Pachmarhi Utsav – A Culturally Rich Extravaganza
Aptly known as ‘Satpura ki Rani’ or the ‘Queen of Satpura’, Pachmarhi is the only hill station and the highest point in Madhya Pradesh. Situated at an altitude of 1,067 meters, the picturesque town is a part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and home to leopards and bison. Pachmarhi houses five sandstone caves on the hilltop, these are believed to be the spot where Pandavas stayed during their exile. These caves attract tourists from all over the country owing to their religious and historical significance. These caves are surrounded by bewitching forests that provide absolutely stunning views. Perched at a height, the caves boast of lush greenery around them. It is the perfect place to spend some amazing moments in the lap of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life. Pachmarhi is the perfect weekend getaway for you if want to spend a beautiful holiday amid idyllic surroundings.
Pachmarhi is quiet, beautiful, tranquil, and serene. And if you come here during the Pachmarhi Utsav, you will get to experience the various hues and colors of the hill-station. The festivals in Pachmarhi are celebrated with great show and enthusiasm, and you will see the entire place drenched in colors.
About Pachmarhi Utsav
Pachmarhi is considered to be the most verdant jewel of the State of Madhya Pradesh. At Pachmarhi, nature has found superb expression in countless enchanting ways. Green hues that embrace the mountains, the gentle murmur of flowing water – all come together to make this place a natural beauty. Complementing this natural splendor are some man made wonders; Pachmarhi is a famous archaeological treasure-house too. It is at this place blessed by nature in abundance that Pachmarhi Utsava takes place. Pachmarhi offers a wide range of Indian Folk Arts’ presentations to enthrall the audience. Pachmarhi Utsava of Pachmarhi is a six-day festival held annually every year. This event starts from December 25 and ends after ushering in the New Year. The New Year bonanza features a bouquet of cultural programs and art performances.
Pachmarhi Utsava at Pachmarhi hosts exhibitions and craft fairs besides some fascinating art performances. Cultural evenings are arranged every day of this Pachmarhi Utsav that features artists of national as well as international repute. A majority of these programs showcase the folk arts of the country, thereby playing an important part in preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage. Several stalls are put up to display and sell products of the able artisans who are sponsored by the Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation.
You will find many food stalls too at Pachmarhi Utsava in Pachmarhi that offer an assortment of delicacies to the visitors. The display, as well as the sale of saris, dress material, carpets, bamboo crafts, durries and woolens produced by various self-help groups besides papad, pickles, bari, sauces, etc, serve as an added attraction to people coming here. Pachmarhi explodes with colors during this wonderful festival. During the Pachmarhi Utsav, you can not only enjoy the various cultural performances but also shop local souvenirs to your heart’s content.
If you are visiting Pachmarhi during the Pachmarhi Utsav, you will see the hill-station decked up in myriad colors. Surrounded by the Satpuras, this hilly destination receives visitors from all over the state and country. It is at a distance of about 205 km from Bhopal – the state capital of Madhya Pradesh and is easily accessible by car through a 5 hour long journey. The mela grounds come to life with the buzzing vitality of the people. With colorful stalls and busy food stations, the entertainment venue of the Pachmarhi Utsav attracts people from all over the state. Local handicrafts (often made from natural materials sourced locally) are sold here. Visit the stalls that stock local handicrafts, browse the many organically sourced products on display and sale. From bamboo craft to ‘durries’, carpets to woolens, metal artifacts to tribal work, pickles to ‘papads’ – there is a variety of fare available in the stalls. Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation participates in the Pachmarhi Utsav to empower artisans and craftsmen.
After touring the mela grounds, you can pay a visit to the majestic Bee Falls. Bee Falls nestled in Pachmarhi is one of the most beautiful and popular falls here. Surrounded by ‘sal’ trees, it is located in a dense part of the forest. The Bee Falls also supply drinking water to the whole of Pachmarhi. It is a short trek in the woods to the falls, and because of its picturesque surroundings, it is a popular picnic spot for the locals. These falls, surrounded by lush green foliage, are a revered source of sustenance.
