Pachmarhi is a hill station. It is one of the most popular tourist destination in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is a hill-girdled plateau on the evergreen Satpura hills, about 3600 feet above sea level, is a popular holiday destination in Madhya Pradesh which holds rare attractions for lovers of natural beauty, botanists, hikers and sportmen.
How to reach Pachmarhi? Road: Pachmarhi is about 548 miles from Delhi and 562 miles from Mumbai. Railway: Pipariya is the railway station for this quiet and charming destination.
A good 32-mile road connects Pipariya with Pachmarhi. Buses and taxis are available near the Pipariya railway station and the distance is covered in about two hours.
How Pachmarhi derived its name? Pachmarhi derives its name from ‘Pancha Madhi’ or five huts – the five ancient caves still standing there. In these caves the five Pandava brothers, mentioned in the epic, Mahabharata, are said to have spent a part of their 12-year exile incognito. Some, however, regard them as Buddhist Viharas.
Soon after independence, Pachmarhi was thrown open to the general public.
Climate: Pachmarhi has a pleasant and bracing climate for the greater part of the year. Unlike Himalayan hill stations, it is never too cold in winter. And even in the hottest months a cool breeze always blows here except for a short period in the middle of the day, and the heat is never oppressive. The rainy season lasts from June to September when the plateau receives about 80 inches of rainfall. Soon after the rains the air is clear and crisp and the hills are covered with a new coat of glistening verdure.
Forests: Forest glades and ravines are a characteristic feature of the landscape in Pachmarhi. The rugged hills which encircle the plateau are only a few hundred feet higher. The action of wind and rain on their soft red sandstone has given most of them a strikingly fantastic outline. The groves of trees, the park-like scenery and the profusion of wild flowers everywhere produce the illusion that the scene is a bit out of the temperate zone rather than of the tropics.
1. Lansdowne Hill: Perhaps the best views of the plateau can be had from the Lansdowne Hill (2 miles from Pachmarhi), which is marked by a monument commemorating the visit to this place of Lord Lansdowne, a former British viceroy of India, and from the top of the ancient Pachmarhi caves.
2. Long Chakkar and the Short Chakkar: The plateau is traversed by two fine metaled roads called the Long Chakkar and the Short Chakkar, about 8 and 4 miles, respectively, in length. These afford attractive motor drives through park and woodland scenery.
From the Long Chakkar a number of motorable roads lead to points on the edge of the plateau commanding views of wild glades and forests. There are bridle paths to the woods and footpaths to most of the viewpoints on the plateau and to the bathing resorts in the streams down below. Altogether, there are about 46 miles of bridle paths and footpaths and those who explore them will be rewarded with a variety of views and landscapes.
In fact, Pachmarhi has no fewer than a dozen waterfalls and 60 viewpoints which will easily occupy about a fortnight of trekking.
3. Mount Dhupgarh: Mount Dhupgarh (or Dhoopgarh) (4430 feet), the highest point on the Satpura range, about 5 miles from Pachmarhi, is the most frequently ascended. The first four miles are motorable and then two bridle paths take the visitor to the dak bungalow which has been built near the top.
To the west, Dhupgarh overlooks the Bori valley and the Betul hills and the view is particularly magnificent at sunset and in the early morning before sunrise.
4. Chauragarh: Precipitous Chauragarh (4317 feet), has a rugged and imposing appearance, while the stepped path to its sacred summit is crowned with numerous tridents, the emblems of Mahadeo, deposited by pilgrims over many centuries.
5. Mahadeo: But the finest of the views is that from Mahadeo (4384 feet), the second largest peak 5½ miles from Pachmarhi.
6. Gardens: Among the interesting places near the town are the Government Gardens near the golf course, covering 1200 acres in area. The gardens are famed for their flowers and partly meet the town’s requirements of vegetable and fruit.