Chikhaldara has been mentioned in the Mahabharata as the place where Bheema killed the villainous Keechaka in a Herculean bout and threw him into a valley. It came to be known as "Keechakadhara". The name Chikhaldara is later a corruption. But there is more to Chikhaldara. It has the added distinction of being the only coffee growing area in Maharashtra. It abounds in wildlife - panthers, sloth bears, sambars, wild boar, even the rarely seen wild dogs. Located close by is the famous Melghat Tiger Reserve which has more than 100 tigers. The scenic beauty of Chikhaldara can be enjoyed from Hurricane point, Prospect point and Devi point. Other interesting excursions include Gavilgad and Narnala Fort, the Pundit Nehru Botanical Garden, the tribal museum and the Semadoh Lake. Situated at an altitude of 1118 meters, Chikhaldara receives an annual rainfall of 154 cm. The temperature varies from 39 degree Celsius in summer and 5 degree Celsius in winter. October to June is the best time to visit Chikhaldara. Chikhaldara can be easily accessed. The nearest railhead is Amravati on the Central Railway Branch line, 100 kms from Chikhaldara, and 763 km from Mumbai. It is also connected to most major cities by road. Regular S.T. bus services connect Chikhaldara to Amravati, Nagpur, Wardha, Akola and other cities.
Shri Ambadevi Temple, Amravati
Shri Ambadevi Temple is situated in the heart of the city of Amravati at Gandhi Square. It is a very old temple and even finds mention in the old gazetteers. The legend of the temple goes like this. Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmak of Vidarbha, hears tales of Lord Krishna's courage and falls in love with him. Her brother Rukmiya, arranges Rukmini's marriage to his friend, King Shishupal of Chedi. Rukmini secretly sends a message to Krishna, and together they plan to elope. The day before her marriage to Shishupal, Rukmini visits the temple of Goddess Ekvira. (This is in Amravati, Maharashtra) Krishna kidnaps Rukmini here. With help from other Yadavs, Krishna defeats Rukmini's brother Rukmiya. King Bhishmak, later arranges the marriage ceremony. People from all walks of life and from different parts of India visit this temple. The Navaratri festival, which falls just before Dussehra festival, is celebrated by the people and the temple authorities with great gaiety and pomp. During these nine days of the celebrations, various cultural and religious programs are arranged. A big mela is held on this occasion which is visited by many people. The Shri Ambadevi temple is 1 Km towards the West from Amravati Railway station and 1.5 Km. from Amravati Bus Stand. Ample number of local vehicles and taxis are available from Amravati Railway station and Bus Stand. The Vehicles and Taxies are also available from Badnera railway station (on Mumbai - Kolkata Rail Route).
Shri Ekviradevi Temple
Shri Ekvira Devi Temple is situated in the vicinity of the Amba Devi Temple and it is just a few steps away from the Amba Devi Temple. This is a very old Temple. It was built around the year 1660 by the great leader of Amravati, Paramhans Shri Janardan Swami. Devi (Godess) is an incarnation of Shakti. During the Navaratri festival the celebrations are held jointly with the Amba Devi temple and everybody who visits Shri Amba Devi also visits Shri Ekvira devi Temple.
Bhakti Dham Temple
This temple is located on Amravati Badnera road, where beautiful idols of Lord Krishna and Radha are placed. Also found here is the statue of Shri Sant Bappa. Behind this temple a small park is also maintained for children.
Satidham Temple is situated in the heart of the city of Amravati at Rallies Plot. There are beautiful idols of Lord Krishna-Radha, Lord Rama and Goddess Sita, Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Rani Satiji placed within the temple. Every year a fair is arranged on the occasion of Janmashtami, which is attended by a large number of devotees.
These are the various places of tourism in the district of Amravati district of Maharashtra.
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