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Panchmarhi is the most popular hill station in Madhya Pradesh. It is the only hill station and is the highest point in Madhya Pradesh. Pachmarhi is also called “Satpura ki Rani” or the “Queen of the Satpura Range”, situated at an altitude of 1,067 meters. In fact, the hill station is located in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh.
- The name Pachmarhi is derived from the Hindi words Panch – five, and Marhi – caves.
- According to a legend, these caves were built by five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharath era during their thirteen years of exile.
- The region has a lot of cave paintings in the forests, some of which have been estimated to be as much as 10,000 years old.
- The modern history of Pachmarhi does not go far behind. In 1862 Capt. Forsyth reported about the Sylvan charms of the place to the Chief-Commissioner of Hoshangabad.
- Pachmarhi was too precious to the British. Hence they did not permit the general public to see it.
Pachmarhi is a hill station in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh state of central India. It has been the location of a cantonment (Pachmarhi Cantonment) since British Period.
How to reach Panchmarhi?
The nearest airport to Pachmarhi is Jabalpur. Another convenient way to reach is by train route. Pipariya is the railhead situated at a distance of 47 km away from Pachmarhi. This is on the foremost line to Mumbai – Howrah and therefore most of the foremost trains halt at this station.
When to visit Panchmarhi?
This place can be visited throughout the year. But the best time to visit Pachmarhi is from October to June. In fact, summers are pleasant followed by moderate showers during the monsoon. One might also want to plan a visit around Bastar Dusshera and Navratri celebrations which can fill your experience with more light, colour and excitement.
Though Hindi is the official language of Pachmarhi but other main languages of the country are also spoken here. Other than Hindi, one can see people using English and Urdu for mutual conversation. Also, the main local languages are Bhilodi, Nahali and Gondi.
The climate here is mild, and generally warm and temperate. When compared with winter, the summers have much more rainfall. At an average temperature of 30.3 °C, May is the hottest month of the year. At 15.5 °C on average, December is the coldest month of the year.
Fairs and Festivals in Panchmarhi
Pachmarhi is renowned for its Shivratri mela. The religious festival celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvati. The annual event takes place in the month of February/March. Also, to mark the occasion devotees gather at the Mahadeo Temple. They carry symbolic tridents (a three-pronged spear) and plant them on top of the Chauragarh hill.
Transportation/Stay to prefer
The town can be best explored through local transport. They are efficient yet affordable. Taxis, autos, cabs and government buses are easily available to everyone.
There are various resorts and hotels in the town. One can pre-book them. The rooms are spacious and clean with the best surrounding. These rooms are available at moderate and high costs as well depending upon the season.
Places to visit in Panchmarhi
1. Pandav Caves
It is a group of five-rock cut temples with naturally grown gardens and roughly carved columns is among the most sought-after Pachmarhi places to visit. Many Buddhist monks meditated here and used them to spread awareness about nature.
2. Bee Falls
Bee Falls is one of the popular places to visit in Pachmarhi and the moment you trek down the hundreds of steps and arrive at the fall. You will find small vendors sending snacks and tea around the fall. Also, you can eat and admire the beauty but you can also take a leap into the natural freshwater pool.
3. Satpura National Park
Satpura is a Sanskrit word for saying “seven-hills,” named after the series of hills in the highlands of central India. As a part of the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve, it covers an area of 524 sq. km. In addition to this, f you wish to take a closer look at the vivid wildlife you can a safari ride in Satpura National Park, where you will come across deep gorges, untrodden forests, wriggling rivulets accommodating a wide array of animals.
4. Mahadeo Hills
Mahadeo hills separate the basin of Narmada from the Wardha and Wainganga rivers. This peak is one of the three highest points in Pachmarhi where you can visit the holy shrine of Lord Shiva in the cave temple Gupt Mahadev. Apart from Gupt Mahadev, this temple houses another sanctum dedicated to Lord Shiva which is Bade Mahadev. The pristine clear view of nature and the greenery will calm your senses.
5. Handi Khoh
The 300 feet tall steep cliff makes the finest ravine in the country. Enveloped in dense forest and wriggling water streams, Handi Khoh has mythological stories associated with it. According to legends, it is said that, once it was a huge lake but the devilish snake that was guarding the lake. It was destroyed by the fury of Lord Shiva and the event dried up the lake into a small pot (Handi).
It is the highest peak of the Satpura hill range and the view from the top can leave you awestruck. From the spiritual surroundings to the top view of the meandering streams, the peak offers views of the lesser Satpura ranges and Vindhya ranges. Also, the serene ecosystem and the Dhupgarh Fall are a few of the main attraction here.
7. Rajat Prapat (Silver Fall/Big Fall)
Rajat Prapat looks like a silver strip that falls straight into the forests. The fall is on the other side of the mountain and to see it from one end, you have to climb uphill for a few minutes. In fact, ou can climb up the hill and can witness the magnificent Satpura hill range in the backdrop.
8. Apsara Falls
Apsara Vihar is situated in the hills of Pachmarhi near Pandava Caves. It is a naturally formed pool with a beautiful and small waterfall, fondly known as Fairy Pool. The 30 feet high waterfall forms a shallow pool, which is a popular picnic spot among locals as well as tourists.
Jatashankar is a natural cave, a Hindu shrine located north of Pachmarhi, in the Hoshangabad district. It is located in a deep ravine, with enormous boulders perched above. The cave contains stalagmites revered as naturally formed lingams. In fact, the cave serves as a shrine to the God Shiva and is a popular destination for pilgrims.
10. Pansy Pool
For a breezy evening, Vanashree vihar can serve as an ultimate escape spot. This is a stunning small lake where you can go boating for a couple of hours. In addition to this, there are few activities like swinging, quad riding, horse and camel rides etc near the lake where you can indulge yourself and spend some quality time.
Cuisines to taste in Panchmarhi
The food palate of Pachmarhi has got a strong influence from Mughal cuisines. Here are some of my all-time favourite dishes, one should try
- Seekh Kebabs – the most savoured non-vegetarian dishes.
- Malpua – best in town.
- Mawa Bati – one dish that defines the sweet dish palate.
- Bhutte ka Seedh – typical street food
Things to do Panchmarhi
Pachmarhi is a tourist retreat. Pachmarhi has numerous nature spots, boating at the lake, paragliding, greenery, views, waterfalls, mountain streams and wildlife. Bharat Scout & Guides also situated there. This spot is just a treasure for the travel enthusiast, it has so much to explore. One should give it a try and experience these activities.
Souvenirs to buy in Panchmarhi
Pachmarhi is very famous for its rich prehistoric artefacts, caves, and paintings. One can buy tons of things in the city, but most importantly the following:
- Ayurvedic Products
- Bamboo Items
- Metal Statues