Aqua Tourism in Madhya Pradesh
Where Beauty Flows …
Apart from verdant forests and majestic mountain ranges that gave the state it’s beautiful topography, Madhya Pradesh is also blessed with a host of water bodies that serve as lifelines for the surrounding regions. The numerous rivers, lakes and waterfalls enthral not just by their beauty but also an array of water-based activities.
Madhya Pradesh is blessed with a bounty of natural resources, and its water bodies thrill the novices and the more intrepid explorers alike. The two major rivers Narmada and Tapti flow westward through the state towards the Arabian Sea. Major tributaries such as Chambal, Betwa, Ken, Sindh, Wainganga and Wardha and a large number of lakes, dams, reservoirs and waterfalls also pepper the region, making the state very attractive for a variety of water-based activities.
The capital city of Madhya Pradesh embodies the importance of waterbodies to the region, for Bhopal is called the “City of Lakes”. Constructed by Raja Bhoj in the 11th century, the major lakes of the city were called Bhojtal, and that is how the city got its name. The Upper Lake, called the Bara Talab, is connected to the lower lake or Chhota Talab by an aqueduct. For locals and tourists interested in water activities, the MP Tourism Boat Club on the Upper Lake offers paddle boats, motor boats, small cruise boats as well as equipments for kayaking, canoeing, para sailing and other watersports. Several boat clubs have opened across the state at Bargi in Jabalpur, Tigra Dam in Gwalior, Sakhya Sagar lake in Shivpuri and Pipliya Pala in Indore. Others are set to open soon at Bhopal’s lower lake, Indira Sagar Dam and Choral reservoir. Apart from the ubiquitous and even popular pedal boats, these clubs are also equipped with power boats, cruise boats, speed boats, banana rides, jet skis, water scooters and more.
Developed by Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation, the Sair Sapata Tourism Complex in Bhopal has various attractions such as the musical fountain, two acres of children’s play area, a toy train and a suspension bridge.
The Tawa reservoir in Hoshangabad district goes one step beyond boating by offering a pair of unique river wildlife cruises. There reservoir is a picturesque result of a dam built on the Tawa River and enjoys a favorable location midway between Pipariya and Bhopal and bordering the Satpura National Park and Bori Wildlife Century. MP Tourism and the Eco-Tourism Board jointly operate a popular cruise from Tawa to Madhai and back, a scenic 3 hr hour ride. A more recent offering is a cruise aboard a state-of-the-art 10 seater boat, which begins from the Tawa resort and heads to the Gomchi camp in Churna, about an hour away.
An extravagant event organized each year is the “Jal Mahotsav” at Hanuwantiya.
Jal mahotsav is an eighty-day long festival of food,art,nature and surprise, surprise-adrenalin.
While idyllic islands are not normally associated with adventure, Jal Mahotsav manages to break that stereotype in the best possible way. And though adventure is a big part of the experience, the festival offers enough for people who prefer less strenuous activity too.
Located on the banks of the Indira Sagar dam in Madhya Pradesh, Hanuwantiya is a glorious spectacle of nature. Clear skies dotted with majestic white clouds,emerald green foliage and best of all,clean blue waters that remind one of the Mediterranean. A vast improvement ,you would agree, on traffic snarls,pollution and all the other accompanying annoyances of urban life. Take your pick from a host of activities on land, air, and water like par motoring and parasailing, and even the devilishly fun water zorbing where you enter 3 huge transparent ball of plastic and roll reminder of the great times you’ve experienced. You can continue your tryst with MP’s culture by spending the evening at Hanuwantiya watching folk music and dance performance.
The Betwa, a tributary of the Yamuna, starts from the Vindhyas and flows north-east across the state towards the town of Orccha, where it’s calm flow is punctuated by Grade-I and Grade-II rapids. This makes it a sought-after spot for kayaking and river rafting at this beautiful heritage rich town. The various lakes and dams in Madhya Pradesh provide ample opportunities for more leisurely persuit. The Kerwa Dam, for instance, located just 15 km from Bhopal, is easily accessible for a waterside picnic with family and friends. Similarly, Sakhya Sagar lake in Madhav National Park is an excellent destination for boats and wildlife watching.
At Bargi near Jabalpur, apart from bird watching and a cruise abroad the Narmada Queen, there are facilities for a host of water sports. A trip to the picturesque Temar Falls nearby is a good way to round off the holiday. The best time to visit all these places is post-monsoon, when the rivers are full and abundant with water and resplendent in their glory. This is also the time when the state’s major water waterfalls springs to life.
Perhaps the most visited waterfall in the state of Madhya Pradesh is the Bee Falls in Pachmari, locally known as Jamuna Prapat. A gentle perennial stream flowing through a wooded area of the Satpura range, it turns into a 35 m high waterfall. Visitors of all ages can be seen going up to stand under the following water. The Bee Falls are not far from the 107 m tall Rajat Prapat as well as Apsara Vihar or “Fairy Pool”, a shallow pool at the base of a waterfall.
Three of Madhya Pradesh tallest waterfalls are found in Rewa. Among them is the Chachai Falls, magnificent in its power and beauty, at the edge of the Chitrakoot hills. The water is fed by the Bihad river and falls over 130 m into a catchment area below. At its most powerful, the falls cover a wide lip of the mountain before plunging and creating a fine, mesmerizing mist. The Keoti and Bahuti (or Odda) Falls are also situated nearby.
The Pandav Falls in Panna it’s his name from a legend according to which the five Pandava brothers lived in the nearby caves. The famed Dhuandhar Waterfalls in Bhedaghat owes its added magnificent to the sheer cliffs of marble rocks on either side of the Narmada. These hundred foot tall rocks sparkle brightly during the day time and are equally stunning under the moonlight. Boating here is an unforgettable experience. Tha Dhuandhar Waterfall are so named because of the illusion they creat of smoke rising out of the water ( Dhuan means smoke ).
Parasailing at Upper Lake Bhopal
River Narmada, the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh, is the fifth longest river in the Indian subcontinent.
The banks of the Betwa are dotted with beautiful Cenotaphs or Chhatris. A visit to this part of Orchha is incomplete without a river rafting adventure.
The Sahastradhara water falls on the Narmada river in Mandla, near Jabalpur.
Cruise across the serene Bargi Dam waters on board the Narmada Queen-enjoy the luxurious AC lounge or take in the breathtaking views from the open upper deck.
The Marble Rocks in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh are an iconic landmark. Sailing down the Narmada flanked by these massive blocks of eroded marbles is a truly surreal experience. The erosion has taken place over centuries, and a mammoth structure you see today is a living proof of natures true power and majesty.
One of the most visited waterfalls in Pachmari, the Bee Falls, locally known as Jamuna Prabhat, is 35 m high. Getting there requires a bit of a trip, but visitors of all ages queue up to feel the sting of the following water, which gives the waterfall its name.