During the month of March of 2011 we ( myself, my wife and my kids of age 9 years and 18months ) visited few places of Madhya Pradesh. This was wonderful trip and most importantly the entire tour happened as per plan.
We started from Howrah on 111Th March evening and reached Satna at around 4.00 PM next day. We un boarded along with all our luggage and was thinking what to do. Within one minute suddenly a mid-aged man appeared and asked politely if we need any taxi. My plan was to go Khajuraho and I asked him whether he is interested. He offered me a rate, which is fairly low than what I heard and I agreed immediately.
Our journey started in a place where we have never been before. Within 15 minutes all the traffic and buildings are gone and it is only farm land and trees alongside the road. We took 2-3 brakes in between and it was evening when we were crossing the Panna belt. The taxi driver stopped the car at a roadside temple and asked me whether we will mind if he takes 5 minutes to perform puja. I also came down and went to the temple. This was kal vairabi temple, the tantric, black coloured idol,and darkness of the surroundings made this little temple very thrilling. We reached Hotel Payal safely and had a nice sleep that night.
The taxi driver later on helped me a lot, very nice person and ‘never say no’ kind of guy he is. He is very religious minded and offers puje to most of temples which fall on his route. His name is Bachan Sing (+91-9755081900). If you want to hire a taxi for transportation in Satna-Khajuraho-Mayher-Bandhavgarh region, you can contact him. Lowest rate is guaranteed.
We spent 3 nights in Khajuraho. Visited all the temples and we visited the western group of temples ( this is the main group) twice. You will surely enjoy light and sound show in the evening. Please remember to keep some warm clothes. We didn’t have any, left the hotel around 1.00 Pm and that time it was pretty hot outside. But during the end part of the show the wind started and we were feeling very cold.
Do not miss to explore Panna, which is very close (30-40Km) to Khajuraho. You will get all the information in the website of MP tourism. But let me tell you what is not there. If you want to see the crocodile sanctuary, please leave early morning ( we missed that for wrong timing). Don’t miss Pandav Falls. You need to walk 150+ stair cases , definitely all with uneven elevation. Once you reach there is a cave, known as Pandav Cave and a deep pond surrounded by rocks. You will forget the external world. Carry as many packets of biscuit as possible. Big fishes are there, throw the biscuits in the water and just watch the show. You will find natural water ( God knows the source!!) falling through the routes and trunks of the tress, which are on the wall of the mountain on top of you. Do not miss to carry an empty bottle and taste the water. This is jari-buti pani and much better than mineral water.
From Khajuraho we moved to Bandhavgarh. Bachan Sing came to help us. He took a route which goes via Mayher. I was not aware of this temple and thanked God for sending this man to me. He encouraged me to have a darshan for Sarda Devi temple. This is on top of a mountain. It will take approximately 1 hour to reach there from the base. Don’t worry, there is ropeway too, which will take less than 10 minutes.
On the way we stopped few places and reached White Tiger Forest Lodge in the evening. Forgot to mention that the entire road was very nice for driving. It was mostly greenery but few places were barren land and no trees at all there.
Next day morning we went in the forest. Please book the permit in advance. It is Tala Gate 1 where probability of tiger viewing is maximum and chances are remote for other gates. There is some restriction of number of cars per day. Maruti Gypsy is used for the safari. With lots of enthusiasm we entered the jungle. 3 hours passed and no tiger at all. Suddenly the news came of tiger viewing. Our driver immediately rushed to that spot. We had to ride an elephant there to see the tigers. It was awesome!! We saw 3 tigers at one go. For this trip also Bachan Sing arranged the car with lesser rate which is offered by hotel.
Next day morning we left for Katni. From there we caught the train for Pipariya. It takes around 4.5 hours. Hired a car and went to Panchmarhi. It is a nice place and does not fit for a visit like what we did. You need to spend at least a week to get the charm of this place.
We took a car and started our journey towards Bhedaghat, Jabalpur. There are few hotels in Bhedaghat, but the best option is Motel Marble Rock. This is on the river Narmada. A journey by boat there is worth seeing. You will be mesmerized by the different colour of the stones/rocks. If you are a good photographer, take 2 trip, one in the morning and other in the afternoon. We took a holy dip in the river as well.
Dhuadhar waterfall is 2 Km away from there. Try to go in the second half. I went in the morning, could not take good picture due to backlight problem. Nice place .. you can easily spend 3 hours ... you can see rainbow, not on the sky but on the river
From Jabalpur we moved towards Amarkantak, one of the holiest place for Hindus. The road is excellent. This is very small town, on top of mountain. This is source of river Narmada. The environment is very nice. Please remember that non-veg foods are not allowed here and rule is strictly followed. Spent the evening in the temple and watch the prayer and puja. It is guaranteed that your mind will be refreshed.
Our journey ends here, we moved to Bilaspur by car and caught train for Kolkata.