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Panchmarhi Tourism And Travel Guide
20° C / 68° F
November to February
3 to 4 Days
Raja Bhoj Airport Bhopal (200 kms)
Pipariya (55 kms)
Panchmarhi is a lovely hill station in Madhya Pradesh. It can be reached by rail, air or road. However, the nearest railhead is 55 km away at Pipariya and the nearest airport is 200 km away at Bhopal. Panchmarhi is cool throughout the year and barely ever does the temperature rise beyond 35°C. Tourism in Panchmarhi consists primarily of probing into its natural heritage such as waterfalls, hills, forts, ravines and the odd church or temple. A travel guide to Panchmarhi is placed in the succeeding paragraphs.
How to Reach
If you are travelling by road from Bhopal the distance to Panchmarhi is around 200 km. If you are coming to Panchmarhi by road from New Delhi you may take 17h to reach. If you are travelling by rail, the most convenient method, it will take you only 1h 30min to come by road from Pipariya the railhead.
There are a number of trains coming to Pipariya, the railhead for Panchmarhi. There are 28 trains from Mumbai, 2 from Kolkata and one from New Delhi. The trains are convenient and comfortable. From Pipariya one has to take a cab to take you through the distance of 55 km by road to Panchmarhi.
Panchmarhi is connected to Bhopal airport, the distance being 200 km. This distance will take you around 5 hr to cover by road.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Panchmarhi can be visited any time of the year. Even in the summer one can move around and see the beautiful sights all around. Of course one will probably not find much water in the waterfalls and it may not be lush green.
It rains heavily only during the latter part of the monsoon. The best part is that the temperature stays at about 27°C during the monsoon and even drops to 20°C. The waterfalls come alive during this period and visitors could really enjoy Panchmarhi, provided they carry protective gear with them like umbrellas and raincoats.
Winter is of course just lovely in Panchmarhi. The temperature may drop to 4°C although it normally stays at around 15°C during the daytime. Visitors can enjoy Panchmarhi’s beauty throughout the day as long as they remain protected against the bitter cold of the night. Then of course there is the mist and it is this that brings out the true beauty of Panchmarhi during the winter.
Things to Do
Head for Chauragarh Temple by climbing 1365 steps and be rewarded with an amazing shot of sunrise and pay homage to Lord Shiva. If it is Mahashivratri you are in luck since it is an auspicious day for the Lord. Add your trishul to the already existing two lakh trishuls at the front of the temple.
You must visit the Pandava Caves after which Panchmarhi has been named. The name refers to the Pandavas who are said to have stayed here during the time they had been exiled. The five caves are well maintained and draw quite a crowd daily.
Panchmarhi British Architecture Church:
There are a few pretty churches in Panchmarhi and this is one of them. Also named Christ Church this is a protestant church famous for its excellent architecture. The church was built in around 1875 and it is only once you enter the church and see its stained glass that you will gape in amazement at its beauty.
Rajat Prapat Waterfall:
The Rajat Prapat is one among the many waterfalls in Panchmarhi. It is famous because of its beauty in the monsoon and also because of its sheer drop of 351 feet. Check it out during the monsoon and take a few pictures for an excellent memory of one of the best spots in Panchmarhi.
There are several rock shelters in and around Panchmarhi. Some of these shelters had been occupied and decorated by our prehistoric ancestors who had drawn pictures on the walls. This rock art gives us an insight as to how the people in prehistoric times used to live and bond, what were their customs and what sort of culture existed then. This rock art is found in the forests as well as in the hills and the riverbanks. The images depict societies of hunter-gatherers and date back to the Mesolithic period. The subject matter is varied and there are pictures of bulls and bison, elephants and wild boar as well as tigers, buffaloes and crocodiles besides smaller species that include fishes, turtles, lizards and rats. Ostrich, jungle fowl, scorpions and wild bees are all depicted. The use of spears and axes, bows and arrows and sticks is also shown.
Visitors must find time to visit the Bison Lodge which used to serve as the residence of Captain Forsyth in 1862 and today is a museum. The museum has quite a collection with its fine display of flora and fauna besides models, maps, pictures and stuffed animals.
Jata Shankar Cave:
The Jata Shankar Cave is quite an interesting sight for visitors to Panchmarhi. It is a natural cave housing a Hindu shrine. The cave has stalagmites which have formed over the years naturally. These are now worshipped as Shivlingams. The cave attracts both curious tourists and pilgrims that visit the cave to be blessed by Lord Shiva.
What to Eat
Although a small place, Panchmarhi offers diverse options for food of all types. One can relish Gujarati food as well as Maharashtrian and Jain delicacies. Besides these, there are several restaurants and one must try these out for choice. Try out delicacies of MP and these include biriyani, dal bafla, Kebabs and bhutte ki kees besides poha, korma, jalebi and rogan josh as well as ladoos and lassi to wash it all down with.
Panchmarhi is at the very heart of India, in MP. It is a fine hill station certainly worth a visit. It is home to some of the very old specimen among paintings. It is the rock art that has spawned a tradition in prehistoric painting and hence in the making of traditional handicraft. You can therefore get paintings that have been made using natural vegetable dye and stones. It is possible for you to pick up attractive wares that may not be available elsewhere.