A paradise filled with iconic forts, smokey waterfalls, rich delicacy and nostalgic scenery. Does this sound like someplace you’d love to see?
Well then, allow the city of Jabalpur to sweep you off your feet!
Jabalpur, formerly known as Jubbulpore, is one of the most historically important cities in Madhya Pradesh. The lively festivals, impactful history and homely people make it a prominent destination for tourists worldwide. The heart of Madhya Pradesh invites us with the best charms of culture, nature, heritage, and mankind.
Let me guide you on your trip down the unique details of Jabalpur!
- The history of Jabalpur’s name relates to a few ancient theories. It comes from a sage named Jabali, who used to meditate on the banks of the Narmada river. Its also belived to be a mixture of an Arabic word ‘Jabal’, which means ‘mountain’ and a Sanskrit word ‘Pura’ which means city.
- Anciently, before coming under the Gupta and the Mauryan empire, the city was known as ‘Tripuri’ under the rule of Hayahaya rulers. Later in AD 875, it became the capital of Kalchuri dynesty when they took over it. The Gonds seized it in the 13th century and it transformed into the mighty Gondhawa kingdom by 16th century.
- When the Mughals invaded Jabalpur, the brave and venerable Gond Queen Rani Durgavati died while fighting their forces led by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Her sacrifice to protect her homeland and her people marked an impact in the history.
- In 1789, the Marathas won the battle, granting the Narmada Valley to the Bhonsle princes of Nagpur by the Peshwa. They held the district for a while before their defeat by the British in 1818.
- The British took over the command of Jabalpur, making it the commission headquarters of the Narmada territories and establishing a cantonment.
- In 1939, the Tripuri Congress session presided by Subhash Chandra Bose was an important historical event.
Situated at the centre of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur city is the administrative headquarter of the district. Nestled in the ‘Mahakaushal’ region in the central part of India, it is the second most Populous district out of the 50 districts of Madhya Pradesh. The tier 2 city is approximately 300 KM west of Bhopal, the state capital.
How to reach Jabalpur?
The easy accessibility makes Jabalpur well connected to major cities of Madhya Pradesh and also major states all over India. Here are the ways to reach Jabalpur:
- Jabalpur has its own airport called the ‘Jabalpur Dumna Airport’, located around 20 to 25 km away from the main city.
- There are direct flights to the city from New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune etc.
- To travel by air, one can take a flight to Jabalpur’s airport where they’ll find public transport and taxi services after landing.
- Using the available transport facilities, they can travel to the top tourists spots as well as various parts across the city.
- Major airlines flying to Jabalpur include Spicejet(6 routes), IndiGo Airlines(4 routes), Alliance Air(2 routes), Air India, Kingfisher Airlines, etc.
- Travelling by road is a convenient option for tourists. The roads of Jabalpur are well maintained and connected to various cities like Pune, Bhopal, Indore, Nagpur, Aurangadabad etc.
- Passengers can use personal vehicles, bus services, taxi services or auto rickshaws to commute to their desired destination.
- There are many private as well as government buses that will benefit tourists in their travel to different loacations across the city.
- The Jabalpur Railway Junction efficiently connects to all the important metro cities in India.
- It is an important section located in the Howrah- Mumbai Main line. One can visit the nearest station or even find the details reagrding the train schedule easily online here.
When to visit Jabalpur?
- The moderate temperature during Semptember to March makes it the best time to visit the city. The winters are said to be very pleasant as the beautiful weather allows tourists to travel and explore the city more conveniently before the humidity sets in.
- The monsoon season during July to August can be a favourable time for rain lovers. The rain is heavy but the climate is better and fresher.
- The summers come home during April to June and this time is said to be unfavourable and unpleasant. People avoid visiting because the soaring temperature rises upto 41 °C. The heat and humidity makes it uncomfortable to travel.
- Jabalpur is home to different religions but the majority belongs to Hindusim and that’s why Hindi is predominent across the city.
