Exploring the Heart Of India
Satpura ki raani dekho. Bhopal rajdhani dekho. Hindustan ka dil dekho.
Ever since I saw the Hindustan ka dil dekho ad years ago, the jingle has become a permanent fixture in my memory and is one of the first things I remember when I come across anything related to Madhya Pradesh. The ad with a bioscope of diverse images, from the tiger to the Bhimbetka caves, always made me curious about the Heart of India.
It wasn’t until recently that I had a chance to travel to the state with Madhya Pradesh Tourism. And what a journey it was! Let’s take a look back at the highlights from my 5-day trip.
DAY 1: Dubai – Delhi – Bhopal
For most of you who don’t know, I work in Dubai. So it was quite a journey for me to get to the #HeartofIndia. After spending a day in Delhi, I took a flight at the crack of dawn to Bhopal, a place I did not know much about and I looked forward to exploring it.
Day 2: Arrival in Bhopal
I kept looking out the window during my hour-long flight. I had no idea how beautiful the monsoons could be from an aerial view and my flight emerged from a never-ending blanket of clouds over evergreen trees. And I swear I could smell the rain touching the soil from my seat!
After touching down, we crashed at The Palash Residency to freshen up and have breakfast. I couldn’t wait to explore Tawa situated in the Satpura National Park. Driving through mist, rain, and green trees, we reached our destination. The drive was definitely one to remember! The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and the sights only made it better!
The Tawa Dam and Reservoir seemed just the right place for a monsoon getaway. The serene views of the Narmada seemed to slowly calm me down and I could take my time to soak in the natural beauty. The beautiful backwaters accentuated the best parts of monsoon. The fresh air provided an escape from the city life and I forgot about Dubai for a while.
We had lunch at the Tawa Resort and then left for Bison Resort in Madhai where we stayed at night. The surrounding greenery would make you wonder about everything that’s wrong with our lives in concrete jungles.
Day 3: Exploring Madhai and Pachmarhi
Every place on the itinerary was unexplored territory for me and I couldn’t wait to explore them all. Monsoon drives are always refreshing and they are even better through evergreen forests. The trees seemed to have acquired aglow with the constant drizzle.
Pachmarhi, also known as the queen of the Satpura mountain range, is an enchanting hill station in the state. I was finally in the mountains in the monsoons. What more could I ask for? This trip was turning out to be simply awesome.
In Pachmarhi, we visited the Pandav Caves and the Jatashankar temple. It is believed that the five Pandava brothers stayed in the caves during their exile. After this, we visited the beautiful Christ Church, where I zoned out for a reasonable amount of time, picturing myself reading a book under a tree with the clouds to keep me company.
We also had a chance to see Bee Fall that sees a straight water drop of 35 meters! It’s a sight to behold. We enjoyed the fall that greeted us with showers of cold fresh water.
I wish I never had to leave the place but there was much more to explore.
Day 4: Pachmarhi- Patalkot- Tamia
After the spectacular mountains, we left for Patalkot. We enjoyed a bit of sunshine and caught a break from the continuous rains.
The first destination was Priyadarshini point, a very popular vantage point discovered back in 1857 with views that give a tough fight to the famous Grand Canyon. It was just a lot greener with mist floating just above. There’s plenty of opportunity for anyone seeking creative inspiration here.
Madhya Pradesh also has a rich religious legacy. We visited numerous temples during our trips. One of the most significant ones was the Gupt Mahadev Mandir, which perfectly represented Madhya Pradesh in terms of caves, culture, traditions and belief. You reach the holy place after wedging yourself through narrow caves that open to moist deep crevices of rock. With the ongoing monsoons, they were studded with spots of green.
After gathering blessings and taking in view of the valley, we left for Tamia.
Day 5: Tamia and back to Bhopal
After another beautiful drive, we enjoyed a fun evening at Tamia. We went to another temple where we met a saint who had some valuable life lessons for us. We were glad to have visited this hidden treasure where we felt more connected with ourselves. After a good shopping spree and learning more about herbal remedies, we left for Bhopal.
There was a lot I experienced during these five days. But I know completely exploring Madhya Pradesh would take much longer. I left the place with a promise to come back to learn and experience something new.