Ever since I came back from my crazy Madhya Pradesh tribal trail, I have been writing about all of the places I visited there. But this post is going to stitch it all together with some other options which you cannot skip in order to experience an adventurous road trip.
Here’s a detailed guide to 14 days road trip across Madhya Pradesh covering the best of Madhya Pradesh, which blends adventure and life-changing experiences. During this road trip, you will get to see gorgeous temples, historical monuments, tribal villages, some offbeat areas, and numerous breathtaking waterfalls.
Are you ready?
Madhya Pradesh has been on my bucket list for quite some time. So, when I got the opportunity to cover the tribal trails, I did not think twice. Madhya Pradesh hasn’t yet become as popular as Rajasthan or Himachal when it comes to road trips. However, it is home to some of the most unusual and, I must say, enticing places in India. It really helps to have a car to explore the area, so we would suggest renting one if you want to cover these places easily.
Day 1 – Reach the capital city of MP – Bhopal, by flight, train, or bus. Bhopal is well connected to all major cities. If you have time, spend the night in Bhopal and explore this gorgeous lake city.
Day 2 – The next day, leave early in the morning for two major attractions, Bhimbetka & Halali Dam. Stay overnight in Bhopal.
Day 3 – Check out of Bhopal and drive to Panchmarhi. Overnight stay at Panchmarhi.
Day 4 & Day 5 – Explore Satpura National Park and Panchmarhi local sightseeing.
Day 6 – The next day, leave early in the morning for Patalkot. Take a break in the big town of Tamia before entering the hidden gem of MP called Patalkot. Visit Karyam village of the Baharia Tribe and explore their houses and interact with the locals. Stay overnight at Tamia or Patalkot.
Day 7 – Travel to Mandla and visit Gond markets and Rajeswari Temple. Stay overnight.
Day 8 – The next day, wake up early to visit Moti Mahal, a palace and fort established by a Gond King. If you’re feeling brave, stop by Chogaan, the exorcism gateway village, on your way to Amarkantak.
Day 9 and Day 10 –Reach Amarkantak and stay overnight for the next day’s early expedition. The next day, start your day a little early to visit the famous Baiga tribe and explore their village, Silpidi. Visit Patangarh for your souvenir shopping as you will see amazing Gond art there. The rest of the day is for you to explore the temples of Amarkantak and relax for the day.
Day 11 – Leave early morning to travel to Jabalpur and either stay there for the night or relax.
Day 12 – Explore Jabalpur city, hopping around the famous spots.
Day 13 – Leave early in the morning for Bandhavgarh to enjoy a wildlife safari. Spend a night amidst the wilderness.
Day 14 – Go for an early morning safari and come back to Jabalpur by evening. Stay overnight or catch your flight or train to your destination.
The best time to visit is from September to March. If you want to witness the beauty of the mighty waterfalls, then the monsoon would be a great time too.
Day 1 –
Try to reach Bhopal a little early so that you can check into the hotel and take a power nap before you’re ready for the day. Bhopal is a beautiful, clean city surrounded by lakes. Check out the tribal museum in the evening – it’s surely one of the best examples of art and craft, and encapsulates and typifies the antiquated culture of the area. It imparts a strong flavour of what you are going to see via this post. Have a look!
If in Bhopal, do not forget to try the muffins and coffee from Indian Coffee House.
Day 2 –
The next day, leave early morning to reach Bhimbetka cave, in order to avoid crowds and heat. Amidst the prolific green forests and waterfalls, there are around 500 prehistoric rock caves in Bhimbetka. This is the perfect place for you if you are a nature lover or an adventure enthusiast. Needless to say, the place has been named after the legendary Pandava warrior Bhim.
– Attractions along the route: Dahod Reservoir
– Distance from Bhopal: 45 KM
Post lunch, you can start your journey towards Halali Dam, as the sunset from here will be really astonishing. The route to Halali Dam from Bhimbetka is very interesting. On the way, you will find a couple of waterfalls and lush greenery. Cherish the sunset by the dam, and you can also go boating.
– Distance from Bhimbetka to Halali Dam is 100 KM
– Distance from Halali Dam to Bhopal is 40 KM
Day 3 –
One of the better routes for a road trip through Madhya Pradesh is from Bhopal to Panchmarhi. You’ll definitely fall in love with the scenic views on the way. On your trip to Panchmarhi from Bhopal, you can stop at multiple waterfalls, which are a visual feast for the eyes.
