Pachmarhi

Day 1

02:00 P.M. : Reach Pachmarhi.

I start in the morning from Bhopal and take a bus to Pipariya, 50 kms from Pachmarhi. Pipariya is the connecting junction to Pachmarhi with the hill station having no railway stations or direct buses to other cities of its own. Jeeps and other taxis, mostly Indica, ply to the colonial hill station through the dense forests of Saputara.

03:00 P.M. : Join a half-day excursion to Dhoopgarh

The best way to travel Pachmadhi is by hiring a safari gypsy. Pachmadhi, though frequented by a large number of tourists over years, most of the tourist spots lie deep in the jungle and do not have pucca roads. These rough-terrain utility vehicles are the most comfortable way to see around while the rolled-up roof offers a complete 360 degrees view of the splendid mountains and jungles.

On the way to Dhoopgarh, see the peak of Nagdwar. Nagdwar is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that the Lord was once pursued by the demon Bhasmasur who was determined to burn all gods to ashes. The Lord had taken refuge in the cave. When Bhasmasur landed outside this narrow, 100-foot deep cave, Lord Shiva escaped taking the form of a cobra. Today, a naturally-formed idol of a cobra is the presiding deity at Nagdwar, with a small idol of Lord Shiva under it. There are 50 other temples here and can be reached only by trekking. Every year it is frequented by thousands of pilgrims in the season of Nagpanchami, specially from the areas of Vidarbha in Maharashtra.

07:30 P.M. : Return back to the hotel in Pachmarhi and retire for the day

Day 2

06:00 A.M. : Wake up early to the sound of birds and crisp fresh mountain air.

09:00 A.M. : Start for JataShankar.

JataShankar is a naturally formed cave in a deep gorge. The rocks resemble the matted hair(jata) of Shiva, hence the name JataShankar.

10:30 A.M. : Visit the Gupt-Mahadev and Mahadev cave shrines

Both Gupt-Mahadev and Mahadev are shrines of Lord Shiva situated inside caves. While the Mahadev is larger, the Gupt-Mahadev is named so because the entrance is so narrow, it allows only one person to go at a time, making it the “secret” Mahadev temple.

01:00 P.M. : Visit Handi – Koh

The Handi Koh is a view point offering a beautiful sight of the Green Valley. This valley is named Green Valley because of the dense green trees covering it, however, it is spring when I visit. I get a splendid view of a yellow-orange-light green coloured valley. This variety of colours lasts only about 15-20 days.

02:00 P.M. : Visit the Priyadarshini 

 

Priyadarshini

Day 3

09:00 A.M. : Start the safari for the day. Visit Pandav Gufa. 

10:00 A.M. : Visit the Silver falls and Apsara falls.

The pool at the base of the Apsara falls forms a nice swimming area. During colonization, British ladies used to visit the fall to bathe. They looked like Apsara-angels to the locals who named it the Apsara fall. Interestingly, after the shoot of song sequence by Kareena for the movie Ashoka, the fall is also now knows as the Kareena fall

03:00 P.M. : Visit the Bee-fall.

Named so because of its sound like a swarm of bees and the stinging it creates as it falls on the skin, it supplies drinking water to the town of Pachmarhi.

05:30 P.M. : Go to Reechgadh

The Reachgadh gets its name from the touching of two cliffs(gadh-hills) at the top, looking like reaching out to each other. The area forms a rock shelter and has caves inside it.

Day 4

09:00 A.M. : Leave for Pipariya

Bhopal-Sanchi-Bhimbetka

Bhopal

Day 1         8th Apr 2012

08:00 P.M. : Reach Habibganj station near Bhopal. Catch a bus to M P Nagar

Day 2

09:00 A.M. : Catch a bus to Bhopal main station. Change a bus to Sanchi

Sanchi is 30 km from Bhopal and is connected by rail and road.

The Stupa no 1 was believed to have housed the remains of Buddha, however the remains were not found. The remains of Buddha’s principal disciples Sariputra and Mahamogallana were found in the Stupa no 3 which were taken by the British museum and later returned after Independence. A beautiful Srilankan Stupa near the Sanchi Stupa houses these remains and are opened for public on the day of Buddha Purnima.

04:00 P.M. : Catch a return bus to Bhopal.

Sanchi

The Udayagiri caves in Vidisha, 10 km from Sanchi, is another place nearby worth visiting. However locals advise against travel with the Rang panchami in a 2 days and the local tradition of celebrating the holi with mud extending up to the 5th day.

05:30 P.M. : Visit the Upper lake.

Bhopal is also known as a city of lakes. The MP Tourism has water sports and boat rides on the lake and is a splendid view from atop the water research centre.

Day 2 Bhimbetka

09:00 A.M. : Catch a bus to Obedullahgunj, 50 odd km from Bhopal

11:00 A.M. : Reach Obedullahgunj.

On Reaching, I Come to know that Bhimbetka is another 10 km from the place. Buses do not ply frequently on this route. Villagers travel by hitching rides in trucks. I hop on a truck myself.

11:30 A.M. : Get down 3 km off Bhimbetka

Cave-paintings at Bhimbetka

Bhimbetka is 3 km off the highway, of which 2 km are inside the Ratapani Tiger Reserve. I walk for 2 km then get a ride by a family visiting the Mata temple.

12:30 P.M. : Visit the Goddess temple near the caves. The original temple is believed to be 5000 years old, though what is seen today is a small ceramic tiled temple. A cave on the top is where the Pandavas were believed to have lived

01:00 P.M. : Explore the cave paintings at Bhimbetka

03:00 P.M. : Start back, hitch a ride from Bhimbetka to Obedullahgunj.

From there I take a bus upto Mandideep and from there an auto to Bhojpur.

04:00 P.M. Reach the village of Bhojpur.

Shiva temple in Bhojpur

I visit the gigantic temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, built in the 10th century by King Bhoj.

However, while the temple was still under construction, Bhoja was killed in a war. The temple was never completed. However, it is still a living temple and sees a large number of devotees.

06:00 P.M. : Take a tempo back to Mandideep

07:00 P.M. : Catch a bus back to the city of Bhopal08