Pachmarhi a land of lush green mountains and glens
A travel article on Pachmarhi in the hills of Satpuras in Madhya Pradesh. Read an account of a short visit to this enchanting hill station in India.
Account of a visit to Pachmarhi
For people of plains the rising elevation is a shocking revelation as we climb up the Matkuli Ghat. From the low lands at Piparyia, Matkuli Ghat is at a distance of twenty kilometers. Pachmarhi lies on the table top mountain at a distance of 52 km from Pipariya. The highest mountain is Dhupgarh at elevation of 1350 MSL.
Dense forests surround the road to Pachmarhi and the cool setting is a big relief for the city dwellers. As we climb higher, the topography of Satpura Mountains begins to unfold on the horizon. Layers of ranges lie covered in blue haze tortuously folded to set in the available space. Capt Forsyth had written extensively about the mesmerizing Mountains of Satpura in his book Highlands of Central India.
The spectacle is preserved just as described in the book. The first stop is at Denva Darshan, a deep valley surrounded by rigged hills all around. The river Denva flows through the valley, it twists and turns like a slithering snake on its journey onward to civilization in the plains. The panorama is enhanced by absolute silence, serenity and prevailing calm. We felt transferred to prehistoric past, a feeling that transcended all chaos of urbanity. For the first time traveler, the breathtaking view is first instance of all that is to come next.
Driving through the green confines is a pleasant experience and lasts till we reach the township. The small township has been denied expansion being a cantonment surrounded by the Pachmarhi wildlife sanctuary. This has kept the ecosystem intact unlike other hill resorts which have been mercilessly colonized by the builders.
The township is crowded at most places reflecting chaos of rustic bazaar pervaded by modernity. Most of the outer areas mingle effortlessly with the forest surrounding in the periphery. The best hotel accommodations belonging to MP Tourism are situated on the out skirts.
Our jeep halts at a junction of the mountains and we disembark. We trudge through dense thickets on a smallish pathway avoiding dagger like outgrowths of the shrubs and spiny bushes. The trek is difficult and we have to cover at least four km on foot.
Our guide leads us to a shallow cave and points his torch on the walls. We are stunned as prehistoric paintings begin to appear under the light. These pictographs date back to twenty thousand years we are told. A closer inspection reveals paintings of wild animals, hunters and ancient dwellings. They have been miraculously preserved amidst walls scarred by abundant growth of algae, lichens and moss. In the cool confine the bats swish past overhead and condensed droplets wet you all over. It is an eerie experience but nevertheless a moment of discovery.
Our next stop is at the Fairy Pool a small waterfall that dissects the rocky outcrops and creates a serene pool below. The banks are composed of fine sand grains that dazzle like silver under the sunlight. The crystal clear blue waters invite us for a dip and we do not hesitate. The cool sojourn over we move on towards the enchanting Silver Falls.
It is a painful exercise to maneuver through the thickets on a stone laden pathway frequented by snakes and dangerous insects. But the exploratory zeal keeps you going. After a short trek we arrive at the three hundred feet Silver Fall (Rajat Prapat) that ends in an abyss. The water cascades down a steep ledge and hits the rocky out crops creating a fine spray of mists all through the way down. The silvery curtain so created accords the mesmerizing spectacle its name. Standing at the dizzy height we peep down into the abyss full of intrigue enshrouded in dense vegetation comprising of medicinal herbs and shrubs. The botanists often venture down the dangerous pathway to study the useful plants.
"It will take a month to explore Pachmarhi", the guide informs. But our visit was short and restricted to few points - as the sightseeing places are called here.
Tired of trekking on foot we drove to Mount Dhupgarh. The hill resort in Satpuras is rich in wildlife and birds, and we came across a small herd of Indian Gaur on the way up.
On a holiday you seek everything under the sky. Well! The Panoramic grandeur created by the rising Sun over the folds of the mountain ranges reverses your desire. The sun setting down below the earth at Dhupgarh is an equally desirable spectacle to witness. A visit to this point makes your journey to the pristine resort complete. The dazzling display on the sky scape enacted by the sun satisfies the exploratory zeal within. Good bye Satpuras!
Situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh, the hill resort is the crown in the jewel for tour operators. All itineraries of MP package tours include a visit to Pachmarhi. Tourism thrives in Central India because of hill resorts and tiger reserves.
For Pachmarhi the nearest rail head is Pipariya - about three hours from Jabalpur Cityu. Jabalpur in MP is well connected by air and rail with New Delhi the capital city of India. Many trains ply through Pipariya from different starting points.