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Old 27th February 2015, 16:33   #1
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Post In the Heart of Incredible India

Prologue


May 2014 : Somewhere on NH7 between Nagpur and Jabalpur
A friend of mine from Bangalore, Madhu decided to take a holy trip to Varanasi in his Punto. He asked me whether I can join him enroute and I happily said yes to it. He started solo from Bangalore for Varanasi while I travelled on a South bound train from Bhopal to join him at Nagpur. After crossing Pench / Rukhad, Madhu, a Santosh Sivan fan, asked me, "Is it true that parts of Asoka movie was shot in Madhya Pradesh". I said yes I have heard of but not sure about locations.
Another question from Madhu, "I have heard Dantewada Forests in Chattisgarh are very dense and unique and they have some lime stone caves" ?
This was a total bouncer, in spite of being born and bought up in Chattisgarh and resident of Madhya Pradesh, I was not aware of it.
Madhu was unstoppable that day, "What is the best time to visit forests of this region?"
I replied again "Winters are good but either October or February would be best, roads will be clear of fog and climate will be pleasant."
Madhu "OK so February 2015 it is"
Now this was a complete shocker. Not that I was against the idea but planning a trip 9 months in advance was difficult that too when a major trip was already planned for later part of 2014. My simple reply was lets see.
I was not ready to commit, had already done a 5k trip with family in February 2014 to Bangalore, Mysore and Goa. A short trip during Holi to Udaipur and above all my dream trip to Ladakh was all set to take place in September. Finances, Leaves and certificate from friends for being sane was pre requisite before I commit anything for February 2015.

December 2014
I was in Raipur for my school reunion and because of year end had few days in hand. Enquired with Localities some nice place to spend a day or two. Chitrakote falls in Chattisgarh was unanimously recommended by my friends. I immediately remembered my conversation with Madhu. Both of us have shared location on g+ so just out of curiosity I checked his location. I was surprised to see that his last updated location was 3 hours back and that was Bhimavaram in Andhra. I immediately called him up telling him I am going to a exotic place near Dantewada Forests and you are just 600 kms away, come over. My idea of calling Madhu was to show him Bastar forests in 2 days so that he forgets about Feb trip. In his typical tone Madhu replied, "Raajnish ...... I am already on my way back to Bangalore and I have already planned trip in Feb, so I am not coming, And even if you are going now, you have to accompany me in Feb also."


My trip to Chitrakote (also spelled as Chitrakoot) was simply awesome experience. The moment I posted pics on facebook many other friends started asking about location. As I had already realised that nothing can save me from accompanying Madhu in February, we started sharing our plans to limited friends if they want to join in.

Few Pics of Chitrakote Waterfall from my December 2014 trip

View from boat, the mist formation is magical

In the Heart of Incredible India-chitrakote1.jpg

Front View

In the Heart of Incredible India-chitrakote2.jpg

View from Top, the entire rocky surface you see in width, all that transforms into fall during monsoon.

In the Heart of Incredible India-chitrakote3.jpg

We soon got company, SatntosR from Pune and Parimal_g from Dombivalli decided to join. I was assigned to finalize itinerary. 4 people 4 different ideas and to club them in one was challenging. Madhu was clear for him its Asoka and Forests. Parimal wanted to taste good internal roads of MP so he clearly said no NH's please. Santosh not a big fan of forests wanted to have more of heritage. Last but not the least I wanted to have a all forest drive.

Chosen Locations
Its not possible to do entire MP in just one trip, and I have to choose locations and route that suits all. Madhu was coming from Bangalore and other 2 from Pune via Mumbai - Indore. We decided to keep Pachmarhi as meeting point as Pachmarhi was one of the locations of Asoka as well. Bhedaghat (Marble Rocks) near Jablapur was next location where the famous song 'Raat ka Nasha Abhi' featuring Karina Kapur was shot. To add to forests and wildlife, I added Kanha National Park. I was recommended a scenic route from Kanha to Chitrakote water falls that goes through Amarkantak (Origin of River Narmada), so Amarkantak was naturally added. Chitrakote and Kutumbsar Lime Stone caves were already dictated by Madhu so I had no option. Dantewada forest got a red flag by friends in Chattisgarh because of Naxalite activities, so that was deleted.

