Sunday, October 30, 2022

Road trip : Tatanagar - to Chattisgarh, 2800 km trip, part FIVE : To Sathdhara & surrounding Areas of Chitrakoot


Day 5  to Sathdhara  15th OCT 2022

We checked out of the hotel at Jagdalpur and the owner was very upset with us for checking out of his shitty hotel, guess he was worried we would manage to get  our advance back too, well karma does catch up.


We started this day with a 110 km drive to Sathdhara water body located in Barsur,  we found the way easily without getting lost, 5 km before Sathdhara was a army outpost / camp where they took our details  and guided us to the water body, very professionally done, the area was mostly forest and desolate but we did not feel alone or scared there was a presence of calm in the people and the army / crpf posted in this area.



We made our way to the waterbody was charged Rs  40 for parking ( which seemed to be the norm)  we parked and made our way approx 200 meters to the waterfall, as we approached the waterfall we were on top of the waterfall and the water was flowing quietly by us, so quiet and serene, before it fell with a roar a few feet downhill.


Satdhara-is a mini waterfall at best and interestingly made, with 7 dharas of water making the small waterfall,  located in the middle of  mountains, we spend a few hours there photographing and taking in the scene here, before we headed back , on our return from Satdhara  we stopped at Bersur hamlet/village  for breakfast , today would be kachori and kachori  and Jalebi. 

  From here we headed off  and then went on to the river Indravati, flowing quietly nearby , on the way we found a map drawn and paying a visitation / parking fee of Rs 40 we drove into the area.


The road led to River indravati, this river would be our companion over the next few days  located around the river  are a few historic temples from 11th century

there was one where there was a Lord Ganesh statue which is monolithic  from 11th Century  



Another temple called the :

Mama-Bhanja temple  having Lord Shiva statue from 13th century. Build by Chandrak Naga dynasty, rising to a height of 15.24 meter it is Pancharatna on plan n devoid of sculptural embelishment.



All located with a km of each other helped us see them all at a relaxed pace


We were done by 1130 and we had enough time to go visit another site of Lord Ganesh by name of Dholker Ganesh.


We next drove off to look for Dholker Ganesh located 100 km’s away ,  it was mostly good roads and a few busy patches the last 10 km was offroading,   unfortunetly we could not make it all the way because of bad  muddy slushy road, there was a Bolero that got stuck, and we decided to abandon the drive, it was too sunny to trek the last 4 km by foot.



Too bad we were so close yet ,,, we did make a few images of the Dholker structure in the mountain from a distance, but no sight of Lord Ganesh's idol

had we made it we were told: 


Dholkal Ganesh is a beautiful spot located 3000 feet high in the Bailadila Mountain ranges in District Dantewada.  A 3 Feet beautiful stone idol of Lord Ganesha believed to be made during the Naga dynasty between 10th and 11th centuries is the main attraction of the site. Located 13 KMs from the district HQ Dantewada, this spot is the heaven for nature lovers, and for those who love to trek amidst lush green hillocks.”


this place is called Dholker Ganesh, because it resembles the Ox and its Hump




Like Lord Ganesh who is always hungry we were ready for lunch, while we were coming to Dholker Ganesh, we had at Dantewada spied a eatery that looked inviting, we had marked the location on our GPS, so we back tracked to there, by 1400 and had a good meal. The dhaba was run by a bunch of ladies, the name of the Dhaba is Manwa Dhaba, we had Bhindi / dal / roti / rice food was good and simple.



Lunch done we called up the STF manager and made sure they would be holding a room for us and we were on our way Via Barsur.  Even though there was another road via Jagdalpur, we wanted to stay as far from Jagdalpur as possible, and chose the longer route via Barsur, which turned out to be a blessing as the road went through a forest that was lovely and ghat section for quiet a while, I would definitely recommend this route. 



The property we were headed to was  located on bank of River Indravati, tributary of river Godavari.



as we drove  torrential rain greeted us along the way, weather resembled like in the mountains, it would be raining torrentially for a km, and then be dry ,  follow the same pattern all over again we met 5 squalls in our 50 odd km drive to  STF, we reached by 1630 hours  it was raining so torrentially we had to stay put in the car for 10 minutes after reaching before we could make our way to the reception without getting wet.




