Introduction to Pachmarhi

Madhya Pradesh’s sole hill station is in the Hoshangabad district, called Pachmarhi. This tranquil hill station is located at a height of 1067 meters. Pachmarhi has been dubbed the queen of the Satpuras. Nestled in the Satpura ranges, this sizeable plateau is encircled by soaring hills. The whispering woods, babbling brooks and craggy peaks lend character to Pachmarhi. Spectators are struck by Pachmarhi’s lush expanse. Pachmarhi is renowned as the green jewel of the hills. Every hue of green will confront and afford you a sense of calm. The placid pools of azure blue water and the hills covered in various shades of green have a healing quality. A feeling of mystique washes over you at dusk. The red sandstone absorbs a palette of colors from the sky shooting off shades of purple and violet, while the sun sets on Pachmarhi. Nature has been particularly bountiful here.


Buses are available at frequent intervals to travel to Pachmarhi from Pipariya, Bhopal, Nagpur, Hoshangabad, and Chhindwara. Standard Madhya Pradesh Tourism buses are operated between Bhopal and Pachmarhi. Taxi services can be availed from Pipariya. Pipariya is the closest railhead at a distance of only 47 kilometers. The nearest airport would be Bhopal at a distance of 195 kilometers. Pachmarhi is magnificent throughout the year.


Captain James Forsyth of the British Army introduced Pachmarhi to the Western world in the year 1857. Pachmarhi was utilized as a sanatorium for the British troops as the summer capital of the Central Provinces.


Pachmarhi is a charming little town surrounding the lake. There is a market in this little town, a few hotels, one cinema hall, a golf course and club. Some of the rarest plants and orchids in India are found here. Several wild animals are found here since this area lies within the perimeters of the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Wild boar, panthers, tigers, peacock, langurs and other monkeys are common to these forests.

If there is one thing one will find here, it is camps. The milieu here is very conducive for camping. That’s the reason you will find winter training camps, mountaineering camps and scout camps conducted most of the year round. Children and adults alike arrive here to pitch their tents and light campfires, telling stories and dancing round it. You will never be too far from pools of water. Several Sal trees have ant hills under them that look like modern art.

Map of Pachmarhi

Below is the map of Pachmarhi, the only hill station in Madhya Pradesh. Move the scroller towards “+” to zoom in and “-” to zoom out.


Pachmarhi videos

Trip to Pachmarhi Part 1

Don’t even think of watching this video without turning on your speakers. Sneha (or Miss Snow White as she calls herself on youtube) has done a wonderful job of narrating the trip to Pachmarhi, adding music, etc. The first destination was Handi Khoh, then Chauragarh, followed by Bison Lodge Forestry Museum, Pandava Caves, Vihar water falls, and Rajendragiri sunset point.


Trip to Pachmarhi Part 2

This video is in continuation of the above one. Same warning again – turn on your speakers if you really want to get the best experience from this.

This video takes you to Reechgarh, then another waterfall, then to Jatashankar and then boating in the lake.


Pachmarhi Town

This video is shot by a Netherlander when visiting India. The quality of the movie is excellent and a lot of interesting shots including some closeups of monkeys.

Satpura Retreat

Short clip of Satpura Retreat, a Madya Pradesh tourist home and a great place for afternoon tea in the hills.



Here’s your chance for some parasailing adventure at Pachmarhi, if you’re game.

More videos coming soon.

Tour of Pachmarhi

In Pachmarhi you are never too far from water. A shallow pool called Apsara Vihar, which literally means fairy pool is a lovely place to take the children for a picnic.

There’s another pool called Irene pool. This has been named after Irene Bose, wife of Justice Vivian Bose, as she came across it.


A surging waterfall that provides water to Pachmarhi called Jamuna Prapat is a pleasant place to bathe. Even above the falls are bathing pools which are frequented by locals and tourists too. Pachmarhi’s water supply comes from the stream here.


For an intriguing trip you should head for the Jalawataran or Duchess Falls. Be prepared for a 4 kilometer backbreaking walk down to the bottom where the falls plummet.

When you’ve traversed the rivulet below Duchess Falls, you could stroll down a path 2 1/2 kilometers to arrive at a massive rock-strewn pool for an invigorating dip.

The highest point in the Satpura range is Dhoopgarh. People come here to view the sunset.

An extraordinary narrow valley called Handi Khoh is sure to make an impact on you with its 300 feet high cliff.

Want to know what impressed Captain Forsyth so much that he initiated the construction of a sanitarium, which finally led to Pachmarhi becoming a hill station? You should aim for Priyadarshini or Forsyth Point.


Did you know India has its very own Piccadilly Circus? It’s true. Check out the picnic spot at Tridhara where two streams intersect.

You can learn about the ecology of Pachmarhi while you are here by visiting Bison Lodge. This is the first house in Pachmarhi. It has been converted into a museum.

A National Park by the name of Satpura National has been initiated here in 1981. Drench yourself in the topography of Pachmarhi that offers you some of the most wonderful sights ever known to man. The yawning gorges, lofty mountains, creeks and waterfalls will welcome you in its fold. You will find bears, blue-bull, leopard, bison, the four-horned deer and tigers.

Sacred places of Pachmarhi

A great many caves are found in Pachmarhi. You must visit the shrine which stands atop Mahadeo hill. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There’s a cave with motivating paintings from as far back as 1000 BC next to the shrine.


Another interesting and sacred cave is called Jatashankar. It gets its name because of the formation of rocks that bear resemblance to the matted locks of Lord Shiva. These can be pretty beguiling. The natural formation of the rocks here is mind boggling. One of the shapes reminds you of the giant serpent hood in the breezy shadowy cave. This is called the Samadhistha Shiva. To get here one must drive 1.5 kilometers out of town and hoof it part of the way. One the way to Jatashankar you will also come across a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, with his idol carved out of rock. Harper’s cave too is in the vicinity of Jatashankar caves. This cave has been so named because of a painting portraying a man playing a harp.


The most fascinating of all the caves are the Pandav Caves. The Pandav brothers are said to have stayed here at some point during their 12 year exile. Although it was the Buddhists who carved these caves in the 9th or 10th century AD, they are still popularly known after the Pandav brothers. This hill station gets its name because of the five ancient caves chiseled in rock. The word Panch Marhi actually means five caves. While the dingy cave is called Bhim Kothri, the spotless and well ventilated one is called Draupadi Kuti. Sculpted in sandstone rock, they are now protected monuments. They definitely merit a visit.


Pachmarhi has some churches too. The Catholic Church here was built by the British as far back as 1892. There’s a charming church with stained glass windows and a cemetery that has graves from the year 1859.

The Christ Church is considered a truly superb little church. Built in 1875, it has a bell that can be heard from far and has been here since the time the church was built. The colored window panes have the distinction of having been imported from Europe.