Jabalpur an ancient city in central India on the shores of the holy river Narmada and on the tributary plains the Hiran, Gour, Ken and Sone rivers. The Narmada River valley is famous for its Marble Rocks, a unique formation where the whole river flows for nearly 2 kilometers between varied coloured and tinted marble rocks with a deep water fall. Its cardinal point are 23 degree 10'N latitude and 79 degree 57' E longitude with altitude of 393 meters mean sea level.
Pleasure resort and capital of the Gond Kings during the 12th century, Jabalpur was later the seat of the Kalchuri dynasty. The Marathas held sway over Jabalpur until 1817, when the British wrested it from them and left their impression on the spacious cantonment with its colonial residences and barracks. Today Jabalpur is an important administrative, industrial and business center of MP and India. Population wise ranks 27th in the country.
Jabalpur is an industrial city with a large component of defense industry and a lot of smaller cottage industry. It is a great education center as well, with two universities, Rani Durgavati University and Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural University, and with about 30 colleges with a range of faculties.
Vinoba Bhave, the modern saint philosopher of India, christened this city as Sanskar Dhani- the capital of various cultural influences. He was impressed by its cosmopolitan character and communal harmony. The city has a sizeable population of people from Bengal, Gujarat, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and South India who live in total harmony and peace and add richness to the life in the city. One can also see the fusion of cultures in this city.
The best time to visit is September to March. Summers should be avoided. Rains are beautiful too (July to September)
Jabalpur is well connected by air, train and road.
Kingfisher Airlines operates daily flights from Delhi to Jabalpur. Indian Airlines operates flights four days a week from Delhi to Jabalpur. Their is no direct flight to Mumbai.
The national Highway (Varanasi-Kanyakumari Road NH7, Jabalpur-Jaipur Road NH12) passes through Jabalpur and there are daily bus services from Jabalpur to Nagpur, Katni, Jaipur, Gwalior, Bhopal etc.
You can rent a taxi to go to places like Bheraghat, Bandhavgarh and Kanha. These should be available at the Railway station or at the hotels. Cycle rickshaws are by far the most common means of transportation inside the city.
In order to hire local taxi for local use in Jabalpur & its near-by places visit local bus-stand or websites of Jabalpur travel agents. Before taking any taxi service it is necessary to take quotations from more than one taxi-providers and also keep in mind the credibility of Taxi provider, if is registered operator or not, service level, credibility etc. Some prominent taxi providers of Jabalpur are:
Jabalpur Travel Agents,
Bhedaghat - Marble Rocks - This small place of Jabalpur situated on the banks of river Narmada and widely famous for its marble rocks is at a distance about 25 Km from Jabalpur by road. 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. 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 lights the prominences of the middle heights; and again losing itself in the soft bluish grays 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.
Dhuandhar - The famous waterfall is located just 25 km from Jabalpur. The waterfall is known as Dhuandhar ('Dhuan' is the Hindi word for smoke) since the water droplets at the fall go above in concentrated mass and crete illusion of vapours.
Chausatyogini (Sixty Four Lady Yogis). Situated atop a hill rock and approached by a long flight of steps,the Chausat Yogini Temple commands a singularly beautiful view of the Narmada flowing through the jagged gorge of Marble Rocks (Bhedaghat). Dedicated to Lord Shiva, 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.
Balancing Rock. Jabalpur is also famous for eroded volcanic rock formations called as Balancing Rock of Jabalpur. Amazingly this rock survived even in earthquake of mag 6.5. It is said that it`s impossible to disturb their balance.
Bargi Dam. It is a multipurpose project on river Narmada. It's also a tourist spot, recently the local autorities have started a cruise boat which runs on the reservoir of Bargi dam.
Rani Durgavati Memorial and Museum. Dedicated to the memory of the great Queen Durgavati is her memorial and a museum which houses a fine collection of sculptures, inscriptions and prehistoric relics.
Kanha Kisli National Park. Jabalpur is nearest big city to this park, which is one of the biggest in India and has the distinction of the successfully implemented Project Tiger, as part of the tiger conservation program in India. Every year the park attracts large numbers of tourists for watching tigers from close proximity. The park was also the inspiration for the Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
Bandhavgarh National Park. This nearby national reserve forest has the highest density of tigers in the world, making it a good place to see a tiger in its natural habitat. It is in this valley where the white tiger was discovered.
Madan Mahal Fort. Built by the Gond ruler, Raja Madan Shah, in 1116 atop a rocky hill, the fort dominates the skyline and provides a panoramic view of the town and the country side around it.
Sangram Sagar and Bajnamath. These medieval constructions were built by the famous Gond King, Sangram Shah, between 1480-1540.
Tilwara Ghat. From where Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were immersed in the Narmada, and venue of the open session of the Tripuri Congress in 1939.
Gwari Ghat. Nearest ghat of the Namada River to have a holy dip (snan) in Narmada. There is always a small Mela present.
Khandaari Jalashay Water Works - Small wild life Reserve and a beautiful dam, one source of drinking water to Jabalpur.
Gopal Lal Ji Maharaj Ka Mandir at Hanumantal. Pushti Margiya Mandir of Lord Krishna and Radha. No mandir is like this in Mahakaushal region. No donations allowed here.Also see Hanumantal here, biggest tank (taalaab)of Jabalpur. Bada jain Mandir is also nearby.
Bade Mahaveer Ji Ka Mandir, Jain Mandir, Kamaniya Gate, and markets of Jabalpur at Bada Fawwara. Old markets and wholesale markets, all are here in nearby areas.
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There are a lot of restaurants and small road side shops that offer a lot of different varieties of food. The Chowpatti in Civic center offers different varieties of food stalls including bhels, sandwiches, dosas, chinese, etc. Prakash, a local chaat vendor is famous for his aloo-tikkis.
Navneeta, Hotel Samdareeya, Hotel Roopali Inn, Indian Coffee House, Traffic Jam and Arihant Palace are nice restaurants for dinner. For those interested in fast food, there is Cafe Coffee Day and Dominoes Pizza. You can get some the best indian -chinese food at Clock Tower and Kamling.
At nights the small vendors near Fuhara serve tasty food and desserts like Lassi, Rabri and Khova Jalebi.
However Jabalpurians(residents of Jabalpur) are often friendly and reserved to foreign tourists. If you could make a friend here, chances are high that he/she will invite you to their home for food. Depending upon their social, educational and spiritual beliefs, the cuisine will differ considerably. In more noble families, smoking and drinking is considered as strictly "No-No", the youngesters could help you out. Again drinking below the age of 18 is not allowed. Infact drinking is seen as immoral for most of the well-educated families. For sure, the food in the city dwellings will not leave you unsatisfied.
Most of the residents work in government institutions which have their guest houses. These guest houses are also called as Rest houses and are comfortable places to pass the night. Again, finding a local friend is most helpful as they would be willing to let you stay in their house for few days/nights. This way it is easier to see the country life here.
The city is close to following places of interest:
Kanha Kisli National Forest
Pench National Forest
While inside the city, you might want to visit :
Queen Durgavati's Fortress (A brave Gond Queen)
Bhedaghat, a natural waterfall amidst marble rocks.
Watching a Bollywood movie in local theatre(with your local friend(s)).
Tripuri Jain Temple - This is not entirely a religious place, but one of the places to find Jains practicing their beliefs. Like Amish people in USA, Jains believe living their life very simply, sometimes in scanty clothes too.
Shaheed Smarak, a palace built in the heart of the city.