PACHMARHI: Verdant Jewel of the Satpuras

Pachmarhi is Madhya Pradesh's most verdant jewel, a place where has found exquisite expression in myriad enchanting ways.
Complementing the magnificence of nature are the works of man; Pachmarhi is also an archaeological treasure-house. In cave shelters in the Mahadeo Hills is an astonishing richness in rock paintings. Most of these have been placed in the period 500- 800 AD , but the earliest paintings are an estimated 10000 years old.
The town has a quiet gentility about it as if Victorian traditions and high collars still governed most people's lives.

PLACES TO EXPLORE 

PRIYADARSHINI (FORSYTH POINT)
This vantage viewing point marks the place from where Pachmarhi was discovered by Captain Forsyth in 1858. The British developed Pachmarhi as a resort and their influence is embodied in its churches and colonial architecture.

JAMUNA PRAPAT (BEE FALL)
A spectacular fall in the stream which provides drinking water to Pachmarhi. The bathing pools above the fall are very popular.

HANDI KHOH
A mile long trek from Bee Falls takes one to Handi Khoh, a horse-shoe shaped ravine, the edge of which drops a sheer 100m into the earth. The valley is rich in medicinal plants. 

APSARA VIHAR (FAIRY POOL)
Easily accessible from Jai Stambh, this fairy pool is an ideal picnic spot for families with small children, since the pool is shallow, deepening only towards the base of the fall.

ALSO VISIT:  Banshree Vihar, Tridhara and Irene Pool are the other pool of Pachmarhi. 

RAJAT PRAPAT (BIG FALL)
Those seeking adventure will find it in this ten-minute walk over rocks and boulders from Apsara Vihar to the top of the Rajat Prapat.

JALAWATARAN (DUCHESS FALLS)
The descent is steep and the trek strenuous for almost all of the 4km to the base of the fall's first cascade.

SUNDER KUND (SAUNDER'S POOL)
Crossing the stream below Duchess Falls and following a footpath about 2.5km in a south-westernly direction brings one to a huge Rocky pool in the Jambu Dwip stream, an excellent place for swimming.

MAHADEO
The temple at Mahadeo cave is located at the base of the Mahadeo hill, at a distance of 12km from Pachmarhi town. There is a pool in the temple which has curative properties. About half a kilometer west of the Mahadeo cave is a natural fissure in the rock, that is worshipped by the locals as Gupt Mahadeo or Chhota Mahadeo.

CHAURAGARH TEMPLE
Located at an altitude of 1330m atop the Chauragarh Peak, the trek to the Chauragarh temple comprises of 1380 steps. The temple courtyard is stacked with thousands of tridents offered by the devotees. The temple is a half-built modern structure with an idol of Shiva in the sanctum.

CHRIST CHURCH
Built in 1857 by the British, this church is generally regarded as the most beautiful small Church in Madhya Pradesh. The Church's architecture if fascinating; its 'sanctum-sanctorum' has a hemispherical dome on top with its ribs ending with faces of angels. The nave of the church does not contain single pillar for support. The baptismal font is a rare brass piece and the bell is as old as the church and it's chimes can be heard from a long distance.

PANDAV CAVES 
Five ancient dwellings excavated in the sand-stone rock in a low hill. Pachmarhi derives its name from these caves which, as the legend goes, once provided shelter to five Pandav brothers. These caves are now protected monuments.

SATPURA NATIONAL PARK 
Set up in 1981, Satpura National Park is 524 sq km in area. It spreads through a dense forest of evergreen Sal , teak and bamboo. The park is home to the gaur, tiger, leopard, beer, four-horned deer, blue bull and rich variety of birds.

BISON LODGE 
Constructed in 1862, the Bison Lodge is the oldest house in Pachmarhi. It now houses a beautiful museum depicting the rich flora and fauna of Pachmarhi.

ALSO VISIT: Jata Shankar, Catholic Church, Dhoopgarh, Trishar, Banshree Vihar, Reechhgarh, Sangam, The Cave Shelters, Astachal and Harper's Cave.

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