Pachmarhi is the one and only hill station in Madhya Pradesh state of central India, also known for the Pachmarhi Cantonment. It is widely known as "Satpura ki Rani" (Queen of Satpura), situated at a height of 1000 m in a valley of the SatpuraRange in Hoshangabad district. The highest point in the central India region and the Vindhya and Satpura range; Dhupgarh at 1100 m is located here.
The town is not very large, and most of its area is under the administration of the Pachmarhi Cantonment Board, serving the Indian Army. The population of Pachmarhi is about 10,000 persons, most of whom are connected with the Army installations in the area.
The civilian portion of the town is small, and lies to
wards the tip of a lake. It has some hotels and a movie hall. A bazaar runs through the small town. An club and golf course exist, for the usage of military personnel.
A rarely used airstrip is situated near Dhupgarh. It is overrun with grass and is seldom used. Tigers are known to have been sighted near the airstrip. Panther sightings are common along the edge of the Pachmarhi Cantonment.
Pachmarhi is a popular tourist retreat. Tourists visit pachmarhi through out the year. There are numerous hotels but only few of them are located in civil area of pachmarhi away from houch pouch market area to stay in peaceful location. Pachmarhi's elevation and the forests of the Satpuras, with their streams and waterfalls, are picturesque and home to much wildlife. Pachmarhi lies within the Pachmarhi Biosphere Preserve, created in 1999 to link two forest reserves into a larger wildlife conservation area at the highest point in Central India. Pachmarhi also has a lot of cave paintings in the forests, some of which have been dated to be as much as 10000 years old. Shown in the picture is the garden at the base of a tourist attraction called PandavaCaves, the caves are actually Buddhist in origin but the name persists. The place has rich timber reserves including teak, but being a part of a reserve no new construction or felling of trees is allowed. Having a rich and rare flora as well as fauna, Pachmarhi needs central and state government approval for any new construction outside the town area.
Pachmarhi is 47 km from Pipariya. Pipariya is on Itarasi-Jabalpur rail line, 2 hours from Jabalpur and approximately 1 hour from Itarsi. Pachmarhi can also be reached directly by bus from Bhopal, which is 210 km away by road, Itarsi or Jabalpur.
Pachmarhi can also be reached from Nagpur. The Mahrashtra State Road Transport Corporation has started 2x2 luxury buses, which take eight hours to reach Pachmarhi.
While there are several sites within 5-6 km radius, the best way of getting around is to hire a four-wheeler, Maruti Gypsy being the norm in Pachmarhi. Gypsy can be hired through open market or hotel can arrange with Gypsy operators. It gets comfortable if one visits places of heart-attraction in Pachmarhi in their own vehicle.
Some of the places of tourist interest here are:
Priyadarshini (Forsyth Point).
This vantage viewing point marks the place from where Pachmarhi was discovered by Captain Forsyth in 1857. The British developed Pachmarhi as a resort and their influence is embodied in its churches and colonial architecture
Jamuna Prapat (Bee Fall)..
A spectacular fall in the stream which provides drinking water to Pachmarhi. The bathing pools above the fall are very popular.
Pachmarhi's most impressive ravine has a 300 feet high precipice and dramatically steep sides.
Apsara Vihar (Fairy Pool).
Easily accessible from Jai Stambh, this 'fairy pool' is an ideal picnic spot for families with small children, since the pool is shallow, deepening only towards the base of the fall.
Rajat Prapat (Silver Fall).
Those seeking adventure will find it in this ten-minute walk over rocks and boulders from Apsara Vihar to the top of Rajat Prapat, the 'big fall'.
This pool was discovered by Irene Bose, wife of Justice Vivian Bose, and named after her. The route upstream leads to a cave, through which the stream goes underground and then over a khud in a series of falls.
The descent is steep and the trek strenuous for almost all of the 4 km to the base of the fall's first cascade.
Sunder Kund (Saunder's Pool).
Crossing the stream below Duchess Fall and following a footpath about 2.5 km in a south- west direction, brings one to a huge rocky pool that is excellent for a refreshing swim.
Regarded as holy for countless of generations, Mahadeo hill has a shrine with an idol of Lord Shiva and an impressive Shivlinga. On the East side of the hill is an excellent cave shelter with beautiful cave paintings.
Revered as a sacred spot, this is a narrow point in the valley with rocks overhanging a stream and a spring from where water cascades down.
4 km from Mahadeo, it is one of Satpura's prominent land marks, the summit crowned with emblems of Mahadeo worship.
A sacred cave under a mass of loose boulders in which the Jambu Dwip stream has its source. A rocky formation of this place resembles the matted locks of Lord Shiva, hence the name.
The highest point in the Satpura range, with a magnificent view of the surrounding ranges. A very popular spot for viewing sunsets.
Five ancient dwellings excavated in the sandstone rock in a low hill. Pachmarhi derives its name from these caves which, as the legend goes, once provided sanctuary to the five Pandav brothers. These caves are now protected monuments.
