Good Living

Happy Holidays – Pachmarhi Hill Station

Pachmarhi is the one and only hill station in Madhya Pradesh, 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 Satpura Range in Hoshangabad district. The highest point in the central India region and the Vindhya and Satpura range – Dhupgarh at  1100m is located here. 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. 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) is a spectacular fall in the stream which provides drinking water to Pachmarhi. The bathing pools above the fall are very popular. Handi Khoh is Pachmarhi’s most impressive ravine which has a 300 feet high precipice and dramatically steep sides. Apsara Vihar 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 – 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’. Irene Pool – 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. Jalawataran – 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 is a huge rocky pool that is excellent for a refreshing swim. Mahadeo – 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. Chhota Mahadeo – 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. Chauragarh is one of Satpura’s prominent land marks, the summit crowned with emblems of Mahadeo worship. Jata Shankar is a sacred cave under a mass of loose boulders in which the Jambu Dweep stream has its source. A rocky formation of this place resembles the matted locks of Lord Shiva, hence the name. Pandav Cave – 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 is a popular picnic spot where two streams meet in a junction. Catholic Church – 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 and II. Christ Church – 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. Satpura National Park – Set up in 1981, Satpura National 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. Pachmarhi is famous for Honey and Ayurvedic medicines. It is a great place to have typical Gujarati/Maharashtrian/Jain food.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment