• yatri gulaak

Take a U turn at Garadia Mahadev

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

Just outside the stone city of Kota, the winding Chambal river takes a breathtaking bend. The gorge is nestled in the bosom of Mukundra National park, an arid mix of Babool trees, red sandstone and wild bushes. An inconspicuous and broken road diverts from National highway No 76, which connects Kota and Chittorgarh. After a 2 Km journey onto this broken and unremarkable detour lies, a forest check post, which is the entry point to reach this gorge. After travelling 1.5 KM through this entry gate, the bend in question appears suddenly, like an epiphany, out of nowhere. Located beneath the outcrop of this cliff is a temple of Shiva called Garadia Mahadev, which gives this isolated spot its name.

Bend in question appears suddenly, like an epiphany, out of nowhere
Precarious perch
A mouthful of sky

The Chambal is among the most pristine rivers in India and despite construction of dams and barrages, is still relatively unexplored. Throughout its history, Chambal has maintained a reputation of wildness. As per myth, it a river of blood which originated from sacrifice of thousands of cows by king Rantideva and the river is believed to carry a wrathful curse of Draupadi. Later on, its ravines called beehads, provided refuge to bandits, rebels, outlaws and dacoits such as Phoolan Devi, Dakoo Man Singh and Paan singh tomar. Its waters still teem with crocodiles, gharials, otters, dolphins, turtles and a large variety of birds and its seemingly inaccessible beauty still stuns the viewer.

Attempted disrobing of Draupadi led her to cursing the Chambal river as the event by some version took place near it.
Movie poster based on life of Phoolan Devi

In monsoons streams of water running through sandstone converge to form delectable waterfalls at the edges of cliffs. The vegetation at foot of cliffs is dense and resonates with cries of peacocks.

This is our very own version of horseshoe bend in Grand Canyon and is no less captivating. No photograph or pen can justify the grandeur and serenity of this place. Sitting alone on one of the crags overlooking the river is a magical experience. You begin to lose your individuality and start to merge with the surroundings.

Sitting alone on one of the crags overlooking the river is a magical experience.

Things to watch out for:-

1) The area can be closed during monsoons as the rocks become very slippery.

2) Entry fee of vehicles is Rs 500 approximately. One can instead a take walk of 1.5 km to the view point.

3) Sandstone rocks can flake easily and are slippery. Hence one should not venture too close to the edges as the fall is steep and deadly.

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