Pachmarhi “Queen of satpuras” – Info,history and travel tips

Do not follow where the path may lead.Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Thinking of visiting a hill station bejeweled by cascading waterfalls,wild life reserves with rare flora and fauna, jaw dropping viewpoints,historical caves and religious monuments then Pachmarhi should be on top of your list. Yes, Pachmarhi ,located at an altitude of 1067mts in Hoshangabad district is a beautiful lone hill station of Madhya pradesh. It is one of the most visited hill station of central India during the monsoon season. In 1999 it has also been recognised as a part of UNESCO biosphere reserve owing to its lush green environment adding to its ecological importance.

History of Pachmarhi

Discovered by British Officer Captain James Forsyth in 1857, pachmarhi was a British cantonment area. It was considered as summer capital and all the officers of British army visited this place to find solace from the grueling heat.

Mythological importance – According to the mythological tales, pachmarhi is the place where Lord Vishnu had taken the form of Mohini, a celestial beauty, in order to kill the demon Bhasmasura. As per the story, a demon named Bhasmasur was blessed by Lord Siva by a magical power that anyone whose head he touched with his hand would burn up and immediately turn into ashes (bhasma). Unfortunately, he created a ruckus and started killing rishis. To stop his sinful acts, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a beautiful lady named “Mohini” and Bhasmasur immediately fell in love with her.  She told him that she was very fond of dancing, and would marry him only if he could match her moves identically. Bhasmasura agreed to the match and hence they started dancing.While dancing, Mohini, struck a pose where her hand was placed on top of her own head. As Bhasmasura imitated her, he was tricked into touching his own head, and hence Bhasmasura immediately burnt up and turned into ashes, due to the power he had recently gained.

Top 10 attractions of Pachmarhi

Bada Mahadev and Gupt Mahadev -Bada Mahadev is a famous pilgrimage site known as the second home of Lord shiva after Himalayas. The shrine of lord Shiva, “shiva lingam” is situated in a 60 ft large cave.Continuously water oozes from the cave and falls on the shiv lingam as if performing an abhishek leading to the formation of a pool beneath. A huge idol of lord shiva has been placed in front of the caves. Caves of goddess Parvati are situated nearby. In the same vicinity,there is a temple of Lord Hanuman and it holds two floating stones of Rameshwar origin. Walking little further, one can see large trishuls covered with black cloth. As you descend from the Mahadeo hills after taking darshan of Bada mahadev, you come across this hidden cave of 40 ft. with rocks overhanging a stream and a spring from where water cascades down. As the name suggests, Gupt mahadev is a cave with narrow opening allowing one person to get darshan at a time.A big statue of lord Hanuman guards the entrance to the cave.

Jatashankar temple – As the name suggests, it is a limestone cave under loose boulders, comprising of stalactites and stalagmites. The entrance of the cave is formed in such a way that they resemble matted locks of Lord Shiva. As you enter the cave there is a Swayambhu Shivalingam surrounded by water on all sides. There is a massive rock which resembles 100 headed sheshnaag.

Massive rocks near Jatashankar temple

Dhoopgarh – Located at an high altitude of 4429 ft, it is the highest point in pachmarhi with pre-historic origins. One can experience panoramic views of the sunset as well as the sunrise from the cliffs of satpura ranges. Accessible by trekking through valleys and waterfalls.

Dhupgarh

Handi khoh – It is a 300 ft “V”shaped ravine with steep sides created by two immensely huge hills. Offers a very beautiful breath taking view of the valley.

Breathtaking view from Handi khoh

Priyadarshini point – To witness nature at its best, one has to visit the priyadarshini point. As it was first discovered by Captain Forsyth, it is also known as Forsyth point. Offers an eagle’s eye view of the entire hill station. Accessible after 400m trekking from the parking point.

Pandava Caves – Locally renowned as pandava caves are basically 5 rock cut Aravalem Buddhist caves used for meditation by buddhist monks. Some religious scriptures suggest they were used as shelter by the pandavas of Mahabharata era during their thirteen years of exile. Can be easily reached by walking from javtala village.

Pandava caves

FamousWaterfalls – Pachmarhi can be recognised as a city of waterfalls as there are plenty of waterfalls all over the city. Out of all, the highly recommended ones are Bee waterfalls (falling water makes the noise of a hovering bee), Silver falls(the milky white water flows like a silver stream), Duchess falls(jalwataran) Apsara vihar(angel like waterfalls) and Pavas pratap waterfalls (little waterfalls). A trip to pachmarhi is incomplete without spending a day at any of these stunning waterfalls

Bee waterfalls

Satpura National park – The national park is a beautiful blend of the lush green dense forests, rich and rare wild life,sandstone peaks and gorges. Though we can spot leopards, sloth bears, antelopes, hornbills, the park is famous for wild buffaloes. The Denwa river flows through the national park. It has entry from three sides – Kajri gate, Madai and tawa. One has to visit this park in order to satiate his/her urge of exotic wilderness.

wild buffaloes in Satpura national park

Christ Church – It is a colonial style built church with old world charm. Has a hemispherical dome on top beautifully arched with faces of angels and tainted windows on sides. It was built 150 yrs ago in 19th century.

Vanashree Vihar -It is a mesmerizing lake with restaurants surrounding it on all sides. This is the perfect place to enjoy an evening with family and friends. A perfect place for kids to enjoy camel ride,horse ride, boating in the lake,etc. Worth visiting for sure.

How to reach -Bhopal is the nearest airport,195 kms away. Pipariya is the nearest railway station almost 47 km away. It is easily connected by roads. The nearest bus stop is 10-11 kms away.

Travel tips

  1. Best time to visit is October to February when the weather is very pleasant.
  2. Monsoon lovers can surely plan a trip in july- august but rainfall is heavy and unpredictable too
  3. Beware of Monkeys as they are present in plenty all over pachmarhi. They always pose a threat to small kids and our belongings. We need to be extra alert while roaming in the forests.
  4. Advance booking is advisable for hotel accommodation and private vehicles.
  5. MPTDC has an array of accomodation options with the best of facilities ranging from luxury to budget bungalows. Highly recommend champak bungalows.
  6. Can opt for shared taxis are available for some spots.
  7. Guides are available but if you have read this blog then they wont prove much useful, as i have shared most of the information.
  8. Opt for buying ayurvedic medicines and honey sold at many spots,especially Jatashankar temple, they are damn natural and effective. Can be given to loved ones as souvenirs.
  9. Be ready to walk and trek as most of the spots are located either uphill or downhill and vehicles would leave you at a great length from the actual spot.
  10. Carry water and food along as some spots dont have food stalls.
  11. Plan a trip for 4-5 days to cover the major spots in pachmarhi.
  12. As there are very few ATMs, keep cash with you.

Check out my next blog on my travel story of pachmarhi (Day1)https://indiansujata.travel.blog/2020/07/21/pachmarhi-trip-in-monsoon-part-1-my-travel-story/

Published by sujata pawnikar

Avid reader n blogger and a traveller by soul

4 thoughts on “Pachmarhi “Queen of satpuras” – Info,history and travel tips

  1. It was awesome experience in Pachmarhi, thanks for jotting down point to point, it will help others to plan before being board. Just beware of monkeys that’s all.

    Like

  2. पचमढीचा खूप छान अनुभव होता
    सुट्टी मध्ये फिरायला खूप छान ठिकाण आहे

    Like

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