The evenings at the Pachmarhi Utsav are marked with festive enjoyment, music, and dances. This year, the festival will be held from 25th December to 30th December. You will find that there are many cultural programs held at the Utsav grounds. Indian folk art is encouraged and showcased here. Dance performances and musical recitals are held every evening. Artists from the region and also visiting performers from all over the country take part in the cultural festivities. The rich artistic heritage of Pachmarhi and its intrinsic relationship with nature are showcased during the Pachmarhi Utsav. Various exhibitions are also held to showcase local art and culture. Promoted by the Tourism Ministry of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, this hilly retreat sees a lot of footfall during the Pachmarhi Utsav. Since Pachmarhi is a small hill-station, you will find it easy to get around and reach the mela grounds from your hotel at Pachmarhi.
The Pachmarhi Utsav is a celebration of art and artists and is attended by many famed national and international names from the world of art. You can attend various demonstrations, workshops, and exhibitions here that will throw some light on the artistic fervor of the state. Pachmarhi, during the Pachmarhi festival, experiences cool and pleasant weather. Starting on 25th December, the festival lasts for 6 days and ends on New Year’s Day. This gem of an event is rarely known in tourist circles which is a shame. Families, couples, art enthusiasts and curious travelers need to visit it and be amazed!
Instead of splurging on raucous parties and expensive New Year celebrations, travelers can visit Pachmarhi to celebrate Christmas and New Year in this quaint, cool town which hosts art, dance, and music performances. Tourists can sit under the open starry night and enjoy cultural programs. Food stalls are available across the town serving local and regional delicacies. The ‘chaat’ of Madhya Pradesh is a dish you definitely must try! Artists can showcase their art and craft in museums and exhibitions for viewers to savor. There are many lodges, restaurants, and hotels for tourists to choose from. Expect clean, basic rooms with simple amenities. Attending the Pachmarhi Utsav is a unique and special way to connect with the culture and art of India. The Pachmarhi Utsav also makes for an offbeat and interesting holiday!
Places to Visit in Pachmarhi
While you are enjoying the mesmerizing Pachmarhi Utsav in Pachmarhi, you should pay a visit to the local attractions around. Some of the most sought-after places in Pachmarhi are-
1. Jata Shankar Caves
The Jata Shankar Caves in Pachmarhi are considered sacred as they are popularly believed to be the place where Lord Shiva concealed himself from the wrath of Bhasmasur. The caves boast of a natural Shiva Lingam under the shadow of a massive rock and stone formation in the cave closely resemble the mythological hundred-headed snake Seshnag. The rock formation in the caves resemble Lord Shiva’s matted hair, hence the name. These caves are a must-visit for devotees.
2. Pandava Caves
As mentioned in this article above, Pandavas, during their exile are believed to have rested at a spot in Pachmarhi. The Pandava caves are the caves that housed the Pandavas during their exile period. It is now a protected monument and tourists flock from all over India to see this place. These 5 caves also became a shelter to some Buddhist monks in 1st century AD and thereafter it is considered to be religious by Buddhists as well.
The highest point in the Satpura range, Dhoopgarh hilltop is a beautiful spot to see marvelous sunsets and sunrises. However, this point can only be reached by trekking. The trekking route is relatively tough as it passes through some waterfalls and valleys. You will have a great time here if you are a trekking-enthusiast! So if you love trekking and the outdoors, you should plan a trip to Pachgarhi and pack your trekking shoes.
4. Handi Khoh
Handi Khoh is one of the most beautiful ravines in entire Central India. It has a 300 feet high precipice in the middle of a dense forest. The place is not only picturesque but also has a mythological history attached to it. It is closely associated with Lord Shiva and attracts devotees from all over the state. It is believed that Handi Khoh was earlier a lake. An evil devilish snake, which was guarding the lake was annihilated by Lord Shiva and the fury of the battle dried up the entire lake and space took the shape of a handi(pot). Handi Khoh is famous for its quaint serenity and its old-world charm.
Pachmarhi is a place filled with surprises. Pachmarhi Utsav is a great occasion to celebrate the culture of this beautiful hill station. You should attend it to experience it.
Hey! I'm Gauri. Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice. An engineer turned writer. Loves animals tolerate humans. Has a thing for pizza and old books. Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.
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