“The gentle sound of down pour,earthy fragrance, water soaked leaves, lush greenery,stunning waterfalls with gushing water,romantic atmosphere,roasted sweet corns with a cup of freshly brewed coffee is my idea of monsoons. “
Reaching Pachmarhi – In order to experience such a monsoon trip in Central India, we chose Pachmarhi hill station as our next destination. We packed our bags and boarded a train from Mumbai to Pipariya railway station (47 km from pachmarhi). After an overnight journey we reached next day early in the morning.There were lot of monkeys all over the station, jumping and climbing over the bridge creating a menace. Keeping a check on our luggage we got out of the station and opted for the shared vehicles to reach Hotel Highlands(MPTDC).The road was smooth but full of steep turns and cutting through huge mountains covered with lush greenery, most of it being uphill. It took almost 1.15 hrs to reach our hotel.
Hotel MPT Highlands – For the coming four days, this was going to be our place to relax,rejuvenate and chill. With prior bookings we could easily check in. The hotel rooms were basically barracks dating back to British era, still maintained with the same austerity. The green roof tops of the rooms seamlessly synced with the green environment. The property was a great combination of the old world charm and modern conveniences(lounge,indoor sports bar, playarea). The courteous staff helped us to our rooms and we settled in quickly as we had plans set for the remaining day. The breakfast was unbelievably sumptuous with a lot of varieties. Later as guided by the hotel manager, we went to the forest department office wherein we paid charges 2800 per day for a gypsy and a personal guide for sightseeing in pachmarhi.
Sightseeing – Our gypsy driver as well as the guide were very experienced and had planned a perfect itinerary for the day. First spot was Jatashankar Temple located near to our hotel. The temple premises were resonating with the sound of devotees saying ” Om Namah Shivay”. A huge idol of Shiva could be seen from far as we walked on the road with stalls on both sides selling fresh and rare berries, ayurvedic medicines, so called “Jadibutis” and even food items. The naturally crafted massive rocks, one resembling tiger’s face while some resembling other wild animals were truly admirable. After taking blessings at a small temple safeguarding two stones, probably used to build the Ramsetu at Rameshwaram, we were directed towards a flight of stairs going downhill. The stairs were supported with iron railings making it easy to descend. At the end of the spiral shaped stairs there was a huge cave adorned with stalactite and stalagmites formation.Water was dripping from the cave and the surrounding view was mesmerizing. The pitch dark cave came to life with the diyas lit near the shivlingam. We took darshan of the “swayambhu shivalingam” and spent sometime admiring the natural beauty of the spot.
Handi khoh – The spot was at a considerable height and it was a “V” shaped valley with a beautiful sight with lot of tourists.The valley was bathed in showers and fog engulfed the valley making it difficult to see beyond a point and gave us a feeling of floating amidst clouds.
Gupt Mahadev – After taking lunch at one of the famous restaurants of pachmarhi, we headed to this 40 ft large cave known to be Gupt Mahadev. The cave is so well camouflaged that it almost would go unnoticed if not for the huge idol of Hanuman at the cave’s entrance. The cave has an idol of Lord Ganesha and Shiva Lingam. The cave has a very narrow opening for 2 people to pass and only 8 people can stand in the cave at a time. Going further ahead, we noticed a fresh stream passing through the dense forests, offering magical views and picturesque landscapes. After splashing water and dangling our feet in the cold streams and having loads of fun,our day came to an end. Tired and weary we returned to our hotel
“Nature is one of the most under utilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden our hearts and connect to that inner place of peace” – Janice Anderson
For complete details and history of Pachmarhi Check out my blog https://indiansujata.travel.blog/2020/07/18/pachmarhi-queen-of-satpuras-infohistory-and-travel-tips/