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Old 21st February 2013, 13:33   #1
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Default A Road Trip to Pachmari

It has been quite some time since this travelogue has been lying on my desktop. Due to paucity of time, could not pen it off.

This much needed trip happened around Rakhi in August’ 12. The lack of quality vacation in the preceding months was fairly evident as I was on a short wick for the last month or so. With Rakhi round the corner and desperation for a vacation at an all time high, I managed to squeeze in a 4 day trip.

Every rakhi, we try to head out to our cousins’ in Indore. Therefore, was looking out for options around Indore in MP so as not to break this ritual but also have a vacation around the same time. After some searching decided on Pachmarhi which is 425 km / 8 hours from Indore.

The run up to the vacation did give us some anxious moments. Pachmarhi apart from being a Cantonment is also a part of the Satpura Reserve Forests. This meant that the recent Supreme Court ruling denying tourists’ access to core tiger areas was applicable here also. This in turn meant no access to Dhoop Garh, the highest point in Satpuras and Bee falls. Also, MP did not receive its fair share of rainfall till about 2-3 days before Rakhi when heavens opened up and literally poured. Areas near Indore and Bhopal recorded upto 14 inches rainfall. With the rain came a volley of apprehensions from relatives of unviability of the trip, of swept roads and land slides.

We decide to stick to our guns, took the sunrise flight out of Delhi to Indore. After celebrating rakshabandhan with relatives and after a hearty breakfast headed out to Pachmarhi with cousins. Baring a few rough patches the roads were in good condition and we managed a good run till we reached Hoshangabad. Since everyone around was speaking about volumes of rain, we had decided to stick the main route i.e Indore- Dewas – Sehore – Bhopal – Mandideep – Hoshangabad – Piparia – Pachmarhi. The railway crossing at Hoshangabad (and simultaneous construction of over bridge) and the accompanying unruly traffic created a huge jam that set us back by 1.5 hours. While we had started at 10:30 AM, we reached Pachmarhi around 7 PM. When we had started climbing the ghat for Pachmarhi, we were the only ones heading for Pachmarhi while there were numberous Vehicles heading down. We were later told that those vehicles were carrying pilgrims from Nagpur, Maharashtra, who had come there to tie rakhi at Mahadev Temple and were now heading back.

The heavy rainfall in the preceding days to the trip had done wonders to the place. Seasonal rivers and other water bodies were now charged with rainwater. The forests had come alive with the chitter chatter of birds, the sight of rain washed trees and green leaves with freshly planted soya crop filled the heart with joy.
We checked in at Hotel Highlands which is located at the entrance of the city. Pachmarhi is a cantonment and also a part of the reserve forest. This has proved to be a boon for the place as it lacks commercialization. This in turn has helped preserve the character of the quaint place. The property was clean and functional. I assume the property would have earlier belonged to the cantonment board as it was reminiscent of the numerous defence services accommodations that I have visited and stayed in on earlier occasions. The rooms were in cluster of cottages on all sides with a large central garden. The place was surrounded by tall eucalyptus and gulhomar trees.

We had an early dinner and were soaking in the natural surroundings. There was not even an iota of pollution and a deep breath would fill the lungs with pure unadulterated oxygen not found in Delhi. The resort was barely full owing to the spoil sport Supreme Court ruling which reduced the tourists to a trickle. A large family of monkeys checked in on the trees for the night. After dinner, we decided to drive out for a drive. It had started to drizzle again. We drove around and checked the other MP Tourism properties. Found the Rockend Manor rather impressive among all the properties. Then we took the road to Dhoop Garh and after driving a few kilometers, parked the car on the side and switched off the engine and the lights. And Voila…….. the jungle came alive. It was a delight to see numerous fire flies light up the forest. We then retired to the resort and to our rooms. The night was pleasant with no need for a fan or AC.

Next day morning was fascinating with rain soaked leaves and flowers to wish us Morning. It had rained throughout the night. After a lazy tea and breakfast headed to other parts of the Pachmarhi. The idea was to just laze around and soak up the atmosphere.

On the third day, started our journey back to Indore. Instead of taking the Hoshangabad route, we came via Raisen which was a good drive without the construction and the traffic jams. And just a few hours after we departed from Indore, the heavens opened up again. Most of the seasonal rivers we crossed enroute were overflowing and had cut off the road access. In hindsight, the vacation was just meant to be and was indeed god sent.
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Last edited by GTO : 21st February 2013 at 13:55. Reason: Adding Paragraph spacing for better readability. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd February 2013, 12:35   #2
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Default Re: A Road Trip to Pachmari

I had heard many good things about Pachmari from my friends in Indore but had never seen the place. Thanks for providing glimpses of this hill station of MP. Sure does look great. It'll be all the more better if we had more pics of the place!
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Old 22nd February 2013, 14:55   #3
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Default Re: A Road Trip to Pachmari

Heard a lot about Panchmarhi. Thanks for sharing.
Do provide more details on stay and food options.

And more pictures please.
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