Nature around us is mostly about the mountains, seas and forests. We think of nature and most naturally one of these imageries is created as we start to think about it. Their abundance around us makes it even more obvious. We think of the altitudes from where we atop the whole world, we think of the oceans and sink deep into an inner world and we think of forests and start forgetting the rest of the world. There is a harmony that we recreate every time we get close to the nature.
But nature sometimes is different. It is more than its harmony and its beauty. It is astonishing, bewildering and charismatic. It is beyond the definition of uniqueness. It is some form of natural phenomenon whose existence widens our eyes and expands our horizon. We are simply left with an expression “Wow, does this exist in real? “
The white marble rocks of Bedaghat in the heart of India is one such natural phenomenon. Having extensively traveled in India, I have a fair idea of the topography of different regions, but Bedaghat was a lot more than a surprise. What is even more surprising is that despite the extraordinary beauty, it is still one of the unconventional and untouched tourist destinations. While it may look like a picnic spot for the local tourists, it is yet not placed eminently on the global tourist map.
So what is Bedaghat really? What makes it a natural phenomenon worth visiting? And why should you be visiting this place at a particular time of the year?
Bedaghat is a tiny tourist destination, about an hour’s drive away from the city of Jabalpur in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Nauka Vihar, as they call it is on the banks of river Narmada which has the unique view of the river that manages to flow between the gorges formed between the giant white marble rocks that have been in this place since forever. The history of these rocks go beyond the history of mankind and the depth of the river here is yet unknown to mankind. What is amazingly unique about these rocks is that they are white and they shine bright on the moonlit nights.
These rocks are huge enough to be categorized into hills but they are essentially made out of marble and you can see the carvings in many a places which now also have mythological attuning. The best and the only way to explore the grandeur of these rocks is to hop on one of the wooden & rustic rowing boats and take a ride with the local oarsman. What is more surprising than the view is the creativity of these guys who know all about these rocks. With their song and their view of these rocks, this one hour of boat ride will be a sheer entertainer. They do the narration in Hindi, so you would enjoy only if you know the language. Else, the serenity of these rocks will keep you wonderstruck anyway.
There is also a display of bravery in this place. The local kids climb up the cliff and jump into the river fearlessly. What is risk for us is an adventure for them; a quick, unthoughtful and silly adventure done for a small amount of money. At times, this is what India is made up of – poverty and strength.
The breeze through the gorge caresses you even on the sunny days. The water is still but the ripples keep coming as they row the boat. The sky is clear and bright blue, but now I am curious how it would be on a full moon night; pretty romantic and soulful. The foreplay of clouds and the moon is always more attractive than that with the sun. The darkness will disappear as these rocks would illuminate under the moonlight. The experience of nature in that setting would elate the soul, I can already imagine.
Though there is no visible end to this gorge, it finally meets the Dhuadhar waterfall which is a few kilometers away from Nauka Vihar. The tourists can access only a small part of this gorge, where many of the eighties Bollywood scenes have also been shot. The trip to Jabalpur can be easily summoned in a day, where you should not forget to try the local street food of Jabalpur.