Bhopal - Road Trip in India's Heart

Highlights:

  • Bhopal City

  • Tawa River and Dam

  • Jabalpur

  • Kanha Tiger Reserve

  • Bandhavgarh National Park

  • Panna National Park

  • Rewa National Park

  • Khajuraho Temples

Madhya Pradesh is the heart of India - both geographically as well as for people. Friendly locals, crazy food places, enriching history, dense wildlife, famous temples and overall less explored state in India. Take this road trip that includes all of the above

Day 1- Bhopal

Reach the capital city of MP, Bhopal by either Air or Rail. It is well connected from anywhere in India. Hire a self drive car if you dont have one. 

Start you day with perhaps the most visited place in Bhopal - The Upper Lake.

Upper Lake

The history of the lake dates back to the king of Malwa, Raja Bhoj. It is said that he once suffered from a skin disease and was advised by a saint to build a tank that combines water of 365 tributaries and take a bath in it. This is how Upper Lake came into existence. 

Lower Lake

Near the Upper Lake or 'Bhojtaal', lies the Lower Lake that constitutes the Bhoj Westlands.

Instagram Pic Credits: photography_hub_10

Next, head on to one of the largest mosques in Asia - Taj-ul-Masjid

Taj-ul-Masjid

Referred to as the 'Crown of Mosques' is one of the largest mosques in India and attracts people from across the world. The construction started in the reign of Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1844 but due to lack of funds, was never completed. It re-started in 1971. Its main entrance gateway is decorated with ancient motifs dating back to mid 13th century from Syrian Mosques.

If you are a Non-Muslim, you cannot enter on Fridays. Rest of the days are open for all. 

Dhahi Seedhi ki Masjid

Also, visit the smalles mosque in Asia - 'Dhahi Seedhi ki Masjid' just across Taj-ul-Masjid.

Instagram Pic Credits: exploroshan

Day 2- Bhopal

Visit the Bhojeshwar Temple in the morning

Bhojeshwar Temple

This popular temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built by Raja Bhoj in the 11th century. It is called as 'Somnath of the East'. The Shivalinga is the largest stone structure in the world and carved out of a single rock with 7.5 ft in height and 18ft in circumference. 

Interesting Fact: A full architectural plan can be seen engraved on stones around the temple but it was never completed in the real. It is a mystery that why was it not finished, else it would have been a marvel of the world. 

You should check those carvings!

Instagram Pic Credits: famousplacesinindia

Head towards National Museum of Mankind - Also called as Tribal Museum. It is unlike other museums which tend to be not very interesting for most people, but this is a must visit. For a cultural aficionado, it is a place to fall in love with.

National Museum of Mankind

Located close to Upper Lake, the museum houses rock shelters of stone age era, open air exhibits of ethnic tribes, open air representation of Indian villages, a section on Mythological trail that depicts crafts from mythology.

Visit to this museum will give a lasting impression on you and I bet you win run out of your camera reel! Check out some photos below!

Day 3- Leave for Tawa River and Dam

Leave Bhopal in the morning and get set for your road trip. Tawa River and Dam is around 150km and should take about 4-5 hours. Get your accommodation in MPT Tawa Resort, Tawa and enjoy this view. 

Instagram Pic Credits: happyhippiegurl

Pic Credits: MP Tourism 

Enjoy the lush greenery and be amidst the nature in Tawa Madai. Dont forget to check the Amargarh Waterfalls.

Day 4 - Leave for Jabalpur

Time to start the Wildlife trip and be in the jungles. However, before that there is a stop at Jabalpur - a small and lively town.

Jabalpur is around 300km from the resort and has some important places to see. Try reaching by afternoon so that you can visit the Shiv Temple in the evening. 

Shiv Temple, Jabalpur

The Shiv statue is the main attraction as it is 76ft tall. Inside the temple one can see the replicas of major Shivalinga shrines across the country. 

Day 5 - Jabalpur

Bedhaghat should be the first choice in the morning. This waterfall is extremely popular in MP and is a tourist site. During rainy days, the area gets flooded.

After spending some time at the Bedhaghat and buying some marble rocks and sculptures, it is time to head to the wildlife tour. Time for Kanha Tiger Reserve

Kanha Tiger Reserve is about 170km from Jabalpur and should take around 4-5 hours to reach. Reach the forest and then enjoy your stay at one of the jungle resorts.

Day 6 - Kanha Tiger Reserve

Enjoy the wildlife at the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh. The park has significant population of the Royal Bengal Tiger and over 350 species of Flora and Fauna.

Experience the spectacular view of the sunset and the forest at Bamni Dadar

Instagram Pic Credits: wildtales_by_archit

Instagram Pic Credits: virahi_yaksha

Day 7 - To Panna Tiger Reserve

This will be a long drive. Kanha to Panna is about 350 km and generally takes around 5-6 hours. Try to reach during day time and relax in the forest resort. 

Day 8 and 9 - Panna Tiger Reserve

Rightly called as Dazzling Panna, it boasts of the Ghariyal, a huge reptile found only in the Indian sub-continent. Out of 9 vulture species found in India, 7 are in Panna. 

Apart from the wildlife, Panna has the Pandav waterfalls - one of the highest in India (30m)

Other prominent and must visit places are Ajaygarh Fort, Ken Boating Site, Baldeoji Temple, Mahamati Prannathji temple

Pic credits: Panna website

Pic credits: trawell.in

Day 10 - Rewa National Park

Just at a distance of around 100km is the White Tiger Safari at Rewa. If you want to see the rare white tigers, then you can head on to Rewa.

OR

Head to Khajuraho Temples

Khajuraho Temples in a 3 hours drive from Panna. Welcome to this temple which has a very old history and is the only kind of temple in the world that depicts sexual artwork in around 10% of the sculptures. Other works depict daily activities of life. The temples are said to be built during Chandela dynasty but were then desecrated by Muslim rulers. These temples even have their mention in thee books of the famous traveler Ibn e Batuta. 

Pic credits: Times of India

Stay in Khajuraho for 2 days and see different temples - Lakshmana Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Vishwanath Temple

Head back to Bhopal which is around 375km. Enjoy the last leg of this road trip by taking intermittent stops at some amazing Dhabas

Pic credits: Panna website