Pachmarhi the unrivaled queen of Satpura
The luxuriant jungles of Satpura have many beautiful secrets within it. The undulating landscape, the variety of flora and fauna and the miles of tranquil jungles which speak with silence, interrupted by the music of flowing water. Nature has splashed the valley and mountains with shades of green. Speckle of red is added by the red sandstone mountains and valleys which have been sculpted by winds and weather over the time gives Pachmarhi the form it is presently. It is no less than a fairyland where azure pools , fascinating birds, and animals fill you with thrill and awe. This is a hill station in the lap of Satpura which is full of waterfalls, rich flora and a number of Shiva shrines.
This region was a home to mankind even in the pre-historic times as the traces of civilization are seen in the cave shelters of Mahadeo Hills which is a gallery of rock paintings, dated between 500-800 AD and the oldest ones to the pre-historic eras.
Must see Wonders –
- The milky Waterfalls
It is not wrong to call Pachmari as the land of waterfalls. Priyadarshini, Jamuna Prapat, Rajat Prapat, Jalawantaran … the list is unending, making it difficult for the onlooker to decide which fall holds more appeal. Priyadarshini fall, also known as Forsyth Point is the vantage point which marks the place from where Pachmarhi was discovered by Captain Forsyth in 1857. All waterfalls are thronged with tourists who seek adventure as well as the pleasure of bathing in the unpolluted fresh water, which de-stresses, energizes and invigorates. In the rainy season, one should be cautious near the waterfalls for safety.
- The mesmerizing Pools-
he varied topography coupled with the varied flora and foliage around the water pools make them ideal for a picnic or simply spots to behold the nature in its purest form. Apsara Vihar, Irene Pool, Sunder Kund, Sangam, Tridhara, Vanshri Vihar etc are some of the numerous pools here which act like a mirror to the beauty of the queen of Satpuras-Pachmari. Sunder Kund is located in the Jambu Dweep Stream and enchants swimmers, while Sangam is the lowest of the picnic spots on the Denwa and offers fairly good bathing pools. Vanshri Vihar is a beautiful spot on the Denwa stream bordered with ferns and semi-tropical vegetation.
- Ancient Rock Shelters–
Pachmari has evidence of human habitation in pre-historic times which are seen in the many rock shelters rich with paintings are scattered everywhere in the valley. Monte Rosa, Harper’s Cave and Chieftain’s cave are some of them. The theme of the paintings varies from animals, human figures and battle scene.
- Victorian reminiscences – The town is still a reflection of its bygone era of Victorian traditions as gleaned in its architectural remains of British times and Churches. Catholic Church, built in 1892 shows a blend of French and Irish architecture. The Belgian stained glass windows add rare attraction and beauty to the building. The Church also has a cemetery attached to it. Christ Church, on the other hand, has stained glass panes adorning the walls and rear of the altar, imported from Europe. The nave of the Church does not contain even a single pillar for support.
- Natural Wonders– Sculpted by winds and weather and natural occurrences, Pachmari has many natural wonders to behold. It has many Shiva shrines carved by nature like the one in Mahadeo hills, Chhota Mahadev etc. Chhota Mahadev is a narrow point in the valley with rocks overhanging stream and a small spring from which water cascades down. Jata Shankar is a sacred cave under a mass of loose boulders in which the Jambu Dweep stream has its source. An awesome rocky formation of the place resembles the matted locks of Shiva. Chauragarh is one such prominent landmarks of Satpura which is crowned with emblems of Shiva worship.
- The historic Bison Lodge– This is a unique museum of Pachmarhi. The building in which it is housed was constructed in 1862AD. The Museum has a collection of pictures belonging to the British times.
- Awesome Satpura – The highest peaks of Dhoopgarh and Mahadev, deep natural valleys high mountains, rivulets and waterfalls and Tawa’s vast reservoir combine to make Satpura National park as one of the best National Parks of the state. The Park is a home to the gaur, tiger, leopard, spotted deer etc and a variety of birds. It is also a tiger reserve. (The entrance to the park is from Madhai. All those who wish to book a safari may log in to forest.mponline.gov.in)
Rains make Pachmari more beautiful making it a much sought after monsoon destination.
Reaching Pachmari– Bhopal is the nearest airport (210km), Nagpur (260 km ). Pipariya on the Mumbai Howrah mainline via Allahabad is the most convenient railhead. From Pipariya frequent buses/ cabs are available to reach Pachmarhi, 50 km away. Regular bus services are available from Bhopal, Pipariya, Hoshangabad, Nagpur, and Chhindwara are available.
Madhya Pradesh Tourism has a chain of 14 hotels in Pachmarhi to suit all types of budget. The specialty of these hotels are that most of them are Colonial Cottages now transformed into hotels, offering you all the comfort pampering away from your home. Pachmarhi is also one of the finest trekking destinations of the state and can be explored on foot as well as bicycle.
Till we meet next with a new destination of the Beas Circuit and lesser-known aspects.
Be happy and keep traveling.
Your friend and companion
Dr. Kaynat Kazi