This delightful hill station, at an altitude of 1,067 m (5,501 ft), lies in the verdant hills of the Satpura Range. It is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Pachmarhi is Madhya Pradesh's most verdant jewel, a place where nature has found exquisite expression in myriad enchanting ways. Pachmarhi is a large plateau ringed by hills on the ever green central Satpura ranges.
In 1857 Cpt. James Forsyth of the Bengal Lancers spotted this saucer shaped plateau and was quickly developed into summer retreat and army station by the British. The town retains the genteel Raj-era ambience and amongst its colonial relics are the Christ Church built in 1875
Pachmarhi means “Five Houses” and the town takes its name from the five ancient Pandav caves. Pachmarhi major attractions include waterfalls and pools, and caves with prehistoric art.
The wooded hills around Pachmarhi are dotted with caves shelters, some of them with cave painting dating back 10,000 years. It is also home of the Gond and Korku tribes.
Dhoopgarh is the highest point in Pachmarhi. Earlier it was called as Harvatsa Kot. Visitors can enjoy the view of sunrise and sunset from this point. Nobody miss the chance to be in dialogue with the sun god, when it is innocently cool. Dhoopgarh is 4429 feet above the mean sea level and it is the highest point of Central India. Once you are stop you desire to stay there forever. To see the sun rising and setting is unique experience beyond verbal expression.
It is a popular belief that the Pandav spent their exile here. The caves are single on plan, some of them having pillared. The caves have been built around 4 – 5 century A.D. No statue is being placed here. Earlier before Pandav’s Exile, Buddhist monks meditated in these caves. Later, after 300 years Hindu people have founded these caves. The facade of cave No. 2 is carved with simple chaitya Arc- Motifs. Cave No. 3 is decorated with miniature figures of Jambhal (god of wealth) carved at its bottom. On the bases of inscription of Cave No.3 these could not been carved before the Gupta Period (4 – 5 century A.D.) In 1999, archeologist of Archeological Survey of India, discovered remains of brick built Stupas above Pandav Caves.
Bison Lodge is the oldest house in the town of Pachmarhi that was constructed in 1862. This house serves as a museum, which is dedicated to Captain Forsyth, who is considered to be the founder of Pachmarhi.
The museum houses several pictures, models, maps, graphs and samples of the flora and fauna on the display. This museum also has an open-air theatre that shows documentaries and presentations on wildlife.
Rajat Prapat is a waterfall located around a km away from Apsara Vihar. Water of this fall plunges from a height of about 350 feet. Popularly known as Silver Falls, this fall is best viewed during the rainy season.
Dutch Falls is a beautiful waterfall, which is also known as Jalwataran. Tourists can reach this waterfall by trekking around 4 km from the base. Monsoon season is the ideal time to visit this waterfall, when water flow is high.
Bee – Fall
The height of this waterfall is about 150 feet. It is also known as Jamuna Prapat It gives a feel of Milky Way when water comes down. It is one of the most spectacular water falls of Pachmarhi. No visitor can resist the temptation of the taking a bath in B Fall. Bathing pools here are very popular among the tourist of all age groups.
Apsara Vihar is a beautiful fall in the hills of Pachmarhi. It is popularly known as "Fairy Pool", a naturally formed pools with tiny waterfalls. Apsara Vihar is situated near to Pandava Caves. It is a shallow pool which makes it a perfect picnic spot with children of small ages.
You can easily get to the pool and it is a safe swimming and diving. There is a funny story behind this fairy pool (Apsara Vihar). During the British period, the English ladies used to come here for a good bathe and the local peoples used to peep through from the nearby bushes. Since the ladies were of white color, the locals thought them to be fairy queens or apsaras and hence the name is Apsara Vihar or Fairy Pool.
The place is named after the mythological belief that lord Shiva shaded his matted lock here. The place is formed inside a cave. It was a belief that when the Shiva wants to hide himself due to the fear of Bhasmasur he rested at this place. There is about 108 Shivalinga formed naturally inside this cave. There is water opening from the cave which nobody knows that from where this water comes, it is popularly known as “Gupt Ganga”. Large number of visitors comes here every year. The caves are resounded by the chirping of birds. A shivlinga is enshrined inside the cave. Large number of pilgrims arrives here to visit this place during the festive season “shivraatri”. Temperature inside the cave is very less. Upper part of the cave has a platform where idols of lord Shankar Godess Parvati and Shivlinga have been enshrined. Sadhu and Saints visit Jata Shankar with the holy purpose.
This cave is about 60 feet Long. It is a mythological belief which says that Lord Vishnu incarnated as Mohini Killed the demon King Bhasmasur here. Large idols of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and Lord Ganesha have been enshrined inside the 60 feet long cave. A Serpentine road adorned with stark green trees and shrubs goes to Bade Mahadeo. Water constantly falls upon the shivlinga inside the cave. A kund is situated in the middle of the cave. There is another cave situated near bade Mahadeo, the cave of Goddess Parvati. There is large of pilgrims on the occasion of Nagpanchemi MahaShivratri
This cave is about 40 feet long. The path of Gupt Mahadeo goes from inside the Bade Mahadeo. There is a narrow path which leads to Gupt Mahadeo. There is idol of lord Ganesha and Shivlinga enshrined inside the cave. Only eight persons can pass at a time. An idol of lord hanuman has been enshrined at the entrance.
A passage from Bade Mahadeo leads to Chauragarh, where a life style size Idol of lord Shiva has been enshrined. Large numbers of stairs; more than 1000 in number have been constructed to reach the blissful seat of Lord Shiva. To reach Chauragarh, it takes around two to three hours to climb the 1200 stairs. Large number of Shiva Bhakt climbs the stairs with enthusiasm to worship the lord Shiva idol in Chauragarh.
Christ Church is one of the religious places in Pachmarhi, which was built by Britishers in 1875. The glass panes adorning the walls and rear of the altar were imported from Europe. This church has a hemispherical dome on top with its ribs ending in faces of angels. Moreover, the Nave of the church is not supported by any pillar.
Things to do
Up to 100,000 Shaivite pilgrims, sadhus (spiritual men) and Adivasis (tribal people) attend celebrations at Mahadeo Temple. Participants bring symbolic tridents and hike up Chauragarh Hill to plant them by the Shiva shrine. It takes place every year in February and March.
Trekking & Walking
Mahadeo Hills of the Satpura Range is characterized by fascinating deep valleys, narrow gorges, cascading waterfalls and rich vegetation makes it an ideal walking country.
Best time to visit
July – April