Hill stations

Pachmarhi - Madhya Pradesh

PachmarhiPachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh's serene hill station, which happens to be its only one, stands at an altitude of 1067 metres. It is a large plateau, ringed by the lofty hills of the Satpura range. The landscape is characterised by rugged hills, forests and deep ravines. Known as the verdant jewel of the hills, the all - pervading greenery of the region is what strikes the observer. Various hues of green greet the eye - tranquil emerald pools, the green shades that embrace the hills, and the thick, impenetrable forest cover that dominates the region.One of its main attractions, is the splendid view it offers at dusk, when the red sandstone scarp takes on the colour of the sky, in various shades of purple and violet, as the glorious sun sets on Pachmarhi.

What to See

In and around Pachmarhi, there are many places of tourist interest. Handi Khoh is an impressive ravine, which has a 300 feet-high precipice, with really steep sides. A recommended site for a leisurely long walk, is to the hilltop shrine of Chauragarh, 4 km from Mahadeo. It is one of Satpura's prominent landmarks, its summit crowned with emblems of Mahadeo's (another name for Shiva) worship. Pachmarhi is also an archaeological treasure - trove. Caves in the Mahadeo hills contain amazing rock paintings, the earliest of which date back to 10,000 years.

Other attractions include: Apsara Vihar - the quaint 'fairy pool' picnic spot; Rajat Pratap - the 'big fall' which plunges down a 350 foot - high precipice; Pandava Caves - the caves from which Pachmarhi takes its name, the Pandava brothers are said to have spent a part of their exile here; Jata Shankar - a sacred cave, the rocky formation of which resembles the matted locks of Lord Shiva.

The hills and ravines of Pachmarhi pose a challenge to the most intrepid of trekkers. For the rock - climbing buff, the Lanjee Giri hill is ideal for some real action. This hill can be scaled both from the east and the west.

How to Get There

The nearest railhead is Pipariya (47 km) on the Bombay-Howrah (via Allahabad) line. The nearest airport is Bhopal (195 kms), connected by regular flights with Delhi, Indore, Gwalior and Bombay. State transport bus services are available from Bhopal, Nagpur, Hoshangabad and Pipariya.

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