Digital Dimdima
-By Jayanthi Mahalingam
Down to the sea
The Narmada in Gujarat
A Hill With A View
The Monuments Of Mandu
An Ancient City
An Island In The River
Beyond Hoshangabad
Steeped In Legends
Narmadey Har
The Cult of Thuggee
The Splendour of Marble Rocks
Original Inhabitants
The World Of Verrier Elwin
Tribal Queen
The Jewel Of Kanha
The Narmada In Mythology

 

Beyond Hoshangabad

A sluggish Narmada meanders through islets, formed by silt deposits. Most of the islets are covered by tall grass. One of these tiny islands is called Nabhi Sthan, or the navel of the Narmada. It has a temple with a red flag fluttering from its roof .
About 20 km downstream of Nabhi Sthan, one comes across the crumbling bastions of the Joga-ka-Qilla, a fort built by Hoshang Shah Ghori of Mandu. On account of its strategic location and strong interiors, it was used to house his armed forces.
Punasa is the town closest to the Indra Sagar Project. It has a small but interesting fort, whose doors are always kept locked. It is believed that the lower levels of the fort are stacked with the gold, silver and jewels that the former king had collected as tax from bandits who took shelter in the dense jungles on the river banks. The present descendant of the king is said to have tried to find this wealth several times, but each time he met with a serious accident.
Rabaris, the pastoral nomads of Rajasthan and Gujarat bring their sheep to graze in the forest around Punasa. Rabari men are handsome. They wear intricately coiled turbans, short angarkha waistcoats, dhotis and a lot of jewellery — gold earrings, gold chokers with black beads around their neck and large beaten brass bangles on the wrist.They are constantly on the move, travelling upto four kilometres a day.
The forest was also one of the favourite haunts of Rudyard Kipling, the author of the all-time children’s classic, The Jungle Book.

The Indira Sagar hydroelectric and irrigation project, is a multipurpose project, which when completed will have the largest storage capacity in the country. The Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar and Maheshwar projects are together known as the “Narmada Sagar Complex”. When completed, it will supply power and irrigate around 250,000 hectares of land in the region.
The foundation stone of the Indira Sagar Project was laid by Mrs.Indira Gandhi in 1984 and the construction which began in 1992, is expected to be completed in 2007.


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