Amarkantak – The Source of River Narmada

Amarkantak is one place which was in my to-go list since long. Finally, I could make it happen when my friend Manoj Jain invited me to his place Jabalpur. We decided to do a one-day drive to Amarkantak.

About Amarkantak
Amarkantak is a pilgrimage known for the source of the river Narmada – the fifth largest in India. Located in Madhya Pradesh at an elevation of 3500 feet. Relatively remote, the nearest railway station is Pendra road, 48kms from Amarkantak. There are road connections from Jabalpur, Kati and Pendra.

The small town is surrounded by dense forests and three mountain ranges – Vindhya, Satpuras and Maikal . The Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary is just 40kms from here. With links to Kanha National Park, it is a part of the Kanha-Achanakmar Corridor

Amarkantak finds a mention as Amrakoot in the masterpiece – Meghdoota by poet Kalidasa.

It was August – the time of monsoon. How successful a trip is going to be totally depends on the weather. As Im always lucky, I wanted to take my chance.

The Drive

It was a lovely drive through lush green countryside passing through villages. Most of the roads were in good shape.

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There are lots of pilgrims who cycle or walk the whole stretch of 3500 km by  Narmada river. Its quite a rigorous walk and takes about 3 months. Its a religious journey and some people do it without carrying any money.

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The Main Temple – Narmada Udgam Temple and Around

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A statue of Narmada. Indian’s regard the rivers to be at the status of Gods, probably because they give water and fertile lands on the banks. Most of the Indian gods have a ‘vaahan’ or vehicle and for Narmada goddess, its the crocodile.

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There is this statue where everybody tries to pass through to get blessings and get their wishes fulfilled.
It was really an interesting experience to see this man making it to the other end.

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The kund, believed to be the source of the river Narmada. This was established by Sankaracharya.

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Pilgrims carry water from one end of the river to the other end to offer in the temple.


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Ancient Temples of Kalachuri or the Amarkantak Group of Temples

Built around 8th century by the Kalahari King Karna Deva. The main temples in this complex are the Pataleshwar temple, Shiv temple and Karan temple.

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Being rich in forest area, this place is home to several exotic plants and herbs. You can see a lot of road-side shops selling these yeilds.

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The Shri Yantra Mandir

Situated amid serene surroundings, this temple looks a bit different from the conventional temples and was built much later.

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On the way to Kapil Dhara, we passed by this temple – Sonakshi Siddh Peeth

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There are lots of monkeys here and they are always keeping a close watch on the hands of the pilgrims. Anything tempting will be under their possession in no time.

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The view from Kapill Dhara – lush green and dense forests all around.

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The Kapil Muni ashram and temple

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Then we went to Mai ki bagiya, a temple.

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Then came the most interesting part of the trip – the Doodh Dhara Waterfall. We had to walk for about a kilometer from the parking.

This blind man was singing and playing his instrument. After talking to the people around, we came to know that be has been in the same place for decades.

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We passed through some beautiful places to reach the waterfall.

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This monkey was trying to frighten me but was himself shocked by my reaction.

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After a steep descend through a narrow path, we finally reached the foot of the waterfall.

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It was such a heavenly place.

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It was time to try a shot with my ND400 filter.

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After sometime, dense clouds filled the sky and it started raining heavily. While I looked for a shelter to protect my equipment, my friends had a great shower in the rains.

It was time to go back to Jabalpur after the awesome trip.

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Thanksgiving
Thanks to my friend Manoj Jain for taking me to this beautiful place and for the great hospitality during my stay in Japalpur.


Thank you for reading this post. Hope you liked spending time here. I will be back again with another interesting place.

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This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.
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