Amarkantak is a Sanskrit word, where the literary meaning of Amar is immortal, and kantak is hindrance. The scenic beauty of Amarkanak and the surrounding areas, prompting the great poet Kalidasa to romantically paint Amarkantak hills in his epic poem Meghadutam.

Situated in the south-eastern part of Maikal mountain range at 1,048 meter (3,438 ft) above sea level, it is the originating point of River Narmada and Sone River. Narmada, said to be 150 million years older than River Ganges, is considered by many Hindus to be the most sacred of all Indian Rivers

The eco-system of Amarkantak is truly unique, as they are very similar to that of isolated valleys.  In Amarkantak, if a particular plant becomes extinct, the genus itself dies because it fails to live through any of its variant species.  Therefore, every genus in Amarkantak is of great botanical interest, and makes the region important as a natural heritage site.