- Although Hindi is considered to be the official and most important language in Jabalpur, people also commonly speak Marathi, Urdu and English.
- Jabalpur generally has a mildly warm and humid climate throughout the year.
- The month of May is the hottest. It is said that it usually rains more in the winter than in summer.
Fairs & Festivals of Jabalpur
Jabalpur, the heart of Madhya Pradesh, celebrates many cultural fairs and vibrant festivals throughout the year. The heart of Madhya Pradesh is famous for its rich heritage and iconic history.
Jabalpur celebrates Narmada Jayanti every year on ‘Shukla Paksha Saptami’ according to the Hindu lunar calendar in Magha (January/February) month. The pilgrim town of Amarkantak is a popular place to observe the festival. People worship the holy river Narmada for its contribution to the peace and prosperity of the city and its people. Devotees visit various ghats to sing the bhajans of Mother Narmada. In the evening, they perform a grand aarti to honour the Goddess. During this occasion, the entire city is painted in saffron colour.
The joyous festival of Makar Sankranti comes with immense enthusiasm and grace. Devotees gather in large numbers near the river Narmada for the traditional holy baths. People perform pujas across various temples across the city and state. Food consisting of dal and chaval (lentils and rice) along with ritually blessed til (sesame seeds) is distributed among the poor and needy.
Sharad Purnima is a famous festival celebrated in Jabalpur on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin. The moon’s brightness creates a lively aura of joy and happiness. Also known as Kojagari Puja, it is a celebration of the harvest. On this auspicious day, people worship and present offerings to their divine gods and goddesses. Events are organized in Bhedaghat where people sing and rejoice together.
Dussehra is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. In other words, there is a celebration in honour of the victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana. It is also known as Vijayadashami. On this auspicious festival, people burn the statue of Ravan to rejoice in the victorious spirit. Rituals like Seema Avalanghan, Aparajita, Shami Puja are observed during this day.
Durga pooja is a famous Hindu annual festival all over India. It usually occurs during the months of September or October. In Jabalpur, people organize many competitions to keep the festive spirit alive. Several beautiful statues of goddess Durga are established and worshipped. On this memorable occasion, there’s light, laughter, happiness along with a feeling of virtue and goodwill among people.
People enjoy the joyous festival of Holi throughout India. Although it lasts for merely two days, it is wholeheartedly enjoyed with colours, sweets and smiles. On the first day, people gather and organize a bonfire. On the second day, fun and excitement begin. People spend this day with their friends and family, chasing each other to apply colours, sing and dance to catchy songs and enjoy bhang
As we all know, Diwali is the festival of lights, joy and celebration. Just like other cities in India, Jabalpur also celebrates Diwali with enthusiasm and excitement. Colourful lights and crackers brighten the entire city on this auspicious day. The festival is celebrated for five days including the prayers and celebration of Dhanteras, Lakshmi Pooja, Govardhan Pooja and Bhai Dooj.
Various Dance Forms
Dance forms are an important part of Jabalpur’s culture. A Gond dance form called Karma is the main dance of the Gond tribe, performed during August month. Other popular dance forms include Giridaand, Phulpati and Marki. Nomadic groups called ‘Banjaaras’ actively participate and perform these dances. Dholaks and drums play for background music as women dance while balancing pots on their heads.
Transportation/Stay to prefer
Tourists can travel and explore by taking auto-rickshaws, taxis, private cabs and inter-bus services easily available across the city.
Stay to prefer
For stay, tourists can take accommodation in any of the various hotels and resorts as per their liking. There are plenty of affordable places to stay nearby various sightseeing spots and tourist attractions. For a hassle-free vacation, price and distance comparisons are available online.
