India on the Road

From Indore to Pachmarhi

4 JULY 2016,
Indore Temple
Indore Temple

Route: Indore – Dewas District (via Kannod, Khategaon) – Sehore District (Nasrullaganj) – Budni - Sohagpur – Pachmarhi.
Distance: 345 Kms.
Driving Time: 6.5 Hours.

Indore

Indore is an affluent looking town and a major textile manufacturing centre with plenty of houses and flats. The rivers Khan and Saraswati run through the city. From 1733 the town was ruled by the Holkar dynasty who were firm supporters of the British even at the time of the mutiny. The older part of the town is on the western side and the newer on the eastern side. In the old part of the town is the “Rajwada” or palace. The bustling bazaars with streets are crowded and picturesque with deep verandahs. The Manik Bagh to the south of the city and the Lal Bagh to the south west also have palaces. The “Chattris” or memorial tomb of the region’s former rulers are located on the banks of the river Khan. There is a cenotaph of Malhar Rao Holkar I, founder of the Holkar dynasty is the most impressive.

What to See:

Palaces, Chattris, Kanch Mandir, Museum, Gita Bhawan, Kazuri Market, Art Gallery, Bara Ganpati, Mahatma Gandhi Hall.

Where to Stay:

Indore has its share of quality hotels that offers comfortable accommodation like Fortune Landmark Hotel, Hotel President Planet, Hotel Kanchan, Hotel Crown Palace, Hotel Shreemaya, Surya Hotel, Sayaji Hotel, Shremaya Residency and Hotel Lemon Tree.

Where to Eat:

Nafees Restaurant (Tel: 0731-2563786), Hotel Tulsi (Tel: 0731-4070605), Uttambhog Restaurant (Tel: 0731- 2574458), Lehriya (Tel: 0731- 4096098), Nakharali Dhani (Tel: 0731-2856554), Apna Palace (Tel: 0731-2787941) are some of the most popular eating joints of Indore city.

What to Buy:

Wooden toys, gold and silver jewellery, embroidered clothes and sarees.

Dewas District (via Kannod, Khategaon):

As you leave behind the meandering alleyways and crowded streets of Indore, continue to drive along NH59A and at Teen Batti Choraha Road, take the 4th exit to Navalakha Road also on NH59A. After travelling a good 35 Kms. you enter the district of Dewas via miniscule towns like Kannod and Khategaon.

Notes on Dewas District:
Historically the district of Dewas is very important and it has played a significant role during India’s independence struggle viz-a-viz Thakur Dowlat Singh of erstwhile Raghogarh who faced the might of the Britishers with great bravado and valor. Ultimately he was hanged to death at the Guna Cantonment. History aside, the Tropic of Cancer passes through the district of Dewas at Nemawar village, located in close proximity to the panchayat town of Khategaon. Culturally too, the district is very significant and is home to Ustad Alladuddin Khan Sangeet Academy and the Kumar Gandharva Sangeet Academy organize regular classical music recitals and workshops on Indian classical music. Places worth visiting in Dewas district are the Khivni Wildlife Sanctuary, Kavadia Hills, Pawar Chattries, Gidya Khoh, Dewas Gates ( Sayaji, Pathan Kuan, Nahar Darwaza and sukhrawaria gates).

Kannod

Kannod is a typical Nagar Panchyat town and is ideally located at an elevation of 1164 feet above sea level. Of late Kannod has become very popular as a trekking destination with the Kheoni Wildlife Sanctuary luring the avid trekkers for truly rewarding trek and haunting wilderness.

Where to Eat:

Being a miniscule panchayat town of Madhya Pradesh, Kannod may not have the Café Coffee Day outlet or the Nirulas. But rest assured of wholesome Indian vegetarian fare in the town’s roadside eating joints.

What to Buy:

Indegenously manufactured carpets and sofa set covers.

Khategaon

The quaint town of Khategaon too is located in the district of Dewas and is a Nagar Pallika. It is the principal agriculture zone of Madhya Pradesh. The shimmering Narmada river passes through the town.

Where to Eat:

Roadside eateries that serve piping hot tea and wholesome Indian vegetarian fare.

What to Buy:

Local handicraft items like wooden toys and embroidered fabrics.

Sehore District (Nasrullaganj):

Go to the left on SH22 and after travelling a distance of 42 Kms. you enter the district of Sehore via Nasrullaganj, which is a Nagar Panchayat located on Sehore District.

