OT Travel Itinerary: 3 Days In Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh

Located on the Satpura Range, Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh rightfully earns the title "Queen of Satpuras" for its awe-inspiring and captivating natural beauty, encompassing lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque landscapes
Priyadarshini Point
Panoramic view of Pachmarhi from Priyadarshini Point Amit kg/Shutterstock

Perched atop the Satpura Range, Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh is rightfully known as the Queen of Satpuras for its mesmerising natural beauty. At just 3,549ft, some might question whether Pachmarhi qualifies as a hill station. However, once you enter this little town, any doubts will vanish. The British established this town as a sanatorium and summer resort for good reason. Pachmarhi boasts a pleasant climate, dense forests, and clear streams. You could easily spend a long weekend exploring forests, admiring the colonial churches with their stained glass windows, and signing up for adventure activities. Alternatively, you could venture into the forests, stumble upon a hidden pool, and enjoy a leisurely swim. If time permits, consider visiting the nearby Satpura National Park. Best of all, there's no swarm of tourists to obstruct the beautiful view. Here is a three-day itinerary for the charming hill station.

DAY 1

Morning

Discover the mystical allure of the Pandava Caves, a fascinating cluster of five rock-cut caves nestled amid the verdant Satpura Range in Pachmarhi. These ancient caves, hailing from the first century AD to the 10th century AD, are steeped in rich history and shrouded in captivating legends. Some sources link these caves to the epic tale of Mahabharata, while others attribute their creation to wandering Buddhist monks. Enveloped by dense, untamed forests, the Pandava Caves provide a serene retreat for nature enthusiasts, offering an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of Madhya Pradesh. Another fascinating attraction is the Jata Shankar cave, which gets its name from a unique rock formation resembling the tangled dreadlocks of Lord Shiva. According to local legends, this cave is believed to be the hiding place of Lord Shiva when he escaped from the Demon Bhasmasur. At the cave's far end, visitors can observe an intriguing rock structure resembling the stretched hood of a cobra, which is locally referred to as the 'Sheshnag'.

jatashankar cave
The Jatashankar Cave in PachmarhiImagesofIndia/Shutterstock

One more fascinating attraction is the Jata Shankar Cave. It is named after a unique rock formation that looks like the tangled dreadlocks of Lord Shiva. According to local legends, this cave is believed to be the hiding place of Lord Shiva when he escaped from the Demon Bhasmasur.

Afternoon

Located in the dense forests of Pachmarhi, Bee Falls is one of the most scenic waterfalls in Madhya Pradesh. The name is derived from its resemblance to a beehive. Just 5 km from the Pachmarhi bus stand, the waterfall is 150 feet high and emits a buzzing sound reminiscent of bees as water flows through the rocks. Visitors can trek through the lush surroundings to reach the base of the falls, where a pristine pool awaits, perfect for a refreshing dip. Nearby are the Silver Falls, also known as Rajat Prapat, which descends from a height of 350 feet and glistens like silver in sunlight.

waterfalls in pachmarhi
Pachmarhi is dotted with waterfallsPratiksha _h/Shutterstock

Evening

Named after the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Priyadarshini Point offers a breathtaking scenic view of Pachmarhi. This viewing point marks the place where Pachmarhi was first discovered by Captain Forsyth in 1857. The British then developed Pachmarhi as a resort, and their influence is evident in its churches and colonial architecture.

DAY 2

Morning

Pack a picnic basket and head to Apsara Vihar. This beautiful place features a 30-foot waterfall and is just a short 10-minute downhill trail with historical charm. During the colonial era, it was believed to be a bathing spot for British ladies. Today, it is a popular picnic spot among both locals and tourists. Alternatively, you can sign up for some adventure activities with the Satpura Adventure Club and indulge in parasailing, hot air balloon rides, rock climbing, and kayaking. The club regularly organises adventure activities and is recognised by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism.

Afternoon

Immerse yourself in a colonial journey among magnificent churches in Pachmarhi. The Catholic Church in Pachmarhi, constructed around 1857, showcases a beautiful fusion of Irish and French architecture. The remarkably well-preserved Belgian stained glass windows add to its allure, and the church grounds are home to graves dating back to 1859. The Protestant Christ Church, also called the Christ Church, stands as a striking red sandstone structure, following Gothic architectural characteristics. Its grandeur is emphasised by a hemispherical, ribbed dome crowning the sanctum sanctorum.

Evening

Embark on a road trip to the mysterious ruins of Begum Palace. The ruins are a secluded two-storey structure that can be spotted on the Pipariya road. To wrap up the day, witness the gorgeous sunset at Dhoopgarh, located at 1,350 m. This place is a prominent tourist attraction throughout the year, but during the monsoon, it is special due to the experience of monsoon clouds and lush green forests.

Dhoopgarh
A sunset over the hills from Dhoopgarh, PachmarhiImagesofIndia/Shutterstock

DAY 3

Morning

Drive down to Satpura National Park, located around two hours away, and spend some hours exploring. Also known as Satpura Tiger Reserve (STR), it is a perennial favorite of wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. It made the UNESCO tentative list in 2021 for being one of the most "globally significant landscapes in terms of tiger conservation," a unique Indian Central Highlands ecosystem with its serene landscape, rich biodiversity, and the presence of over 50 prehistoric rock shelters.

paragliding
Paragliding over Pachmarhiarfabita/Shutterstock

Afternoon

Spend your time exploring the national park. The mesmerising landscape features deep ravines, sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, rivulets, and cascading waterfalls, surrounded by expansive sal and teak, mahua, tendu, and bamboo forests, creating a rich tapestry of flora and fauna. It's home to a diverse range of wildlife, including spotted deer, Indian bison (gaur), tigers, wild boar, and many more. Notably, the area is known for special sightings of sloth bears and leopards, making it a unique attraction of Satpura.

Evening

Go shopping for gifts and souvenirs. Pachmarhi's markets offer local handicrafts, bamboo artefacts, and herbal products. The local honey, a speciality of the region, is a must-buy.

Food

Apart from mainstream restaurants, try the local eateries serve various dishes, including regional specialities like butter ki kees (grated corn dish) and mawa bati (a sweet delicacy).

Stay

Pachmarhi has a range of accommodation options, from budget to boutique. Try Hotel Highlands which offers comfortable accommodations with panoramic views of the surrounding hills. MPT Amaltas is a heritage hotel blending modern amenities and colonial charm.

How To Reach

The nearest airport is Raja Bhoj Airport in the state's capital Bhopal (around 222 km) which has daily flight services from Delhi and Mumbai and 13 major cities of India. One can easily get a taxi from Bhopal. Pachmarhi is just 54 km by road from the Pipariya railway station. Several direct trains link Pipariya with essential cities like Surat, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Patna, Pune, Kolkata, Agra, Delhi, Varanasi, etc. Plenty of state-owned and private buses are available for Pachmarhi from nearby cities like Bhopal, Jabalpur, Nagpur, and Indore and from prominent tourist attractions like Kanha National Park and Pench National Park. Being a cantonment town, the road conditions here are pretty good.

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