Tuesday 10 May 2016

Summer 2016

The schools are finally closed and we decided to do another road trip. For some reason, there were no grand ideas this year so we decided to drive up to grandparents' house and take a small detour to Panchmari on the way.

We started early morning with the target of stopping in Nagpur.
5:00 AM Started from home, straight on Hyderabad road
6:00 AM Stopped at Kamat Upachar, it was barely open. Had quick breakfast and continued
8:40 AM Stopped at Bluemoon Food court near Anantapur. I have started preferring this place for stoppage because it has decent food, accepts credit card and had clean facilities.
12:15 PM Got on to Hyderabad Ring Road.
12:50 PM Exited ORR, back on Nagpur Road.
1:10 PM There are not many decent lunch places once you cross Hyderabad. Stopped at a very small eatery for Lunch.
3:00 PM Crossed Nizamabad
3:40 PM Crossed Nirmal
4:20 PM Crossed Adilabad
5:55 PM Crossed Hinganghat. The stretch of road at Telangana-Maharashtra border is still in the same shape, drivable but not great.
7:00 PM Reached hotel in Nagpur.

9:00 AM Started from the hotel towards Panchmarhi. Got on to Chhindwara Road. The road is good, not four-laned but surfaced is good and not very heavy traffic.
9:50 AM Crossed Savner
10:45 AM Crossed Chhindwara
12:00 PM Entered the national park Ghat section. This section is picturesque and fun to drive. 
1:15 PM Reached the Matkul, left turn to Panchmarhi, right turn to Bhopal.
2:00 PM Reached hotel in Panchmarhi. I stayed at WelcomHeritage Golf View. Here is my review of the hotel.
The rest of the evening was spent in relaxing.

Pachmarhi is best travelled by booking one of the Gypseys. There are many areas where one needs forest permit to venture and these guys take care of it. I had booked a Gypsey through the hotel. The price was Rs. 1250 per day. I found it worth it.

Jata Shankar Caves
The first stop of the day was Jata Shankar Caves. Legend has it that Lord Shiva hid in the cave here when Bhasmasur went after him to kill him. There are many rocks here which are carved in the different form because of river flow. A local guide would tell interesting stories about these caves.

Hill looking like Elephant's Trunk

Bee Falls
The next stop was Bee Falls. This fall is interesting because at the bottom of the fall the water is not very deep and because of that one can safely take a shower there.  There are vendors selling tea and maggi. It is a two-kilometer trek down. There are stairs to take you down.

Adventure Sports
Near the airstrip some adventure sports are available. When we reached, the wind speed was very high so para sailing was closed, but we did zip lining.

The next place that visited was Reechgarh. It is another set of caves which have been made popular  by shooting of some movies.

Dhoopgarh, Sunset point or Rajendra giri. Nice place to see sunset. The sunset itself was not great but it a good place to visit and it offers a panoramic view of Panchmarhi.

This was the end of day one. We drove back to the hotel.
We started the next day after the breakfast.
Pandav Caves 
We started the day with Pandav Caves. Originally it was planned on the day 1 but because of too many bees, we postponed to the second day. It is an interesting place with a legend that Pandavas stayed here during their Agyatwas.

Handi Khoh or Suicide Point
Every hill station seems to have a suicide point. It almost looks like when in hilly area, people want to die by jumping down the hills. We visited this place. There is nothing much here except the view. There are couple of enterprising guys who have set up telescopes here and you can see details of ropes that are used by tribals to climb and chauragarh temple.

There are two Shiva temples next to each other. One is called Chota Mahadeo (Small Shiva) and Bada Mahadeo. You can go into chota mahadeo through a narrow space in the hill. I found it to be too risky and did not go inside the temple.

Bada Mahadeo is a bigger temple, with a continuous water supply on shiv linga. 

Adventure Sports again
Since we had some time on our hand, we went to adventure sports place again to try our hand at Parasailing. It is always an interesting experince to fly.

There is a institute where one can see the details of Silk process. There is a shop on premises where one can buy silk clothes.
That pretty much concluded our itinerary in Pachmarhi. We stopped at a tea shop in main market and after waiting for half an hour we left the place because the guys just couldn't serve us tea in that much time.
We planned on leaving Pachmarhi after breakfast. By the time we left, it was already 12 PM.
1:30 PM Stopped at MP tourism hotel in Pipariya for Lunch.
We took the route via Bhojpur and reached Bhopal by 4:30 PM.
We had planned other excursions but due to unforeseen family medical issues, the trip pretty much ended here. We stayed in bhopal for next couple of weeks and half and then travelled back to Bengaluru.
Started from home at 06:00 AM.
6:30 AM Crossed Mandidip
6:45 AM Crossed Obaidullagunj
7:30 AM Crossed Hoshangabad
7:45 AM Crossed Itarsi
8:45 AM Crossed Shahpur, we stopped at a small tea/samosa shop for breakfast. There were no toilet facilities around.
9:20 AM Found Meghna Hotel and Restaurant on right side just before the four lane road starts. This is a decent place with good toilet facilities. We stopped here. Just after this hotel, the road improves drastically. It is a nice four laned tolled road.
10:00 AM Crossed Betul
10:25 AM Crossed Multai
11:20 AM Crossed Savner
12:00 PM Crossed Nagpur
1:00 PM Crossed Hinghanghat
1:30 PM Crossed Wadki
2:45 PM Crossed Adilabad
3:30 PM Stopped at Singh is King Dhaba just before Nirmal for Lunch
6:24 PM Stopped at Cafe Coffee Day at Nagulapally
7:40 PM Entered Hyderabad Outer Ring Road
8:10 PM Exited Hyderabad Outer Ring Road
8:45 PM Stopped at Hill Park Restaurant for Bio break.
11:00 PM Stopped at Delhi Punjabi Dhaba for dinner
3:40 AM Reached home.

Total trip distance was 3360 Kms. 

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