Final Plan
Day 0 : Evening Madhu starts from Bangalore taking NH7 and SantoshR starts from Pune
Day 1 : SantoshR and Parimal_G picks me from Ashta, we do Bhimbetka and meet Madhu at Pachmarhi. Rest of Day Pachmarhi sightseeing.
Day 2 : Pachmarhi sightseeing. End of day head toward Bhedaghat
Day 3 : After early morning sightseeing and dip in River Narmada, head towards Kanha. Target evening Safari
Day 4 : Morning and Evening Safari for tiger sighting. Late evening head towards Amarkantak
Day 5 : After early morning Visit to temple and origin of River Narmada, head south towards Chitrakote.
Day 6 : Kutumbsar Lime Stone Caves.

Last edited by rkhare : 28th February 2015 at 16:36.
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Old 28th February 2015, 10:02   #2
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Teaser


Bhimbetka Rock Shelter, Bhopal

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We camped at Pachmarhi

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Sunset Point, Dhupgarh, Pachmarhi

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Mesmerizing Dhuandhar Waterfall on River Narmada at Bhedaghat, Jabalpur

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Marble Rocks, Bhedaghat Jabalpur

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Early morning at Kanha National Park

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Gypsies in waiting at Khatia Gate, Kanha NP

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Fresh Pugmarks of the mighty tiger (whether we were able to sight or not, keep tuned)

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Inside Kanha Zone of Kanha NP

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Amarkantak : Origin of River Narmada

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First Light at Chitrakote Waterfall

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Enterance to Kutumbsar Limestone Caves, Kagner National Park

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(c) Picture of Dhuandhar Water Fall, Marble Rocks and Sunset by Madhu, rest of pictures by Parimal_G

Last edited by rkhare : 2nd March 2015 at 21:05.
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Old 1st March 2015, 12:03   #3
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The Team


Entire team having fun at Sunrise point, Dhupgarh, Pachmarhi (though at Sunset time)

In the Heart of Incredible India-team2.jpg

left to right : Myself, Parimal_G, Madhu and SantoshR


Madhusudan

In the Heart of Incredible India-madhu.jpg

In Chilling winter morning of Pachmarhi, our spiritual guru in Nirvana mood. Morning was cold and you can see Madhu's breath coming out.
Madhu, a Shiv Bhakt traveller is a crazy driver from Bangalore. He did 1L kms in 18 months on his last Punto. In his current Punto he has already crossed 60k in just 14 months of ownership. Being a Shiv Bhakt, once a year to Himalaya's is compulsory for him and most of the miles on his odo are result of his solo drives. He was the initiator of this trip and was always sure what to do and expect. Travelling with him as his co driver is always serious business, he drives, I sleep, I drive, he sleeps. Rest of the time we discuss spirituality, he as atheist and me as agnostic.


SantoshR

In the Heart of Incredible India-sant1.jpg

SantoshR drove his Red Rapid from Pune. A kid inside whose face always expressed whats going on inside him. His typical chuckle whenever he got good food or visited any place of his liking. He kept on inspiring rest of us to do Bhutan which he did last year on his Rapid.

ParimalG

In the Heart of Incredible India-pg.jpg

Parimal was our groups official photographer. He was always confused, he loves driving on good curvey road, and this trip had them in abundance. As a owner of Punto 90 hp, he is definitely another Fiat fanatic unfortunately as a co driver this time that too on Red Rapid. It was difficult for him to choose between his camera, Red Rapid or Madhu's Punto.

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I was the fourth member of this group, this trip was happening in my backyard and three of my friends were coming, so by default I was suppose to accompany them. Except Santosh, I have previously done trips with both Madhu and Parimal and I love travelling with them. After the trip I can proudly include Santosh's name in list too. Officially I was the navigator, so whichever car I was sitting, was always leading.

Day 0 : February 18, 2014

Today was the D day for everyone but me. Madhu and Santosh were suppose to start from Bangalore and Pune simultaneously at 4 pm and drive overnight. Madhu on his Tuscan Wine Punto and Santosh with his bold Red Rapid.

