Maharashtra’s strategic location makes its travellers spoiled for choices when it comes to exploring a destination nearby. From exotic Goa to luxurious Karnataka, and the mystical Madhya Pradesh, there is everything that a travel lover could ask for when it comes to a quick getaway outside Maharashtra. Take Satpura National Park for instance. For travellers from Nagpur, the park is at a quick drive and makes for a very interesting journey. When you visit such a fascinating locale, it becomes all the more interesting when you drive through the roads that lead you there, rather than getting lost in the obscurity of railroads or an overnight bus ride.
Here’s a handy guide to have the ultimate road trip from Nagpur to Satpura.
How to travel
While road trips essentially meant taking your vehicle and driving through the challenging highways, the practice now is taking a backseat with so many options available at our disposal. Now, you can easily opt for a car rental and have the same driving experience, perhaps even better. Easily affordable and available, you can avail licensed and reliable car rentals in Nagpur for your journey. And the best part? Most of these rentals come with complete tour packages, which allow you to customize your itinerary and keep the vehicle throughout your trip. You can stop anywhere, just as you would in your vehicle. With a car rental, you can make your road trip fun, exciting, and most importantly, hassle-free.
Satpura National Park is located approximately 251 KM from Nagpur city and takes a minimum of five hours. If you are going to make pit stops en route, then the travel time will extend accordingly. But what’s the fun of a road trip if you don’t get to see what lies on your way?
Places to see on your way
The road from Nagpur to Satpura passes through the countryside of Maharashtra and then merges into the hinterlands of Madhya Pradesh before you hit Chhindwara. As you sit back and enjoy the views of the passing landscape, you will see the distinctive transition from the greener shades of Maharashtra to the tawny hues of the plateau region, before you delve into the lush enclaves of Satpura. On your way, you can make stops at these places –
The first major town between Nagpur and Satpura, Chhindwara makes for an interesting stopover. Also called the ‘Corn city’ of India, Chhindwara is home to the famous Pench National Park, among other fascinating locales of Madhya Pradesh. From hills and forests to temples, forts, museums, and much more, the town will let you savor a lot of the state’s natural treasures. Since you are going to take a break, you should also halt to sample the delectable local cuisine. Devgarh Fort, Pataleshwara Temple, Shrishti Mata Mandir, and Tribal Museum, are some of the popular things to see around the town. You can also plan an independent trip to Chhindwara, instead of making it part of a road trip. Book a cab from Nagpur to Chhindwara with Savaari and spend some time in this ancient town.
But the highlight of this district is the mysterious site of Patalkot, which deserves exclusive mention.
On your way to Satpura, allow yourself a dose of mystery at Patalkot. As the name suggests, this site remains hidden from mainstream tourism. Mostly frequented by explorers and backpackers, this mystical valley is a horseshoe-shaped enclosure that houses small tribal villages of Gonds and Bharias. Surrounded by dense forests, the villagers sustain themselves on the local produce and medicinal plants and herbs from the woodlands. There are no roadways for vehicles and you need to walk through the labyrinth of narrow paths that connect the villages with the forests. The Doodhi River, cuts through a deep gorge on the surrounding hills, making for a delightful sight, especially during and after the rains. The area is a hub of outdoor adventures like trekking and camping, along with exposure to the tribal communities. If you are spending a day or two here, you can engage in zorbing, rappelling, river crossing, zipline, and rock climbing. There are camping grounds where you can stay overnight and absorb the vibe in its entirety.
Your next major stop before you enter the national park will be at Panchmarhi. Bordered by the Satpura Mountain Range, this quaint town sits at an elevation of 1067 meters and is the only hill station of central India. With its stunning natural beauty, contributed by torrential cascades, craggy hills, and cliffs, and dense forests of sal and teak, Panchmarhi is truly the ‘Queen of Satpuras’. The highest point of the town is Dhupgarh, at 1352 meters. Stop by or take a drive around the town for a peek into its treasures.
The Deccan Plateau is perhaps the most fascinating feature of India’s topography and dominates the heart of India’s landscape. And only when you travel at your own pace, through every significant location, you can discover the same.