04-Mar-2008 -- This is the sixth point in a journey by motorbike in India to visit 16 confluence points. The story starts at 22N 86E and follows on from 22N 82E. The next point in the series is 22N 80E.
Kawardha Palace is home to Maharaja Vishwaraj Singh and his family. The Maharajah was away during our visit but we were cordially welcomed by his wife – Maharani Kriti Singh. For more details see http://www.palacekawardha.com/main.html or http://www.pant.co.uk/travel/kawardha/welcome.htm .
After spending a pleasant evening being shown around the estate and eating dinner with the family we slept in greater style than anywhere else on the trip.
The next morning we left early and following recommendations we headed for Borom Deo a few kilometres away on the edge of the hills (labelled Chaura on the old map) where there is an 11th C temple and an attractive lake.
From here we followed another good and quiet road northwards and then joined the highway again to Chilpi. The last part of the road to Chilpi is a steep ascent and we passed many struggling lorries. At Chilpi we asked the way to Rengakhar as this is near 22 N 81 E and were waved on. Maybe this was the only time we did not double check the guidance and unfortunately it was wrong. After 5 km it became obvious that we were getting further from the confluence instead of nearer. We held a brief conference and decided that we would not return over the 5 km of bad roads and then an uncertain 10-15 km down the road towards Rengakhar. It is likely that there is quite a long walk from the road to the point in this hilly area and the heat was going to be an issue. We decided that we would rather move on, giving us more time to get to the next point and carry on to Seoni. This certainly ranks as a rather weak “attempt” as we never came closer than 15 km of the point. After we decided to go on we carried on the bad road into Madhya Pradesh State and down to one of the entrances to Kanna park. Here we did not stop for a tiger safari – but we did spot something almost as rare – two white faces – the first we had seen since the airport and the only ones we saw in the whole 2 weeks away from Kolkata except for 3 European engineers at the hotel in Seoni. Past the park the road improved greatly and it was a joy to ride on the hilly, winding roads. After eating the packed lunch supplied by Kawardha Palace by a stream and watching 2 bullocks being watered and washed we moved on to the next point 22N 80E.