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An overview of Amarkantak
Amarkantak is a famous hill station that is known more as a pilgrimage spot. This place is home to the famous mountain ranges of Satpura and Vindhya. Tourists come here in large numbers to see the originating points of Narmada, Son and Johila Rivers. It is not without reason that Amarkantak is known as Teerthraj, or the king of all pilgrim spots, at least in terms of the ones found in Central India. Maikal Hills is the main point of focus in this hill station. This is one of the most famous pilgrimage towns in Madhya Pradesh.
History of Amarkantak
The area of Amarkantak has a lot of historic importance as epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Upanishads and other Puranas have mentioned about Amarkantak in their tales. The River Narmada was named thus around 6000 years ago by the daughter-in-law of Mandhata, who was the Suryavanshi ruler of this place at that time. Riksh Parvat was the original name of this place. This place was so spiritual and considered sacred during the olden days that great saints like Kapila Muni, Brighu Rishi and Markandeya Rishi had set up their abodes here. The Pataleshwar Mandir that is found in Amarkantak and constructed from bamboo clumps was a result of the efforts from Adi Shankaracharya. Surajkund is the place by which tourists know this place today.
Where exactly is Amarkantak
The geographical location of Amarkantak is at 22.67 degrees towards the North and 81.75 degrees towards the East. This is situated at a height of 1048 metres or 3438 feet above sea level. This place is well connected by an excellent road network that also connects other important places like Jabalpur, Anuppur, Pendra, Shahdol and Rewa. Hindi is the national language of this hill station.
How to reach Amarkantak and local modes of transport
Air – There are no airports in close vicinity to the hill station of Amarkantak. The nearest airport is situated at a distance of 228km away. The other airport at Raipur is located at a distance of 230km from Amarkantak.
Rail – Pendra Road which is located at a distance of 17km and Anuppur at a distance of 48km away from Amarkantak are the nearest rail stations. From these stations, there are lots of cabs that drop the tourists at the hill stations.
Road – There are lots of government and private sector buses that operate from Bilaspur, Shahdol and Pendra Road to Amarkantak. Jabalpur, Rewa and Shahdol that are situated at a distance of 245km, 261km and 67km respectively away from Amarkantak have lots of bus services connecting them all through the day.
Local modes of transport – One can visit the beauty of Amarkantak by hiring cars. Details and tariffs about hiring a car are available at the
Tourism Development Corporation of Madhya Pradesh and the Chhattisgarh Tourism Board. The hill station is best visited by foot as there are no government buses that ply within the hill station.
Tourist Attractions in Amarkantak
Narmada Udgam – This is the place where Narmada River starts and is a very sacred place that has many temples in its vicinity like Annapurna Temple, Suryanarayan Temple, Durga Temple, Kartikeya Temple, Shiva Temple, Eleven Rudras Temple, Radha Krishna Temple, Ram Sita Temple, Gorakhnath Temple and many more.
Kalachuri Temples – Built around 1072 AD, these temples are known for their brilliant architecture and attract millions of international tourists every year. The most famous temples in this area are Pataleshwar temple and Machchendranath Temple.
Garden of the Goddess or the Mai Ki Bagiya – This garden is a thick green cover containing trees of banana, mango and other fruit trees. The varieties of rose plants that are found here are huge crowd pullers.
Kapil Waterfalls – Legend has it that the famous Kapila Muni had lived in this place. This place assumes lots of historical importance as Kapila Muni had chosen this place to perform lots of pujas and ceremonies. This place also houses the Kapileswara temple and a host of caves in which the ancient saints had resided during the olden days to perform severe tapas.
Kabir Chabutara – This is the most sacred of all the platforms dedicated to Saint Kabir, as it is believed that the sage spent lots of years in this place. This place is also believed to have been the exact location where saint Kabir and Guru Nanak had met and discussed many matters of spiritual importance.
Shiva Temple, Shri Jwaleshwar – This is the place where the Johila River starts. This place has a Shiva Linga that was established here by Lord Shiva himself, who also scattered many more Lingams all over the Maikal Hills known as the Maha Rudra Meru. The only other place which has the Maha Rudra Meru is Varanasi.
Things to do in Amarkantak
Trekking is an important activity in Amarkantak as the temple area is surrounded by some awesome trekking trails. People who are interested in mountain climbing find Amarkantak a hot spot for engaging in activities on their vacation. The dense jungle cover gives nature lovers ample chances for tourists to experience the wildlife reserves and the rare species of flora and fauna are found here. There are lots of tracks here for walking as well for the young and the old.
Famous restaurants in Amarkantak and local delicacies
Being a religious spot, tourists cannot find non-vegetarian food in Amarkantak. However, there are lots of restaurants here serving authentic Indian, Chinese, Continental, Thai, Italian and other foods. The holiday homes in the state are ideal choices for having food in Amarkantak as they serve excellent food at affordable prices. There are various hotels near the main temples of Amarkantak like the Srimata Sadan, Mahavir Bhojanalaya, Bajrangbali Bhojanalaya and the Maharaja Hotel. Though the hotels here do not have the ambience of a five-star restaurant, the food is awesome here. North Indian vegetarian food is available in plenty here. The main food item available here are fruits and almost all the places serve excellent fruit juices. Since the vegetables are grown on the green farmlands of the place, mixed vegetable curry is the hot favourite for tourists coming to Amarkantak. This place is also famous for all milk related by products like ghee, paneer, butter, cream etc. Alcohol is completely banned in this hill station.
Places to stay in Amarkantak
Holiday homes maintained by the Tourism Development Corporation of Madhya Pradesh is one of the best places to stay for tourists visiting Amarkantak. This is the only premium range of hotels in this place. Some reasonable budget hotels available here are Tourist Bungalow, Tourist Cottage, Sarvodaya Vishram Griha etc.
STD code, PIN and Emergency numbers in Amarkantak
The STD code of Amarkantak is 07629 and the PIN code of this hill station in 484886. The police station in Amarakantak can be found at Pushparajgarh and can be reached at 07652269440. The usual emergency contact numbers of 100,101 and 102 to reach police, fire and ambulance apply for Amarkantak respectively.
Banks, hospitals and tourist offices in Amarkantak
State Bank of India
Anuppur district, Madhya Pradesh – 484886
Ph: 07629 269445
Anuppur district, Madhya Pradesh – 484886
Ph: 07629 269421
Tourists can contact the following for accommodation purposes.
Tourism Development Centre of Madhya Pradesh
Holiday Homes, Amarkantak
Ph: 07629 269416
Manager, Chhattisgarh Tourism, Bilaspur
Ph: 07752 657050