Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh
Chindwara district rank 1st in Madhya Pradesh state in area with total of 1181500 hectare and occupies 3.50% of the area of the state. The District is divided into 13 Tahsils and 11 Development blocks. There are 5 Nagar Palikas and 10 Nagar Panchayats. Apart from this there are 8 small towns in the district. Prominent tourist spots in the district include Patalkot,Tamia,Tribal museum,Chota Mahadev caves, Devgarh fort, Nadadvari,Hot water spring at Anhoni, Radhadevi caves and Jam Sanvali Temple (near Sousar).
Location & Geographical Area - Chhindwara district was formed on 1st November 1956. It is located on the south-west region of 'Satpuda range of mountains'.It is spread from 21.28 to 22.50 Deg. north (Longitude) and 78.15 to 79.25 Deg. East (Latitude) and spread over an area of 11, 81,500 hectare. This district is bound by the plains of Nagpur district (in Maharastra) on the south, Hoshangabad and Narsingpur districts on the north, Betul district on the west and Seoni district on the east.
Topography - The Chindwara district covered with forest and it is classified into two categories dense forest and degraded forest. Dense forest is restricted to eastern and western part of the district. Degraded forest occur both the dense forested area and area close to other land use. There are five types of soils are present in the district. Alluvial soil is commonly associated with rivers and streams. Silty soil is occurring on the bank of river Kanhan near Sausar town. Lateritic Soil is occurring in the eastern and south-western part of the district. Sandy soil is associated with Pench and Kanhan rivers. Black cotton soil is occurring in the central, northern and southern parts of the district. Soil of recent origin is developed in low-lying valleys.
There are following major and minor mineral available in the district.
1. Coal 842382
2 Dolomite 412
3 Manganese 173846
1. .Stone 4736923 Cub. Metre
2. Sand 1205674 Cub. Metre
3. Muram 104810 Cub. Metre
4. Clay 1564 Cub. Metre
5. Marble 714 Cub. Metre.
Forest - Chindwara is situated on a plateau, surrounded by the lush green fields, rivers and sagaun trees. Chhindwara is surrounded by dense forest with diverse flora and fauna. There is total forest area 4,79,500 hectare of the district. Bamboo, Teak, Harra, Salbeej, Tendu Patta, are the major forest wealth.
How to reach Chhindwara (Transport System in Chhindwara)
Chhindwara is connected to its neighboring districts by rail and road both. The nearest airport is Nagpur Airport (130 km). A small air strip is also available at Chhindwara for landing small airplanes of 5 to 10 passengers. Chhindwara is connected to nearby big cities like Nagpur, Jabalpur and Bhopal with frequent buses and taxi services round the clock.
Chhindwara railway station is part of the Satpura narrow gauge lines and is shown on the Bilaspur-Nagpur section of Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line. It has the following trains running daily:
Panchvalley Express between Chhindwara and Indore Junction
Patalkot Express between Chhindwara and Dehli Sarai Rohila via Bhopal - Bina Mathura
Amla Passenger between Chhindwara and Amla
Nainpur Passenger between Chhindwara and Nainpur (narrow gauge)
Nagpur Passenger between Chhindwara and Nagpur (This narrow gauge train covers the distance of 147 km in around eight hours and travels through some beautiful scenic valleys)
The 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway track is being converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge between Chhindwara and Nagpur. This is expected to change the current face of Chhindwara Junction. Electrification of Chhindwara-Amla section is under progress.
National Highway 69 National Highway 69 (NH 69) is a National Highway in central India goes through Chhindwara. It connects Nagpur in Maharashtra to Obedullaganj near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh . It connects NH 12 and NH 6, NH 7.National Highway 69-A links Chhindwara with NH-69 at Saoner.
Other then this there are following state highway are there-
Chhindwara District has majority of tribal population. The tribal communities include Gond, Pardhan, Bharia, Korku. Hindi, Marathi, Gondi, Urdu, Korku, Musai, Parvari etc. languages/dialects are in use in the district. Majority of the tribals speak in Gondi and Hindi mixed with Marathi. Among the cultural functions/festivals in the district Pola, Bhujalia, Meghnath, Akhadi, Harijyoti etc. are famous ones. 'Gotmat Mela' of Pandhurna is unique and world renowned fair. On Shivrathri day 'Mahadev Mela' will be celebrated each year on "Choudagadh".
