Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India’s Heartland Waiting to Be Explored in 2024!

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India’s Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

Nestled amidst the verdant hills of central India lies a hidden gem that promises enchantment and adventure for those who seek it: Pachmarhi. Tucked away in the heart of the country, Pachmarhi is a picturesque hill station that beckons travelers with its pristine natural beauty, rich history, and tranquil ambiance. One of the most captivating aspects of Pachmarhi is its lush green landscapes, which stretch as far as the eye can see. Dense forests teeming with diverse flora and fauna blanket the region, offering a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike.

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

Unveiling Pachmarhi: The British Discovery and Evolution into a Hill Station

This place was first discovered by the British officer, James Forsyth. It was only because of him, the outside world came to know about the wonderful place called Pachmarhi. When Captain Forsyth set foot in Pachamadhi at the end of the nineteenth century, it was populated only by tribal. Over time, Pachmarhi developed into a hill station. Sanatoriums for British officers began to be built here, and later became functional as the summer capital of Madhya Pradesh of British times.

Exploring Pachmarhi: The Queen of Satpura and Its Mythical Roots

Pachmarhi in Hoshangabad district is known as ‘Satpuda Ki Rani’ (the queen of Satpuda). The real name of that hill situated at a height of thousands of meters in the hills of Satpuda is not ‘Panchmarhi’ but ‘Pachmarhi’. ‘Pach’ means five, and ‘Marhi’ means cave. Pachmarhi is believed to have gotten its name from the five caves known as ‘Pandav Caves’ carved out of a single rock. It is said that the Pandavas stayed here for some time during their thirteenth year of exile.

Exploring Pachmarhi: Adventurous Rides with Maruti Gypsy and Local Insights

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

The area of Pachmarhi is relatively small. However, the tourist spots here are far away from the town, so it seems far to go there on foot. As a solution to this problem, ‘Maruti Gypsy‘ can be hired. This model of Maruti Suzuki is mostly allocated to police and army quotas. Hence, in other places, it is seen as a ‘special’ vehicle, while in Pachmarhi, it is widely used as a ‘Normal’ vehicle. It is fun to take off the back hood of this jeep and roam in the open air of Pachmarhi.

The experienced and expert drivers here drive their jeeps at full speed on the winding and hilly roads that take our breath away! The jeep drivers constantly give us information about which Hindi film was shot at which location in Pachmarhi.

Unveiling Pachmarhi’s Geological Wonders

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored
Mount_Dhupgarh,

Under the surface, Pachmarhi harbors a hidden world of awe-inspiring caves waiting to be explored. Jata Shankar Cave and Mahadeo Cave are just a couple of the remarkable caverns that offer a glimpse into the geological wonders of the region, adorned with ancient stalactites and stalagmites.

The best solution for trekking in Pachmarhi is to take the service of a guide, which is easily available. According to the guides here, today’s Pachmarhi was a sea area thousands of years ago. Due to geological upheaval, the sea floor rose, and as a result, the rocky mountains here came into existence. Today, the hills here feature round and smooth stones similar to those found on the coast. These rocks are black colored sandstone.

These sandstones have naturally formed amazing caves, in which the water of the continuous spring flows and drips through the porous stones. Sand-textured rocks assume various shapes due to water erosion. Most of the stones look unnaturally like Shivlinga because the top is worn and rounded. Known as Jatashankar, Gupta Mahadev, and Bada Mahadev, the shrines here are basically natural caves.

Rinchhgarh Caves: Exploring Narrow Passages and Facing Wildlife Encounters

Such wonderful caves belong to Rinchhgarh (Rinchh means a bear). At one point after entering these caves, there is a place so narrow that you have to walk on your knees, and you can go from one cave to another only by kneeling. It is natural to get excited while doing so, but what should you do if you suddenly come across the animal that the cave is named after?

Ancient Cave Paintings: Unveiling History on the Path to Shivling in Madhadev’s Cave

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

There are three caves on the way to the Shivling in Madhadev’s cave, whose cave paintings are worth seeing. The shapes in them can be properly recognized only if they are observed after taking the correct position while sitting on the knees. In one cave, the whole scene of the battle can be clearly depicted, while in other caves, there are isolated paintings. These paintings are believed to be around the ninth-tenth century. Such cave paintings have been found at many places in Madhya Pradesh. The history of thousands of years ago is hidden in them.