Tridhara (Piccadily Circus).
A popular picnic spot where two streams meet in a junction.
Vanshree Vihar (Pansy Pool).
A beautiful spot on the Denwa stream, cool and shady among trees, ferns and semi-tropical vegetation.
A wonderful natural amphitheater in the rock, approached through a cave-like entrance on the South-side.
Sangam (Fuller's Khud - Waters Meet) This is the lowest of the picnic spots on the Denwa and offers fairly good bathing pools both below and above the meeting of the waters.
Built in 1892 by the British, the Catholic Church is a blend of the French and Irish architecture. Its Belgium stained-glass windows add rare attraction and beauty to the building. The church has a cemetery attached to it and graves date from 1859, World War I & II.
Built in 1875 by the British, this Church's architecture is fascinating; its 'sanctum-sanctorum' has a hemispherical dome on top with its ribs ending with faces of angels. The stained glass panes adorning the walls and rear of the altar were imported from Europe. They present a gorgeous view as the sun rays pass through them. The nave of the church does not contain even a single pillar for support. The baptismal font is a rare brass piece and the bell is as old as the church and its chimes can be heard from a long distance.
Set up in 1981, SatpuraNational Park is 524 sq km in area. It spreads through dense forest of evergreen sal, teak and bamboo. The high peaks of Dhoopgarh and Mahadeo, Bori's legendary teak and bamboo forests, Pachmarhi's fascinating natural beauty of deep valleys, high mountains, rivulets, waterfalls and Tawa's vast reservoir combine to give this park unique beauty and a breathtaking variety of attractions. The park is home to the bison, tiger, Leopard, bear, four-horned deer, blue-bull and a rich variety of birds.
Constructed in 1862, the Bison Lodge is the oldest house in Pachmarhi. It now houses a beautiful museum depicting the rich flora and fauna of Pachmarhi.
The Cave Shelters.
Some of the best cave shelters and groups of shelters around Pachmarhi are: Dhuandhar, approached from the footpath to Apsara Vihar, the paintings mostly in white include a group of archers with the typical Gond bun and hooped earrings. Bharat Neer (Dorothy Deep), has well executed animal paintings and when excavated in the 1930s yielded many pottery shards and microliths. Asthachal (Monte Rosa), there are four shelters with paintings, comparatively early linear drawings. Along the northern side of Jambu Dwip valley are some six shelters with many paintings of animals and human figures, including a detailed battle scene.
So named because of one of its paintings - a man seated and playing a harp is close to the Jata Shankar Shrine. The Chieftain's Cave derives its name from a battle scene showing two chieftains on horses. A terrace that runs the length of the South, South East and East faces of Kites Crag has some fine cave paintings, the majority of which are in white or outlined in red.
Don't forget to bring clothes while visiting the falls. Nobody remains undrenched after visiting them.
Boating is a must do.
Do keep sufficient amount of water and food if you are going to Chauragarh.
Pachmarhi is famous for Honey and Ayurvedic medicines.
Where to Eat
Panchmarhi is a great place to have typical gujarati/maharashtrian/jain food. Chunmun cottage located near beefall and lake is one of the best places. It is easy to cover some of the nearby other vista points after lunch. Other all kinds of food is also easily available at Panchmarhi and there is no need to worry about food during a trip.
KOLKATAFOODCENTER IN THE MAIN PANCHMARHI MARKET IS VERY GOOD OPTION FOR CHEAP & BEST FOOD. HAVE A TRY ATLEAST ONE TIME,YOU WILL NEVER FORGET THE TASTE
What to Drink
For drinks related to alcohol, you can find many open model shops and bars in pachmarhi. there is no need to search and go far somewhere as it is very easily available in the city place.
Where to Stay (Stay Options)
Pachmarhi is full of hotels.You will find a hotel after every 50-100 metres in the market area.
The town has many tourist hotels including the hotel run by Department of Tourism (Govt. of Madhya Pradesh). Private resorts and cottage/hotel facilities are also available.
Select any hotels listed below for more information:
Hotel Indraprastha, The Misty Meadows Resort, Hotel Pachmarhi, Hotel Paradise, Hotel Park View,Hotel Pandav, The Golf View, Hotel Kachnar, Amaltas (MP Tourism), Champak Bungalow (MP Tourism), Glen View (MP Tourism), Hilltop Bungalow (MP Tourism), Hotel Highlands (MP Tourism),Panchvati (MP Tourism), Rock-End Manor (Heritage Hotel) (MP Tourism), Satpura Retreat (Heritage Hotel) (MP Tourism), Woodland Bunglow (DIB) (MP Tourism)
There is also a Bharath Scouts and Guides camping site about 4 km from the main town.
Tourists are advised to carry BSNL mobile network connections as all other networks have not yet started operations in Pachmarhi. It is also advisable to carry hard cash in case of a prolonged vacation since there's SBI (State Bank of India) ATM , Axis Bank ATM.