Pachmarhi, the only serene hill station in Madhya Pradesh, popularly known as the queen of Satpura ranges. Situated at an altitude of 1,067 feet, Pachmarhi is blessed with myriad attractions like ancient caves and beautiful monuments, embellished by nature and history, amidst the Satpura range. It is a large plateau, ringed by the lofty hills of the Satpura range and the landscape is characterized by rugged hills, forests and deep ravines. Known as the verdant jewel of the hills, the all – pervading greenery of this region is what strikes the observer first. One of its main attractions is the splendid view it offers at dusk, when the red sandstone scarp takes on the color of the sky, in various shades of purple and violet, as the glorious sun sets on Pachmarhi which gives the tourist a serene and memorable experience. Since Pachmarhi was discovered and developed in the modern times by Captain James Forsyth of the British Army in 1857, the city houses and charming churches are built in colonial style of architecture. Pachmarhi, for sure, will make you feel placid and relaxed, the way you felt in your childhood when you put your bare feet on the garden grass for the first time.
TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN PACHMARHI ARE :
1.) PRIYADARSHINI POINT (FORSYTH POINT)
This is the point from where Captain James Forsyth discovered Pachmarhi in the year 1857 and the view from this point is breathtaking. The point gives you an eagle’s eye view of the entire hill station and its serene landscape and however, it was only after this time that Pachmarhi was recognized as a hill station and a resort.
2.) HANDI KHOH
One of the most beautiful ravines in Central India, Handi Khoh is believed to be closely associated with Lord Shiva and the place has a mythological history. It has a 300 feet high precipice in the middle of a dense forest. The place is popularly believed to have been a lake earlier. It is said that, an evil devilish snake, which was guarding the lake was annihilated by Lord Shiva and the fury of the battle dried up the entire lake and the empty space took the shape of a handi(pot) and thus the place came to be known as Handi Khoh. Handi Khoh is famous for its quaint calmness and its old-world charm.
3.) MAHADEO HILL
Situated at an altitude of 1363 m, the Mahadeo hill is famous for an ancient shrine of Lord Shiva. The holy shrine holds a divine idol of the Lord Shiva and one of the most beautiful shivalingams in the country. On the east side of the hill is a cave shelter with attractive paintings and a holy pond, where devotees take a dip.
4.) JATA SHANKAR CAVES
These caves are a must-visit for devotees as the Jata Shankar Caves in Pachmarhi is popularly believed to be the place where Lord Shiva concealed himself from the wrath of Bhasmasur. The place is considered sacred, as the caves boast of a natural Shivalingam under the shadow of a massive rock and also the stone formation in the cave closely resembles the mythological hundred headed snake Seshnag.
Dhoopgarh is the highest point in the Satpura Range the hilltop is a beautiful spot to see marvelous sunsets and sunrises. However, this point can only be reached by trekking and the trekking route is relatively tough as it passes through some waterfalls and valleys. However, it is recognized as a very popular spot for viewing the sunset.
6.) SATPURA NATIONAL PARK
The Satpura National Park is situated in the beautiful and diverse suburbs of Madhya Pradesh and is one of the most diverse and stunning national parks of the Central India. The National Park preads over an area of 202 square miles and got its name from the Satpura Hill ranges, or Mahadeo hills. It is the perfect place for all those people who get tired of the conventional sanctuaries and the wildlife parks and want to have a unique experience of spotting animals such as Bison, Tigers, and even leopards.
The Satpura National Park is also of key importance to the ecosystem as this sanctuary, along with the two other sanctuaries; Bori and Pachmarhi, covers of almost 550 square miles of tiger reserved area. The forest provides habitat for several endangered and threatened species, other than a variety of different flora and fauna.
7.) PANDA CAVES
The Panda caves are believed to provide shelter to the Pandavas during their exile period. However, it is now a protected monument and tourists flock from all over India to see this place engrossing such unique and beautiful architecture.
These 5 caves once also became a shelter to some Buddhist monks in 1st century AD and thereafter it is considered to be religious spot by and for Buddhists as well.
8.) APSARA VIHAR (FAIRY POOL)
The place, Apsara Vihar is situated deep inside the jungle of Pachmarhi, consist of a lovely, serene waterfall, cascading from 30 feet height and forming a pool of cold water below. The place is one of the most popular haunting spot for travellers and picnickers to take a break from the monotony and spend some time splashing in the water and taking in the ambience of the place.