If you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a three to four-day trip in Madhya Pradesh but don’t know where to head, we might have some positive news for you. Have you ever heard of Pachmarhi? This hidden jewel of central India’s Madhya Pradesh is recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its flora and fauna in May 2009. Interestingly, the highest point in the entire state of Madhya Pradesh is also present in this hill station and is known as Dhoopgarh.
The weather in Pachmarhi always remains pleasant due to its location and the biggest highlights are the stunning views and the waterfalls. Everyone must visit this wonder at least once since it appeals to people of all ages, particularly nature lovers, photographers, bird watchers, and those looking to spend some time in peace. One of the best experiences that you’ll have in Pachmarhi is the view of the setting sun. We bet you’re not going to forget that scene for a long time! This Pachmarhi travel guide is all set to help you plan your travel, so keep reading!
The most important attraction in Pachmarhi is The Pandava Caves which is also the reason for the hill station’s name. It’s derived from two Hindi words - panch means five and marhi means caves. According to popular belief, these caves were built by the Pandava brothers of Mahabharat when they visited the place along with Draupadi during their 13-year exile period. Sitting on the top of a hill, the caves offer some amazing views of the valley.
In the 16th century, the brave Rani Durgavati, who was the ruling queen of Gondwana, had shifted her capital from Singuargarh Fort to Chauragarh Fort near Pachmarhi and ruled the entire region. In the 18th century, Pachmarhi came under the Marathas during the rule of the Bhonsle Dynasty. On the way to Jhansi with his troops, Captain James Forsyth, an officer in the British army discovered the green region in 1857. The Britishers developed it as a hill station and a sanatorium for their troops in the Central Provinces of India. Pachmarhi served as the summer capital for them.
Talking about the culture of the hill station, the people in this region speak and understand different languages like Hindi, English, Urdu, and Punjabi. You’ll also get to hear a few local languages like Nahali, Gondi, and Bhilodi. The people are extremely kind and welcome tourists with arms wide open. Also, people follow different religions like Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity, and everyone has a great bonding with each other. All the festivals are celebrated with a lot of zest. One of the most interesting celebrations is the Pachmarhi Utsav, which is a six-day festival that begins on December 25 and is organized every year. A grand fair is also held on the occasion of Shivratri which is celebrated at the Mahadeo Caves.
Also read: 5 Hill Stations To Visit In Madhya Pradesh
The nearest airport to Pachmarhi is Raja Bhoj International Airport in Bhopal, which is around 195 km away from the hill station. This airport is well connected with India’s major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Indore, Gwalior, etc. The next best options are the airports in Jabalpur and Nagpur. You’ll have to make arrangements for private transport to reach Pachmarhi from any of these airports.
The nearest railway station from Pachmarhi is the Pipariya Railway Station at a distance of around 50 km. It lies on the Mumbai-Howrah mainline via Allahabad and is connected to the major cities like Jabalpur, Bhopal, Mumbai, Agra, Ahmedabad, Gwalior, Varanasi, Nagpur, Howrah, etc. In case there’s no direct train to Pipariya, you can look for a train that takes you to Itarsi Railway Station, which is around 150 km away from Pachmarhi.
From Pipariya, you’ll get a number of options like buses, private jeeps, and taxis to reach Pachmarhi. Direct buses from Nagpur, Bhopal, Hoshangabad, Indore, Jabalpur, and Chindwara are also available. Due to the Army cantonment present in Pachmarhi, the roads are in good condition.
Usually, Pachmarhi is good to visit throughout the year. But the seven-month period from October to April stands out. The greenery is enhanced during this time and the weather conditions are great to explore outdoors.
The summer season lasts for three months from April to June and the temperature varies from 22°C to 35°C. The three-month period from July to September is when the monsoon season is on and the temperature ranges from 20°C to 28°C. It’s the best time to visit the waterfalls in Pachmarhi. The winter season stays from October to March with temperatures dropping to around 4°C at times. A huge number of festivals are also organized during this period. So depending on the activities you wish to include in your itinerary, you can choose to visit Pachmarhi at any time during the year.
The Madhya Pradesh government has provided bus services in Pachmarhi for locals and tourists but the frequency is low. Buses might not be the most feasible option if you wish to make the most of your trip to Pachmarhi.
Cabs and taxis are the best options to move around Pachmarhi. You can either opt for pre-booked taxis, private jeeps, or MPTDC (Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation) cars. However, the best option remains the shared gypsies since it can cost you quite a bit to book a taxi just for yourself.
