note-this is going be long.photos.and coz there is nor proper guide on the net for this place. excuse spaces and spellings. typing this out itself ate up time and me has no patience..
jadgalpur-located in chattisgarh. capital of the bastar district. things bastar is famous for-naxals,kanger and indravati national park, waterfalls and caves, virgin forests, tribals.. its a beautiful place. the only problem and the biggest on at that is the naxals. all those who were chased away from andhra pradesh settled here. jungle. so its easy for them. on 26th jan five naxal lady suicide bombers were caught during the parade. loads of bombs strapped. they were stripped and paraded naked on the street. these is just so much bad blood between then. too many police men have been gunned down. but like i said its a beautiful place. heaven on earth. much better than the other indian forests and waterfalls.
day 0- day of the bhaang and colors. we guys get by 1 in the afternoon. laze around. decide to leave for jagdalpur around 7.30. only five of us. by 7 we promptly start the cajoling and bullying.by about 8 a party of ten leaves for the raipur bus stand. exactly one year back on the day of holi we were stranded in a tiny hill station in mp (pachmari) with no cell coverage and transport. somehow managed to get back that day. so we were prepared. hardly couple of busses. we choose the one with sleepers and get on.200 is the charge. the bus is good. we play cards for some time and then i fall asleep. i would later learn that our driver too decided to sleep, while driving one should add. we hit a tree.thankfully nothing bad happened. guys got down and helped the bus back on road. driver sleeps again during hair pin bend in ghat section. so bus is stopped for three hours and the driver sleeps. of course i dint know anything then. i slept off.
day 1-the drivers antics means we reach 3 hours late. the bus stand is small .its about 8.45. we lodge at the nearby udipi lodge. clean and cheap. ladies avoid. the canteen attached serves good south indian tiffin items. its around noon when we start. we hire a qualis. generally a day of sight seeing costs around 1500. so first we get to the forest department to pay the toll. then we head to kutumsar khufar(caves). its a nice drive. good stalagmites and stalactites formations. its a bit difficult to navigate the caves.
there is no light inside the caves.and i dint have a tripod.so not many shots were clear.brilliant formations.
a natural eye like formation..even the pottu is natural.high. they obv call it the devis eye..
no mabbu.still effict..me..
mama and soori..it was quite deep underneath them.ravine sorts..
and then we went to tirathgarh waterfalls. so this i guess is on the kanger river. not sure.anyways three big cascades. at the first cascade drop there are four small temples. getting to the second cascade is tough. the third cascade is actually the biggest one but we can not see it without getting to the second cascade.its a beautiful place. and from the third cascade starts the kanger national park. tigers, bear, constrictors and naxals abound here. whenever we plan a trip we try to include either a waterfall or a beach. we love water. in both forms. anyways this is tirathgarh is half its glory. the main seasons is September. when the monsoons work is done .
the first cascade..
of course when we went there it wasnt this great. we like idiots went in the off season..
but this has different type of advantage. so when you go to a waterfall you can either look at it and click pics, or get wet a bit and again click. but we are a bit crazy. so we went to the source and decided to trek along the water down till the first cascade. there was a board which said this was banned coz it was slippery and loose.
and we start.as if trekking down was not crazy enough we carried by camera also. stupid yes. it came back safely...
half way thru..click enlarge and see if you can spot us all..two groups.. and crazy kutchi alone..
kuchi and me some where half way thru..
our version of the creature gollum-kuchi..hanging from a small stone. no idea how he go there..
the temple there..
and we finally leave..
then we head to chitrakoot. now this place is abut 50 kms from jagdalpur. fyi-its the biggest waterfall in asia. the ride was as usual awesome. beautiful.
and the sun was setting already. i was praying that it stays some where in sight till we reach chitrakoot. and he obliged. just about. so here is chitrakoot in its full glory.
this is situated on the river idravati. and here starts the indravati national park. you need to see to believe it power. and height. behind the tree quarter of the waterfall is blocked..just look at the water being sprayed to gauge power and height.
well when we went there was hardly any water..
and the light faded away fast..but they got lighting system and all..
just imagine this with the whole thing covered with water and lights. dark all around. would be stunning.
the ten of us who made it..
room mate soori..he thinks vellore is a city..ha
and we decided to come back the next day.the reason comes later..
