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A quick look at Pachmarhi
Pachmarhi is known all over the country as Satpura Ki Rani. This hill station is a hot tourist spot, especially during the scorching summer season as it contains central India’s tallest mountain range of Vindhya and Satpura. The height of these ranges is a whopping 1350m, whereas the overall height of the hill station is at a staggering 1100m above sea level. Pachmarhi Cantonment, another name for this hill station can be found in the densely populated state of Madhya Pradesh. The local inhabitants of this area work for the Indian Army and there is a plethora of beauty hidden inside this small place. Gardens, mountains, waterfalls, rare species of flora and fauna, serene ambience and the sprawling green landscapes add to the beauty of the place.
History of Pachmarhi
Pach denotes the number, “Five” and Marhi denotes “caves”. Therefore, Pachmarhi can be literally translated as the Land of Five Caves. Legend has it that during the days of Mahabharata, the five Pandava kings were pushed into an exile of 14 years. During this time, they hid in various places across the country hiding themselves from their evil cousins, Kauravas. Pachmarhi was one such place that was chosen by the Pandavas as a secret place to live in. This place slowly started taking the shape of a hill station from the year 1857 onwards and it became the favourite summer retreat of the British rulers who ruled India during those days. The beautiful and rare plants found in this area have been identified fit to be included in Biosphere Reserves, according to the international organisation, UNESCO in the year 2009.
Where is this place located?
Pachmarhi, also known as Pachmarhi Cantonment can be found in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh at an altitude of 1100m or 3600 feet above sea level. This place is quite thinly populated and since there are various army installations in this area, the local people of Pachmarhi work for the Indian Army. A big city that is in close proximity to this place is Pipariya. This hills station is located in the district of Hoshangabad inside the Satpura Range valley, thereby getting the nickname, Satpura Ki Rani or the Queen of Satpura.
How to reach Pachmarhi?
Madhya Pradesh, located in Central India has a good connectivity with the rest of the parts of the country and the world. Therefore, getting to Pachmarhi is not too complex. The closest city of Pipariya too has a decent transport network facility within it.
Air – The airport at the capital of the state, Bhopal is the closest one for this hill station. Bhopal airport is at a distance of around 194km away from Pachmarhi. This airport has lots of connecting flights to and from almost all the important cities in the country. International tourists who want to come to Pachmarhi must get down at Delhi International Airport and then take a domestic flight to Bhopal. It costs around 4000 INR for a taxi ride from Bhopal airport to Pachmarhi hill station.
Train – The nearest railway station to Pachmarhi is Pipariya. The frequency of train network at Pipariya is quite high and it is connected to all the major cities in the country like Mumbai, Howrah, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and the like. This railway station is at a distance of around 47km from the hill station of Pachmarhi.
Road – There are lots of buses that are operated by the Tourism Development Corporation of Madhya Pradesh and other private operators from Bhopal, Pipariya and Chindwara to Pachmarhi all through the day. From Pipariya railway station, tourists will find many taxis and cabs that will drop at them at the hill station for a thousand bucks.
Local transport – Pachmarhi is an area dominated by some wonderful trekking trails, therefore, tourists will be required to be on their foot for a long time. To travel to other hot tourist spots within the place, tourists can hire gypsies or jeeps which are four wheeled vehicles. The cost of these vehicles are around 1600 INR per day and with these local vehicles, tourists can have the benefit of stopping right next to the entrance of the tourist spots. If they drive by their own vehicles, then these have to be stopped quite far from the sightseeing areas, thereby making the tourists to walk a long distance.
Tourist attractions in and around Pachmarhi
Known for its tall mountain ranges, Pachmarhi has two lovely spots for the nature lover. The tallest point in the Satpura valley, Dhupgarh and the second tallest peak, Chauragarh add beauty to Pachmarhi. While Dhupgarh is often visited by tourists to experience the magical moments of sunrise and sunset from the peaks, Chauragarh is visited by thousands of Hindu devotees as there is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva here. Bee Waterfalls is another exciting tourist spot and is known for its crystal clear water that flows down the majestic mountain ranges.
