|Elevation||1,100 m (3,600 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Pachmarhi is a hill station in Madhya Pradesh state of central India, also known for the Pachmarhi Cantonment. It is widely known as Satpura ki Rani ("Queen of Satpura"), situated at a height of 1100 m in a valley of the Satpura Range in Hoshangabad district. Dhupgarh, the highest point (1,350 m) in Madhya Pradesh and the Satpura range, is located here.
The name Pachmarhi is believed to be derived from the Hindi words Panch ("five") and Marhi ("caves"). According to a legend, these caves were built by five Pandava brothers of Mahabharatha era during their fourteen years of exile. The caves are situated on a hilltop and provide an excellent vantage point. British arrival, Pachmarhi region came under the kingdom of the Gond king Bhawut Singh, although it was a populated village or town at that time. Captain James Forsyth of the British Army along with Subhedar Major Nathoo Ramji Powar who was later made the Kotwal (Incharge of the armoury (Koth)of Pachmarhi, spotted the plateau in the Pachmarhi region in 1857, while leading his troops on the way to Jhansi. It quickly developed into hill station and sanatorium for British troops in the Central Provinces of India. The population in 1901 was 3,020, rising to double that number in the hot summer months. Pachmarhi also served as the summer capital for the Central Provinces. The forest around the town is home to many rare varieties of plants. UNESCO added Pachmarhi park to its list of Biosphere Reserves in May 2009.
The town is not very large, and most of its area is under the administration of the Pachmarhi Cantonment Board, serving the Indian Army. The population of Pachmarhi is about 10,000, most of whom are connected with the Army installations in the area.
A rarely used airstrip is situated near Dhupgarh. It is overrun with grass and is seldom used. Tigers are known to have been sighted near the airstrip. Panther sightings are common along the edge of the Pachmarhi Cantonment. The Indian army education corps is sited there.
Pachmarhi is blessed with very rich flora and fauna. It has endless nature spots, lush greenery, breath-taking views, waterfalls, mountain streams, rich and rare wildlife. Some of the popular spots are as follows
- Highest point of Satpura ranges. It is known for sunrise and sunset view point. At night one can see the lights of the neighboring towns such as Itarsi. At the day time the view of the lush green valley offers a captivating view. One can reach the top either by road or by trekking.
- This the second highest peak. It is a pilgrimage site with Lord Siva's temple at the top.
- B-Hill and B-Falls
- This is another hill very close to the township. On the hind side of this hill a big waterfall called B-fall. It is a popular picnic spot as it offers pristine water flowing down this fall.
- Panarpani has a natural fresh water lake with forest around.
- This is a conflux of mountain streams behind Dhupgarh. The water in these streams is crystal clear in all seasons except of course autumn.
- Jatashankar and Mahadeo caves
- These are mountain caves with fresh water dripping from them. One can witness ecosystem at work out here with mountains feeding the streams with fresh water, the water that they soak-in during autumn. As the name suggests, these caves and many others like these are abode of lord Siva.
- Silver Falls
- Also called Rajat Prapat/Big Fall. The falls comes 2800+ feet roaring down the gorge creating a sliver streak that gives its name. The view of dense, serene, virgin forest and stream is simply mesmerizing.
- Apsara Vihar
- This is a mountain stream that creates a beautiful natural water pool, cascades and waterfall in its a course.
- Other waterfalls
- Pachmarhi's ecosystem is blessed with many waterfalls. To name a few are Silver Fall, B-Fall, Little Fall, Duchess Fall etc.
- Rich Biosphere
- One would love to get lost in the forests of Pachmarhi, particularly in the summer, as it is full of fruit trees such as - mangoes, jamun, custard fruit and lesser known but very delicious local fruits such khatua, tendu, chunna, khinni and chaar. The forest is also known for its richness in medicinal plants and herbs.
- The jungle has tigers, panthers, bear, deer, bison, wide variety of birds etc. Tigers have retreated deeper in the forest though.
Pachmarhi is a popular tourist retreat. Tourists visit Pachmarhi throughout the year.there are lots of hotel mostly situated in market only few cottages and resort and mp tourism hotels are situated in peace full location of pachmarhi 2 or 3 km away from bus stand.
Pachmarhi also has a lot of cave paintings in the forests, some of which have been estimated to be as much as 10,000 years old. Shown in the picture is the garden at the base of a tourist attraction called Pandava Caves. The caves are Buddhist in origin but the name persists. The place has rich timber reserves including teak, but being a part of a reserve no new construction or felling of trees is allowed. Having a rich and rare flora as well as fauna, Pachmarhi needs central and state government approval for any new construction outside the town area.
Some of the places of tourist interest here are:
- Rajat Prapat (large waterfall)
- Bee Fall
- Dhoot Akhilesh
- Bada Mahadev
- Gupt Mahadev
- Chauragarh (Shiv devotees come here in huge numbers during Mahashivratri)
- Dhupgarh (the highest peak of the Satpuras and Madhya Pradesh)
- Handi Khoh (deep valley)
- Apsara Falls (fairy pool)
- Jatashankar (stalagmite-filled cave in a deep ravine)
- Duchess Fall
- Pachmarhi Hill (whole view of Pachmarhi City)
- Pansy Pool
- Waters Meet
- Picadilly Circus
- Crumps Crag
- Lady Robertson's View
- Colletin Crag
- Mount Rosa
- Handi Kho
- Rajendra Giri (beautiful gardens with natural scenery)
- Bansri Bihar
- Little Fall
- Draupadi Kund
- Mid Point of India
Pachmarhi is well connected from Bhopal and Chhindwara. Buses start from Habibganj ISBT of Bhopal and generally take close to 5–6 hours to reach Pachmarhi. The buses move through different towns like Chhindwara, Babai, Sohagpur and Pipariya. Pipariya is the nearest railhead.
- Pachmarhi, Jewel in the crown of Central India
- Pachmarhi Travel Guide. Goodearth Publications. 2009. p. 6. ISBN 978-81-87780-95-3.
- "Three Indian sites added to UNESCO list of biosphere reserves". Sify. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- "UNESCO Designates 22 New Biosphere Reserves". Environment News Service. May 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- Singh, Balendra P. and Upadhyay, Ravi (2011): "Ecotourism and its effects on wildlife of Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve". African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 5(9), pp. 717–721, September 2011. Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/AJEST .ISSN 1996-0786
- Pachmarhi Travel Company
- Pachmarhi travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Pachmarhi at MP Tourism
- About Pachmarhi and its History
- Madhya Pradesh travel
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