Road Trip to Raipur, Chhattisgarh via Dholpur, Lalitpur, Sanchi, Bhojpur, Bhimbetka

Alpha

Going to Neverland
Dussehra holidays were fast approaching. The good thing was that Gandhi Jayanti was one day before Dussehra to be followed by Saturday and Sunday. This definitely called for a road trip. Question was where? I had been to Kumaon mostly during this year and Kumaon was again on my radar. My brother who works in Tokapal, a small town near Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh was visiting us. His car, the blue i10 which I had used in my initial mountain travels (http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/kumaon-road-trip-may-2009-a-t34075/) (http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/great-escape-valley-flowers-vasudhara-falls-t17909/) (http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/not-usual-lansdowne-log-t48102/) (http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/drive-redemption-garhwal-february-2010-a-t33499/) (http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/one-day-trip-lake-siliserh-near-alwar-t34064/) (http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/chakrata-photologue-august-2010-a-t33784/) was kept at Delhi which he intended to take back to Tokapal. It involved a long two day drive and he asked me if I could tag along. I lapped up the idea. Checked air tickets for the return leg and found them at less than 2500 which were quickly lapped up. With the return secured I asked my brother to prepare the car which included thorough servicing and PUC and do a bit of research on the best route to be followed. Since he had been on this route before, he asked me not to worry. Further, I turned it into a three and a half day journey instead of a two day run thereby covering places of tourist interest on our way. He had certain ideas and destinations in his mind which he said I will find it to my liking.

I asked him to pick me up from my office by 4.00 pm on the 1st October itself thereby getting a head-start of 5-6 hours. We planned to reach Dholpur, Rajasthan by dinner time. My brother had also worked at Dholpur for some time back and has asked his office guys to book a hotel for us. We were carrying home cooked food for dinner. My brother was bang on time and we started our journey by 4.00 pm from my office at Moti Nagar. We took Yamuna Expressway and quickly munched the miles. We made a mid-way stop for light refreshments and thereafter drove continuously till Dholpur. We reached Dholpur by 9.30 pm. My brother was behind the wheel all the while. We checked into the pre booked hotel which was quite basic but with clean room and bed linen. There was no food available at the hotel but we were carrying our own food hence we faced no worries on this part. The room had a 14 inch television set which came into use till the time we fell asleep.

the Blue fire
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my brother - the one without the mustache
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We had planned to start as early as possible as we intended to cover as many places which the region offered. We got ready by 6.00 am. As we started to load luggage, we noticed a flat tyre at front right. That wasn’t an auspicious start to the day. To make the matter worse, we found no jack and no spanner in the dickey. I almost lost temper on my brother. These things were assigned to him. But that wasn’t the end of the drama. The lock to fold the rear seat to lift the spare tyre was broken. We borrowed pliers from the hotel staff and managed to fold the seats. The spare too had little pressure but was drivable. We borrowed jack from the hotel staff but it was suitable for an Alto car. I somehow managed to lift the car enough to take out the tyre. But the spanner was not right for loosening the nuts. We managed to wake up another guest staying at the hotel who lent us his spanner. He had an i20 parked there. Since the day didn’t start well, the tyre refused to come out and it took some greasing to take out the tyre. Finally after lots of effort and 45 minutes of time, we managed to leave the hotel premises.

We went in search of tyre repair shop. It was very early in the morning but still we found one such shop. He diagnosed the problem but had no tools to repair it. Anyhow, we asked him to fill air in all four. We had no option but to get the tyre repaired at Morena. Since we had lost a considerable time, my brother had planned to visit a fort there which he dropped. However, I had something in my mind. I wanted to visit Chopra temple. This name had stuck in mind since I saw its board while visiting Orrcha few months back http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/five-states-10-hours-short-visit-orchha-mp-t58837/. He reluctantly drove to the lane where the temple was situated. Its spire looked impressive from outside. We thought to check it from inside. It turned out to be a marvelously carved out. The sanctum sanctorum is octagonal in shape and has eight entrances, basically open from all side. We talked to the priest who told us about the history of the temple and peculiarity behind the name. Basically the wells and the steps are known as chopar/chopra in rajasthani dialect, hence the name. It was certainly foolhardy of me to think it to be built in honour of Prem Chopra by some die-hard fan.

