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Panchmarhi (Just 6 hrs – 334.6 KM)
Pachmarhi is a hill station in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. It has been the location of a cantonment (Pachmarhi Cantonment) since British Raj. 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.
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.
Pachmarhi is a popular tourist retreat. Tourists visit Pachmarhi throughout the year.There are lots of hotel mostly situated in market like Hotel shri krishna 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)
- 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
Chikaldhara (Just 4 hrs – 208.9 KM)
Chikhaldara is a Hill Station and a municipal council in Amravati district in the state of Maharashtra, India. Featured in the epic, the Mahabharata, this is the place where Bheema killed the villainous Keechaka in a herculean bout and then threw him into the valley. It thus came to be known as Keechakadara—Chikhaldara is its corruption.
But there’s more to Chikhaldara. The sole hill resort in the Vidarbha region, it is situated at an altitude of 1118 m with highest vairat point 1188m and has the added dimension of being the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra. Chikhaldara has an annual rainfall of 154cm. Temperature varies from 39C in summer to 5C in winter. Best months to visit are from October to June.
It abounds in wildlife—Tiger,panthers, sloth bears, sambar, wild boar, and even the rarely seen wild dogs. Close by is the famous Melghat Tiger Project which has 82 tigers.
The scenic beauty of Chikhaldara can be enjoyed from Hurricane Point, Prospect Point, and Devi Point. Other interesting excursions include Gavilgad and Narnala Fort, the Pandit Nehru Botanical Gardens, the Tribal Museum and the Semadoh Lake.
Chikaldara was discovered by Captain Robinson of the Hyderabad Regiment in 1823. The Englishmen found it particularly attractive because the lush green hue of the place reminded them of England. When the leaves fell in September/October, they were reminded of autumn in England.