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Jabalpur

“City of Rocks”

Located in the heart of India, Jabalpur is bathed by the holy river Narmada on three sides. Narmada valley, with its jutting marble rocks, makes the city a paradise for archaeologists and geologists. There are earthen outcroppings that dot the landscape, in the form of its many rocky hummocks. Thus, Jabalpur is also famous as the 'City of Rocks'. It is believed that the city derives its name from an Arabic word 'Jabal', which means 'mountain'. This signifies the jagged landscape of the place and brings to notice its trade connection with Arab countries, during the Middle Ages.

According to local fables and lore, Jabalpur was the 'tapasya bhumi' (meditation centre) of a mythological sage known as 'Jabalie', from whom the name Jabalpur is derived. The name of the place even finds a mention in the ancient epics like Mahabharata, highlighting its antiquity. Endowed with mythology, the city also has a lot of historical significance, as it was the pleasure resort and capital of the erstwhile Gond Kings, during the 12th century. It later served as the imperial seat of the Kalchuri dynasty also. Marathas ruled Jabalpur, from whom the British appropriated the place during the colonial empire.

This rich chronicling of the history of Jabalpur is noticeable in numerous Gond forts, monuments and temples, hemmed in different parts of the city. The British sway over the place also manifests in the form of the large cantonment in Jabalpur, with its barracks and colonial residences. All these historical treasures form major tourist attractions of the place. Today, the city is deemed as an important administrative and educative centre of Madhya Pradesh and is one of the most developed cities of the state. Urban bits and pieces, skillfully interspersed with its scenic extravaganza, lend Jabalpur its matchless beauty.

With its idyllic landscape, that displays rugged mounds, green suburbs, tranquil lakes and historical edifices, Jabalpur hypnotizes many tourists round the year. One can forever watch the sunrays hitting the mounds of marbles, as they dapple Narmada with their brilliant shadows. The popularity of the place also owes to its positioning as an important stopover for jaunting to the nearby exotic realms of Madhya Pradesh. Important wildlife sanctuaries are easily accessible from the city, which allures many wildlife enthusiasts. In fact, a visit to the place is a memorable sojourn for all those who appreciate the unruffled facets of nature.

Located on the banks of the sacred Narmada River and surrounded by rocky hills is the tranquil city of Jabalpur. Nesting amidst rocky mounds, Jabalpur is also called the "the city of the rocks." The city is named after Saint Jabali Pattanam or Jabal (in Arabic meaning rocks). The capital of the medieval Gond rulers during the 12th century, Jabalpur later became the capital of the Kalchuri Kings and the Marathas until the British annexed it. The hub of education and culture, Saint Binoba Bhave called Jabalpur Sanskardhani (Cultural Capital) of Madhya Pradesh. Today Jabalpur is a major centre of administration and commerce.

Situated in the heart of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur is one of the largest and most important cities in the state. It is located on the banks of Holy River of Narmada and is around 336 km from Bhopal. Jabalpur has served as a capital to many ruling dynasties like Kalchuri and Gond. After 1817, Jabalpur was under the control of British who made it the commission headquarters of Narmada territory. The city is covered with mountains from all sides thus deriving its name from an Arab word ‘Jabal’, which means mountain. This shows that there should have been a trade link between Arabs and the city. You will also find many graves of Arab that further strengthens this. Another belief goes that a famous Sage named 'Jabali' lived here giving it the name Jabalpur. Jabalpur covers an area of 154 sq. km. The city has become world famous due to the presence of Marble Rocks on the outskirts. Jabalpur is also the closest to Kanha National Park and Bandhavgarh National Park that give the city an extra edge over other parts of Madhya Pradesh.

The temperature here in summers in the high thirties making travel in the city a bit uncomfortable for unprepared tourist. However monsoon season and winters are extremely pleasant for exploring the many attractions in the city. Shopping in the city is really an unforgettable experience as you get to buy things that you will probably not get anywhere else in India. The market places in the city have an olden time charm about them. Shop for locally made jute crafts, dress material with stunning zadosi embroidery and silver wares.

History: 

The history of Jabalpur town can be traced back to the times of the Mahabharata. This city has witnesses the vicissitudes of the dynasties. Has been governed by the richest dynasties comprising the Maurya and the Gupats, this city in ancient times was the capital of the Gond rulers. From the 12th century onwards he power of bridling this massive city came under the Kalchuri rulers, then slipping into the hands of the Mughals and then the Marathas that ruled till the 19th century, after which the British took control.

This intermix of the ancient Hindu, Islamic Mughals and Marathi and then the colonial British has given this city the vibrant colors to the culture. The architectural heritage of the city is reflective of the great influences that had left their mark on the city. You should domicile this city to canvass the copiousness that this land beholds.

Accessibility: 

Air: Jabalpur has its own domestic airport and receives regular flights from Delhi, Bhopal and other major cities of India.

Rail: Jabalpur railhead is situated on the main Mumbai-Howrah line and most trains on this line have a stop here. There are overnight trains running from Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.

Road: Transport Buses from almost all cities of Madhya Pradesh frequent to Jabalpur. Some private transport operators also have their luxury and semi-luxury coaches plying in and out of the city.

Shopping: 

The Arab of India, Jabalpur is a merger of the terra firma flavour and the contemporary shopping hubs. They have the old bazaar that displays the traditional handicrafts and the ethnic collection of the state, and the glassy shopping malls satisfy the vision of even the most ardent shopper. Shopping in Jabalpur is a special experience that will surely take you to the higher grade. When you are in Jabalpur first try to indulge into buying something that is invaluable and posh and the answer to your search will definitely be the exclusive traditional artifacts of the state that includes the toys and terracotta items. You should not miss buying the Chanderi and Maheshwari saris that are an exclusive of Jabalpur, and due to modern influence losing its due importance. The crafts of Jute and the silver and brass ware items should also be purchased. Go to Mrignayani, which is a government emporium for handicrafts especially jute items. The old bazaars in Jabalpur are the ideal place for the antiques and other items that are tralatitious. The vociferous chowks and the strident Galis are the perfect way to buy inexpensive items.

Shopping in Jabalpur will be a fascinating experience with most of the shops retaining a medieval charm. You have ample choice for shopping- old bazaars with traditional items and the newer shopping centers which stock the trendy range of goods.

The bustling ghallis and chowks lined with shops offer you an array of items-stuffed toys, jute crafts, silver and brassware and a range of saris and dress materials with exquisite zardosi embroidery. You can also pick up Maheshwari and Chanderi saris typical of Madhya Pradesh as gifts to carry home. If you are planning to buy souvenirs, then you can stop at the Government emporia named Mriganayani, which has handicrafts from the various Indian states.

Accommodation: 

Hotels in Jabalpur are fully geared to meet the needs of the wildlife enthusiast who stay in Jablapur enroute to the wild life sanctuaries of Kanha and Bandhavgarh.

Hotels in Jabalpur offer a range of accommodation ranging from low-end to high -end hotels. Most of the high-end hotels are located on Station Road, Civil Lines and Russell Chowk areas while the low end ones are on Station Road.

Some of the prominent hotels in Jabalpur are

Hotel Rishi Regency
Hotel Shri Radha
Hotel Prestige Princess
Hotel Samdriya
Hotel Satya Ashoka
Hotel Kalchury
Hotel Krishna

District: 
Jabalpur
STD Code: 
0761
Termperature: 
Summer 22-40°C, Winter 10-27°C
Best time to visit: 
October to March