Pilgrimage Tourism in Umaria District
Umaria town is the headquarters town of the Umaria district and Bandhavgarh tehsil, formerly Umaria was the headquarters of the South Rewa District. It is located at a distance of about sixty-nine kilometres from Shahdol District. Close to the railway, station stands a temple of Lord Shiva, known as the Sagara temple. It was an old shrine, recently remodelled. Its main gates are still intact with beautiful stone statues, carved in Khajurahomodels. Near about is Jwalamukhi temple, about 6.5 kilometres away from the town, there is another temple, with similar carvings of the Khajuraho pattern. It is known as the Mariwal temple. Umaria is well known for its coalmines, which were opened in the year 1881 by the Government of India. Later it was transferred to the Rewa Darbar in the same year, mainly to meet the requirement of railway at Katni District.
Chandia Khas is one of the most famous places of tourist interest in the district of Umaria. Chandia is located on the Umaria-Katni road, at a distance of about twenty-one kilometres from Umaria. The railway station of Chandia Khas is known as Chandia railway station. The major attraction of Chandia Khas is a small temple, enshrining Goddess Kali. Her mouth is wide open, but her out-stretched tongue is broken. There is also an old temple of Lord Rama and his wife Janaki or Sita. It was the seat of Thakur of Chandia. A small fair is organised at Suraswahi Chandia for three days in the month of February-March on the festival of Shivaratri.
Another attraction in the district of Umaria is Pali Birsinghpur. Pali is located on the Umaria-Shahdol road, at a distance of about thirty-six kilometers from Umaria. There is another road, which goes from Pali to Mandla District via Dindori district.
Pali is also a railway station, and there is a rest house for the tourists to stay. The station is known as the Pali Birsinghpur station. Close to the railway station there is a temple, enshrining Birasinidevi and by popular belief she is Goddess Kali, represented here as skeleton Goddess, but with her mouth closed. There are several remains of old Jain Thirthankara idols kept here in some Hindu temples. The annual fairs are held both in the months of October and March, on Navaratri, near the temple of Goddess.
Nature Tourism in Umaria District
Bandhavgarh area was the favourite hunting reserve of ex-rules of Rewa district; hence, it remained completely protected from poaching and illicit felling. Deeply soared from this situation, late Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa prevailed upon the Government of Madhya Pradesh to declare an area of one hundred and five square kilometres as National park in the year 1968. The area of the park was extended to 448.84 square kilometres in the year 1982, and in the year 1993, it was declared a Tiger Reserve under "Project Tiger" which is now known as the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.
Another attraction of Bandhavgarh is the Bandhavgarh Fort. The fort of Bandhavgarh is a place of considerable archaeological and historical importance. It is a natural impregnable fort and stands on a hill, at an attitude of about two thousand four hundred and thirty meters above the level of sea. The Bamnia hill is also a part of the fort, because it is enclosed by a rampart. The fort is on the Rewa-Umaria road, at a distance of about forty-one kilometre from the Umaria town.