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Old 12th November 2008, 17:53   #31
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Ramky, why a Gypsy was needed with guide while going into Panchmarhi forest area? Some dangerous wild-life..?
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Old 12th November 2008, 18:00   #32
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Absolutely fantastic travelogue Ramky. Liked your demanding Rs. 250 from the Pandas. We all face this problem when we visit famous temples.
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Old 12th November 2008, 18:18   #33
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Ramky, why a Gypsy was needed with guide while going into Panchmarhi forest area? Some dangerous wild-life..?
3 reasons. 1) The forest areas are off limits for Diesel vehicles 2) The Gypsy cartel are thick with the forest oficials, many of the Gypeys are owned by officials (as explained by the guides there). 3) Wildlife like deer, bisons, sambar are seen and rarely Leopard and tigers. Lots of trekking is involved, the guides are supposed to protect you. The monkeys around Gupth Mahadev temple are known to be very aggressive and attack people; there were hoards of them, we kept a very safe distance away as directed by the guide.

There's a new spot 100 KM off Panchmarhi, Madai Chowk, where they assure you'd see real wild tigers. In one of the photos from Dhuphgarh you'd find the winding forest road going towards Madai Chowk. They charge about 5 K from Panchmarhi for the Gypsey + 1K per person per day in the forest lodge there, my guide was ga ga about the place.

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 12th November 2008 at 18:22.
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Old 12th November 2008, 18:44   #34
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Mr Ramky, your travelogue goes into my archive and will be highly useful as and when we head off to that side.

One question though, did you chat up with guides about Patalkot?
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Old 12th November 2008, 19:07   #35
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Mr Ramky, your travelogue goes into my archive and will be highly useful as and when we head off to that side.

One question though, did you chat up with guides about Patalkot?
He mentioned once about some deep tunnels running thro the mountains going to Childwara District on the other side of the range Patalkoat, where tribals make ayurvedic medicines. Beyond that no idea about Patalkoat? Should it be on the tourist circuit?

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Old 12th November 2008, 19:24   #36
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He mentioned once about some deep tunnels running thro the mountains going to Childwara District on the other side of the range Patalkoat, where tribals make ayurvedic medicines. Beyond that no idea about Patalkoat? Should it be on the tourist circuit?
Yes thats the place, it is not on the tourist but on travellers circuit and very few people venture to that place but the more I read about that place, the more it fascinates me.

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Patalkot is 78 km away from Chhindwara. Patalkot is a home to a tribal culture skilled at using the forest plants to make effective medicines. The Patalkot forest is so well hidden that people on the outside did not even know it ever existed. The modern world has been completely unaware of its existence.
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Old 12th November 2008, 19:48   #37
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Great to read a travelogue about "Hindustan ka Dil". The road you took to Panchmari from Indore has been like that forever. For benefit of those planning a trip in MP, there is a place called Maheshwar on the banks of Narmada near Indore. This place is about 50 odd kms from Omkareshwar and it has a beautiful palace of Holkars and a beautiful fall called Sahastradhara. Also one could visit Mandav(mandu) near dhar on the way from Ahmedabad to Indore.

Somehow National Highways in MP have not improved in years and are porrly maintained. Even the road you took from Indore to Panchmari is NH59A.
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Old 12th November 2008, 20:37   #38
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It means that if one has a petrol SUV/4x4, then can do the area on his own along with the guide. I would assume the guide is mandatory. By the same rule, Madai Chowk could also be done in one's own petrol SUV/4x4?

Secondly, is 4x4 absolutely necessary ( I can understand that in monsoons) or a 2WD could also do this section?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
3 reasons. 1) The forest areas are off limits for Diesel vehicles 3) Wildlife like deer, bisons, sambar are seen and rarely Leopard and tigers. Lots of trekking is involved, the guides are supposed to protect you. The monkeys around Gupth Mahadev temple are known to be very aggressive and attack people; there were hoards of them, we kept a very safe distance away as directed by the guide.
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Old 12th November 2008, 21:01   #39
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Very very nice travelogue! I really enjoy seeing all the pictures and places that are behind your story! Looks like a great trip.
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Old 13th November 2008, 10:20   #40
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
It means that if one has a petrol SUV/4x4, then can do the area on his own along with the guide. I would assume the guide is mandatory. By the same rule, Madai Chowk could also be done in one's own petrol SUV/4x4?

Secondly, is 4x4 absolutely necessary ( I can understand that in monsoons) or a 2WD could also do this section?
Yes, anyone with a petrol 4X4 SUV can do it on his own with a mandatory guide. Yes, Madai Chow also can be done with own SUV / 4X4.

In some sections which the forest officials specify, 2wd petrol gypsey are allowed, in some sections, like in Bandhavgarh road up to the Fort, the forest SENIOR OFFICER allow only 5 4X4 gypseys (the latest mpfi 4X4 ones and not the older ones) AFTER TESTING, they physically validate that the driver can drive up by sitting in front with him, its a dangerous road up there.

I also saw DIESELS 4X4 inside forest at Bandhavgarh, more when I come to the story.

=======
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Old 13th November 2008, 10:46   #41
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Arrow Jabalpur & Bhedaghat

Here comes the next instalment........ Jabalpur, Bhedaghat.
==============

29-10-2008: The visit to Bhedaghat / Marble rocks was the sole purpose of staying @ Jabalpur, MPTDC resort @ Bhedaghat overlooking Marble rocks was booked out and so we were forced to stay 30KMs away in the messy city.

