Five Stunning Destinations in Madhya Pradesh for Quiet Reflection


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Destinations in Madhya Pradesh for Quiet Reflection

By Outlook Traveller


Five gorgeous places in Madhya Pradesh to take a deep breath, clear the mind and enjoy some quiet contemplation

So much to see, so much to do... travel can be a hectic whirlwind of just ticking off the checklist. However, there are a few sweet spots on earth where the traveller must simply stand and be suffused with a sense of presence. The awareness that only this moment matters.


Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh

Amarkantak is where the mountain ranges of Vindhya, Satpura and the Maikal Hills meet. The region sees the origin of three rivers - the holy Narmada, Son and Johilla. Near the spring from which Son emerges is a viewpoint called Sonmuda. Surrounded by hills and dense forests, this promontory affords a spectacular view of the sunrise. As one looks down, the gurgling stream flings itself off the cliff to the valley below. On the hilltop, there is a temple with a small yard that is ideal for a few rounds of Surya Namaskar, and a gazebo that calls for serene chai and breakfast. 


Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

About 46km from Bhopal is Sanchi, famous for its well-preserved Buddhist stupa. Commissioned by Ashoka in 3rd century BCE, and added to by a line of devout kings, this site now contains about 50 structures in all, including pillars, toranas, temples and monasteries. In fact, it is a record of Buddhist presence in India for about 1,300 years. The complex is serene. As one circumambulates the structure, it emanates a sense of history as well as worship. The best way to soak it in? Simply sit and meditate a while. 


Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh

Maheshwar, on the banks of the Narmada, is an immersive experience. Said to be the ancient city of Mahishmati, there is layer upon layer of history, myth, legend and fact associated with it. It was the capital of the great Maratha queen Ahilya Bai Holkar, and Ahilya Fort stands as a testament of that golden era. With its sweeping stairs, the lofty temples that line the riverside, the city is steeped in history and faith. The scenic ghats of Maheshwar are the perfect backdrop for a deep dive into meditation. 

Gopachal Parvat, Gwalior

Gopachal Parvat, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

If the hilltop fort of Gwalior is a much-touted attraction, then what lies below, hugging the cliffsides, must be the unsung hero. The Gopachal Parvat contains about 100 towering statues depicting Jain Tirthankaras carved out of the hillside. The tallest of the magnificent Jain Colossi (7th-15th centuries) stands around 58ft. The spot wasn't always peaceful: Babur commanded their desecration in 1527. Although the statues have worn down with years, it is soothingly quiet today. On the traveller who chooses to sit here and dwell on the Self, no doubt the Tirthankaras confer their blessings. 

Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal 

Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Located on the Upper Lake in Bhopal is not a natural wonder, but one wrought by the hand of man. Bharat Bhavan is a beautiful multi-art centre designed by the celebrated architect Charles Correa. This series of terraced gardens, buildings and pavilions is devoted to the arts and artists. The displays, installations and exhibits can provoke, soothe, entertain and inspire. However, Bharat Bhavan is also an engaging retreat for its own sake - imbibing the breadth of human creativity over a protracted cup of tea. 

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