Sep 24, 2012

Hill Stations- Pachmarhi



Pachmarhi is the only and beautiful hill stations in Central India. It is popularly known as Queen of Satpuras and lies inside the Satpura Biosphere Preserve. At an altitude of 3500ft the little town is a tourist retreat and bustling with tourists, touts and has a strong presence of Army base. Pachmarhi is 144KM from Bhopal, capital city of Madhya Pradesh.

I took a train from Bhopal to Pipariya, nearest railway station 47KM away from Pachmarhi. From Pipariya I took a shared taxi to Pachmarhi. The taxi driver takes 13 people in his SUV. I told him I would pay him for two passengers and not to crowd the front seat. He agreed. As soon as I got out of the taxi there were around 10 touts on motorcycle surrounded me. After getting rid of them I went walking to look for a budget hotel. It was already late for any sight seeing so, I had late lunch and took much needed rest.

Next morning, I took a shared taxi, a Maruti Gypsy, to go around. Since it is a Biosphere Preserve and some attractions are in Satpura National Park a petrol run vehicle is required. I was sharing the taxi with a nice newly wed couple from Nimar area. Yeah, it is crazy idea but, I did! They were good, only problem was they were never ready to go out. Well, I liked the ever-smiling and swift wife though. 

The first stop was Jatashankar, a cave temple under loose boulders dedicated to Lord Shiva. A natural rock from top of which stalactites hanging looks like matted and tangled locks of Lord Shiva and so is considered a swayanbhu Shivalinga. See the picture :) A stream called Jambu Dweep has its origin here and flows underground. The temple also displays two rocks which float in the water are believed to be part of the sacred Rama Setu long ago, the bridge that was built between India and Sri Lanka by monkey army in Ramayana (a Hindu Epic). They looked like shells of huge sea cucumbers to me. There is a rock on the top of a cliff which looks like tiger's face and also a tree which is in the form of Om symbol. I was forced to take a guide who charged me Rs. 50 to walk down the cave. Well, if you are going don't take a guide. You don't need one and on that these guides rush you. 

Pandav Caves are another popular attraction in Pachmarhi. These five ancient shelters are now protected monuments, and are believed to have sheltered Pandavas from Mahabharata (Hindu Epic). But, the archaeology says the caves might have Buddhist origin. There is nothing notable inside like paintings, inscriptions or sculptures. Just caves ...

Next, I went to see Rajat Pratap waterfalls with a guide. It is also known as Silver Falls. A short walk down the hill will take you to a view point from where you can see this very tall waterfalls, but I didn't find it very attractive because the water flow was very thin. During monsoon it could be an attractive waterfalls.  The view of Pachmarhi Valley is really nice from here. Then time to walk up the hill. On the way back we saw Draupadi Kund where there are five small pools. Well nothing great, no worries if missed. The guide left us at Apsara Vihaar waterfalls. My carpool was puffing and cursing the guide for being fast. The guide argued that he wanted to take us ahead of a bunch of college kids!


Apsara Vihaar waterfalls. It is a very beautiful and angel-like waterfalls. The guide told me why the name Apsara (celestial woman) Vihaar (garden or similar) ... in very simple terms a Pool of Fairies. It is not because the fairies visited this place. Pachmarhi was discovered by British Army Captain James Forsyth. And british developed it as a Hill Station. Well, the white women came to the waterfalls to swim. Madhya Pradesh then was a tribal area and they watched these women from behind the hides. Tribal people found the white women to be fairies!!! And so the name :) Well, I have not posted the picture of waterfalls but, you see the very beautiful pot holes near it.

Then was time for Jamuna Pratap waterfalls or Bee Falls. At the top, the water was flowing down the man-made stone-concrete steps before plunging down to form this beautiful waterfalls. The thin waterflow gave me an opportunity for a good shot. Then trekking down a couple of KM got me to the actual waterfalls. It seems this stream provides drinking water to Pachmarhi town.