Madhu planned to take NH7 all the way till Nagpur, take some rest early in morning and start for drive on awesome Nagpur - Chhindwara - Pachmarhi road. Nagpur Chhindwara is a newly laid road with butter smooth surface and scenic view.

Santosh on other hand was to take Mumbai expressway, pick Parimal from his home at Dombivali, take NH3 all the way till Dewas and MPSH18 there after. Red Rapid was suppose to pick me from a pre decided Tea Joint near Ashta on Indore - Bhopal Road at 3 am.

Now this was strange, Our First Destination was Bhimbetka, which was just 35 Kms South of Bhopal, the road from Dewas to Bhimbetka goes through Bhopal, still we decided on a meeting point 90 kms west of Bhopal and that too at odd hours. Actually when I look back I feel that was wrong decision, we wasted atleast 2 hours of time, but this was to honour a request by Parimal, who wanted to drive mostly on internal scenic roads of Madhya Pradesh instead of driving on fast highways.

For me the biggest challenge was reaching Ashta at 3, the last Volvo's that leave Bhopal for Indore passes through Ashta at around 1am and first Bus starts from Bhopal at 3.30 am. Being odd hours I preferred not to disturb other fellow tbhp'ians in Bhopal by requesting them to drop me. The only option left was taking share cab that runs between Bhopal and Indore and take around 90 mins to cover the distance. So I planned going to bed early, wake up at 1, call ola cab and take share cab around 1.30.

Fortunately for me but unfortunately for Day 1 of our trip, Santosh got stuck in office and left only by 6, and their Departure from Dombivali got further delayed as they decided to take dinner at Parimals place before leaving. My new calculations were they will cross Indore around 5 am, so I requested them to wake me up once they are 15-20 kms before Indore.

Sharp 5 am I got wake up call from Santosh. booked Cab , got ready and started within 30 min of getting up. Reached shared cab stand, on time but had bad luck as I was only passenger for next 30 min. When I realized I am getting late I messaged Team Red Rapid that if they wanna honour early morning nature's call they can stop at a mid way restaurant run by MP Tourism as it has nice clean toilet. Unfortunately I lost my mobile signals midway and was not able to communicate with them. They not only stopped at Highway treat Dodi but were confused that I will be joining them there, whereas I was waiting 20 kms away. This confusion costed us another hour. But better late then never, we all started for a memorable trip at 8 am sharp on 19th February.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd March 2015 at 13:32.
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Old 3rd March 2015, 09:32   #4
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Default In the Heart of Incredible India

I knew that a MP-CG trip was being formulated, and was very keen to be a part of it. I had shown my interest to Madhu who had very willingly said "sure you are more than welcome to join". However it was going to be difficult for me, I had another trip planned exactly during that weekend to meet up a friend in Mt Abu. I waited and waited, and lo behold the Mt Abu trip was called off, then began the convincing my wife to let me go for this trip. She's generally very supportive but with an year old daughter keeping everyone on their toes my wife too was reluctant. She knew I was very keen on doing this, and she knew the rough plan, she knew we would be crossing Naxalite influenced areas and so she definitely wasn't giong to be a part of it, weighing all this she let me go. "Jaa jii le apni zindagi" was her reaction to all my negotiating.

Spoke to Madhu again and confirmed my participation, Madhu quickly added me to the Whts'app group and a few weeks later here I am writing about this epic drive that we guys had.

Fun, Roads, highways, food, conversations, politics , spirituality, and the highest common factor between all of us the love to drive.

We are going to break up this log such that you get to hear and see from the eyes of each of one us.

Day 0/Day 1 - Santosh

I started from Pune at around 17.30 18th evening which was an hour late from our decided time, and drove upto Dombivali to pick up Parimal. Because I started late, we were an hour behind and so we decided to have a quick dinner at his place and then not stop for dinner on the highway.

