Covering a 524 square kilometer area in the Hoshangabad District of the Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, the terrain of the Satpura National Park is extremely rugged and consists of sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, ravines and dense forests. Located within the unique Central Indian Highland eco-system, it is a very beautiful expression of nature. Ranging between altitudes from 300 meters 1352 meters comprising of deep valleys, high mountains, a network of rivulets, waterfalls and the vast water reservoir at Tawa, this Park embraces a pleasant weather throughout the year.
However, January to June is the best time to be here when wildlife sightings near the water-bodies of the Park are most common. This stunning bio-diversity exhibits over 1300 species of plants which include numerous rare bryophytes and pteridophytes. Sal and Teak forests are abundant here, along with a rampant and unchecked growth of Lantana which is an eyesore invading the meadows and valleys of the Satpura National Park.
These areas are containing a vast variety of wildlife which includes 50 species of mammals, 30 species of reptiles and 254 bird species. The Bengal Tiger, Gaur, leopard, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Chital, Barking Deer, Indian Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, Nilgai, Hyena, Wild Dog, Smooth Otter, Rhesus Monkey, Langur, Pangolin, Porcupine, Four Horned Antelope, Ratel and Marsh Crocodiles are easily sighted and most often. An interesting and large variety of birdlife includes the Malabar Pied Hornbills, Crested Serpent Eagles, Crested Hawk Eagles, Honey Buzzards, Paradise Flycatchers, Pittas, Thrushes, Peafowl and Pheasants.
The nearest Airport is Bhopal at a distance of 200 kilometers, followed by Nagpur Airport which is 255 kilometers away. Pipariya is the nearest Rail-Head on the Mumbai-Howrah main route rail-line, which is at a distance of 42 kilometers from Pachmarhi. The Satpura National Park is well connected through a roadways network with major cities like Bhopal, Jabalpur, Chhindwara and Nagpur in this region.
Those who are not the spiritual kind could even enjoy a wondrous trek in Pachmarhi. Starting off from the famed Pandav Caves right up to Dhoopgarh; trekking in Pachmarhi would acquaint you of the serene scapes of the Satpura Range. The Pandav Caves are said to have nestled the five Pandav brothers (heroes of the of World's longest epic, the Mahabharat) during their exile. In fact Pachmarhi has been named after these five caves. Enjoy the panoramas of wooded hills, span deep gorges and the impressive sight of the Big Falls. Trek up to the falls to watch the stream fall across a deep gorge while you soak in some sun.
You could even venture out to explore the Fairy Pool (aka ApsaraVihar) which apparently was a favorite picnic spot with the British. Your spirituality and faith would not be questioned in case you take the road leading to Jata Shankar. The sacred caves have intriguing shapes of crocodiles and Shivlings caused due to geological forces and dripping water. But the highest point in Pachmarhi is Dhoopgarh. At 1, 350 m above sea level you can witness the spectacle of sunset over the hills of Pachmarhi. For most people this is an unforgettable finale to their visit to this hill station.
It is the closest town and a hill station near the Satpura National Park. It is a small place with most of the area under the control of the Indian Army, and where most civilians are found to reside near the tip of a lake. It has a bazaar, some hotels & a movie hall. Pachmarhi is a favorite tourist retreat during the Diwali & Winter seasons, when many tourists like to visit this place. There are a number of interesting places around this town to be seen, and an abundance of wildlife which makes Panther sightings at the edges of the town very common.