Famously known as the ‘Queen of Satpura’, Pachmarhi sits pretty amid the Satpura range at 1100 m (3608 ft) in Madhya Pradesh. Adorned with gorgeous waterfalls and ancient caves, there are plenty of captivating places to visit in Pachmarhi.
This charming hill station was discovered in 1857 by James Forsyth, a British Army Officer. It once served as the summer capital for the Central Provinces during British rule in India.
Pachmarhi gets its name from Hindi words ‘Pach’ (five) and ‘Marhi’ (caves). The history of Pachmarhi dates back to the Mahabharata era.
Legend has it that the Pandavas excavated these 5 caves for their shelter when they were passing through Pachmarhi during their fourteen years of exile.
It is listed as Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO for the abundance of flora and fauna in the region.
I decided to explore this hill town towards the end of March which is the beginning of the summer season in many parts of India. But, the weather was pleasantly cold and sunny in the day time and nights were a bit colder.
If you are looking for that perfect two-day Pachmarhi itinerary, here is the one well-crafted for you. Scroll down to know which are the popular places to visit in Pachmarhi in a two-day trip.
A Quick Glance Through
- How To Get There
- Places To Visit
- Where To Stay
- Best Time To Visit
How To Get There
Pipariya is the nearest railhead to Pachmarhi. From the Pipariya railway station, it is roughly 1.5 hours drive. By flight, you can reach up to Bhopal (205 km) and from there, hire a cab to reach Pipariya. Buses also run to Pipariya from Bhopal.
Alternatively, you can take a train from Bhopal to Pipariya and then, travel by road to reach your hotel.
Refer to the map above for driving directions from Pipariya Railway Station to Pachmarhi.
Best Places To Visit in Pachmarhi
The pristine town of Pachmarhi is irresistible with its refreshing weather and stunning landscapes. This well-designed itinerary will help you cover the most prominent attractions of Pachmarhi in two days.
Start your day by visiting Apsara Vihar, if you wish to visit the waterfalls first. Another option is to start with Pandav caves, so you can visit the day 2 attractions on day 1.
1. Apsara Vihar
Apsara in Hindi literally means ‘fairy’. Encircled by hills and verdant forests, true to its name Apsara Vihar feels like a fairyland. You can hire a gypsy from Pachmarhi town to reach here.
A fantastic nature trail through the forests takes you there. From the gypsy drop point, there is around 0.5 km trekking to go to the Apsara Vihar waterfall.
Plunging down a height of 30 ft, the waterfall forms a shallow pool at the base which is perfect for leisurely swimming. On the same trekking route, I stumbled upon another charming pool known as Panchali Kund.
The entire place is heavenly and the trek was so refreshing that I didn’t feel even a bit tired. Apsara Vihar is indeed one of the most scenic places to visit in Pachmarhi.
Here is an interesting thing about this falls. A few scenes of a famous Bollywood song ‘san sanana…’ from the movie Ashoka were picturised here.
Tip: There are no shops or eateries around in this complete stretch. Remember to carry drinking water, especially if you are traveling with kids.
2. Rajat Prapat
Also known as Silver falls, Rajat Prapat is another breathtaking waterfall cascading down with a single drop from a massive 351 ft height. It is known as the 30th highest waterfall in India.
From Apsara Vihar waterfall, it is almost a km trek to Rajat Prapat. Experience the magnificence of the falls from the opposite side as no one is allowed to go near the base of the falls.
It is a perennial waterfall, so there is always some water even in summers. Come monsoon, the grandeur of the falls grows manifold.
You may also like: Top 12 Highest Waterfalls in India That You Must Visit .
After experiencing the splendour of the Pachmarhi waterfalls, head over to Reachgarh. Locals say that Reechgarh used to be home of bears long ago. It derives its name from Reech (meaning ‘beer’) and Garh (meaning ‘home’ or ‘abode’).
Reechgarh is a short drive from Apsara Vihar. It involves a few meters of climbing down through a rough and steep pathway. But don’t miss this gem of nature, it is one of the best places to visit in Pachmarhi.
Once you reach there, get rewarded with awe-inspiring views of natural rock formations. This place is believed to have been inhabited by early humans from the stone age. Spend some time exploring this natural wonder.
4. Bee Falls
The majority of tourist attractions in Pachmarhi involve some bit of climbing up and down. Bee falls is no exception and one needs to climb down nearly 400 uneven steps to get there.
Undoubtedly, Bee falls is one of those places to visit in Pachmarhi that will unleash the adventurer in you.
Set against densely wooded forests, this 150 ft high waterfall presents an enchanting picture to the visitors. The plunge pool at the base is home to numerous tiny fishes. So if you put your feet in the water, they love doing a free pedicure for the guests. 🙂
Tip: You may skip this if you are traveling with kids and senior citizens. It involves an arduous trek to visit this attraction.
