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Marble Rocks Jabalpur

Thrill Trip: A visit to Marble Rocks and Dhuandhar Waterfall

A boat ride on a moonlit night at the Marble Rocks and the spectacle of Dhuandhar falls in Jabalpur will put a smile on your face

Rangan Datta | Published 07.10.22, 05:17 PM
The Marble Rocks in Jabalpur

The Marble Rocks in Jabalpur

All Pics are by Rangan Datta

River Narmada, considered as the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh, originates from the pilgrimage site of holy Amarkantak and flows through Gujarat before merging into the Arabian Sea. Narmada flows in the east-west direction through the rugged terrains of central India. Just south of Jabalpur, the river makes a mighty plunge and makes its way to the narrow gorges of towering limestone cliffs. The limestone rocks, rising perpendicularly out of the placid waters of Narmada, create a stunning spectacle. 

The towering cliffs, popularly known as marble rocks, are best explored on boats. It’s a 3 km (one way) stretch along the gorge guarded with rock cliffs rising to a height of 100 feet. Group boat rides are available for Rs 100 per person for a 45-minute ride, but if you want to explore the Marble Rocks a little more, hiring a personal boat is advisable. A five-seater boat charges Rs 800 and provides a personal experience. A little extra tip can take you further up the river.

Enjoy a boat ride around the Marble Rocks in Jabalpur

Enjoy a boat ride around the Marble Rocks in Jabalpur

The boat crew usually comprises three persons, including two rowers on either side. The third person is the steerer, who controls the direction of the boat. One of the crew members doubles up as a guide. The guide narrates the story of the Marble Rocks in a poetic and comical way, with references ranging from the great Indian epics to the latest Bollywood blockbusters. No wonder the Marble Rocks have been the shooting spot for several Bollywood movies.

The wind and water have carved and chiseled the landscape for millions of years creating a unique landscape. The sheer rock cliffs, majority of which are of marble, expose a record of millions of years. Over the centuries the elements of nature have curved out strange structures all along the cliffs. As the boat progresses up the Narmada, the guide cum boatman points to these strange structures and tries to correlate them with elephants and horses and even fighting kids. There are even structures representing the three monkeys of Gandhiji or the Hindu trinity of Bramha, Vishnu and Maheshwara, but one needs a lot of imagination to visualise these figures. 

The Narmada consists of several rocky marble outcrops and the boatmen skillfully negotiate their boats past these islands and head upwards towards the Dhuandhar Waterfalls. As the boat moves upstream, the texture and colour of the marble cliffs change from dazzling white to pale yellow and from pinkish hue to different shades of green. 

Interestingly, every place along the boat trail has its own nomenclature. An open area with several prospective outlets is called the Bhulbhulia, the maze. The narrow cliff on either side of the river is known as Bandar Kodini (Monkey’s Leap).

The group boat ride terminates just before the Monkey’s Leap. But if you hire a personal boat, you can make your way through the narrow gorge, minus the monkeys, into an open area with a small waterfall, at the end.

Dhuandhar Falls from one of the viewing platforms in Jabalpur

Dhuandhar Falls from one of the viewing platforms in Jabalpur

After bidding farewell to the Marble Rocks, it is time to explore the Dhuandhar Falls, which is a short drive away. Dhuandhar, literally meaning misty falls, is a 10-meter drop of the Narmada River, creating a misty and smokey environment. Unlike the marble rocks the falls is not viewed from water but is explored from both land and air. A ropeway (two-way fare ₹100) takes visitors across the river and provides a bird’s eye view of the mighty falls. Apart from the rope way, there are a couple of viewing platforms next to the falls, from where you can see the plunging water. If you are lucky, you can even spot a rainbow across the falling water, but you will definitely feel the spray from the falling water and not to mention the thundering roar of gallons of water falling down.

Stalls near the Marble Rocks, where you can buy mementos for friends and family

Stalls near the Marble Rocks, where you can buy mementos for friends and family

Before heading home, do stop at one of the numerous marble artifact stores to buy mementos for your friends and relatives or even for yourself. 

Note: 

  • The boat rides are suspended during the monsoon months 
  • Special arrangement for boating starts two days ahead of the full moon night
Last updated on 07.10.22, 05:29 PM
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