Jalawataran or Duchess Falls is a very beautiful waterfalls but, accessible only by a steep downhill 4KM trek. Much more fun is the very steep downhill drive on the very rough and narrow road down to the trailhead. Ahhh! someday I want to drive there, I know it will not happen as the place is in the National Park area. Once you reach the waterfalls the place is cool and serene, a great swimming pool and picnic spot. Flows in three cascades of which I saw only two. There is a small shop selling hot maggie noodles, tea and nimbu pani. You may need good-gripped shoes for this trek, even otherwise one can trek here but at the cost of fancy footwear! As I said earlier Pachmarhi is a honeymoon destination you will find honeymoon couples here. Nice to see these couples helping each other while trekking uphill :) In my carpool, the girl was swift, happy and always smiling, the guy was fussy and sucked big time! Puff puff!


The sunsets and sunrises of Pachmarhi are stunning. Should not be missed. I went to Dhupgarh, the highest point (4,429ft) in Saptura range to witness the sunrise. The drive up is nice, narrow winding road in the bone biting cold. Later people waited for the sun to rise and shine. In the dark everyone looked like bundle of woolen :) For sunset I chose Forsyth point or Priyadarshini Point from where the views are good too. 

Well, I missed Mahadeo and the rock paintings in Mahadeo Hills as old as 10,000 year old, which I wanted to do very badly. But, the shared transport had frustrated me beyond my patience and for rock paintings I wouldn't even get a shared ride. I raised my hands and Om namah Shivaya to Mahadeo ... and thought of continuing my journey to Jabalpur.

When I think of Pachmarhi I think of waterfalls and the colorful skies at dawn and dusk. Beautiful place!
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Leave a comment to share your beautiful thoughts :)

Click HERE to read more articles about Madhya Pradesh. Click HERE to read complete Backpacking India series.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

20 comments:

  1. thanks for introducing new place to me good narration and photos

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  2. Fascinating pictures and narration. Pancmarhi is such a lovely place - lovely waterfalls and splendid sunrise..

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  3. Pachmarhi indeed looks magnificent. Lovely post Kusum. How far is it from Bhopal?

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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    1. Thank you Niranjan! Its about 144KM.

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  4. This is a great place and those waterfalls looks magnificent. and why did those moterbikes surround you! Honeymoons couples can be a pain sometimes, and great you got a nice one. The apsara waterfall has a nice history attached to it. tribals considering the white women to be fairies :-) cute! Those ram setu rocks look dicy to me too.

    Breathaking sunrise and sunset pics. Over all a wonderful place!

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    1. Thanks Jenny! Why would touts surround a tourist? To sell hotel rooms for an exorbitant price! :)

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  5. Great post, Kusum. You know, there is a school of thought among historians that Lanka was a place somewhere in Madhya Pradesh and the bridge also had to be in Madhya Pradesh. I haven't studied this in detail, but my mother has studied Ramayana from a literary and historical perspective - that's how I heard of this theory. It is very interesting that a temple in Madhya Pradesh displays a so-called relic of the Rama Setu. My mother would be very interested in this. :)

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    1. Gowri, that is very interesting info about Rama Setu. I didn't have a clue about it! Thanks! :)

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  6. Panchmarhi seems so beautiful ! And great clicks !

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  7. I like your article and information provided above. Thanks for telling us some places worth seeing in Madhya Pradesh.

    Hotels in shimla

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  8. I had been to Pachmarhi when i was 9 yr old so only rememberance i have is some name like Bee fall,pandav caves.Your blog reminded me my promise to visit this place again.thanks for sharing.

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  9. I am planning to visit Pachmarhi in may. Could you tell me what will the max and min temperatures will it be then there? Will the waterfalls and lakes still be present then?

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  10. I am planning to visit Pachmarhi in may. Could you tell me what will the max and min temperatures will it be then there? Will the waterfalls and lakes still be present then?

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  11. Thanks for sharing this information about this place which is famous among tourists.

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    I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I'm quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

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    is also happening with this post which I am reading here.

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