This is just one unit, there are 8 such units on the property

We checked in and found out that there was no power, the property was huge but occupancy was low and thus they were reluctant to switch on the generator,  we did convince them to switch the generator set on, they could not as  the person who knew how to operate the generator was away at the electric office ( I think he was away to have a drink ) after all it was getting dark, and handly any guests so we made do with torch light for a few hours and cursing our luck to have arrived on a day when the power was not there,  we drove out to a local Dhaba, Mamata dhaba for dinner, and by the time we came back, power had been restored and we could take a shower and relax.



Looks like all that glitters is not gold, but we weren’t complaining this place was way better then our last Hotel in jagdalpur and we were happy to be here the weather had cooled down considerable.


Catch you at Tandaghumer tomorrow.


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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Road trip : Tatanagar - to Chattisgarh, 2800 km trip, part FOUR : To Tirathgarh waterfall


Usually as a pattern a bad day is mostly followed by a wonderful day but as we reached our car we found we were blocked in by another car, Oh well, smile and ask for help was the motto and it worked out eventually we managed to get the other car moved lost 20 minutes there and started out again, we were off to Tirathgarh waterfalls(seen above). The roads were 2 lane to start with and soon narrowed out to single lane as we entered the kanger valley national park, road was lined with trees, dense forest and a we hope we would not get lost, in spite of Googles direction and network of Jio being with us, inside the jungle is another story.


We reached the waterfalls parking lot A-Okay, and were charged Rs 50 for parking, Entry fee was Rs 20 per person and Rs 20 per camera and another Rs 40 parking by the forest department too.


As we paid and got our necessary permits and tkts we could hear the roar of the waterfall, and 100 meters gave us the 1st tiny sighting, we walked 100 steps or so, down to see the full waterfall.



The waterfall was huge, wide and high, looked like four waterfall coming together, I had seen many pictures of this waterfall and it had seemed Red in color, today there was a good bit of water, and thus more white, we had trekked down to the bottom of the waterfall and could see the water come roaring down towards us



. We managed to get a few shots before a whole bunch of revelers it for a bath in the waterfall, we made a few images of them having fun too. Tirathgarh waterfalls drops 200 feet approx.



There is a monkey menace here, but we just kept our stuff (bags, camera, water, tripod) close to us, and we were fine, the monkeys are not too aggressive, by 0930 hours we came up the steps as we came up the steps, and saw a lovely sight of a couple of baby monkeys sleeping with there mother, and the moms too were sleeping, it was so peaceful  and lovely to see this sight,   making a few images of the scene and feeling there peace on us ( reminded me of stories of Lord  Ram having come this way during his vanvaas, maybe there is more then meets the eyes here)





we settled into a breakfast at the waterfall store, today too was Aloo vada and Medu vada, with Tamrind chutney, We had our fill and as we sat here, we met with a Cinematographer from Raipur/ Mumbai, Anubhav, we had some quality time together as Anubhav shared his experience with us on his film making career over 6 years,  Kumbh Mela, and he did give us some tips on what else we could do , that was off the beaten path , non touristy places to visit.     It was the sort of conversation that one travels to experience and we sure had a lovely time,   

finally around 1100 hours we took his leave and drove around in the Kanger Ghati national park, we drove and sat in the roadside and watched the day slide out, and by 1245 we started back for Jagdalpur,


 stopping 15 km from Jagdalpur for lunch at a wonderful dhaba/hotel , the food was oh so delicious and felt almost home made.

 roti / sabji / daal / raita was just so good and we ate to our fill for sure.

Post lunch,  we headed back to our hotel REEKA in Jagdalpur, unfortunely there was no electricity in the hotel and neither did it have a generator, so we had to move on to find some place to hang out, it was quiet warm and this dark room did not look inviting as such,  we were told it might be 1700 hours before power would be restored, so we drove to Bastar palace.( it was not on our agenda but now it seemed to be an appealing idea)




We  spend a quite 45 minutes there, and then went looking for Narayanpal  temple as per direction from the security guys at Bastar palace.


Narayan is Krishna and true Krishna style kept us guessing and we did a good 60 km of going to 2 places where we were told was the way to Narayanpal temple and both turned out to be not so , it was getting dark and we started back for Jadgalpur by Ram Vangaman path ( Lord ram had used these roads while going to Vanvaas)     well we reached back by 1900 hours and there was no electricity still, so we headed out for dinner, to the hotel next door, and spend a good 75 minutes to have a slow dinner, and back to our hotel by 2100 hours, we decided to check out of this hotel and managed to score a room at STF resort in Chitrakoot,


 This would be our base for the next 2 days with a huge bedroom and a living room and tiny garden behind, the resort not up and running yet online but all  amenities are there and staff really friendly, highly recommended.




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