spire of the Chopra temple
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some info
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the temple
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Brahma at the center
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the sanctum sanctorum
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some of the carvings
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the chopar/chopra
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few more carvings
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We crossed Chambal River before entering into Morena, Pan Singh Tomar’s town. Found one tyre repair shop as we entered the town. While the tyre was repaired we enjoyed a cup of tea from another roadside vendor. We left NH 3 while bye-passing Gwalior and headed towards Jhansi by taking NH 75. In between, we stopped at Dabra and bought a heavy duty jack and spanner set from a farm tools shop for avoiding any uncertainty hereafter. We took a slight detour and went inside Datiya town. We found some beautiful water bodies and old buildings situated right next to these water bodies. The imposing Datiya fort stands tall right in the middle of the town. Just before entering Jhansi town, we saw a bye-pass to Lalitpur which took us initially on NH 76 going towards Shivpuri. After few kilometers we diverted on NH 26 which was completely empty and with super quality 4 lane where we made good speeds. We stopped midway at a hotel for lunch (hotels were hard to come by on this route) but the food was pathetic to say the least.

Chambal River
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tyre repair at Morena
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Betwa River
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temple at Datiya
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nice little bridge over the water body
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other structures besides te water front
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Datiya High school building
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Datiya fort
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Datiya Fort overlooking the lake
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a man sitting by the lake
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look who is watching
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thanda break
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avoid this hotel
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adsatinder

explorer
Great Impression........
Of Prem Chopra.............
Great Temple....................
Great Discovery......................
Great Water Views......................
Great Palace...........................
Great Moves.......................
Great Toll.....................
Great Pics................


"Chhappar" ( छप्पड़ ) in Punjabi means "pond" / little pond.
http://wikimapia.org/11008337/Chappar-POND

In Rajasthani it may be "Chhopra" (Baoli)
like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrasen_ki_Baoli

As language / detreiorates or changed little by Boli after every 12 kose,
it can change from Chhappar to Chopra.


"Baoli" in Delhi and Punjab where water body is approached through stairs.
 
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Alpha

Going to Neverland
Alok bhai fantastic start..

Pictures are too good... becoming a master very soon :)
thanks TR.. not going to be a master anytime soon :p

Alok Bhai - Je Baat - Ek aur nai jagha ghumenge aapke saath....
thanks Sanjay bhai.. this road trip helped me gaining an insight to the wonderful offerings that MP/UP has in store for us.

Great Impression........
Of Prem Chopra.............
Great Temple....................
Great Discovery......................
Great Water Views......................
Great Palace...........................
Great Moves.......................
Great Toll.....................
Great Pics................


"Chhappar" ( छप्पड़ ) in Punjabi means "pond" / little pond.
Chappar ( POND )

In Rajasthani it may be "Chhopra" (Baoli)
like Agrasen ki Baoli - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As language / detreiorates or changed little by Boli after every 12 kose,
it can change from Chhappar to Chopra.


"Baoli" in Delhi and Punjab where water body is approached through stairs.
Paaji.. tussi great ho :grin:

Long drive Alok. Can understand your temper to find no jack on a long road trip:). Lovely write up and pictures.
thanks Sachin.. it was a frustrating time which could have bee easily avoided..i learnt a lesson.. for a road trip never rely on others :)
 

Alpha

Going to Neverland
We reached Lalitpur by 1.45 pm. We took a diversion by entering the town and headed towards Deogarh/Devgarh which was about 30 kms inside the town. The roads were completely broken or entirely missing at many small villages enroute. However, the country side was very beautiful to say the least and it kept us going. It took us more than one hour to reach Deogarh. Ruins of a beautiful temple known as Dashavtar temple welcomed us. It is a rock cut temple with square shape sanctum with numerous beautifully carved stone idols on the walls. The temple was built during Gupta period. The beauty of the temple is admirable even though the temple has been destroyed and ruined during Aurangzeb’s rule over Indian mainland. Most of the artifacts have been placed in a museum situated in the same premises, however, the museum was kept locked and the caretaker was in no mood to let us view the same until and unless we had permissions from ASI. My brother had plans to explore other things offered by the little village called Deogarh but lack of time came in our way. We had to miss out on some extra-ordinary art works in the form of ancient Buddhist caves and exquisitely carved out Jain temples at Deogarh.

a water body enroute Lalitpur
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Talbehat Fort
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another water reservoir
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interior roads leading to Deogarh
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one of the bustling villages enroute Deogarh
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local activities
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welcome to Deogarh
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Dashavtar temple information
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the square shaped temple
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the sanctum
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Lord Vishnu
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defaced sculptures
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somewhat in good condition
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close up
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aliens depicted ??
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lush greenery at Deogarh
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