We began rolling at around 21.30 got fuel in Dombivali then the mileage on the Rapid was 56896 KMs. I drove for the next three hours and at around midnight we broke for tea, our plan was to keep it quick as we had to make up for lost time. Parimal took over, took him a while to figure out the dynamics of the car, since he's a punto driver Rapid though operates in the same range the handling is slightly different and the breaking as well. A few kms later he was all set but then began the nightmarish bumps thrown all over NH3. Rolled over a few, ran over a few and slowed down for a few. At around 0300 I felt the car stopping Parimal was getting sleepy and he decided to pull over for a while, however by then I was good to roll again, quick cup of tea and we were good to go. This was around 170 kms from Indore and we had to reach Astha where our from friend from Bhopal would join us.

At 05.30 we crossed over Indore, Parimal was snoring away to glory. As soon as you cross into MP the roads where Makkhan/butter smooth, a little before Dewas we turned onto the Bhopal road and was it nice or what.
Gone are the days where roads in MP were dreaded, good roads through out our trip.

A little before sunrise I woke Parimal up to check this out, it was freezing outside. The heads up display showed 12.5degrees, however the view was so glorious that I had to pull over. Its moments like these that make you appreciate a trip --
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150219_062417_hdr.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150219_062539_hdr1.jpg

Quickly made a post online about having driving dawn to dusk, I have a facebook page that I update just to ensure friends and family know where I am and what I am doing. I had set this up on a previous solo trip to Gujarat. So ya this page has my where abouts being updated to it from whenever I pull over.

So ya, clicked a few pictures soaked in the beautiful scenary and started again, this was at around 0600/06.3. We were before time and so decided to take it slow, take pictures and enjoy the sunrise. Rajnish would reach the astha Junction and around 7.30. He recommended we freshen up at - Highway Treaty Dodi, a facility run by MP tourism. This is bang midway between Indore and Bhopal and perfect for a break. I hear all the buses plying on this route stop here.
We had tea and we're waiting for rajnish there., I had misunderstood that he would come here. He called us up while me and pg were enjoying the nice cold MP morning to come and meet him at the astha Junction which was 10 clicks away.

Route taken -

In the Heart of Incredible India-puneashta.jpg

This was the junction where Kannod road intersects with the Indore-Bhopal road, had a nice plate full of Poha. Everyone popped their respective pills, yes surprisingly all the three of us were on some sort of medication. Had a good laugh about all of us were getting old and began driving. Our destination was Bhimbhetka and from there we were to goto Panchmarhi. Did a quick check with where Madhu was and apparently he was also running late which gave us time to visit Bhimbhetka. I had begun contemplating to call off Bhimbhetka as I did not want Madhu to wait too long for us, but knowing he was late it was perfect.

Bhimbhetka is this wonderful place where there are ancient carvings and paintings going back 10,000 years. This road goes through a sea of small villages and come out near Hosangabad, and without a doubt these caves were awesome.
We initially contemplated on whether to pick up a guide, but you know these places they have a story to tell and without a guide its no fun. So we negotiated a bit and began our quick tour of the place. We had about an hour to spend here, so that we could have some time for lunch and then reach Panchmarhi right about the time when Madhu reaches.

Here's few pics -

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Our very first selfie of the trip -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150219_115608.jpg
The car rests while we checked out the caves -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150219_120134.jpg

Route taken from Ashta to BhimBhetika -

http://goo.gl/maps/Rn6O0 -
In the Heart of Incredible India-ashtabhimbhetika.jpg

Had lunch at the yet again fancy MP tourism restaurant just outside the check post of the caves. Very decent food, lots of parking they do have rooms as well priced at approx 3000 Rs a night. Anyways by now Madhu was closing in on Panchmarhi and we had to reach there soon.

And lo behold the drive to Panchmari was freaking awesome, the ghat going upto Panchmarhi is marvelous. The entire forest range was a mix of green and yellow as leaves were beginning to wilt and we were there at around 1500-1600 perfect for the drive.

Check it out --
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150219_153150.jpg
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150219_153632.jpg

Rolling into Panchmarhi by then Madhu had already reached and was setting up our tents in the Bharat Scouts and Guides ground. We had a friend who has a friend who knew chief officer there. Quickly having left our luggage in the tent we began our drive to DhopGarh. Personal cars are not allowed beyond a check post, however because of the influence we had we could go through and it's an awesome drive up. Extreme slopes and sharp hair pin bends, it was damn easy for the punto but the Rapid faired decently as well.