Had a leasurely b'kfast, not good compared to Panchmarhi and left @ around 945am, bad roads for 30 kms by the time you reach the parking lot near the waterfall, Dhuandhar it was 1115 AM. Park and secure car and walk the 2 kms to the waterfal. The walkaways are well maintained, clean and no menace from hwakers, beggers or touts, the sidewalk shops are worth a try for marble trinklets.

What we found interesting and different are names being engraved on soft marble, Rs.5/- per letter, negotiable. They make beautiful, engraved, pure-white, soft marble plaques with names which friends & relatives would cherish, we ordered about 15 pieces on the way at a bargain price to be collected 2 hours later. We found it had a much bigger impact on friends at Ahmedbad when it was presented, it's so personalised and different, would be worth picking up there.

On a hot day, you need to backpack soft drinks and lots of water, a cap a must, for near Dhuandhar you'd get fried plenty. You can hear it from 1 kms off, one can sit and watch it whole day in a shade. The approach, railing and platform over the fall is done pretty nearly, you can get up close and personal with it, open your mouth and drink in lots of sprey!!!! It was a mesmerizing sight, seeing tonns of Narmada water thundering 30 feet down in white fury. Down stretm it goes thro. the marble rocks, cuttting deep and wide over centuries of tonnage writing natures white poetry. People do all kinds of crazy stunts, throw coins / notes (!!!) into water, jump in to take the sacred bath and tempt wicked fate bathing so near the fall. Though there are guards to ward off crazies, we found adventureous ones going too close to the brink, challenging fate. The local boys / girls / ladies / gents dive into water soon as money is thrown into water, its a sight worth seeing.

We walk back after shooting pictures, seeing the people around and walk back to the vantage point of the marble gorge on the fall side. It's a long, hot climb but not to be missed, gret photo location. We had spent almosto 90 mts without realizing how time flies and walk back to collect the marble plaques and secure it in the car. We ride out to the other side of the town, Panchavati from where boats take you thro the marble rocks. Parking there is chaotic, we generate a slot and walk down to the ghats, you'd find all kinds boat-deals there, Rs.300/- powered ones for 5 people, Rs.35 per head, 10-15 ppl, row-boats and ones with a chanopy for Rs.500/-. We sat and watched the scene for 20 minures to see what's the take like, talk to some people getting off boats after the ride and decide for the 15-20 seater row-boat which is best. It has no top to obstruct your view, it would be slower and the rowers are famous for their hilarious running Sahari of the rocks, a wise decision, we found their poetry in Hindy very good and entertaining and had the occupants laughing loudly in no time.

The ride thro. the marble-rocks is a "once-in-a-lifetime-must" and leave you dazed at the grandeur of natur's power. You can see whilte, blue, yellow and manyother colours, the guide pointed out spots where film "Ashoka" was shot, where many old hindi film stunt scenes were shot and showed many natural sculptures. There was this Gold fish shaped stone, a rock with 3 distinct faces, a Nandi shaped hillock in the middle of water and many others. They went up, I think about 2 km upstream and turned around. On the return we found many small boys on top of the rocks, almost 100 feet up, begging to jump for Rs.10/-, would need some nerve to jump off, its another sight to be seen, you just wave your hand and them, they jump and come up to to the boat for the money, we had 3 jumps. There was this deep sectio, a boy was not a good swimmer but crafty, he threw a tube, jumped in and swam on the tube, took the money, a tenner, dipped it in water (!!!!!) and stuck it to the rubber tube!!!!!!!!!!!

By the time we finish the ride, its 3 PM, we're hungry and the only place nearby MPTDC Marble Rocks. They churned out great Roti, Subjji, Raita, Pappads, Salads and white gulab jamun to top it all, tasted like honey, we were very very hungry. It would be nice to book in here, stay and explore the entire place; the rooms we checked out looked very good, the food and service tasted good, should check out economic and fine. We take slow ride back to hotel @ Jabalpur and chilled out in fron of the TV and finish with an equally slow dinner; the entire hotel had 3 groups, us, a group from Gujarat 15 people, another big group of about 20-25 people. It was fun watching their group leaders deciding dinner, we timed it, took the big group 47 minutes from the time the menu was given to decision, the children were practically asleep by the time food was served. The smaller group were pros, the decisions were already made and written down, they just handed over the paper and were earing in 15 minutes and were gone by the time we finished, real veteran travellers. Later found out that the same gorup, 3 families from Surat go out every year, we met them on the road towards Bandhavgarh in their 3 hired Innovas, at Khajuraho also, left a warm glow to see co-operative adventure in
action.
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Last edited by ramkya1 : 13th November 2008 at 11:00.
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Old 13th November 2008, 12:04   #42
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It is getting better & better and longing for more. Ramky, stop teasing; post fast; can't wait...
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Old 13th November 2008, 12:47   #43
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Really Amazing Information. Guess u had a Great time there.

I plan to drive on route Bangalore - Pench - Kanha - Bandhavgarh - Khajuraho in my next Annual Vacation as I am a BIG Wildlife Enthusiast.

Await more information.
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Old 13th November 2008, 13:03   #44
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I've always wanted to go to Jabalpur - just a little far from Hyderabad! Your pictures have inspired me anew! :-)
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Old 13th November 2008, 19:18   #45
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Ramkya
Nice travelogue. Beautiful pictures with fair comments. Most of the comments well suited too .
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