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Panchmarhi

The highest point in central India and in the Vindhya and Satpura Range is widely known as "Satpura ki Rani" (Queen of Satpura). Pachmarhi is the only hill station in Madhya Pradesh. This area is famous for its verdant hills, streams, waterfalls and a treasure trove of cave shelters and rock paintings.

Pachmarhi is the only hill station in Madhya Pradesh. It is situated at an elevation of 1000 m in the Hoshangabad District. Panchmarhi is contained within the Panchmarhi Biosphere Preserve, the beautiful forests of Satpura Range. The Preserve was created in 1999 to link 3 smaller sanctuaries: Bori Sanctuary, Satpura National Park and Panchmarhi Sanctuary.

This area was introduced to the western world by Captain James Forsyth of the British Army in 1857. After the initial discovery by the British, Pachmarhi became a hill station and sanatorium for British troops in the Central Provinces of India.

The roadside scenery approaching Panchmarhi is inspiring, with rough, deep gorges on one side and a 350m high cliffs on the other. Occasional sighting of leopards and other wildlife add to the thrill of the journey. At the summit of the hill, there are military barracks, a lake and a dozen waterfalls. The whole town looks like an embroidered scene full of gardens, roads and dwellings.

The small bazaar is an integral part of the town; an army station and a sprawling civil area still retain an old world colonial ambience, with church spires rising over the tropical tree line. The uniqueness of Panchmarhi lies in the combination of the bounty of nature, especially the many natural bodies of water, and the archaeological treasures. The caves in the Mahadeo Hills have an astonishing richness of ancient rock paintings. Most of these date back to 500-800 A.D., but the earliest paintings are estimated to be around 10,000 years old!

Jamuna Prapat (Bee Falls)
About 5 km from the city, this is one of the finest waterfalls in the enchanting valley of Panchmarhi. It is believed that this stream provides drinking water to Pachmarhi.
Jalawataran (Duchess Falls)
About 8 km from the city, this falls is one of the best sites for picnicking and bathing at Pachmarhi. The first 6.5 km can be covered by vehicle, while the remaining 1.5 kdownwards need to be covered on foot. Falling from a 6.5m high point, the large stream of water flows down to emerge as Sunder Kund about 1 km ahead of the falls.
Apsara Vihar (Fairy Pool)
About 5km from the city and an ideal picnic and swimming spot.
Tridhara (Picadilly Circus) and other water spots
Water spots are an integral part of Pachmarhi city. Special places for these activities include: Irene Pool, named after the wife of Justice Vivian Bose, flows upstream to a cave, where the stream goes underground. The base of the beautiful Dutchess Watyerfall can be reached by a steep and strenuous trek of 4 km from town. A footpath of 2.5 km leads one to a huge rocky pool named Sunder Kund, which is an ideal place for a refreshing swim. Tridhara (Piccadilly Circus) is a popular picnic spot where two streams meet. Vanshree Vihar, popularly known as Pansy Pool, is another beautiful spot on the Denwa stream, nestled amidst shady trees, ferns and tropical vegetation.
Pachmarhi Lake
This lake is about 1.5 km from the city, and can be reached by boat, as an alternative to trekking. M.P. Tourism provides boating facilities for tourists, and the lake can be used as a stopover before moving on to Dhoopgarh.
Pandav Caves
About 2.5 km from the city, there are five caves cut out of a huge rock. Pachmarhi owes its name to these caves, and a visit to the Pandav Caves is mandatory. The caves are believed to have given shelter to the Pandavas during their exile. In addition to the Pandavas, Buddhists monks of the first century B.C. are believed to have taken shelter here. Now the caves are protected monuments..
Priyadarshini Point (Forsyth Point)
This point affords the visitor a spectacular view of the mesmerising beauty of Pachmarhi, and it is also known as Forsyth Point; because it is here, that Captain Forsyth first laid eyes on the area. After Indira Gandhi’s visit in 1964, the name was changed to Priyadarshini Point.
Satpura National Park
This National Park, covering an area of 524 km2, was established in 1981. Over time the park has become home for bison, tiger, leopard, bear, four-horned deer, and a rich variety of birds. The park spreads through dense forest of sal, teak, bamboo, and other vegetation. Satpura also has ancient cave shelters adorned with paintings.
Christ Church and Catholic Church
The Catholic Church was built in a blend of French and Irish architectural styles in 1892 by the British. The cemetery is believed to have graves dating back to 1859, as well as World War I and II. Another fascinating architectural marvel is the interior architecture of Christ Church, built in 1875. Its sanctum-sanctorum has a hemispherical dome on top, the ribs of which end in faces of angels. The stained glass was imported from Europe, and a striking view is created when the sun’s rays pass through them.
Cave Shelters
In the Mahadeo Hills, one finds an astonishing richness of rock paintings. Most of these have been dated to the period 500-800 A.D., but the earliest paintings are estimated to be 10,000 years old. These paintings provide a glimpse of the lifestyle and social activities of that period.
Handi Khoh
An extraordinary narrow valley called Handi Khoh lies about 4 km from the city. The valley floor is 117 m below its upper edges, presenting a beautiful natural panorama.
Dhupgarh
About 1476 m above sea level, Dhoopgarh is the highest peak in Madhya Pradesh and the Satpura ranges. It is about 10 km from Pachmarhi and features an ideal point to enjoy picturesque sunsets and sunrises.
Reechagarh
About 4 km from the city, this is a cave that is open on three sides. ‘Reech’ means bears, and it is said that bears sometimes take shelter here during the monsoon rains.
Bison Lodge (Forest Museum)
About 1.5 km from the city, the Forest Musuem, popularly known as the Bison Lodge, contains to a rare collection of animals, birds, butterflies and plant species found in the Pachmarhi Reserve.
Tamiya
This beautiful spot overlooking Narmada Valley provides a spectacular view of the Dudhi Plateau, especially at sunset.
Jatashankar
About 1.5 km from the city, Jatashankar is a revered cave temple which requires a trek of half a kilometre downwards from the road-end. It contains a Sheshnag (holy idol) made from natural rock, and attracts devotees from far-flung areas.
Rajat Prapat (Big Falls)
About a kilometre away from Apsara Vihar, the water falls from a breathtaking height of about 115m.
Another festival is Pachmarhi Utsava, which is an annual 6-day festival. This event begins on December 25 and ends after ushering in the new year. The New Year bonanza features many cultural programs, exhibitions, and artistic performances. Cultural evenings are arranged every day of the Pachmarhi Utsava, featuring artists of national as well as international repute. A majority of these programs showcase the folk arts of the country, thereby playing an important part in preserving the country's rich cultural heritage. Several stalls are also put up in order to display and sell products of artisans sponsored by the Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation, as well as local food delicacies.. The display as well as sale of saris, dress material, carpets, bamboo crafts, durries and woollens produced by various self-help groups besides papad, pickles, bari, sauces etc. serve as added attractions to people coming here.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
BHOPAL 212 Km 03H 29m
Pipariya 52 Km 00H 49m
Nearby major cities
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Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 15 °C 35 °C
Winter 4 °C 20 °C
Pachmarhi is surrounded by hills so the weather is very pleasant here throughout the year. The temperature is never above 35°C during summers. Pachmarhi can be enjoyed throughout the year with the changing seasons, but the best season to visit this place is between October and June.
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