day 2-we decide to take a guest house in the kanker park for the night so that we could go on a safari or something. or here comes the advice. first you need a good bold driver. and there are few. next when you go to the forest department the first reply is-there are no animals ,you cant see. its not worth it. dont believe them. keep pressing. they will send you to the director of the park. and he will openly tell you that of the three guest house only one is safe. the other two are vulnerable to a naxal attack. and during summer the fire squad uses it. so the way out? take the bold driver go to a forest guest house and bribe the people. we tried that. but that guest house already housed some researchers. bad luck for us. another way is to stay in the tribal village. and that is like suicide. tribals are on the naxals side. so they will inform them and you will be kidnapped and ransom..but if you could bribe the guard in the guest house and go out in the night you will get the proper feel of the jungle. i guess you will surely come across some wild things.
ok so we went to the local temple. this is the place to be for dusserah. they do the bhalidhaan during the festival. a tiger, bear and elephant are the poor things which are killed every year. and then they serve their meat. remember this is fully tribal in nature. a big and different type of celebration and totally worth it says our driver. so we first go to kailash ghufar. our driver has pure marijuana. and the jai bolenath device. he and the guard smoke it up. kuchi and me afraid,but sundar smokes it. and then they tell us their story. of naxals.
guard story-he and his seniors are planting bamboo polls on the road side. 8 in the morning. and naxals kidnap them. yes the officials included. they settle for 6000 ransom. so they send the guard to get the money.and he should not inform police. guard goes to fetch money. as he returns his kerosene lamp runs out of fuel. so he is late. naxals think he is gone to the police and beat him up. for five hours. the guard says that the male naxals are sometime lenient. the females are ruthless. they are huge. bloody huge. big boobs he said.they will strip and take bath in the river. but you cant enjoy it.coz they are getting ready to thrash you. bloddy hell he says.
driver story- first he was with the government. job in the election deparment. so s he takes along a ballot box to a tribal village , the naxals get him , burn the vehicle and thrash him. he quit his job. second time when he was working as a private driver they caught him again. detained him for one day without food or water. then they gave him tamarind water , took him deep in the jungle for a meeting , explained their ideals and goals. in short brain wash session and get the locals on the side. then they let him go. "i dont have any other bad habit. only marijuna" he says.. "i am an allrounder" smiles the guard..
then we went to the caves.now if you dont have proper lights with you you can never come out. its like indian jones cave. deep into the mountains. you can feel the lack of oxygen. we start sweating like the chennai water tap.and we settle down in a stage like place. the caves are brilliant. they light up another couple of joints. the driver goes on-during dusserah there is a sea of people here. dark. all sweating. womens clothes cling on to their body. and you can touch them in places. no one see anything. you know what i mean? the guard enjoys those spells"..the guard smiles..and then we saw the other parts of the caves and came out. scary the caves are..
and when you get back to the cave toll gates, notice another road going uphill. 29 kms uphill real bad roads ,you can go to the crocodile park. the advice is to stop 3 kms before the park , and trek the rest. this way the crocodiles wont get scared and you can see them nicely. just one wall and they are all in the river. no pens and all that. proper wild habitat. we couldnt make it. thats coz the toll gate closes at four. so go early to the kailash caves and then go to this park. the park is on the kanker river. something tells me it will be worth it.
near the forest guest house, kailash caves..
then we went chitrakoot again. this time i day light. the reason being this boat ride..
they take you right under neath the falls. this is only in the off season. during the season you cant even go near. anyways its a brilliant experience. that force..ten mts away you cant see,so much water rebounds .loved it.
near the falls..
the sunset there..
theres a guest house near chitrakoot..the gate of that hotel.. this is the chattishgarh tribal art..
and you know that ghenda pool song?? thats actually a chattisgarhi folk song.we took a bus back to raipur. this redefines the word air bus. rickety bus. bad roads. i was in the air half the time. some how made it back. overall range trip . last min . no plans. good fun. low on budget. cost us about on grand. and that element of danger. you could feel the whole naxal thing when you listen to stories of tributes being payed the ganja selling mafia family in gol bazar and more..
tourism scope in chattisgarh is tremendous. but first the naxals have to go. and then proper facilities. brilliant it is. and me vows to come back here for the dusserah onset within the next four years when chitrakoot is in her full glory. btw there are more waterfalls on the way to chitrakoot, they have water only during the season. thamd ghumar chitradhara and all. enquire well with the locals and go. and dont take no for an answer for the safari. take a risk and go. thats what makes it worthwhile.