After a good sleep at Highland Hotel, Pachmarhi, we were fresh for the adventure that awaited us the next day. Hotel is, almost, in the middle of the forest, so we were excited to hear the chirping of Birds and to feel the freshness of the air. Sound was evident enough in the room, but its intensity increased as I walked out of the room. To enjoy the aroma and the nature little more, I went for a small walk in the forest.
I walked on the main road connecting A to the outside world. The air was fresh and cold. Everything, in the morning, oozed serenity and provided rejuvenation to the body. After a short time, Mayuri joined me. After spending half an hour, we returned to the hotel, to prepare for the day’s adventure.
We had fixed the driver in the evening so that we could start early in the morning. Though we asked him to come at 8:00 Am to start the trip early, but Mr. Pappu came at, his usual time, 10 AM. So from the beginning, we were already 2 hours late.
Without wasting time, We started to the base of the Dhoopgarh. Dhoopgarh is the second highest point of Madhya Pradesh. Dhoopgarh is primarily known for Shiva temple. Devotees offer Trishul to Lord Shiva when Shiva fulfills their wishes. After reaching the top, you can see the Trishul lying in the heap weighing 1 kilogram to 100s of kilograms. According to our guides/instructors, it was only 1700 steps to the top. Mayuri was sure that she could finish this climb within 1.5 hours as she has already climbed 10,000 steps at Girnar Mountains.
It was hardly a 30 minutes drive to the base of Dhoopgarh. We were told to choose LEFT on all the turns that helped us the most in our journey. As soon as we entered the forest, there was any other soul except us. At the start of the journey, there was a temple inside a cave, and a Panda was sitting to shed his boon on people who were reducing burden of their pockets. After choosing LEFT for 3-4 times, we reached a point where it was tough to decide the correct path. Even after having the urge to move to RIGHT (Because it seemed the correct path to us), we took the LEFT turn.
We were already in the dense forest, and we were unable to locate a walkable path. Even though, we were scared, but we kept moving in the same direction. Soon enough we realized that we took the right decision. We saw the people who were climbing the staircases. It took us approximately half an hour from parking to stairs starting point.
|Oops, Vishal it is not merely 1,700 stairs. Let me rest a little|
Soon enough we realized that 1,700 was not merely the steps instead it was a jungle walk of approximately 3 Kms each side. After one and an hour, we were at the peak. As told by villagers, devotees have offered so many Trishul that it has become difficult to maintain all these in the temple. So such unwanted offers (Offers with no resale value) all were lying on the ground of the temple.
|Forest, we reached from one end to another in this forest.|
I went inside the under construction temple without considering that two monkeys were already in the fight over the offerings offered to Shivling. These both little monkeys considered me as another shareholder, so, according to the game plan, one monkey ran away with the offering whereas another monkey tried to scare me off from the temple. But it was an over smart creature. So instead of providing me the chance to run, it caged me inside the boundaries, built with Iron Pipes. It was sitting on the top of the door, which was the only way to come out of the cage. I convinced myself of the intentions of Chota monkey after throwing few nervous glances at the monkey. I submitted in this fight without imagining the upcoming scenes and requested an outsider to help me. As soon as Chota Monkey saw me resigning in the Man2Monkey fight, it considered me a waste of time and left the premise after another monkey who had already started enjoying the offering.
|Heap of Trishul, Do you believe me Now?|
We returned to our Jeep within another hour. It was a nice walk in the middle of the Jungle. It would have been a better and enjoyable walk if there were not any stairs.
|Picture Perfect, my beautiful wife|
We visited another Shiva temple that is situated at the base, and the idol is established in the middle of a cave. Though there were others temples on the hill, but I did not have any intention to meet all the gods, so I skipped a few. On the way back to Market, we checked other viewpoints.
|On the way to another view points|
For lunch, we were dropped at Nandanvan restaurant. All the drivers drop their customers to the same restaurant. The restaurant is located on the four-way road and edge of the forest. So location can be one reason that all the drivers chose the same location. However, food at restaurant was tasty as well as cheap. Pappu came within half an hour after finishing his lunch.
Shortly we started for Pandav caves. Buddha followers used these caves for the living purpose. These caves are referred as Pandava caves because number of caves is five. But people linked these caves to Pandava’s. Entry/exit for these caves is from a well-maintained garden developed by local authorities. This garden serves as a nice picnic spot for the local people.
From the Pandav caves, we moved to the Panchmarhi Lake. It is not a huge water body, but it attracts lots of people and offers various fun activities including boating, chit chatting over the coffee, and horse riding. As per the information received later, the lake is a water collection pool that serves the people of Pachmarhi in case of the water problem in the area.
|Munmun, in the backdrop the beautiful lake and sunset|
Now it was time for our last but most awaiting sight i.e. Sunset point of the day. As always rising sun and setting sun generates the magic with the help of sky, but in mountains that enigmatic beauty multiplies to manifolds due to support of these hills. We waited patiently for the sun to go down behind the mountains. It moved slowly and intently. As if it was telling us that it is not the end but the preparation of better tomorrow.We sat for some more time to salute the surroundings to give us the joyous day.
|Sunset point at Pachmarhi|
Pappu dropped us back to our hotel room. We enjoyed the dinner at Hotel Highland. It was tasty and fabulous. Mr. Jeet and another friend were our guests of honor today. After seeing off our guests, we retired to our room, to get ready for another fun-filled day that included a trek to waterfall from Jungles.