PatalKot - Chhindwara
The Patalkot valley is spread over an area of 79 km2. at an average height of 2750–3250 feet above Mean Sea Level from 22.24 to 22.29 ° North and 78.43 to 78.50 ° East. The valley is located at a distance of 78 km from Chhindwara in the North-West direction and 20 km from Tamia in the North-East Direction. ‘Doodhi’ river flows in the valley. This horse–shoe shaped valley is surrounded by hills and there are several pathways to reach the villages located inside the valley.The rocks are mostly by the Archaean era which are nearly 2500 million years and comprised with Granite gneiss, green schists, basic rocks, quartz with Gondwana sediments including conglomerate sandstone, shales and carbonaceous shales. The composite carbon on the rocks called Shilajit is also found on few patches in upper zones.
In recent years, the government has been trying to make Patalkot an eco-tourism destination. The monsoon season is a popular time for visitors, as it is a sheltered area. Tourism marketing focuses on the local nature and adivasi culture connections – though this may change with increased impact from tourism and outside pressures. Patalkot is known for retaining its original culture and customs for a long time. Until a few years back, it was a world in its own with no influence from outside. To reverse the process of deforestation and forest degradation by positioning in ecotourism as a joint product. The Patalkot model of ecotourism, with the involvement of indigenous communities, has demonstrated its operational deliverance, adaptive evolution capabilities as well as been recognized as a successful model with several elements for replication. It started in 2009 with the joint effort of the ‘Centre for Forestry Research’ and HRD Poama, District Administration and District Olympic Association in which 3000 tribal youth were trained in adventure activities like parasailing, paragliding, rock climbing, trekking, bird watching and water sports. Every year a festival called Satpuda Adventure sports festival is organised during the month of October.
This deep valley is situated on the way to Bhopal from Chhindwara. Patalkot is 78 km away from Chhindwara, on a diversion route towards Tamia. It can be reached through taxi from Chhindwara. There is no facility of accommodation in the valley, the nearest accommodation facility is in Tamia at the forest or PWD guest house.
How to Reach:
Chhindwara can be accessed by road or by rail. The nearest airport is at Nagpur and a number of flights are available between Nagpur and the other major airports of India. Chhindwara can also be accessed via Bhopal/ Jabalpur, which is also connected by air with other major cities of India. After arriving in Nagpur / Bhopal/ Jabalpur, one can reach Chhindwara by road or by rail only.
Chhindwara can be approached by road from Nagpur (distance 125 kms.), Jabalpur (distance 215 kms.) or Bhopal (distance 286 kms.). Taxis and buses are also readily available from these cities connecting Chhindwara town.