed to Ujjain. Anil again came at 8am and took us to Pendra Road via Jaleshwar Mahadev and Amareshwar Mahadev Temple. I will never forget the breakfast we took with hot samosa amd tomato chutney. The dish was really splendid. Reached Pendra Road at 10AM, took lunch and take the train to Ujjain.
Day 5: The train ran very late and reached Ujjain after 4 hours of its scheduled arrival. Checked in Hotel Sri Radhey, very nearby to Rly. Station and Bus Stand and went out for local sightseeing by hiring a cab . Covered all the places like Sandipani Ashram, Mongalnath Temple, Harsiddhi Temple, Gar Kalika temple, Kal Vairab Temple, Varthahari Cave, Ramghat, Sipra River and ofcourse the main attraction – MAHAKALESHWAR temple. It took around 4 hours to cover all the places. We wehe lucky that there was not much devotees at MAHAKALESHWAR temple. The tour was very nice. Security arrangement at MAHAKALESHWAR temple was very tight, but the Q was steady moving. The car charged us 1000/- bucks to cover all the spots. Came back to Hotel, took rest.

Day 6 : At 10AM checked out from hotel of Ujjain and proceeded for the bus stand which is just stone throwing distance from our hotel. Took a bus and started journey to Indore. It took just two hours and the fare was Rs.48/- per head. Reached Indore at 12 O’clock. Checked in at Hotel Crown, nearby Rly. Station and Sorbet Bus stand at Indore and took our lunch at SRI GURUKRIPA. The food station was so crowded that we need to wait for half an hour. At evening went to Cloth market of Indore, have a stroll around the market and did some shopping.
Day 7 : This day we had plan to visit Omkareshwar and Maheshwar. Started at 9AM from Indore and reached Omkareshwar at 11AM. Omkareshwar is an island and is connected to mainland by a newly built bridge. Only pedestrians are allowed on the bridge, we crossed the river and went up to Omkareshwar temple. It is a three storied temple with Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga in the middle. We paid puja by standing in a queue. The total process took nearly and hour and we then started to Maheshwar after taking lunch at a roadside dhaba. It is around two hours ride from Omkareshwar.

Maheshwar is on the bank of mighty Narmada river and is famous for its Maheshwar temple and Fort. The fort was built by renowned queen Ahalya Bai Holkar. The beauty of Narmada river and the fort is worth seeing. We paid Puja at Maheshwar temple and strolled around the fort for two to three hours. Then got down to the banks of Narmada and took a boat ride to a temple amid Narmada. Maheshwar is also famous for its finely woven Maheshwari Sarees. Prices are obviously exorbitant here. Came back to Indore at 8pm.

Day 8 : We planned for Mandu trip this day. But unfortunately due to tension at Dhar for Sarswati Puja and Namaj at Bhojsala, the road to Mandu were blocked by Police and we could not proceed to Mandu despite our repeated efforts. At last we gave up and decided to spend the day at Indore only strolling around the local market.
Day 9 : We started for Mandu at 9AM sharp. The road was smooth today and we reached Mandu by 12noon. We started our Mandu visit with Roopmati Pavallion. It was really a gorgeous place and we enjoyed it very much. Roopmati Pavallion is the highest place at Mandu and Rani Roopmati used to take darshan of holy Narmada from there. Baz Bahadur Palace, just a kilometer away from the Pavillion is another architectural marvel. Mandu is famous for its water works and pools which is seen at both the places. However we were simply stunned to see the pools at Jahaz Mahal and Champa Boudi (nearby Hindola Mahal) which were really fantastic. At around 1500 AD Bathing Pool at Roof! Really unbelievable. We saw Jami Masjid and Hosang Shah’s tomb also there. Another attraction of Mandu is Neelkanth Mahadev which is around 400 stairs down the road level.