Places to visit in Jabalpur
It’s impossible to talk about Jabalpur and miss the popular Dhuandhar Falls. Renowned for its beautiful sight and serenity, the place is often a topper on the lists of places to visit. Not many know that ‘Dhuan’ means ‘smoke’ and ‘Dhar’ means ‘stream’ which makes a splendid name combination. Staying true to the name, the falls create a smokey appearance as the Narmada river flows through the hills. The fast speed of the pouring waterfall creates a cloudy and misty atmosphere which is the main attraction of Dhaundhar Falls. There’s no wonder why it has been nicknamed ‘Smoke Cascade’.
Madhan Mahal Fort
Madan Mahal Fort, locally known as the Rani Durgawati Fort, is a famous fort in Jabalpur. The Gond ruler, Raja Madhan Shah built it as a watchtower during the 11th-century Gond dynasty. From its location on top of a hill, visitors can see a breathtaking view of the entire town of Garha. The essence of the fort links to the brave Gond queen, Rani Durgawati, who holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Jabalpur. The iconic architecture combined with passages and war rooms makes Madhan Mahal Fort anciently significant.
Bhedaghat, Marble Rocks
Although the beauty of Dhuandar Falls might fill your heart with content, you must make some space for the marble rocks of Bhedaghat. One of the finest pieces of nature, this is the place where the river Bhavan meets river Narmada. The main attraction of Bhedaghat is the white marble rocks that are alluring at their finest. The mesmerizing place is a perfect treat who the ones who love peace and tranquillity. Tourists can enjoy boat rides as they admire the shapes of the marvellously carved rocks. Being famous for all the right reasons, Bhedaghat is a true tourist magnet.
Want to challenge the uniqueness of Jabalpur? Too bad, the Balancing rock will make you give up! Being a natural wonder, the large rocks balancing on each other only touch slightly but they survived earthquakes of heavy magnitude in the past. The unique formation is a fine example of nature’s architecture. Having no scientific explanation for their incredible rock formation, many tourists and geologists visit the place to observe and investigate the unusual sight.
Chausat Yogini Temple
Built-in the 10th century, the Chausat Yogini temple honours Goddess Durga. ‘Yogini’ is the name referring to a female attendant of a goddess. The temple is known to be named after the 64 attendants of Goddess Durga. It is one of the most historical and beautiful places to visit in Jabalpur.
Dumna Nature Reserve
Located near the airport, Dumna Nature Reserve is a great spot for the ones who love flora and fauna. The greenery spread across the park, the cleanliness and the freshness in the air will put a nature lover’s heart at peace. Tourists get to see various animals and birds in the forest area. There is also a children’s park where kids can enjoy the toy train. Common animals include porcupines, jackals, wild boars, leopards and various species of birds. There’s also a restaurant present in the park.
Lord Shiva Statue at Shiv Mandir, Kachnar City
Being one of the tallest statues in India, The Lord Shiva statue is 23 meters tall. The marvellously created statue is at Shiv Mandir in Kachnar City that is a popular religious and tourist destination. The temple often attracts plenty of visitors who remain in awe of beautiful scenery. There are 12 Jyotirlinga in the chambers on which Lord Shiva’s statue was built in 2004.
Kanha National Park
If you wish to dwell deeper to witness the wildlife, Kanha National Park is the perfect destination for you. Being the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh, the royal Bengal tigers are the centre of attraction. Among all, there are various plantations, different species of birds and wild animals one gets to see.
Cuisines to taste in Jabalpur
If you love your rice with some veggies, then Pilaf is a must-try for you! Filled with the goodness of carrots and peas, the delicious aroma of basmati rice will leave you wanting more. To add the spices and rich taste, you have to cook it along with fried cumin seeds, onions, tomatoes, bay leaves and chopped garlic. People enjoy this dish with raita on the side.
Khoye Ki Jalebi
Jalebi has a special place in every food lover’s heart and Jabalpur’s Khoye Ki Jalebi is no exception. However, this delicious treat has a different recipe than the usual one. It’s made from Khoya, a thickened boiled milk dipped in sweet sugar syrup. This dish is rare to find all over India, that’s why it’s a must-try in Jabalpur. One can find them in the local street sweet shops.