Chauragarh Temple: A Sacred Journey Amidst Pachmarhi’s Peaks and CavesPachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

Pachmarhi has plenty of temples as well as caves. A temple on a high mountain is constantly visible as a silhouette while walking in this hill station. Known as Chauragarh, one has to climb a three-and-a half kilometer mountain road and 1,365 steps to reach the temple. Hearing these two statistics, one might feel like, ‘Leave, let’s not go there!’ But the very image of Chauragarh looks so enticing that it seems to invite us continuously.

Trishul Tradition: Fulfilling Wishes at Chauragarh Temple, Pachmarhi

After climbing such steps, a funny thing happened. Trishuls are seen attached to the railing of the steps on both sides, which seemed to be up to the top. On asking, it came to know that there is a custom of hoisting a trishul after the fulfillment of the wishes of the one who has believed in the above temple of Lord Shiva. Believers offer tridents of iron, brass, or gold according to their financial capacity.

Chauragarh Temple: A Sacred Summit and the Trishul Tradition

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored
Jatashankar temple in pachmadhi

Due to the huge number of devotees coming, the number of tridents has increased to such an extent that they have to be tied to the railings. We were told that there would be piles of trishuls lying near the temple of Mahadev. When a fair is held here on Shivratri, people come from as far as Nagpur, besides the surrounding tribes. Chauragarh, situated on a high hill, offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area, and the view makes one forget the fatigue of thirteen and a half hundred steps! When visiting hilly places, especially shrines there, one must remember that the real joy is in climbing.

Majestic Waterfalls

Pachmarhi is adorned with several breathtaking waterfalls that cascade down rugged cliffs, adding to the area’s ethereal charm. The majestic Bee Falls and Duchess Falls are among the most popular attractions, where visitors can revel in the serenity of nature and rejuvenate their senses.

Pachmarhi’s Cascading Beauties: Exploring the Spectacular Waterfalls

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored
Pachmarhi_bee_fall

Small and large streams flowing on this hill take the form of waterfalls at many places. Priyadarshini, Jamuna Falls, Rajat Falls, Bee Falls, Duchess Falls, and Jalavataran are among the many attractions of Pachmarhi. Trekking can also be enjoyed, as the path to reach this waterfall is rocky and unpaved. Hearing the names of more than half a dozen waterfalls, one gets confused for a moment as to which falls to go to and where not to go? Of course, if you want to see all the waterfalls in full bloom, you need to visit Pachmarhi after monsoons until December at the latest. Priyadarshi Falls is also known as ‘Forsyth Point’ in memory of Captain Forsyth.

Nature’s Spectacle: The Enchanting Waterfalls of Pachmarhi

The water in Rajat Prapat looks so silvery that it looks like it is raining silver. At the bee falls, the water divides into several watersheds. And finally, it falls from such a height that the impact of its drops on the body seems like the sting of a bee. This is why it has become popular as ‘Bee Falls’. Apart from their beauty, some of the waterfalls in Pachmarhi are also popular for bathing. As a result, shampoo bottles, small plastic bottles, and soap wrappers are strewn around the amazing natural beauty spot.

Tranquil Reservoirs of Pachmarhi

There are many reservoirs in Pachmarhi. A visit to reservoirs like Apsara Vihar, Irene Pool, Sunderkund, Sangam, Tridhara, and Vanasrivihar gives the eyes and mind a sense of endless relaxation. Bathing in some water bodies can be done, but instead of enjoying the bath as a tourist, it becomes more fun to leaf through its beauty. For fans of visual art or painting, there are plenty of goodies scattered here.

Exploring Pachmarhi’s Wilderness: Bison Lodge and Forest Adventures

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

The forest department is in charge of some places in Pachmarhi. There is also a forest department museum here named ‘Bison Lodge’. Among them, many interesting artifacts related to forests and British history can be seen. The forest department office is also located here.
Tickets to some places have to be taken from here. Around Pachmarhi is a vast forest of Satpuda, overnight stays are available at some places. If do not want to stay overnight, go on safaris like Panarpani, Neemdhan, Bori, and Churna in the jungle Jeep safaris can also be enjoyed somewhere along the route.

