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Pritha Manchanda Aug 14 2015

Explore The Unexplored Pachmarhi

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One of India’s more unusual getaways, Pachmarhi is a quiet hill station (except during long weekends!). Even though it is an all year round destination, monsoon is the best time to visit this place as everything looks all the more alluring and beautiful during the rains. Explore the unexplored Pachmarhi on your next vacation and take home wonderful memories.

1. Visit the beauty spots

Pachmarhi has the usual circuit of beauty spots. View the sunset from the famous Dhupgarh (the highest point between the Himalaya and the Nilgiris stands at 4,429 ft).

Sunset Point by Manishwiki15

A must-visit is Chauragarh, a lingam-shaped peak from where you can catch unmatched views of the adjoining areas.

Photo by Facebook page of Madhya Pradesh Tourism

2. Cascading waterfalls

What distinguishes Pachmarhi from other hill stations is its abundance of water spots. Places like Duchess Falls and Bee Falls are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in India and are perfect picnic spots.

Bee Fall (from official Facebook page of Madhya Pradesh Tourism)

3. Don’t miss Pandava Caves

Pandava Caves or Panch Mathi is where Pachmarhi gets its name from. Locals believe that the five Pandavas spent some time here during their exile. The place has 6 caves, one each for Bheem, Yudhishthir, Arjun, Nakul, Sahdev and Draupadi. There is a beautiful garden adjoining the caves which is a preferred picnic spot for the locals.

Pandava Caves by MGA73bot2

4. Take a trip to the shrines

Over many centuries, the region’s topography of cliffs and deep caves have become the location of Shaivite shrines. The hill station of Pachmarhi is renowned for its annual Shivaratri Mela in February/March when thousands of devotees throng the Mahadeo Temple. 10 km south of Pachmarhi, Jatashankar Cave Temple is another popular spot.

Photo by marjoleincc

5. Magnificent churches

Christ Church, built in 1875, is open to the public and is considered one of Madhya Pradesh’s most beautiful churches. It has stained glass panels imported from Europe. The Catholic Church, another beautiful structure was built in 1892 and has long Belgium stained glass windows that create marvellous hues on a sunny day. This church, however, is now open only to the army.

Catholic Church by Manishwiki15

6. Treat yourself to amazing pre-historic rock paintings

In the cliffs of Pachmarhi, the soft sandstone of the Satpuras weathered into a group of rock shelters. These provided safety to hunters gatherers, who left behind vibrant compositions of animals and hunting scenes, warriors with bows and arrows, honey-gatherers and so on. Pass through lush forests of sal and you will find two caves which have these paintings. About an hour’s walk from the main road, these caves are worth a visit.

Photo by Flickr upload bot

7. Adventure calling

Pachmarhi has some really interesting trekking routes which you should explore for a dash of adventure. The hill station is a trekker’s paradise with challenging routes covering areas such as Jata Shankar Caves, Rajat Prapat, Reech Garh, Rajendra Giri, Apsara Vihar and Dhupgarh.

Photo by official Facebook page of Madhya Pradesh page

8. Visit Saputara Tiger Reserve

Further along the Satpura Range, to the north and west of Pachmarhi, lies the Satpura Tiger Reserve, one of the famous tiger reserves in India. The tiger reserve greets you with spectacular scenery and abundance of wildlife. To spot sambar and bison, you have to take a half-day jeep safari.

Photo by official Facebook page of Madhya Pradesh Tourism

Taking a forest guide with you is compulsory. A jeep from Pachmarhi can charge around INR 5,300 per trip in the high season. Check permit rates when booking.

9. Indulge in shopping

So you thought Pachmarhi is all about hills and caves? Think again! The quaint hill station is also a shopper’s delight with an array of shops selling exquisite tribal crafts (stuff made of jute and marble), paintings and other interesting knick knacks.

Photo from MP Handicrafts.com

Even though the place doesn’t have many fancy malls, shopping here is a hatke experience with an old world charm.

10. Culinary delights

All MP Tourism hotels have a restaurant serving standard Indian and Chinese menus. Amaltas serves dosas and coffee on the lawns, apart from meals. And dinner under the stars at Rock End Manor is delightful. MP Tourism also runs the stand-alone China Bowl restaurant, in a bungalow near Panchvati.

Photo by official Facebook of Madhya Pradesh

The Open Garden Restaurant on Mahadev Road offers a fairly large multi-cuisine repertoire at very reasonable prices. Among the better known non-vegetarian restaurants in the bazaar is the Khalsa, and for a thali meal, the Mrignayani near Gandhi Chowk. In short, there are loads of options in Pachmarhi to satiate your hunger pangs.

Photo from official Facebook page of Madhya Pradesh tourism

Take the road less traveled this vacation and explore the unexplored Pachmarhi to get the best of this quiet hill station!

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