We had planned to reach Pachmarhi as soon as possible; so second day we left the hotel room by 8:00 AM without wasting time in breakfast. I didn’t know that there are no government buses in Bhopal. Public Buses, essential for intercity transfers, were not operated in Bhopal for last 10 years. Bus stands were in complete mess and buses were running on the mercy of local transporters. I asked the conductor about the timings of the bus; conductor told me that bus would start as soon as there are enough passengers in the bus, and accordingly to bus conductor the bus would take 6-7 hours to reach Pachmarhi, hardly 200 km from Bhopal. Hell, we ditched the plans to take the bus instead planned to take the train which was running 2 hours late from the scheduled time.
Anyway it gave us the chance to taste Poha and Jalebi. Oh, but the Poha were not as good as I expected. (Later, I came to know that in Bhopal Indori Poha are not served; instead shopkeepers are misusing the name of Indori Pohas). After trying it at various shops, I gave up. We boarded in the train after waiting for 3 hours at railway station, but reached to Pipariya Junction by 1 o’clock.
It was not hard to find a vehicle to take us to Pachmarhi from Pipariya. We found a cab and within an hour we reached Pachmarhi. On our journey we were told mysterious stories on the vehicle. A guide and a family told us that a lady must not keep her hairs open and walk outside the room. Another mystery was about a pool where people die without any significant reason. According to them, there are various mysterious stories about the place and all the deities of the region must be provided enough reverence from the tourists.
We were planning to check the facilities in the hotel that is run by MP tourism. So we planned to stay with Hotel Highland, Pachmarhi. Though driver and guide tried to convince us to not to take the hotel, but we were adamant to check the facilities in the Hotel. Later we found that hotel rooms were quite good and spacious. We spoke to the manager and told him the purpose of our visit. He gave us some insightful information about the place, and rejected all the myths that locals told us.
There are numerous places to visit in Pachmarhi, so based on the time available we sorted out the important places. We were planning to start the tour in the evening but the driver asked us a exorbitant amount for the ride in the evening. So we dropped the plans to visit any place except Jata Shankar which is just a km walk from the hotel.
|Jata Shankar Temple|
We planned to walk to the Jata Shankar, a temple in the middle of mountains. Kids, as guides, were eager to guide us to the caves. We hired one guide to understand more about the place but later we felt that guides were fooling people, though it did not matter much. Guide told us about the quality of medical herbs present in Satpura range, and it was quite a important information to us.
|My Partner in Crime and My Wifey|
We visited the place and later met Jeet. Jeet, lieutenant of Indian army, was undergoing training in Pachmarhi. We went to the market with Jeet and his friend. We spend some time in market. In the market we had awesome Samosas at Laxmi restaurant. End of the day we enjoyed our dinner at Highland hotel, and retired to our room.