A clear lake containing the cleanest mountain water, Panar Pani and a congregation of mountain streams known as Sangam are the major highlights of Pachmarhi. There are two caves within the mountains of Satpura – Jatashankar and Mahadeo. These caves are considered to be sacred by the Hindu devotees as they are believed to be the residing places of Lord Shiva. The Pandava caves, believed to have existed since the time of Mahabharata, are huge tourist attractions in Pachmarhi. Of all the various kinds of waterfalls found here, the Silver Falls is the most famous as this place gives a phenomenal view for the tourist with its milky white water, lush greenery and the deep sounds of the valley that resonates around the mountain peaks. Another mountain stream that grows into a pool and comes down the mountains as a waterfall is the Apsara Vihar.
The rich flora and fauna of this place is beyond any description. The dense forest cover is replete with trees of all fruits like mango, custard fruit, jamun and local delicacies like chunna, khinni, tendu, chaar and katua. Apart from these fruits, there are lots of rare medicinal herbs and shrubs in this forest that surprise the tourists. The forests are also the abodes of some exotic varieties of birds, bear, bison, deer, panthers and tigers.
What can you do while at Pachmarhi
There is an airstrip near Pachmarhi which is not being used extensively these days. Tourists who come to this hill station can choose to do some parasailing activities here with the help of professional experts. Similarly, as the area is full of trekking trails, tourists can take the help of tourist guides to take them through the areas here. The areas of Duchess Falls, Bee Falls and Ramkund are great for some paddling activities for kids and toddlers. However for adults who want to indulge in some full-fledged swimming activities, Apsara Vihar is the best option. Tourists who are interested in wildlife can visit the Tiger Reserve at Satpura. While at the hill station, tourists can buy an entry ticket to enter the Satpura National Park which will give them access to almost all the waterfalls and lakes here.
Famous restaurants and local delicacies
Tourists can try out at Nandavan Restaurant which is almost the opposite of a zoo atmosphere. Here monkeys roam around in the open and people sit inside a cage as they are served some excellent Indian food. Tourists looking for some authentic Gujarati food can visit the Jalaram Bhojnalaya. Other notable restaurants in Pachmarhi are China Bowl, Natraj Restaurant, Officer Mess, Open Garden Restaurant, Chachana Bal Restaurant, Raj Bhog Restaurant, Golf View and Chunmun Cottage Restaurant. Wine Shop is a place where tourists can get beer at INR 90 onwards. Honey is the local delicacy here and tourists do not miss to buy a bottle when they go back to their homes. This place is also famous for its Ayurveda medicine as the forest cover contains some interesting medicinal herbs and shrubs. Authentic Gujarati, Maharashtrian and Jain food is served in most of the restaurants here.
Accommodation options in this hill station
The Golf View Hotel is one of the premium hotels in Pachmarhi and it is considered to be a heritage hotel in this area. There are lots of budget hotels here like Hotel Pandav Pachmarhi, Hotel Highlands, Hilltop Bungalow, Hotel Ambika Sree, Hotel Sanskar, Hotel Utarksh etc. All these budget hotels are two-star hotels, whereas Golf View Hotel is a three-star hotel.
STD, PIN and Emergency Numbers
The postal index number of Pachmarhi is 461881 and the STD code here is 07578. Police personnel can be reached at 07578 252020 for emergency issues in Pachmarhi and for crisis situations at Pipariya can be reached at 07576 222027. Other helpline numbers are 100,101 and 102 for police, fire and ambulance serves respectively.
Banks, Hospitals and Tourism information in Pachmarhi
Tourists can reach out to the Tourism Board Office at Madhya Pradesh at the following address:
MP Tourism Board Office
MP State Tourism Development Corporation
Amaltax Complex, Next to Tehsil, Pachmarhi
Ph: 07578 52100 / 07578 52211
1 - State Bank of India
Subash Marg, Pachmarhi Head Office
Pachmarhi – 461881
Ph: 07578 252042
2 - Gramin Bank of Central Madhya Pradesh
Matkui Post, Tehsil Pipariya, Pachmarhi Head Office,
Pachmarhi – 461881
Ph: 07578 286044
3 - Gramin Bank of Central Madhya Pradesh
Tehsil Pipariya, Pachmarhi Head Office
Pachmarhi – 461881
Ph: 07578 252095
1 - Pipariya Community Health Centre
Pachmarhi Road, No. 123
Pipariya – 461775
Ph: 07576 222659
2 - Narmada Apna Hospital
Sardar Bazaar, Collectorate Road, Hoshangabad district,
PIN – 461001
Ph: 07574 253131
3 - New Pandey Hospital
Shanichara, Ward No.11, Hoshangabad Headquarters
PIN – 461001
Ph: 07574 252536