AMARKANTAK

amarkantak

Amarkantak is a pilgrim town and a nagar panchayat in Anuppur District in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. Also called "Teerthraj" (the king of pilgrimages), Amarkantak region is a unique natural heritage area and is the meeting point of the Vindhyas and the Satpuras, with the Maikal Hills being the fulcrum. This is where the Narmada River, the Son River and Johila River emerge. Amarkantak is a combination of two Sanskrit words, amar (immortal) and kantak (obstruction). The place was abode of gods but was disturbed by the hindrances of Rudraganas and hence called Amarkantak.


When Lord Shiva destroyed Tripura (the three cities) by fire, the ashes of one fell upon mount Kailash, the ashes of another fell upon Amarkantak, and the ashes of the third were saved by Lord Shiva and kept in heaven. The ashes that fell upon Amarkantak turned into crores of Shivalingas. Only one is visible at Jwaleshwar in Amarkantak.


Places of Interest

Narmadakund and Temples

At the place of origin of Narmada River there is an open pool known as Narmada kund. A large number of temples surround the kund, belonging to Narmada, Shiva, Kartikeya, Shri Ram Janki, Annapurna, Guru Gorakhnath, Sri Shuryanarayan, Vangeshwar Mahadev, Durga, Shiv Pariwar, Siddheswar Mahadev, Sri Radha Krishna, Eleven Rudra, etc.


Ancient temples of Kalachuri period

The ancient temples of Kalachuri period are in the south of Narmadakund, just behind it. These were built by Kalachuri Maharaja Karnadeva (1041–1073 AD). The Machhendranath and Pataleshwar temples, made of sandstone, are excellent examples of architecture, especially interesting for their intricate carvings. There is also Keshav Narayan temple built by the Bhonsle ruler of Nagpur in the 18th century.


Sonemuda

Sonemuda is the place of origin of the Sone River. It is 1.5 km from Narmadakund at the very edge of Maikal Mountain. The Sone River cascades from the mountain in a waterfall hundreds of feet long. From the viewing platform facing east, there is a panorama of forested hills and valleys. According to Megasthanes and other Aryan writers the river Sone gets its name from gold as gold dust is found in the water of Sone.


Mai ki Bagiya (Goddess garden)

A grove of trees in dense forests 1 km from Narmadakund is named "Mai ki Bagiya" in honour of the goddess Narmada. In this natural garden there are mango, banana and other fruit trees along with Gulbakavli, roses and other flower plants.


Kapildhara (Kapil waterfall)

Six km northwest of Narmadakund is the Kapildhara waterfall with a fall of about hundred feet. According to scriptures, Kapil Muni lived here. There is a scene of natural beauty with mountains and dense forest down hills. According to ‘Vindhya Vaibhav’ Kapil Muni performed severe austerities here and received divine light. He also wrote ‘sankhya philosophy’ (an advanced treatise on mathematics) at this place. The Kapileshwar temple is also situated nearby. The surrounding mountains are full of caves where saints have been performing their spiritual practices.


Kabir chabutra (the platform of saint Kabir)

It is an old belief that the great saint Kabir performed austerities here and achieved spiritual powers. It is therefore a holy place for the Kabir panth sect. The local people, the Panikas, consider Kabir Chabutara as one of the holiest places of the Kabirpanthis because Sant Kabir spent many years here in meditation. At this very place Kabir and Nanak met and discussed spiritual matters and introduced the way of better living for human beings. It is the meeting point of three districts, Anuppur and Dindori districts of Madhya Pradesh and Bilaspur district of Chhatisgarh. There is a Kabir waterfall.


Shri Jwaleshwar Mahadev (the temple of Shiva)

The Jwaleshwar temple and the source of origin of the third river Juhila River is 8 km from Amarkantak on Shahdol road. According to ‘Vindhya Vaibhav’ Lord Shiva established a Shivling here and scattered crores of other Shivlings over Maikal Mountain. According to puranic traditions, a rectangular area containing crores of Shivlings is known as ‘Maha Rudra Meru’ and is the abode of Lord Shiva. There are only two ‘Maha Rudra Meru’ places: Varanasi and Amarkantak. Lord Shiva and Parvati live here because of this special spiritual quality.


Getting there

228 Km from Jabalpur , 230 Km from Raipur.


Best time to Visit

Throughout the year.