DhoopGarh is a place which has the sun setting view on one side and the sun rising on the other, and with an awesome view of the Satpuda range.
A few pics from the drive upto Panchmari and then DhoopGarh -

In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150219_174205.jpg
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150219_175356.jpg

Found ourselves a nice place to eat, while we were scouting for restaurants a localite made a recommandation to goto Rasoi Dhaba and it was freaking perfect. The service was quick, the food very decent and the bill only 1100 bucks for the four of us. The dal tadka was hot as hell, Parimal almost choked but I was not going to stop with a little hot. Not everyday you eat spicy food and so gave it all I had and gulped it down, good fun. They also serve a mean chicken chilly, this was the first time Rajnish saw my "kya baat" expression.

It had been a long day indeed because for both Madhu and us we had began the previous night all the way from Pune and he from Bangalore. A minute into having crashed into our beds all of us were knocked off.

All the way from Pune :

http://goo.gl/maps/rxygw --
In the Heart of Incredible India-puneashtapanchmarhidhupgarh.jpg

Total Distance covered - 1166 kms

Day 2 - Santosh
We were to spend the day there and then leave for Bhedaghat in the night. Since there's so many things to do in Panchmarhi and so little time we decided to prioritize, to me Pandav caves were a must visit and for another Mahadev was a must visit and we had heard rave reviews about Bee-Falls. With that in mind we began first by having a nice breakfast of Parothas and Tea at one of the local shops just before the market begins.
Began our journey to Mahadev, which also was a very nice drive. Mahadev is alright, however "Gupt" Mahadev (hidden Mahadev) was more fun. There is an extremely narrow space which leads to a Shivling, at any point only 8 people are allowed inside this cave. And it can get extremely claustrophobic. On our way back our dear friend Madhu was in a spiritual mood and explained to us in detail how god resides in each one of us. We went into a deep discussion on how everything is an avatar of Lord Shiva, got ourselves a couple of Lemon juices from the local vendor. The discussion slowly shifted to how beautiful Pakistan is and it would be fun to visit some time. Which then slowly shifted to politics which then kept shifting every 10 minutes.

On our way back I drove the punto and I can now understand on why the fan following. The steering is precise, the seating is like you are in a cockpit, the low seating gives your extremely good feel of the road. The lower end torque is quite powerful. During this discussion I was able to relate why Rapid on many reviews was rated as the next best thing. With steering not as precise as Punto but much better handling than its peers Rapid isn't all that bad. With the amount of torque available at your disposable, rapid makes for sort of the next appropriate step. Anyways having driven back we stopped at a place where there is an awesome view of the valley , see below simply because I cannot begin to comprehend how I can explain in words the beauty of this place --

In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_123122.jpg

Next was the place known as Pandav caves, it was a little disappointing however the flowers in the garden were pretty awesome --

In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_125010.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_125147.jpg

In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_125938.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_130013.jpg
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We were out of there fast because we wanted to visit Bee falls and then reach Bedaghat at a decent time. Decided to have lunch again at the Rasoi Dhaba, spicy Sev-Tomato and Dal rice had changed our moods to go visit BeeFalls and we decided to begin early to Bhedaghat. Surprisingly the rain gods decided to shower us with his blessings and it began to rain, what more could we have asked for good food, good friends, lovely drive and rains.

In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_153712.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_153728.jpg

Panchmarchi sure holds many more small treasures and I am sure to visit again some time in the near future. A place to lay back and relax.

For our drive to Bhedaghat there were two options, one via a extremely scenic awesome route via Chidwara and the other via the highway. The tradeoff of the scenic route was that it would add close a 100 kms and hence we would be that much more late. This choice was left to parimal, with him leading us we would go where he decides to turn and he took the highway route. And that turned out to be a wise choice because we reached Bhedaghat at a sane time.