Echoes of History: Exploring Pachmarhi’s Historic ChurchesPachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

Several churches here stand as reminders of a bygone era. Built in 1892, the Catholic Church is a fusion of French and Irish architecture, and the Belgian stained glass adds to its beauty. There is also a cemetery attached to the church. Christ Church also has decorative panels of stained glass, giving it a unique feel. A visit to this church gives one the feeling of stepping into a page of Victorian era history.

Wild Encounters: Tigers, Monkeys, and Jungle Adventures in Pachmarhi

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

Some of the routes are such that enthusiastic jeep drivers claim to sight tigers confidently. It is a game of luck (or coincidence) to spot tigers constantly moving in the jungle. Of course, sighting of red-faced monkeys are absolutely ‘guaranteed’ at Pachmarhi and all the way from there to Piparia! These monkeys often snatch things from the hands of tourists. Once upon a time Pachmarhi was infested with red-faced monkeys.

This naughty gang used to steel something from someone’s shop, someone would take the dried clothes from home and put them somewhere else. Finally, the people’s complaints led to a systematic operation carried out by the forest department, and a number of monkeys were caught and released on the road to Piparia. Today, residents of Pachmarhi who pass by that way do not miss to feed the monkeys.

Experiencing the Cultural Tapestry of Pachmarhi

Tribal Traditions

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored
Pachmarhi_Gupt_Mahadev_Temple_Main

Pachmarhi is home to various indigenous tribes whose rich cultural heritage is reflected in their vibrant traditions, colorful attire, and folk art forms. Interacting with the local communities provides visitors with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the authentic flavors of tribal life.

Festivals and Celebrations

Throughout the year, Pachmarhi comes alive with a myriad of festivals and celebrations that showcase the region’s cultural diversity and vibrancy. From the lively dance performances during the Pachmarhi Utsav to the traditional rituals observed during tribal gatherings, every event is a testament to the town’s dynamic spirit.

Good to know for a Perfect Trip…

Pachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

  • December to February is the ideal time to enjoy the pink chill of Pachmarhi. To enjoy the greenery of the Satapuda mountains and the cascading waterfalls, one should visit during the monsoon or a month or so after the end of the monsoon.
  • The nearest railway station to Pachmarhi, about fifty kilometers away, is Piparia, which is now connected by the Mumbai-Howrah main line. The Rajkot-Jabalpur train stops at Piparia. Buses, jeeps, or other private vehicles are accessible from here to Pachmarhi.
  • Apart from Piparia, bus services are also accessible from Bhopal, Hoshangabad, Nagpur and Chindwara to Pachmarhi.
  • Tourists who want to travel by air can reach Bhopal, and go to Pachmarhi, which is about 200 km away. Many private hotels are available in Pachmarhi for accommodation, including Madhya Pradesh Tourism hotels and tents.

Various Accommodations

Pachmarhi, nestled in the Satpura Range, is known as the “Queen of Satpura” and offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every taste and budget. Here’s a glimpse into the different categories of stays you’ll find in Pachmarhi:

Luxury Hotels:

  • WelcomHeritage Golf View: This heritage property offers stunning views of the golf course and surrounding hills. It boasts luxurious rooms, a spa, an outdoor pool, and multiple dining options.

https://www.welcomheritagehotels.in/hotel-details/golf-view-pachmarhi/

https://www.amhotelkollection.com/THESUMMERHOUSE

Mid-Range Hotels:

 

 

 

Budget-Friendly Hotels:

 

 

 

Resorts and Camps:

 

These are just a few examples of the many accommodation options available in Pachmarhi. While making your choice, consider your budget, preferences, and the type of experience you seek.

ConclusionPachmarhi: A Secret Haven in India's Heartland Waiting to Be Explored

Pachmarhi stands as a testament to the beauty and diversity that India’s heartland has to offer. From its verdant forests and cascading waterfalls to its rich history and vibrant culture, every aspect of Pachmarhi beckons travelers to embark on a journey of discovery and exploration. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors or longing for a tranquil retreat amidst nature’s embrace, Pachmarhi holds the key to an unforgettable experience that will linger in your heart long after you’ve bid it farewell. So pack your bags, set forth on an adventure, and unlock the secrets of Pachmarhi – a haven waiting to be explored.


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