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
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.
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.
09:00 A.M. : Leave for Pipariya