5. Pachmarhi Lake
One of the most serene places to visit in Pachmarhi, this picturesque lake lies in the heart of the town. Enjoy a scenic boat ride in the lake or indulge in adventurous water sports, like banana ride and speed boat.
Though the lake is not quite known as sunset point, the picture-perfect background of the lake stands out during sunset.
6. Jata Shankar Caves
The mystical Jata Shankar caves are an important place of worship for the devotees of Lord Shiva. It houses a naturally-formed Shivlingam and a rock structure looking like the hundred-headed snake, known as Sheshnag.
Almost all the caves in Pachmarhi have some mythological stories associated with them. According to legends, it is believed that these caves hid Shiva from a demon named ‘Bhasmasura’.
The caves derive its name from Jata (matted hair) and Shankar (another name of Shiva). Explore different rock-cut structures resembling the matted hair of Shiva. This place is not more than 20 minutes drive from Pandav caves.
7. Pandav Caves
An iconic landmark of Panchmarhi, Pandav Caves are believed to be home to the Pandavas during their days of exile. The five caverns situated on a hillock are named after the five Pandavas brothers.
It is located in the center of the town and is easily accessible by road. You need to climb up through rock-cut stairs to reach the caves. Entry into the caves is not allowed but you can click photographs from outside.
A beautiful garden at the base of the cave enhances the beauty of the surroundings. The panoramic views from the top of the cave will leave you mesmerized.
8. Rajendra Giri
Next, you can visit Rajendra Giri which is roughly 10 minutes drive from the Pandav cave location. It’s a beautiful botanical garden named after the first president of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The garden also houses a statue of him.
It offers splendid views of the Satpura range from the hilltop. You will love this place if you admire colourful flowers and plants.
Tip: Though Rajendra Giri is also popular as a sunset point, Dhupgarh sunset is considered one of the best in Pachmarhi. Try visiting Dhupgarh for watching a gorgeous sunset view.
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9. Handi Khoh
Head over to Handi Khoh next. Set amid the lush green dense forest, Handi Khoh is one of the most popular places to visit in Pachmarhi. It got its name from Handi (pot) as the ravine resembles the shape of a pot.
Handi Khoh is a viewpoint which offers spectacular views of the 300 ft gorge. If you drop a stone in it, you may not hear the dropping sound immediately but only after a few seconds.
10. Bade Mahadev Cave
This 60 ft long cave, known as Bada Mahadev Cave hosts a temple of Lord shiva. As per mythical stories, this cave is the place where Lord Vishnu killed the demon Bhasmasura.
The continuous dropping of water from the cave walls forms a pool, considered as sacred. It is believed that taking a dip in this pool exonerates one from all sins.
11. Gupt Mahadev Cave
Also known as Chhota (small) Mahadev, Gupt Mahadev is a 40 ft long cave situated about a km away from Bada Mahadev cave.
A narrow winding pathway leads to the shrine of Lord Mahadev (Shiva). The small crevices inside the cave make the walk exciting. You need to literally squeeze yourself to move ahead. For adventure seekers, it is one of the must-visit places in Pachmarhi.
You may like to check this Post: Caving in Meghalaya – Experience of A Lifetime
Rising at an elevation of 1359 m, Dhupgarh is the highest point in the Satpura range. A refreshing drive through scenic roads takes you there. It offers magnificent views of the Satpura hills from the top. Dhupgarh is one of the unmissable places to visit in Pachmarhi.
What can be a better way to wrap up your Pachmarhi trip than watching sundown at Dhupgarh! Enjoy the breathtaking sunset views as the sun settles down in the backdrop of lofty Satpura hills.
Where To Stay
There are a number of resorts in Pachmarhi, operated by Madhya Pradesh Tourism (MPT). We stayed in Champak Bungalow which is located near the Pachmarhi lake. The resort is well maintained and beautiful. They have tent cottages to provide a camping experience to the guests.
MPT Satpura Retreat is another good resort to stay in Pachmarhi. It is a heritage place where a British era colonial building has been converted into a hotel. MPT Glen View, MPT Highlands, and MPT Amaltas are few other decent hotels to stay.
MPT resorts are always in demand, so book well in advance. Apart from MPT run hotels, there are many private resorts which you can book.
Best Time To Visit Pachmarhi
Panchmarhi has pleasant weather throughout the year. So, you can visit any time of the year as every season has its own charm.
It is not too hot even during summers, but days are warmer compared to nights. Carry light woolen clothes as occasional rain showers may result in a drop in temperature and thus colder nights.
The monsoon lasts here from June to September and the weather becomes even more refreshing and enjoyable. The winter season is chilling but not harsh. Days are comfortable and appropriate for sightseeing.
Over To You Now…
With so many wonderful places to Visit in Pachmarhi at every corner, it is a nature lover’s paradise.
Have you visited this magical hill station in Madhya Pradesh? Tell us in the comment section below.
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