The main tourist attractions in and around Chhindwara include:-
- Devgarh Fort This famous historical fort of Devgarh is situated 24 miles (39 km) south of Chhindwara beyond Mohkhed. The fort is built on a hill which is fortified by a deep valley clothed with dense reserve forest. The fort is approachable up to its foot by motor road. The nature is bountiful here. Davgarh fort built by king Jatav of Gond. It was the capital of Gondwana dynasty until 18th century. The architecture of the fort is somewhat similar to that of Mughal. There are a big fort palace and beautiful buildings. It is believed that there was a secret underground passage connecting Devgarh to Nagpur. Here is a tank called "motitaka" and there is famous saying that the water in this tank never finishes. At present, Devgarh village is a small inhabitant's area. The ruins at this place speak of its past glory.
- Patalkot is situated in the hilly block 'Tamia' of Chhindwara District, has acquired great importance because of its Geographical and Scenic beauty. Patalkot is a lovely land scape located at a depth of 1200–1500 feet in a velley. Because of the great depth at which it is located this place is christened as 'Patalkot' ('Patal menas very deep, in Sanskrit). When one looks down the place sitting at the top of the valley, the place looks like a horse shoe in shape. Earlier, people believed it as the entrance to 'Patal'. There is one more belief that after worshiping 'Lord Shiva' Prince 'Meghnath' had gone to Patal-lok through this place only. People say that this place was ruled by Kings in 18th and 19th Century and that there was a long tunnel connecting this place to 'Pachmarhi' in Hoshangabad District. Because of the inaccessibility of this area, the tribals of this region were totally cut off from the civilized world. But, with the constant efforts being made by the Government, tribal of this area started tasting the advantages of adopting civilized life. 'Patalkot' is attracting many tourists because of its geographical location, scenic beauty, culture of the people who live here, and the immense and rare herbal wealth.
- Tamia hills are around 45 km from Chhindwara. The steep hills, dense forests, and big winding ghats have all combined to make Tamia a beauty spot and a tourist place. A PWD rest house is picturesquely situated on a steep hill commanding an extensive view of the deep forests and mountainous ranges of Satpura notably Mahadeo and Chaura Pahad in the background. The view from the rest house is noted for its constantly shifting natural scenery which is inspiring to the visitors to this place. The government postal bungalow situated in Tamia is a pleasant place as it is located in hilly range at 3,765 feet (1,148 m) height above Mean Sea Level surrounded by dense forest. The sunrise and sunset scenes give a breath taking experience to the visitors. About 1.5 km from this bungalow there is a cave where in the holy 'Shivling' (the deity of Lord Shiva) of 'Chota Mahadev' exists. Just beside the cave is a small water fall. Both of these provide a feast to the eyes of the visitors.
- Gotmar Mela (Fair) of Pandhurna Ninety-Seven km from Chhindwara, in the headquarters of 'Pandhurna' tahsil a unique fair (mela in Hindi) by name 'Gotmar Mela' is celebrated every year on the second day to 'Bhadrapad' New Moon day. This fair is celebrated on the banks of the river 'Jam'. A long tree is erected in the middle of the river with a flag at its very top. The residents of the villages 'Savargaon' and 'Pandhurna' gather on either bank of the river, and start pelting stones ('Got') at the persons of the opposite village who try to cross into the mid of the river and remove the flag on top of the tree trunk. The village whose resident succeeds in removing the flag will be considered victorious. The whole activity happens amidst the chanting of the sacred name of 'Maa' Durgaji. Several people have been wounded in this celebration and the District Administration makes elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of this rare fair. People have been left dead or injured, so the festival has now been banned.
