In the tryst of Mother Nature and fondly referred to as “Satpura Ki Rani”, Panchmarhi is the only hill station in Madhya Pradesh. Situated at a height of 1000 m in a valley of the Satpura range in Hoshangabad district. The highest point in the central India region and the Vindhya and Satpura range. Nature has been in galore at this tiny hill station since a long time has been immemorial and is in abundance even today. Beauty since then stands at bay.
Let’s plunge into the knowingness of this ancient land.
History of Panchmarhi
The history of Panchmarhi is enriched with India’s greatest mythological legend “Mahabharata” In fact the very word is derived from the legendary characters of Mahabharata. It is believed that during their 14 years of exile, 5 Pandava brothers had built a small cave at one of the hill points of this reason. Where “Pach” stands for 5 (referring the Pandav brothers) “Marhi” stands for caves. Where the legend of “Mahabharata” still stands fresh in our minds till today, this hill station was actually discovered by sheer accident by British officer Caption J Forsyth in the year 1857. Hidden this long, the tumultuous foray of this beautiful land forever changed the destiny and fortune of this region.
A long walk to the Pandav caves was the most insightful thing in the entire trip at Panchmarhi. The 5 caves have been hand carved out of the hillside itself. As history talks, the biggest suite of all rooms belonged to the eldest brother – Yudishthir. A side chamber in his living room has a seat carved in the wall that was great for meditation.
Wait! That’s not the end.
On climbing the roof of the Pandava caves, we found ourselves stepping on the remains of a brick stupa. It felt like sheer blasphemy to wear out the last remains of it with our footsteps! These caves have been used by the Buddhist monks as residential and meditation quarters when this stupa was a living structure.
That’s a little scary!
Tourism and wildlife
Immensely rich in flora and fauna, Panchmarhi is beautiful and in the year 1999 declared as one of its areas as a “biosphere reserve”. It is this one place where solitude is miraculously achieved in moments. Besides the surrounding magnificence, the rock paintings found within shelters here are the major sources of our understanding of how their creators related to their physical, biological and cultural environments.
Do you like trekking?
For those who are not spiritually bound could enjoy a wondrous trek starting from the famed Pandava Caves right up to Dhupgarh. The serene scapes‘ of the Satpura range are a must watch. Trek up to the falls to watch the stream fall across a deep gorge while you soak in some sun!
There are many waterfalls in Pachmarhi but the most magnificent among them all is the Bee fall. The perennial stream tumbles 35 metres down, giving a spectacular view to all those nature lovers who come here.
Pachmarhi, the legends tell, was once a huge lake guarded by a monstrous serpent. This serpent began terrorising the pilgrims visiting the sacred shrines of the Mahadeo hills. Lord Shiva, angered by this, hurled his trident at the snake, imprisoning him in the rift of a solid rock, which assumed the shape of a pot or handi. The flames of wrath dried up the lake and empty space assumed the shape of a saucer.
Maybe the splendour of this land summarises itself as the debris of those unwanted flames then!
An addition to its majesty, Pachmarhi is also known as the land where Shiva resides. The marvellous statues and temples serve as a residual retreat for the Shiv “Bhaktas” where they meet their solace.
This terrestrial is a blend of everything for its visitors.
Time and talks only evolve with age, it repeats itself time and again.
Experience the rich blend of culture and history spread across Pachmarhi and embrace the essence of it in Pandav Caves! Pachmarhi is full of legends you can entertain yourself with and learn something from as well.