Situated at an altitude of 1065 mt. at the meeting point of the Vindhya and the Satpura mountain ranges amongst sylvan surroundings, Amarkantak is a great pilgrim centre for the Hindus, and is the source of the rivers Narmada and Sone. While the Narmada flows Westwards from Amarkantak, the Sone flows towards the East. Amarkantak is indeed blessed by Nature. Holy ponds, lofty hills, forested surroundings, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls and an ever-pervading air of serenity make Amarkantak a much sought-after destination for the religious-minded as well as for the nature-lover.
Among all the sacred rivers of India, the Narmada occupies a unique place. Legend has it that Lord Shiva blessed Narmada with unique purifying powers. Whereas to purify himself, a devotee requires taking one dip in the Holy Ganga, seven days' prayers on the banks of Yamuna and three days prayers on the banks of Saraswati, the mere sight of Narmada is enough. A charming folk tale describes the superiority of Narmada over Ganga. Once every year, after she herself is polluted beyond tolerance, Ganga visits Narmada dressed like a dark woman and takes a cleansing purifying dip in its waters
There are other rivers too, popular, romantic and life sustaining, each glamourized in the folk lore and history but none can match the mystique of Narmada.
This is a small National Park; compact, yet full of game. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. This is also White Tiger country. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for many years. The last known was captured by Maharajah Martand Singh in 1951. This White Tiger, Mohun, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajahs of Rewa.
Prior to becoming a National park, the forest around Bandhavgarh had long been maintained as a Shikargah, or game preserve, of the Maharajahs of Rewa. Hunting was carried out by the Maharajahs and their guests - otherwise the wildlife was relatively well-protected. It was considered a good omen for a Maharajah of Rewa to shoot 109 Tigers. His highness Maharajah Venkat Raman Singh shot 111 Tigers by 1914
Soaring in glittering splendour, the Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat rise to a hundred feet on either side of the Narmada. The serene loveliness of the scene is one of cool quiet, the sunlight sparkling on the marble-white pinnacles and casting dappled shadows on the pellucid waters. These white rocks with views of black and dark green volcanic seams are truly majestic, and produce a magical effect on moonlight nights.
The holy river flows by tranquilly flanked by the towering cliffs which reflect in it like a mirror the changing moods of nature. A little distance away, it becomes turbulent as it plunges in a mighty water fall known as Dhuandhar.
In his Highlands of Central India Captain J. Forsyth speaks eloquently about the infinitely varied beauty of the rocks: "the eye never wearies of the effect produced by the broken and reflected sunlight, now glancing from a pinnacle of snow-white marble reared against the deep blue of the sky as from a point of silver, touching here and there with bright lights the prominence of the middle heights and again losing itself in the soft bluish grays of their recesses. . . Here and there the white saccharine limestone is seamed by veins of dark green or black volcanic rock; a contrast which only enhances like a setting of jet, the purity of the surrounding marble.
Kanha's sal and bamboo forests, rolling grasslands and meandering streams stretch over 940 sq km in dramatic natural splendour which form the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1974 under Project Tiger. The park is the only habitat of the rare hardground Barasingha (Cervus Duvaceli Branderi). This is original Kipling country of which he wrote so vividly in his Jungle Book. The same abundance of wild life species exists today in Kanha National Park, as it must have when Kipling roamed these parts. Remember Mowgli, the pint-sized 'Man-Child' or Bagheera, the Black Panther? And who can forget the inimitable Sher Khan, the 'villain' of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Kipling was inspired to write his memorable book by the luxuriant forest cover of Kanha teeming with an astonishing variety of wildlife.
PENCH TIGER RESERVE - SEONI
Pench Tiger Reserve is the real land of Mowgli, "The Kipling country" and the area of the famous ''The Jungle Book". Rudyard Kipling was awarded the first noble prize for literature in 1907 for his brilliant work, which includes the jungle book. There existed a real human child who was nurtured by wolves. This child was caught by Leut. John Moor under the guidance of Col. William Sleeman in 1831. Rudyard Kipling took the clue from Willium Sleeman's writing on Wolf nurturing childrens and a book on "Camp life of Seoni" by R.A. Sterendale.Area of the Pench Tiger Reserve 757 sq. km. Core Area of Pench National Park and Sanctuary 411 sq. km.