maa reva – Part 1

maa reva – narmada. Image Courtesy

Narmada is also called as Reva. It is revered as ‘Maa'(Mother) owing to the fact that it is a giver of so many virtues to Madhya Pradesh. Agriculture and tourism in Madhya Pradesh thrive due to Narmada.

Narmada in Madhya Pradesh flows through the following places – Anoopur, Dindori, Mandala, Jabalpur, Narsinghpur, Harda, Hoshangabad, Omkareshwar-Khandwa, Khargone & Barwani.

Lets travel along the Narmada via these places.

1. Anoopur : District where Narmada originates. A very important town for pilgrims. Lot of temples and a few waterfalls. Anoopur cultivates Drumsticks, Strawberries and also Pears. Every year on Shivratri(Annual Hindu festival dedicated to lord Shiva), the town of Amarkantak in Anoopur hosts pilgrims from all parts of India.

Mahashivratri in Amarkantak
Image Courtesy – MP Government

2. Dindori: Dindori is a happening place! It has a Fossil park which is host to plant fossils 65 million years old. It is also home to a national human tribe – Baiga tribe. Baiga tribe is known for their culture of tattoo in women. They call tattooing ‘Godna’ here. If you speak ‘Hindi’ language, you know the word ‘Godna’ is also used in hindi. Words can travel thousands of kilometres !

Image Credit – Alain loss (Flickr)
Also famous for their paintings – Gond paintins. Picture Credit –

All this and much more – a couple of waterfalls, a deer natural park and a beautiful school. Dindori has no railway lines. So the tribal population, especially the kids, have never seen a train. A school in Dindori has tried to paint its classrooms and corridor look like a train on a railway station 🙂

3. Mandala

Mandla has the largest National Park in the central India – Kanha Tiger Reserve. This is the same National Park that features in Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel – The Jungle Book. Mandla also has 2 forts – Ramnagar Fort and Begum Mehal built under Gond rulers. Mandala also has a hot water well. According to local people, the water can cure several skin diseases.

Mandla also has a local cuisine – Kodo-Kutki kheer – a pudding originating from the villages of Mandla.

Image Credits –
Deers spotted at Kanha National Park

4. Jabalpur:

Jabalpur is a big city. Apart from being a lively city with thriving population, it has some places of historical significance as well.

Narmada Ji at Bedhaghat in Jabalpur
Image Credit : Wikipedia

Dhuandhar Falls : It is in Jabalpur that Narmada gets all charged up and transforms into ‘Dhuandhar’ waterfalls ! With all the endowments that Narmada makes to Madhya Pradesh, tourism is just an icing on the cake. Jabalpur is thronged by the tourists from everywhere to relish this picturesque place.

St. Aloysius Senior Secondary School : Its one if the oldest schools in India. Started in 1868.

Central point of India : Geographically, a village in Jabalpur district is at the center of India.

Ordinance Factories : Jabalpur has ordinance factories where ammunition for armed forces is manufactured.

Tropical Forest Research Institute : The institute researches on Forest Management in the tropical regions. It primarily focuses on forests in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh & Maharashtra.

Kali Mandir : 108 feet statue of Goddess Kali.

5. Narsinghpur:

Named after Lord Narsingh, the district is famous for its large temple of Lord Narsingh – incarnation of Lord Vishnu with a lion’s head. Apart from Narsingh temple, there are other places of religious importance as well. One such place is Barman Ghat. Its on the bank of Narmada river and a fair is organized annually visited by people from all over India.

Glimpses of Narsinghpur. Image Credit – Wikipedia
Barman Fair
Barman Fair at night. Image Credit –

6. Harda : If you have traveled in India you must have experienced this. Late into the night, the train halts at a quiet station and you wonder ‘who is going to get down here?’ ‘who will board from here!?’. Entire station looks deserted with not even a tea-vendor in sight !

Harda is one such station. Little do you know that the same station has a bustling life during the day time. Its just that the people of Harda like to sleep well in time. 🙂

Home to several freedom fighters of India, one of the reasons Harda is famous for is Narmada River Ghat in Handia. At the opposite bank of Narmada is Nemawar. Nemawar is in another district of Madhya Pradesh – Dewas – which we will reach later.

Every week on a particular day, devotees of Lord Shiva gather at the Handia-Nemawar bank temple and worship the great lord. Be there for a day and you will get to know how devout people of Madhya Pradesh are to Narmada(Ma Reva).

Another interesting place in Harda is the village Makrai. It was a princely state during the British Raj in India. Among the Numismatics, this village is famous for its coins that were circulated by its king earlier.

Another interesting place in Harda is ‘Teli ki Sarai’. It used to be a resting place for travelers in the earlier times. Later it was also used as a military cantonment.

Handia in Harda is also the resting place for Mulla Do-Piyaza – an adviser of mughal emperor Akbar and a rival of another witty courtesan ‘Birbal’. Many historians consider Mulla Do-Piyaza to be a fictional character in the historical manuscripts. However, he is mentioned in several accounts of those times contradicting what historians believe in. There is a common non – vegetarian dish – Do Piyaza. Literally, Do Piaza roughly translates to two/excess onion. Legend has it that actual name of Mulla Do-Piyaza was Hasan. Before joining Akbar’s court he was a priest(mullah) at a mosque. Due to his excessive liking for the dish Do-Piyaza, people started calling him Mulla Do-Piyaza.

A few also believe that he wore an onion shaped turban.

Mulla Do Piyaza. Image Credit

And before we leave Harda for our next destination, below is a newspaper from Harda district. The headline mentions a recent fair that Harda hosted where a movie actor Preeti Jhangiyani performed on stage.

7. Hoshangabad: Also knows an Narmadapuram, this district is famous for its beautiful ghats (river banks).

Hoshangabad also has Panchmarhi – a hill station with highest point in Madhya Pradesh in the Satpura Mountain ranges. It also has Satpura tiger reserve.

Panchmarhi, MP. Image Credit –

Situated at a distance of around 2 Kms., Adamgarh Hills offers an exquisite art form. However the art form dates thousands of years back ! Prehistoric Age … There are paintings on the walls depicting animals like horse,deer, soldiers riding on the horseback, etc.

A few photographs in the gallery above have been taken from nearby Bimbetka Rock Shelters in Raisen district in Madhya Pradesh. If you are a rock shelter painting lover, you might want to travel to these shelters too. Its around 40 kilometres from here.

And let’s take a break here from our journey and meet in the second part of our journey along Narmada Ji / Rewa / Ma Rewa in Madhya Pradesh…… Resuming our journey in Maa Reva – Part 2.

Recommendation –

Bodil Poulsen from Denmark has been traveling extensively in the Narmada region in Madhya Pradesh. You might want to visit her website below to learn from her experiences of her travels in the region. We found some very interesting pictures on the website. Below link –

Link to Bodil Poulsen website link on Narmada.

An aerial view of Handia-Nemawar temple on the river Narmada bank.

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