It was Saturday morning. From past two days, the weather was cool compared to the usual Hot Nagpur weather. These unusual weathers are the things which make us think unusually. So it is when I think of going away to faraway places.
Being in Nagpur is hard for someone like me, who likes nature to find a forest and get lost. One of my neighbors was discussing about this small waterfall in Gondia, Maharashtra nearby MP and Chhattisgarh border called Hajra Falls. Spent an hour or two at night researching about this place and thought I should go there.
So I packed myself and cleaned up my Avenger for a little long journey I was about to take. Looked up the map again, It was around 180 km from my place in Nagpur. It was almost a long highway drive. And another 50kms on a narrow road towards Hajra falls.
My mobile was low on charge, which I only realized while packing. And even my power bank was out. There was no time to charge. Since taking pics was never a compulsion to me, the only requirement of the phone for me was to look out for direction. I thought will work it out once I’m nearby that cross on a highway which I should take to go towards Hajra Falls.
I started the journey around 9 in morning. Although it was Sunday morning, since the weather was good there were more people on roads compared to other days. So it took me around 30 mins to get out of Nagpur City. Once I crossed Pardi, roads were free and I raised my Avenger to full speed.
In and around two hours, I reached Bhandara. Tried to call my friend who works in Bhandara and thought of meeting him. But my phone was out of life already. So had my food at the roadside Dhaba and started with my 2nd leg of the journey. But the problem now is, since my phone is already switched off, I didn’t know where exactly I should make a turn on NH53 also known as a part of AH 46, to go towards Hajra Falls.
I kept on going and going and no direction boards to be found. It was almost 2 hours and found no sign boards which looks like Gondia or Hajra Falls. Tried to ask people almost at every stop and they said it still far away. I thought will drive for some time and will find it out. I kept on going for another 1.5 hours, only to see Welcome to Chhattisgarh board.
I was stupid enough to ride faster than I should. Due to that, I missed my turn. With my phone switched off and no food for almost 3 to 4 hours, and also weather turned into something of its own, I thought it was stupid of me to be here all alone. But the mind which always looks out for ways to complete its target was on a ride to find me an alternate plan and flashed me with another route which I saw previous night when searching for this place.
I rose like a Phoenix. But the stomach was not ready to listen to any Phoenix and started to growl. So found a small roadside shop nearby border and ordered a Bhel Puri and Chai. I asked a chaiwala the turn that I should take to reach Hajra Falls, which was supposed to be not much far from that place. He looked at me, top to bottom like I was throwing some insulting jokes. I signaled to him to ask what he was looking on my stupid face. He asked, Tu mala Lekachya vichar kara kya? (Do I look like stupid to you) and went away murmuring to himself. I was thinking about what I said that made him look like stupid.
Then the elder one who was sitting beside me having chai explained that it’s not good for me to go there at this time (it was already 3 PM) since that was a Naxalite area. Although no one has seemed to see them recently, he said it’s good if I return back to Nagpur. Then and there the phoenix that rose inside me got shut down immediately. After chatting with them for another half an hour, I started back to Nagpur.
This is how my well-built plan, ended faultily at MH CG border.
I couldn’t get time to visit Hajra Falls again. If you still looking to visit that beautiful place (which I heard from many) just drive towards Gondia and It’s like an hour and a half drive from there. From Gondia drive towards Dongargarh reserve forest. Once you are in Salekasa village, just ask someone over there the road you should take. Just don’t go blindly. They will guide you. It’s another 10 to 15 mins drive. It’s better you go there when there is more daylight instead of the evening.
The best part is you can also reach it by train in an hour or so. From Gondia you can take any passenger train, towards Dongargarh and get down at Darekasa. From Darekasa it’s just a kilometer far.
There is a Rope Sliding available at the location. If you are lucky, and there is more water you can also go for water-related activities.
Hope you all find it helpful.
Yours truly Antonio Gonsalves