From Panchmarhi we had inquired about hotels in Bhedaghat and the MP tourism hotel though most strategically places was extremely pricey. Our plan was we would try and negotiate the prices and so we decided to reach there and see what happens, worst case scenario would be we would drive 30 more kms to Jabalpur and stay there the night. Jabalpur being a city has many hotels and it wouldn't be a problem there to find cheap accommodation.

A few kilometers out of Panchmarhi and we were reach a railway crossing, one side of the roads waslush green fields of wheat and the other the railway track. Me and Parimal quickly decided to get on the track for a few pictures, and man o man was it worth it. While walking back to the car me and parimal were jumping in joy saying man this trip is turning out to be fun and it was only the second day. So much more to go.

In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_164638.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_171915_hdr.jpg
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We eventually got on the North South Corridor and then turned left again onto the state highway. It was early night by then and we spotted fields being burnt after their harvest. Parimal wanted to get a few pictures, he got down with the DSLR and me with my phone. Everybody used that opportunity to rid themselves of some water weight.

In the Heart of Incredible India-img_20150220_194819.jpg

A few kilometers later we were crossing a town called GoteGaon, all of us began checkin' in. Fun...

We reached Bhedaghat at around 10.30 tried negotiating with the Mp tourism hotel to let us 4 stay in a single tent but they would simply not budge. Decided to have a nice meal there and move on, on the way to this place Madhu and Parimal had enquired at another hotel and it was cheap and perfect for the night. We just needed shelter and a bed and for 800 bucks a room it totally made sense.

We inquired about the ability to take a dip in the river and they said you will need to go early morning to the ghat down the road. Will that figured out, all of us were eager to get into our beds.

Hung around in Parmial/Madhu's room for a while and then decided to call it a night. The next day's plan was to do the Waterfall, take the boat ride and then off to Kanha.

Day 2 though the distance wasn't alot it took us a while to reach because of traffic and the number of railway crossings our sheer bad luck that almost all of them had a train crossing when we were there.

http://goo.gl/maps/i6hzt -
In the Heart of Incredible India-panchmarhibhedaghat.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 3rd March 2015 at 13:31. Reason: Merging both travelogues :)
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Old 3rd March 2015, 13:35   #5
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd March 2015, 14:35   #6
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rk i logged in tbhp after ages to say nice writeup and good going!!! Awesome pictures...
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Old 4th March 2015, 01:59   #7
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I am glued to this thread. That's the great way to be with friends, fun food and awesome memories. Waiting for the rest to come awesome write-up.
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Old 4th March 2015, 09:12   #8
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Fantastic write-up, complimented by some stunning, mesmerising pictures! It's going to be one very memorable road trip across Central India and it's hidden exotic destinations, and serve as a great guide for others who plan the same trips in the future.

Very, very eager to read the rest. Keep going, Rajnish sir & Santosh!
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Old 4th March 2015, 13:18   #9
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Fabulous writeup RK sir with a beautiful set of pictures. Your travelogue made me realize that there is so much more to explore in MP.
Sir, it's time to plan a similar MP drive with the Bhopali BHPians soon.
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Originally Posted by rkhare View Post
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He did 1L kms in 18 months on his last Punto. In his current Punto he has already crossed 60k in just 14 months of ownership.
Seriously
Madhu sir, you are probably more of a Driving bhakt than a Shiv bhakt
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Old 4th March 2015, 15:28   #10
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Awesome! Makes me feel like I was there with you guys. As Santosh rightly said, good food, friends, lovely drive and rain, what more could you ask for. And the idea of splitting the travelogue writing amongst you is inventive, waiting to see Parimal and Madhu's writeups as well! As for the places, really, MP and CG do offer good alternates to other tried and tested drives and places to visit. This gives me a good excuse to visit my in-laws place (Bhilai) more often! Chitrakoot falls seems to be a day trip, at the least will plan to do that in the short term. Maybe a wider tour of MP-CG next year, fingers crossed.
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Old 4th March 2015, 17:35   #11
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Originally Posted by Srikji View Post
This gives me a good excuse to visit my in-laws place (Bhilai) more often! Chitrakoot falls seems to be a day trip, at the least will plan to do that in the short term. .
Chitrakore is just 5 hour drive from Bhilai/Durg my birthplace. Infact if you are driving from Chennai, you can enter Chattisgarh via NH 43 that connects Vishakapatnam to Raipur. Its a beautiful road and safe to drive during day time atleast.
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Old 4th March 2015, 17:45   #12
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It was indeed an extremely exciting trip for me, like Rajnish said I was torn apart between driving Madhu's Punto, driving the Rapid and taking pictures.

