My search for visiting lesser known places lead me to Garadia Mahadev near Kota. I planned a short trip of 5 days to Kota, Garadia Mahadev, and Bundi in Rajasthan. Like most of the other people, I came across Garadia Mahadev when I saw the commercial of Rajasthan tourist on the Idiot box. Even before visiting Garadia Mahadev temple, I knew that it will be not as colorful as it looked in the commercial. It was obvious that they have enhanced the colors but I must admit that this place struck a chord in my heart when I saw it in real.
Garadia Mahadev is a unique place. There is no other place like this in India as much as I know. It is peaceful and untouched by human development. Many people compared and wrote that it’s “India’s Grand Canyon”. Sorry but I refuse to accept this comparison, why we have to compare interesting Indian places with international places to boost their rating. Every place is unique and any kind of comparison does injustice to another place.
After the return, I realized that despite Rajasthan tourism’s ad campaign, not many people knew about it. Most of the people asked me, where is this place Garadia Mahadev? Many of them had never heard of it?
Here is all the information you need to know about Garadia Mahadev
Where is Garadia Mahadev?
It is around 25 to 30 Km from Kota depending upon where you are staying.
From Kota drive on National highway number “NH27” going towards Chittorgarh and Udaipur. There is a small blue color board on left side mentioning “Garadia Mahadev temple”. 150 meters after the board take the forked road on the left side. This narrow road goes towards the gorge on Chambal river, where the Garadia Mahadev temple and viewpoint.
How to travel to Garadia Mahadev from Kota?
The nearest city to Garadia Mahadev is Kota. There are several trains between Delhi and Kota. We traveled to Kota by train.
Me and my female friend decided to take a cab from Kota to Garadia Mahadev. Most of the cab operators will ask for 1000 INR but negotiate and you will get it for 700-800 INR.
From Kota, till the Garadia Mahadev turn, NH 27 is in very good condition. After leaving NH 27 initial 2 Km of the road is narrow but still ok to drive. The Garadia Mahadev temple and viewpoint is in reserve forest area. Here you have to buy entry tickets. After you cross the check post, there is no road and it’s just a dirt trek with pebbles for the next 1.2 Km till you reach the end of the path and viewpoint.
Why I advise against taking public transport?
I have read suggestions about going there by taking a bus. Then walking all the way till Garadia Mahadev temple. I personally recommend against it and especially if you are a woman traveler.
Well even if you are a male traveler and carrying an expensive phone or camera equipment, then “Don’t use public transport”.
I know Rajasthan is a safe state for female travelers. Even I traveled alone to several places in Rajasthan. So, why I am so skeptical?
My reasons are –
1. It is absolutely secluded and I saw only a group of 4 young boys & one car on the 3 Km stretch of Garadia Mahadev road while going & returning.
2. The mobile connectivity is very patchy at places and you may not get signals in between.
3. Here you can’t see a soul till your eyes go, there is no point taking chances. A few rotten eggs are everywhere. In case of emergency, there is no help available and anyone can escape with your valuable very easily.
4. There is no bus stop at the turning of Garadia Mahadev. It is easier to get down from bus but for return, you have to stand on the highway. It depends upon the driver of the bus if he stops or not.
So, if you are ready for 6 km walking and not concerned about the above factors then do this adventure.
What is Garadia Mahadev?
There is a small temple of Shiva and viewpoint on Chambal river. Garadia Mahadev is situated at an altitude of approximately 500 feet from sea level. There is an approximately 300 feet deep gorge through which Chambal river is flowing. There are gigantic cliffs on either side of the gorge. Chambal takes a Horseshoe Bend here.
This bend and deep gorge with a river flowing in it makes it an excellent viewpoint.
What to do in Garadia Mahadev?
At the end of the road is an open space, where we parked our car. The viewpoint of Garadia Mahadev is just opposite the parking area. You don’t need to walk to the viewpoint.
To go to Garadia Mahadev temple, we first walked a few meters on flat stones and then we climbed down a flight of stairs. There was small open space, where Langoors and monkeys were sitting on trees & boulders. From there we climbed down another flight of narrow stairs and reached the temple.
The temple is very small. Next, to the temple a small water stream coming down from a hole in stones and we could not identify or guess it’s location. Its water was lukewarm even in the month of December.
There were two young men taking bath and washing their clothes in that water. (Though it was written washing clothes is not allowed). The elder one opened the door of the temple for us and I left some cash there after paying my respect.
There was nothing else to do so we came up to the viewpoint, which is mesmerizing.
It is a good place for a picnic but it can be risky because there are many monkeys and Langoors. The smell of food can attract them.
Otherwise, Langoors and monkeys were quiet & peaceful. They were not running towards people as the monkeys of Jhakhu temple do in Shimla.
We spent some more time clicking pictures of this breathtaking place before saying bye to Garadia Mahadev. We drove to our next destination Bundi instead of returning to Kota.
Best time to visit Garadiya Mahadev
I am sure it will be beautiful during monsoon when everything is green after rains and Chambal river is full of water.
It is good to go between end October till January when weather is comparatively cooler and there is water in Chambal.
For photography point of view, morning hours are best when the sun is behind and its light is falling in the gorge in front of you.
It remains open from 7.00 AM to 5.30 PM.
How much it cost for a day trip to Garadia Mahadev temple?
Taxi from Kota to Garadia Mahadev temple will cost 700 to 800 INR. We did a taxi from Kota for 1200 INR and after visiting Garadia Mahadev, it dropped us in Bundi.
The Garadia Mahadev temple is situated in Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve so there is an entry ticket.
Entry ticket per person is 75 INR for Indian, 500 INR for Non-Indian citizens and 20 INR for students.
Entry fee for car/Jeep is 250 INR, 400 INR for bus and 30 INR for a two-wheeler.
Things to know before visiting Garadia Mahadev
* Carry food and water because there are no shops in the area.
* Carry your photo ID card, which is required at the entry gate to the forest area.
* The area is secluded but completely safe.
* You need around 1.30 to 2.00 Hours to explore the area.
Garadia Mahadev is still an untouched destination in Rajasthan. It’s peaceful and beautiful. I love to visit this naturally beautiful place in India again.