Rippling waters, gleaming cliffs, a cool breeze and imagination galore…that is what the boat ride on river Narmada is all about.
Continuing with my previous blog on the pictursque Bheda Ghat near Jabalpur, a trip here is incomplete without a boat ride on the river Narmada. This was a boat ride unlike any other I had ever taken before.
Boat rides have always been fun and more so, if the views from the boat ride are scenic. Some memorable boat rides I have taken were the river Hudson showing off the glamorous skyline of New York, the river Potomac in Washington displaying pretty Cherry blossoms in full bloom, and the Chicago river cruise to see iconic buildings and bridges. On Indian lakes and back waters, common sights are people washing clothes and bathing on the banks of the river, trees swaying in the wind, little villages on the banks and farms on the banks of the rivers. The Narmada ride showed me none of these! It instead showed me what I had never seen before…
We glided into the tranquil waters of the Narmada away from the noise of the dock and as the boatman rowed us away, we entered magical waters, tranquil and sublime. Gone were the farms and villages. No scenes of washing clothes and bathing assailed us. As we floated down the ethereal river, large cliffs and mountains loomed large…no ordinary cliffs, but cliffs of solid Marble. As we went deeper inside, the marble became whiter and the cliffs higher.
The Marble rock formations were the highlight of the day and as we floated down the waters, the rock formations assumed interesting shapes left to our imagination and interpretation. In some formations we saw the Nandi bull paying obeisance to Shiva on another rock. A tiger loomed large on another rock while a hermit in marble sat meditating on one more. As we went further along, the boatman and guide became more and more animated as he regaled us with tales of Bollywood romancing (on) the river. It was a mercy that the river had been spared largely by litterbugs and the river was mostly clean with strict instructions from the boatmen to not dirty their livelihood.
The 50 minute boat ride takes tourists to the Bandar kodini point where the rocks are so close that a monkey can jump from one cliff to another.
This boat ride can also be taken at night. I can only imagine how heavenly it must be to be on shimmering waters, with glistening marble cliffs, a starry sky, and a full moon…
Here are some pictures..