Day 0 /1 - Parimal

Deep inside MP territory, this was enroute Ashta to Bhimbhetka -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9245.jpg


Wonderful state highways of MP -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9250.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9251.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9258.jpg

Rock Shelters of BhimBhetka -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9263.jpg
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9264.jpg

Ancient drawings made on the walls of the shelter -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9272.jpg

Rock shelter, was home to many a families -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9279.jpg

Notice the painting of the palm of a child -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9286.jpg
Turtle turtle fly away -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9302.jpg

Dancing Men and women -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9325.jpg

As we enter Satpuda national Park, Panchmarhi -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9336.jpg

I spend time doing what I love while Santosh looks on -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9339.jpg

Rajnish and Madhu try to capture the Sunset @ Dhupgarh -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9364.jpg

Satpuda Range -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9375.jpg

Sunset -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9390.jpg

Santosh and Rajnish walk towards the car, post sunset -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9444.jpg

Photo Shoot of the cars -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9461.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9466.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9469.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9473.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9483.jpg

Day 2 -

As we drive to Mahadev -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9498.jpg

picture of us -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9501.jpg

Bam Bhole -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9511.jpg

Path to Mahadev cave -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9515.jpg



Madhu gets into his spiritual zone outside Gupt Mahadev -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9536.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9537.jpg

As Santosh listens on -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9545.jpg

Nimbu paani, discussions and friends #perfect -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9549.jpg
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Old 4th March 2015, 18:00   #13
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Day 2 - Contd..

As we walk back to our cars @Mahadev -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9560.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9564.jpg

Drive back towards Panchmarhi from Mahadev -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9576.jpg

So for the Punto as for the Rapid earlier -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9584.jpg

Beautiful valley -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9593.jpg

Trees of the fall -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9596.jpg

Everyone enjoying the view of the valley -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9598.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9599.jpg
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9601.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9606.jpg

@ Pandav caves -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9614.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9624.jpg
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9647.jpg

The caves them selves -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9619.jpg

As we drive out of PanchMarhi, destination Bhedaghat -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9649.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9652.jpg

Green fields -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9657.jpg

Santosh -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9659.jpg

Cars waiting for the railway crossing to open -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9661.jpg

This truck driver told, why not take a picture of my truck and I replied back better I will take one of you -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9670.jpg

Waiting for the railway crossing to open -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9677.jpg

Straight as an arrow -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9680.jpg

On way our way to Bhedaghat, we ran into a lit field which is done after a harvest -
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9691.jpgIn the Heart of Incredible India-img_9694.jpg
In the Heart of Incredible India-img_9698.jpg

Reached Bhedaghat at 10.30, full of joy and it was only the second day. So much more was to come.
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Old 5th March 2015, 10:38   #14
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Chitrakore is just 5 hour drive from Bhilai/Durg my birthplace. Infact if you are driving from Chennai, you can enter Chattisgarh via NH 43 that connects Vishakapatnam to Raipur. Its a beautiful road and safe to drive during day time atleast.
Thanks for the suggestion. I am thinking of flying over to Raipur and drive to Chitrakore from there, when I visit my in laws next. Is April-May a good time to go there or should I wait for the monsoons? Driving from Chennai: I will reserve it for a more comprehensive tour of MP-CG.
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Old 5th March 2015, 15:26   #15
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Wonderful travelogue coupled with excellent narration Sir ! And describing the protagonists one by one was kind of unique .

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Bhimbhetka is this wonderful place where there are ancient carvings and paintings going back 10,000 years.
I guess you missed a 'zero'
Bhimbetka caves are one of the first documented sites that gave shelter to the proto-humans and they can be dated back to 1,00,000 years .

And the rock paintings are 30,000 years old !
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