After seeing all these we started for Indore at 4pm, reached there at 7pm and we had train to Howrah same night.
saibal
#2 Feb 24th, 2013, 00:12
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  • asishdas is offline
#2
Hi Saibal!
Nice, crisp and short TR. Very enjoyable. Can you please break up of cost on transportation, hotel, food etc. etc. ? Thanks.
#3 Feb 24th, 2013, 08:30
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#3
Hi Sir,

During our Amarkantak trip, we hired Mr. Anil Pradhan and he took Rs.5500/- for the total journey. It includes taking us to Amarkantak from Bilaspur Station, sight seeing at Amarkantak next day and dropping us at Pendra Road again next day. At Amarkantak Sri. Ramkrishna Kutir Charged us Rs.800/- per room with geyser facility. For fooding they asked for donation and it seems there is no fixed cost for the same.

At Ujjain we hired the hotel @ Rs.700/- per room per night. The local sight seeing was Rs.1000/- by car.

At Indore we hired the hotel again @ Rs.700/- per room per night and the car charged us Rs.6/- per km for at least 250 kms per day. Thus we paid around Rs. 4000/- as car hiring charge at Indore.

Thanks,
#4 Feb 24th, 2013, 18:22
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  • kol2012 is offline
#4
Hi Saibal,

Nice to read.....and informative.....

Can you please provide

(a) the contact details of Sri. Ramkrishna Kutir at Amarkantak.

(b) I suppose that the room type (Amarkantak) must be double bedded. Do they have triple-bedded rooms and tariff, if available to you.

(c) Any idea of alternate accommodations at Amarkantak.

Thanks...
#5 Feb 24th, 2013, 18:37
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
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@ Kol - you may get these details about Amarkantak in my Bastar TR (in my signature). There's a way to book Ramakrishna Ashram from Calcutta itself. If Ramakrishna Kutir doesnt work for you Sarvodaya Ashram was the second preferred place by other families (there were very few tourists when I went). There's also an MPTDC motel but that's expensive. Here's the relevant page: http://www.indiamike.com/india/off-t...tak-t156117/7/

@ mr Roy - Is Anil Pradhan driving a white bolero and is he a lean, dark man with moustache. I think he dropped me back from Jain Dharamshala to Pendra Road station. He is a very plesant person indeed. Did you happen to visit Ram Janardhan temple at Ujjain?

Edit: I checked my TR and indeed, it looks like you ended up riding with the same Anil Pradhan as the phone number matches
#6 Feb 24th, 2013, 19:00
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#6
Gone through your TR vaibhav_arora......nice and very informative.....excellent snaps too.
#7 Feb 24th, 2013, 22:00
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  • Duronto Jajabar is offline
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Saibal,

A nice short trip report. Informative too. We also reached Amarkantak via Achankamar (after a night's chilling experience) and loved the road. Kabir Chabutara was on the way, I think.

Post some photos too.

aamar payer tolai sorshe...(I have wheels under my feet)
#8 Feb 25th, 2013, 08:25
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  • saibalkrroy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post @ Kol - you may get these details about Amarkantak in my Bastar TR (in my signature). There's a way to book Ramakrishna Ashram from Calcutta itself. If Ramakrishna Kutir doesnt work for you Sarvodaya Ashram was the second preferred place by other families (there were very few tourists when I went). There's also an MPTDC motel but that's expensive. Here's the relevant page: http://www.indiamike.com/india/off-t...tak-t156117/7/

@ mr Roy - Is Anil Pradhan driving a white bolero and is he a lean, dark man with moustache. I think he dropped me back from Jain Dharamshala to Pendra Road station. He is a very plesant person indeed. Did you happen to visit Ram Janardhan temple at Ujjain?

Edit: I checked my TR and indeed, it looks like you ended up riding with the same Anil Pradhan as the phone number matches
@ Vaibhav - Yes he is the same Anil Pradhan. I contacted him only after getting his phone no from your report. He is really helpful and punctual. No boss I have not visited Ram Janardhan Temple at Ujjain. It is not at all listed in the schedule also.
#9 Feb 25th, 2013, 08:27
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duronto Jajabar View Post Saibal,

A nice short trip report. Informative too. We also reached Amarkantak via Achankamar (after a night's chilling experience) and loved the road. Kabir Chabutara was on the way, I think.

Post some photos too.

@ Duranto Jajabor - Yes, you are correct. I shall definitely post some photos afterwards.
#10 Feb 25th, 2013, 17:31
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#10

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