A great option is to rent a bicycle since it gives you the option of flexibility. You can go whenever and wherever you want to. This might also serve your adventure-hungry soul. If you’re fit enough, nothing will beat the experience of walking on the well-maintained roads and absorbing all the natural beauty the hill station has to offer.
“Pachmarhi doesn’t offer much except for scenic beauty.”
The best thing about the Pachmarhi is its scenic beauty. The keyword here is not ‘scenic beauty’, but it’s ‘best’. The hill station has second-best, third-best, and so many more places to visit and things to do. For example, there is a large number of forts, museums, monuments, temples, waterfalls, caves, fairs and festivals, events, and a national park. Don’t worry about that. The next section is going to take you through some of these beautiful attractions.
Also read: 4 Romantic Getaways In Maharashtra
Counted among the best national parks in the central part of India, the Satpura National Park was established in 1981 and it’s located in the Hoshangabad District of the Satpura Hills. Covering a total area of 524 square kilometers, the stunning national park is home to a number of different species like tigers, panthers, wild bears, blue-bills, four-horned deers, Indian gaurs, and many more. In 2010, the beautiful park won the TOFT Wildlife Tourism Award for the most visitor-friendly wildlife destination.
Along with the adjoining Bodi Sanctuary (486 sq km) and the Pachmarhi Wildlife Sanctuary (417 sq km), the Satpura National Park forms a tiger reserve that has a total area of 1,427 square kilometers. This place is heaven not just for animal lovers but also for nature lovers, photographers, and those who are interested in archaeology. The lush greenery of the national park is guaranteed to make you spend a little more time than you planned.
Among the many beautiful waterfalls in Pachmarhi, Bee Falls stands out. Also referred to as Jamuna Prapat by the locals, the waterfall is located just about 5 km from the Pachmarhi Bus Stop. This is a must-visit attraction for any tourist who is visiting Pachmarhi. The water plunges from a height of 150 meters into a bathing pool of fresh water, where you’re going to have one of your best experiences with your friends. This waterfall is known for providing drinking water to the entire region of Pachmarhi. Just the view of the falling water alone can hypnotize you even if you decide not to enter the pool. Summers and monsoons are the best time to visit this gem of a place.
As we already mentioned at the beginning that the Pandava Caves are the reason the hill station of Pachmarhi got its name, let’s explore a little more. These are not just regular caves but a series of five mesmerizing rock-cut temples that are situated in the Hoshangabad District of Pachmarhi. The five Pandava brothers and Draupadi are not only believed to have built the caves but they also stayed here during their 13-year exile period before the great war of Mahabharat. You’ll be blown away by the beautiful carvings on the natural caves, particularly the Bhima Cave and Draupadi Cave.
How Is The Public Transportation In Pachmarhi?
There are abundant options for transportation, both within the city and if you’re traveling to any part of the country. The city is well connected to the rest of the country by air, railways, and road. Also, for commuting within the city, you have different options like bus services, auto-rickshaws, and cabs.
Is Pachmarhi Safe?
Yes, Pachmarhi is one of the safest places in Madhya Pradesh and the biggest reason is the presence of the Army in the region. Any kind of tourist can visit Pachmarhi without worrying about anything, whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or with family and friends.
What Language Is Mainly Spoken In Pachmarhi?
There are different types of languages that are spoken and understood in Pachmarhi. Some of the local languages are Nahali, Gondi, and Bhilodi. Apart from these, people communicate in Hindi, English, Punjabi, and Urdu.
What Are The Best Tourist Attractions In Pachmarhi?
The best tourist attractions in Pachmarhi are The Pandava Caves, Jata Shankar Caves, Bee Falls, Satpura National Park, Dhoopgarh, Mahadeo Caves, Chauragarh Fort, Christ Church, Rajat Pratap Waterfall, Handi Khoh, Duchess Falls, and Apsara Vihar.
How Many Days Are Sufficient For Pachmarhi?
Pachmarhi has a lot of places and things to explore. You can plan a trip for at least three to five days depending on what you’re interested in.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Pachmarhi?
Pachmarhi is a quaint hill station sitting in the laps of Madhya Pradesh and is a great place to visit anytime during the year. But, if you want to escape the summer heat then the best time to visit Pachmarhi is during the months of April to June. You can also visit Pachmarhi during monsoons and winters when the climate is chilly, but make sure you carry enough warm clothes along.
Is Gypsy Mandatory In Pachmarhi?
No. There is no compulsion to avail a gypsy when you're in Pachmarhi, you can always get your private vehicle to visit this hill station.
Why Is Pachmarhi Famous?
With its pleasant climate and lush greenery, Pachmarhi has abundant flora and fauna. Otehr than the natural wonders, you can also check out the Jata