- Tribal Museum This Museum started in Chhindwara on 20 April 1954, and acquired 'State Museum' status in 1975. On 8 September 1997 the Tribal Museum's name has been changed to "Shri Badal Bhoi State Tribal Museum". This museum is maintained by a Museum In-charge Officer with the help of artists and peons. It comprises 14 rooms, 3 galleries and two open galleries. It depicts the tribal cultures of 45 (approx.) tribal communities living in Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh states. It is the oldest and the biggest tribal museum in Madhya Pradesh. It is a treasure house, storing antique and rare collections of items related to the tribal living in the district. One can find items related to the houses, clothes, ornaments, arms, agriculture tools, art, music, dance, celebrations, the deities worshiped by them, religious activities, herbal collections, and so on. The museum throws light on the rich traditions and ancient cultures of the tribal communities. It has depicted the family living styles of the Gound and Baiga, the principal tribes living in the district. Also it has shown how the Agria tribes mould iron, and shows Patalkots Dehia agricultural systems. These exhibits attract the tourists. To put it in a nut-shell, the museum is a one stop collection-cum-information centre on the tribes of this district.
- Shashti Mata Mandir is located at Kapurda, almost 45 km north of Chhindwara. This temple is very old and famous for its cultural influence on the region. It attracts a number of tourists almost every day, but Tuesday is considered to be the best day for worship. Also, it is believed that if Shrashti Mata is invoked with faith, she dispels disease. Some visitors come for the mundan ceremony (the first hair cutting ceremony of a child) of their children and offer their crop of hair at the altar of goddess. Among other visitors, married couples also come to invoke the blessings of the goddess for a happy married life. This temple was built by late B.L. Shrivastava in 1939. At present the temple management is taken care of by his sons L.L. Shrivastava and S.S. Shrivastava. The temple can be reached by local buses or taxis from Chhindwara.
- Waterfalls of Kukdi-khapa and Lilahi[DAHNORA] The picturesque location of Kukdi khapa waterfall is found along the Chhindwara to Nagpur narrow gauge railway line, between the stations of Umaranala and Ramakona. The waterfall is situated in the panoramic 'Sillevani' mountain range. The height of this fall is approximately 60 feet (18 m). The location is more beautiful and picturesque immediately after a spell of good rains. While travelling in the train along the narrow gauge railway toward Nagpur one can see this beautiful picnic spot. The Lilahi [DHANORA] waterfall is located in the downstream of the District's second biggest river, 'Kanhan'. This fall is situated on the route from Mohkhed to Pandhurna via Devgarh. It is close to the 'Narayan Ghat,' near dhanora village on the Kanhaan river. The lovely sight of the waterfall surrounded by mountain rocks and colorful nature is indeed a feast to the visitor. The waterfall will have a sufficient flow of water from July to January.
- Anhoni Anhoni village is situated near Mahuljhir Police Station and at a distance of 2 miles (3.2 km) from the village Jhirpa on Chhindwara-Piparia road. A hill stream with hot and boiling sulphur springs flows near the village. These springs, at a further distance, assume the form of a nullah (short stream). The water of this spring is believed to be beneficial for skin diseases and for certain impurities of the blood.
- Neelkanthi Some ruins of a temple can be seen by the side of Siphna stream which flows at some distance of Neelkanthi, a village which is 14 miles (23 km) south-east of Chhindwara town. The entrance gate to the main temple is said to date back between 7th and 10th century. It is believed that at one time an area of 264 x 132 sq ft (12.3 m2) inside the gate was surrounded by a rampart. The stone slabs of the gate are fastened together with iron hooks. An illegible inscription can be found on one of the stone pillars of the temple. There is a reference to Raja Krishna III of Rashtrakut kingdom. The design of the gate is in Bahmanic style.
- Hinglag Mata Mandir, located at Ambada (Mohan Colliery, Muari road) almost 40 km (by the Parasia road) south of Chhindwara is one of the notable temples in Chhindwara. It attracts a number of tourists almost every day, but Tuesday and Saturday are considered to be the best days for worship.
- Ram Mandir, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ram, located at the heart of the city, is considered the oldest temple of the city. It was constructed with the old beam and bracket system. In front of Ram mandir there is Badi Mata Mandir, dedicated to goddess Durga.
- Jama Masjid is located at Gole Ganj area, almost at the centre of Chhindwara. It is considered as a historical place because it was constructed by famous freedom fighters, the Shaukat Ali Brothers. The Masjid is decorated by Arabic calligraphy, in Mughal and Turkish style.