– Attractions along the route include Silver Falls, Bee Falls, Angel Falls, Bison Lodge, etc
– Distance – 200 KM
Day 4 & Day 5 –
It isn’t humanely possible to tick off everything around Panchmarhi in a day! But I would suggest you take a day trip to the Satpura National Park from Panchmarhi and experience a thrilling safari.
The next day, you can explore Panchmarhi and nearby places like the Panch Pandava Caves and the Apsara Vihar, Bee Falls, Jata Shankar Caves, Mahadev Hill, and Duchess Falls.
The next day, start your journey early in the morning and head off to Patalkot. Take a break in the big town of Tamia before entering the hidden gem of MP called Patalkot. This valley is a natural miracle. The Doodhi River flows through this valley. Around 12 villages are situated in this valley and are considered one of the best-kept secrets in the state.
Over the years, the tribal communities living in these villages have kept up with their originality without adapting to the traditions of the modern world. For years, they have lived and fostered a close connection with nature.
Visit Karyam village of the Bhariya Tribe and explore their houses and interact with the locals. I was amazed to see that the village was so clean, plastic-free, without any modern amenities and the people were so friendly and welcoming. Stay overnight at Tamia or Patalkot.
– Attractions along the route: Raw nature, the Bhariya Tribe and their villages
– Distance covered: 107 KM
Day 7 –
The next day, travel to Mandla – yet another offbeat, unexplored place. While travelling to Mandla, I got to know that the Gonds are one of the largest tribal groups in the world, living here. Not only in Madhya Pradesh, Gonds are also spread in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha. In Mandla, we witnessed one of the prominent tribal temples established by the Gond King called the Raj Rajeshwari Temple.
Stay overnight at Mandla.
– Attractions along the route: Local Market, Raj Rajeshwari Temple, Mandla Fort
– Distance covered: 337 KM
The next day, you can wake up early to visit Moti Mahal – a fort palace established by a Gond King.
You can spend the day exploring the Gond lifestyle and indulge in knowing more about their culture, history, etc.
Have you ever heard of any village where exorcism is practised? Chogaan Temple of Chogaan village in Narshinghapur, Madhya Pradesh, is an exotic religious place in India where followers come to get rid of ghosts and evil spirits, especially on the full moon every month.
If you’re feeling brave, stop by Chogaan, the exorcism gateway village, on your way to Amarkantak.
Travel to Amarkantak and stay overnight for the next day’s early expedition.
Day 10 –
Start your day early, as you set out to explore the famous Baiga tribe and their village, Silpidi. The Baiga tribe is well known for body tattoos. They, especially Baiga women, believe that tattoos are conveyed into eternity because the ink coordinates with the actual body itself.
I have done my first tattoo in Patangarh. The rest of the day is for you to explore the temples of Amarkantak and relax a bit.
Leave early morning from Amarkantak to travel to Jabalpur.
Day 12 –
Jabalpur will astonish you with its vast array of attractions. It has something for everyone, from ancient landmarks to the city’s imperial past and some of nature’s most beautiful sights. So, whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a vacationer, you’ll surely be in love with this postcard-perfect town.
– Places to explore in Jabalpur:
Dhuandhar Falls, Marble Rocks, Dumna Nature Reserve Park, Balancing Rock, Fort Madan Mahal, Rani Durgavati Museum, Chausath Yogini Temple, Bargi Dam, Tilwara Ghat, Madiya ki Pisanhari.
Day 13 –
Leave early morning for Bandhavgarh to enjoy a safari. Stay overnight amidst the wilderness.
On the 13th day of your Madhya Pradesh road trip itinerary, you can drive from Jabalpur to Bandhavgarh National Park via Pench National Park and Umaria. And I must say, it was one of the most scenic road trips in Madhya Pradesh. Enjoy the evening safari there and relax at the jungle camp for the night.
Day 14 –
Go for an early morning safari and come back to Jabalpur by evening. Stay overnight or catch your flight or train for your destination.
* Carry your water bottle to travel sustainably and, of course, to keep yourself hydrated.
* As few areas are extremely hot during the day, use sunscreen lotion and carry a hat.
* Respect the values and beliefs of the locals, as this way you will get familiar with them.
* A few areas are extremely raw, so do not expect any luxury. Try to enjoy the moments of your travel trail.
* Do not litter on the way, and keep the environment clean.
* Google Maps will work in almost all places. However, it is best to call ahead and ask which route to take.
Madhya Pradesh has typically been one of the most underrated places when it comes to domestic Indian tourism. Hope you find the details of our Madhya Pradesh Road trip itinerary helpful.
Refer to My Article on MP published on Tripoto
Think we missed out on something? Tell us about it in the comments below.