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Amarkantak

Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh is an important pilgrim center for the Hindus and the source of the rivers Narmada and Sone. Holy ponds, hills, forests, and beautiful waterfalls make Amarkantak a sought-after destination for the religious as well as nature loving tourists.
There are several stories about the origin of Amarkantak’s name. The famous Sanskrit poet, Kalidas named the place Amrakoot since the place contained lots of mango (amra) trees; later Amrakoot became Amarkoot. According to myths, when Lord Shiva destroyed Tripura by fire one of the three ashes fell on Amarkantak, which turned into thousands of shivalingas. One such linga is still is worshiped at Jwaleshwar.
Amarkantak
Amarkantak also finds a mention in the Mahabharata, as one of the homes of the Pandavas during their exile.

HISTORY
The history about amarkantak reveals that during the Chendi dynasty hold the region was followed by the kalchuris in the 10th century. The region in the earier days was belived to be known as the ayodhya, as mentioned in our vedas, puranas that there was a ashram for the saints of kapil muni and rishi markand. Stories from the various books suggests that the pandavas of the mahabharat epic had spent their years of exile here. region was later in the 15th century was handed over Baghelas and in 1808, the bhosle of nagpur ruled out the region. Finally in went in the hands of minister of state goverment. In the hindu mythology, Narmada is one of the seven sacred rivers of India. Pilgrims bathe in its holy water to wash away their sins. legend has it that once every year, the mighty Ganga comes to Narmada to take a holy dip into its water at the place of its origin.

TOURISM
Amarkantak receives large number of tourists throughout the year. Being a pilgrimage destination, majority of them are Hindu devotees. Apart from being a pilgrimage destination, it is also a popular hill station. So for those who are interested in hill station pilgrim then it is the best option in Central India. Being origin of Holy Narmada river, devotees takes this place with great devotion and respect. While visiting Amarkantak we can see various temples, Kapildhara, Temple of Kalchuri era & Narmada Kund from where river Narmada originates and number of Ashrams. Hindu saints see this place with great respect and visits for meditation and feel the holiness of atmosphere.
amarkantak narmada udgam
In addition to a holy place, forest area of Amarkantak generates the feeling of wilderness of surrounding. This valley is popular among Botanist for huge variety of medicinal plants. Some of them are rare by nature. After visiting temples and other holy places, tourists have chance to visit nearby villages to experience the tribal culture and their rituals. Surrounding villages are of Central India Tribes where we can see they life style, housing pattern, know about their livelihood, customs, rituals, social pattern etc. Being located in South-East of Madhya Pradesh, it shares border with Chattisgarh state in which Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary forest is another wildlife attraction for visitors.

HOW TO REACH
By Air: Jabalpur & Raipur are the nearest airports for reaching Amarkantak. Jabalpur is about 250kms from Amarkantak and can be reached by road & train from Amarkantak. 
By Train: Madhya Pradesh State is well connected by Indian railways network. Most of the major railway tracks passes through this state due to its central location. All important cities and tourist destinations are linked with direct trains to Madhya Pradesh like: Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Ranthambore, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Puri, Haridwar, Varanasi etc. Their are number of railway junctions inside Madhya Pradesh like Itarsi, Katni, Bina, Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Chhindwara, Dewas, Khandwa etc. Recently luxury tourist train called "Maharaja Express" has been started which passes through Madhya Pradesh station like Gwalior, Khajuraho and Umaria (Bandhavgarh).
By Bus: Madhya Pradesh State border touches 5 state: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh & Maharashtra. All these states are well linked from cities and towns of Madhya Pradesh by road. Some major National Highways like NH-7, NH-12A, NH-25, NH-26, NH-27, NH-69, NH-3, NH-92, NH-12 etc. passes through this state. Major tourist destinations close to Madhya Pradesh, linked by Road are: Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi, Tadoba National Park, Ranthambore, Raipur, Vishakhapattnam, Ajanta, Ellora, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Mount Abu, Chambal Sanctuary, Lucknow etc. 

CLIMATE
Amarkantak is a hill station where temperature remains good in compare to plains of Central India. It has a subtropical climate. Like most of north India it has a hot dry summer(April-June) followed by monsoon rains (July-September) and a cool and relatively dry winter. The average rainfall is about 1,370 mm (53.9 in). It decreases from east to west. The south-eastern districts have the heaviest rainfall, some places receiving as much as 2,150 mm (84.6 in), while the western and north-western districts receive 1,000 mm (39.4 in) or less.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
Amarkantak is a popular pilgrim destination. Although it is a hill station but more popular as a pilgrim destination. Being a important tourism region and sacred place it is visited by tourist through out the year by tourists and holy saints. Most of the visitors prefer to visit in winters and summers season as these are the best time for tourism activities in nearby tourist attractions and climate also favors traveling. Best time to visit Amarkantak is from August to April. During winters and summers its near by tourist destinations like Kanha national park, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve remain open for visitors so tourists makes their plan according to cover nearby tourist attractions along with Amarkantak. During monsoon season, it receives healthy rainfall and its surrounding greenery attracts nature photographers. Despite of this, if visitor wishes to visit in odd time, he/she can visit as it is open throughout the year for pilgrims and tourists.

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