Notes on Sehore District:
The District of Sehore is ideally located at a distance of 39 Kms. from the state capital Bhopal on the Bhopal-Indore highway at an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level. Sehore is bounded by by as many as seven districts viz-a-viz Bhopal, Raisen, Hoshangabad, Dewas, Shajapur, Rajgarh, and Harda. The intricate lacquer bangles of Sehore are a speciality of the tribal people domiciled in this district. Tribes like the Gonds and the Bhiala Nad Korkus have been living in this part of the world for ages and they lead a fascinating life, rich in their own unique culture, tradition and heritage. The traditional Bhavai dance of these tribes offers the outside world with an opportunity to have a peek into their truly exotic lifestyle. In tribal area of Sehore Apart from the Bhavai dance, the Bagoria dance, replete with energetic drum beating , is routinely performed during the Holi festival. This dance is one great opportunity for tribal girls and boys to elope and marry.

What to Buy:

Tribal handicrafts and lacquer bangles.

Where to Eat:

Traditional M.P. vegetarian fare available at roadside eating joints or “Dhabas”.

Budni

From Nasrullaganj, drive upfront on SH22 and after traversing 23 Kms. you will come across the town of Budni, which has made a mark as a much preferred Rural Tourism destination in Madhya Pradesh’s tourism landscape. It is ideally located on the banks of the shimmering River Narmada and the best part of the town is that the majority of the population of Budni belong to the Vishwakarma tribe, renowned for their wizardry with wood craft. Budni is also within driving distance to other tourist sites like Bhimbetka, Bhojpur, Salkanpur, Delabadi, Madhai and Pachmari, all of which makes Budni a great place to lay anchor for the discerning travelers.

Where to Stay:

Homestay accommodation at Budni Woods Rural Tourism Zone.
Phone: +91-755-4270989
Fax: +91-755-4270989

What to See:

River Narmada Parikrama, excursions to Ginnorgarh and Adamgarh.

What to Buy:

Tribal wooden toys.

Sohagpur

Leaving the serene landscape of Budni, drive upfront on SH22. Travel 1 Km. and take the 2 nd Right onto SH22 and continue driving for a good 12 Kms. via Hoshangabad and a further 37 Kms. ahead lies Sohagpur. Sohagpur basically is a Nagar Panchayat and comes under the jurisdiction of Hoshangabad district. The town’s only call to fame is due largely to the fact that it used to be the headquarters of the erstwhile Gondvana state, ruled by a prince called Nawab Kavi Jaffar Alvi during the rule of the British Raj.

What to See:

Madai Wildlife Sanctuary.

Pachmarhi

From Sohagpur, it is matter of driving another 68 Kms. all the way to your ultimate destination – Pachmarhi and the journey takes around 1.5 hours. Continue your drive along SH19 via Pipariya and finally enter Pachmarhi. Pachmarhi at an altitude which is all of 1100 meters is the only hill station of Madhya Pradesh. This fabulous mountain town is ideally nestled on the impressive Satpura mountain range. Innumerable mountain streams cascade down creating a truly kaleidoscopic vignette. Pachmarhi is renowned for its pre-historic caves. This charming hill station was discovered by Captain J.Forsyth while he was out searching for rebels of the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857. In 1862, Captain Forsyth came back again to Pachmarhi along with his team of surveyors to chalk out a blue print for a sanatorium here and the rest is history. The forest around Pachmarhi is home to many rare varieties of plants. UNESCO has conferred the distinction of a “Biosphere Reserve” to Pachmarhi Park in the year 2009.

Where to Stay & Eat:

Amaltas (Tel: 07578-252098), Champak Bungalow (Tel: 07578-252801), Glen View (Tel: 07578-252533), Hilltop Bungalow (Tel:07578-252846), Hotel Highlands (Tel:07578-252099), Panchavati (Tel:07578-252096), Rock End Manor (07578-252079), Satpura Retreat (Tel: 07578-252097), Woodland Bungalow (Tel: 07578-252272). It terms of outside restaurants, there is Khalsa which is below the market renowned for its Punjabi cuisine. For the vegetarian freak, one great option is Mriganayani at Gandhi Chowk. One can also drop in at MPTDC run China Bowl for noveau international cuisines.

What to See:

Waterfalls, Pandav Caves, Bada Mahadev, Gupt Mahadev, Chauragarh, Deep Valley, Fairy Pool, Pansy Pool, Picadilly Circus, Patharchatta, Crump’s Crag, Lady Robertson’s View, Colletin Crag, Mount Rosa.

What to Buy:

Jute and Marble decorative items, tribal paintings, locally produced honey.