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March 27, 2013

Fav Travels - Panchmari 2002

I have been to places and places and I have yet so much to see.

Panchmari however in that cold monsoon day however remains a great memory. Clouds had completely enveloped the entire landscape from Hoshangabad to the hill station that is Panchmari. The forests were in a shade of dense green and the air was crystal clean. Clouds had covered everything and we did not get to see any of the famed peaks surrounding the plateau.

However, it was a gorge hopping holiday. With clouds covering most views, all we could get were tantalising views of the ravines and gorges. Every step was steeped in fear of the unknown and of the impact one has upon falling for several hundred feet. We spent two days zipping through the mist laden plateau and interspersed with the army's presence, it was a reassuring thought that Panchmari may never go the standard tourist's way, with garish hotels and fancy picnic spots. The army and the police combined with the biggest landlord of India, the forest department will make sure that this small town remains the way it is.

That memory was back then. Dhoopgarh, the highest point in Central India, offered brief glimpses of the vastness of the Satpura hills wherever the mist opened, Priadarshini offered spectacular views of one of the many gorge that abounds here, we were truly mesmerised by the powerful force of Lord Shiva whose image is the single defining religious presence in the town, the old lady's song, evocative of her love for the lord and forests all around. Panchmari 2002 was an eyeopener tot he forests of the world around us.