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India: Ajanta Ellora, Alibaug, Bhandardhara with Ajanta and Ellora, Diveagar, Ganpatipule, Kodaikanal with Madurai & Rameshwaram, Koyna Nagar, Panchmarhi, Raigadh
Panchmarhi, Madhya Pradesh, India
by Arundhati Kulkarni, India
In July 2010, we made a trip Vindhyachal – a location in the State of Uttar Pradesh where our family Goddess resides. On our return journey we thought of spending a couple of days at Panchmarhi – a hill station in the State of Madhya Pradesh. We preferred travelling in a train as the long distances from Pune made more sense. A direct train from Pune, departing at 4PM took us to Vindyachal the next morning at 9AM.
After spending a day at Vindhyachal and completing religious rituals in the temples of Goddess Kali and Goddess Saraswati on the banks of the mighty River Ganges, we boarded a train the same evening to arrive at Pipariya the next morning at 5AM. Panchmarhi is just 54 kms from Pipariya railway station. For Rs 200, we could get a cab that would take us to the hill station. As our ascent began, the weather became more pleasant.
The picturesque 2 hour drive saw us in Panchmarhi located at an altitude of 1067 meters in the Satpura mountain range. Since it was not the peak of season, we could find a double room at Hotel Indraprasth for Rs 600 a night.
Like all hill stations, even Panchmarhi offer plenty of viewing points. Best way to move around is by a cab that charges Rs 600 for an 8 hour day. Typically from 10AM to 5PM. Our first stop was Bee Fall. We had to walk for about an hour in the valley to reach the spot. Though the region had very little rain in the past, water was flowing inviting us to immerse under the falls.
The next stop was Reej Gad. This is a cave in the shape of a castle. The natural formation formed in a sand rock took centuries to happen. Architect was seeping water through gaps in the rocks! The location was filmed in the film Ashoka that starred Sharukh Khan. Our lunch was at Hotel Nandanvan. The food was fresh and indeed very tasty.
Next, we visited Rajat Prapat (Silver Waterfall). It was a thrilling experience to see water plunge 350 feet down. The adventurous ones can take a 10-minute walk over rocks and boulders to view Apsara Vihar – also known as Fairy Pool – where the English women used to bathe in the good old days. A further 10-minute walk takes you to Panchali Kund where 5 small pools of water have been naturally created. Before returning to our hotel we made it a point to stop at Pandava Caves where a beautiful garden makes for a welcome. To visit the locations just mentioned, a forest fee of Rs 408 per cab needs to be paid.
The next day we had the option to visit Jata Shankar temple but instead decided to take it a bit easy and explore walking the small town and the market it had. Two days well spent but we could have done well with a third day on hand. The trip refreshed us nonetheless.
Panchmarhi Image Gallery Photo viewer
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