Sep 27, 2012

Cities- Jabalpur

I had heard about Jabalpur as a base for higher education and Kanha National Park. Never knew anything much about it. I had some time when in Indore, I did an internet search some evening and was surprised to know there are many beautiful places in and near the city. Jabalpur is well connected by bus and train. I was at Pachhmarhi and so decided to take a train from Piparia to Jabalpur (about 170KM) and found a decent budget hotel with the help of autorikshaw driver. The hotel restaurant food was great.

Sep 24, 2012

Hill Stations- Pachmarhi

Pachmarhi is the only and beautiful hill stations in Central India. It is popularly known as Queen of Satpuras and lies inside the Satpura Biosphere Preserve. At an altitude of 3500ft the little town is a tourist retreat and bustling with tourists, touts and has a strong presence of Army base. Pachmarhi is 144KM from Bhopal, capital city of Madhya Pradesh.

Sep 20, 2012

Off the beaten track- Udaypur, Somanath of East

Off the beaten track ... the places on the less traveled path. There are numerous such places in India, specifically ancient temples and forts. One of those gems is Udayeshwar, also known as Neelakantheshwar temple in Udaypur, Madhya Pradesh. The place is around 90KM from Bhopal perfect for daylong excursion. The 11th century AD temple is one of the finest examples of Paramara Architecture. This functioning  temple is sometimes called as Somnath of East for its architecture.

Sep 17, 2012

Back on Memory Lane- Lassen Volcanic National Park

Back on Memory Lane again ... Couple of years ago, in September I visited the Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. It is not as popular as Yosemite or Grand Canyon but, it is abundant in history and natural wonders. Since then I visited this park 3 more times and hiked most of the trails. It keeps coming back to memory because here is the first time I saw a volcanic cinder cone, I saw the boiling pots, the water green with acid! In later years I saw much better places but, first time is something ... Right now, I am in California, USA ... just touring around ... visited Lassen again! Thought of posting a comprehensive report on all trips together!

Sep 13, 2012

Off the beaten track- Gyaraspur

Gyaraspur is a small town (or a big village) 35KM from Vidisha. It has few medieval period monuments of great historical importance. It seems a fair is held on the eleventh month (Maagh) of Hindu calendar and hence the name Gyaraspur. I took a bus from Vidisha and reached the place after 1.5 hours. All the monuments are at walkable distance from the bus stand. 

Sep 10, 2012

Off the beaten track- Vidisha

(Udayagiri Caves- Varaha saving Bhoo Devi)
Known as Bhelsa during the medieval era, Vidisha is now a small city 76KM from Bhopal. The ancient town Besnagar, ruled by Emperor Ashoka is 3KM north of present day Vidisha. All interesting ruins, monuments and historical structures are around this area. Udayagiri Caves, at a distance of 4KM from the Vidisha city,  are the major attraction here. These caves are extensively carved and have the inscriptions dating back to Gupta period.

Sep 6, 2012

Heritage- The great stupa of Sanchi

Sanchi is a sleepy small village 46KM from Bhopal, the state capital of Madhya Pradesh. I took a private bus from Bhopal. I could see the majestic stupa from far away on the 91m high hill. Took a budget hotel near to the railway station which is really very clean and the tea is fantastic! The place is run by an ex-Army man and his family. If you are very bored he is a good company to talk to.

Sep 3, 2012

Off the beaten track- Bhojpur

Bhojpur is a small village popular for the 11 century AD Bhojeshwar temple. The temple houses one of largest Shivalings in India. The Shivalinga is 5.5m tall carved out of a single rock. The temple is functioning but is an incomplete building. The local legend says that Raja Bhoja wanted to build this temple in 24 hours (info from my guide)And that is the reason it is incomplete. They could build only this in 24 hours. But, the history says something else. The interiors of the temple have rich carvings. The high dome is supported by four massive pillars. The ceiling has beautiful carvings. The outer walls and the spire were never built.