When history and nature intertwine, it is one of the most beautiful things of all. Such is a place called Rewa, in the north-eastern part of Madhya Pradesh. Its forts tell a tale as old as time, and its waterfalls gush through the landscape.
The Keoti Falls (37km) here are a major attraction; their height and beauty are well worth the travel. Visitors from all across the land come to look upon this force of nature. The water sprays into the air, creating a mist through which the surrounding precipice is shrouded, and it gushes with such a force that one is taken aback The Chachai Falls (37km) nearby should not be underestimated either; the surrounding flora and fauna adorn it like adoring fans.
Further, the city’s princely rulers have left their mark upon this land; their legacy stands strong in their forts and palaces, in their temples and their monuments. There is much to see here, starting with the Govindgarh Palace (13km).
This is where the Maharaja of Rewa made his cosy nest (and, by nest, we mean palatial haven), and where his possessions still lay, including the skull of the famous white tiger caught and housed by His Highness, the first time anyone had ever done so. To view more priceless antiques, one may visit the museum at the Rewa Fort (3km), which stands as a testimony to Rewa’s rich history.
Venkat Bhavan is also a show-stopping example of beautiful architecture, and for a religious experience one can visit the massive supine statue of Lord Shiva named Bhairav Baba, carved out of a single obsidian stone. With so much to see, Rewa will definitely keep you occupied and leave you with many beautiful memories.
Once home to about 85 temples, Khajuraho is spread across three sections, several centuries and various architectural styles. It is a buffet of culture for any historian or history-lover, and its fine carvings are noteworthy for their beauty and attention to detail.
This UNESCO World Heritage site now cocoons 20 preserved temples, the most notable being in the western section, containing the magnificent Shaivite temple Kandariya Mahadev (2km; sunrise ¬sunset) with high porches and regal spires.
These temples are among the most beautiful medieval monuments in the country and were built during the golden period of the Chandela rulers. They are wonderful expressions of human imagination, creativity, hard work and spirituality. The carvings often feature erotic images, in an expression of faith through sexuality. While these may be startling, they depict an ancient human ritual that straddles both the past and the present and becomes symbolic on a universal level.
You can sign up for a bicycle tour, which will take you around the sights in the most hassle-free manner possible. Visit in the last week of February for the Khajuraho Dance Festival, which features classical Indian dances like Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Manipuri by talented dancers. This festival is internationally recognised, and draws crowds from across the world.
India is a land of demons and Gods, of myths and legends, of stories that sound incredulous and yet many fervently believe in. In modern India, the true origin of such stories lie shrouded in mystery, and yet, they are endlessly enthralling.
Chitrakoot is allegedly the place in which Lord Ram, his wife Sita and brother Laxman took refuge during their exile. The borders between myth and reality are blurred in its densely-populated forests, as these sites are where the deities apparently lived and breathed. Janki Kund (34km) is where Sita used to take a bath during her stay in Chitrakoot, where the waters once flowed pure and crystal clear.
The place where Lord Ram would bathe, Ramghat, is one of the most popular attractions in Chitrakoot and it is a place of peaceful meditation, punctuated by evening aartis that light up the scene.
The Kamadgiri Mountain (32km) is also one of immense religious significance; it is the place where Lord Ram and his companions are said to have stayed.
The name of the maintain means ‘one who fulfils wishes’. And for someone with an interest in Indian history, his or her wish will certainly be fulfilled with a visit here. The landscape is replete with ancient sites, such as the Bharat Milap Temple, where Bharat and Lord Ram had an argument in logic. The Gupt Godavari (44km) is a hidden cave with natural running water in which Lord Ram and Laxman supposedly held court, as the rocks form a curious throne-shaped formation.
For beautiful panoramic views of the lush landscape visit the Hanuman Dhara (31km), a spring on a steep rocky face, located on the rolling hillside. They say it was created by Lord Ram himself!
The stories of the Ramayana you heard from your grandparents come alive in this beautiful, natural setting, and they make you start to question the difference between myth and reality.
The name rings a bell. “Hey, isn’t that a hand-woven silk sari?” you wonder. Yes, these exquisitely-crafted fabrics originate from the town of Chanderi, but it should be famous for a lot more. The town has a simple elegance that has been lost in many tourist hot-spots; its radiant sunsets and regal monuments lend it an air of old-world charm. Be swept away into a world of Rajput kings and magnificent palaces, of festivities and times of war.
This town is well founded in folklore, but it is unique because it is considered sacred. Legend has it that King Kirtipal of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty witnessed “The Miracle of Water” on a hunting expedition here, when he was supposedly cured of leprosy by its rivers. Since then, it became his capital, and has been revered for generations.
Today, this town serves as a major center of Jain culture. Interesting sites here include the Koshak Mahal (4km), built by the Sultan of Malwa with three majestic arches, the Shehzadi Ka Rauza (3km) with unusual serpentine brackets and the Purana Madarsa (4km), a tomb with intricately carved jails and exquisite geometric carvings.
The Ramnagar Palace and Museum here is also a window into a fascinating and colorful history. This settlement is also known to have had 1,200 baolis or stepwells, and they are worth a visit for their intricate structure.
One thing is for sure, if the walls in this town could talk, one could listen forever ¬history has seeped into the very bricks of this religious haven.