The ones who crave desserts after a good meal will enjoy Malpua, a famous sweet dish of India and Bangladesh. Jabalpur’s variant includes preparing from a mixture of flour, milk, curd and semolina. The taste and flavour will put your taste buds in bliss!
Another famous dish for sweet lovers is Khobra Pak, a coconut dessert. Made from freshly grated coconut, the recipe differs across regions, often including dried coconut too. Besides that, milk, saffron and cardamom are the key ingredients contributing to the distinctive flavour.
Kebabs are famous in Madhya Pradesh and the seekh kebab in Jabalpur is one of the best’s mouth-watering dishes. Fried and grilled in butter, the kebab has a crunchy layer on the outside that ensure crispy bites. The inside includes chopped mutton sausage, flavoured with various strong spices.
Who doesn’t love sabudana khichdi? It is an all-time favourite throughout India and even in Jabalpur. Here, people use relatively less oil to prepare the sabudana, known as tapioca pearls in English. Powered with crushed roasted peanuts, textured with salt, sugar and spice, Sabudana Khichdi is an all-rounder to satisfy one’s appetite.
While veg samosas are famous in India, chicken samosas also have their fair share in the food market. In Jabalpur, people frequently enjoy the non-vegetarian across all regions. Stuffed with chicken and spices, it is coated with flour before deep frying in oil. The end result is a crispy, golden brown snack, served with tomato or red chilli sauce and green chutney.
In Jabalpur, Rabdi is a sweet dish prepared with boiled milk, flour and curd. Many garnish it with saffron and dried fruits to add immense flavour. There are many versions of Rabdi including spicy and salty but the sweet variant is the most preferred one.
Things to do in Jabalpur
Boating is one of the famous activities enjoyed in Jabalpur. People frequently visit places like Bhedaghat, Gwarighat, Bargidam for boating. For tourists who love water, peaceful environment, cool and breezy atmosphere, boating in these places will ensure a remarkable experience. People frequently visit places like Bhedaghat, Gwarighat, Bargidam for boating.
Tourists who enjoy adventure and love walking can participate in various trekking activities. Surrounded by the finest forts, hills and mountains, tourists witness a breathtaking view from the top. Trekking can be a fun activity to keep the holiday spirit alive.
Cable Car/Ropeway Rides
Cable Car/Ropeway is an exciting activity enjoyed in the Bhedaghat area. People who aren’t afraid of heights and love a thrilling experience can undertake the cable car ropeway rides and witness a beautiful view of the city, the rocks and falls from above.
Enjoy at Sea World Water Park
Want to bring alive the inner child in you? At Sea World Water Park, you can say goodbye to your worries for a while. Enjoy various fun water rides and exciting activities along with many food stalls around that won’t let you remain hungry.
Exploring and Sightseeing is the best way to be a witness to all the wonders of Jabalpur. Blessed with various forts, museums, markets, rocky hills and waterfalls, the list of places is endless. People can book tourist guides who will not only help them reach the destination but also give informative insights about the historical significance of the place.
Souvenirs to buy in Jabalpur
- Jabalpur is famous for various beautiful fabrics, intrinsic art and skilled crafts. There are variety of handmade articles and miniature monuments you can find in the busy bazaars of the city.
- Fine antiques and artifacts are popular in these markets. Sellers offer tourists a wide range of prices and sizes.
- Frequently bought items in Jabalpur include colorful fabrics, vibrant clothes, unique jewellery, furniture and textiles.
- Among all, Maheshwari and Chanderi Saris are great souvenirs that can be gifted to friends and family. Famous markets include Sadar Bazaar, Kotwali Bazaar, Ganjipura, etc.
From all the details above, we can positively conclude that Jabalpur is indeed the heart of Madhya Pradesh. I hope you find this article informative. Keep reading, keep exploring!