A page from the history and a gem for a diehard romantic traveler Chikhadara is one such place which lost its existence amongst the more commercial hubs promoted by beeline travelers. I wonder how many of us have even heard about the unbelievably beautiful small hill station which sits prettily in Satpura range.
The place features in epic of the Mahabharata. Bheema killed the villainous Keechaka and then threw him into the valley and washed his feet here at Chikhaldara. It thus came to be known as Keechakadara and later became Chikhaldara. But that is not all; it’s the greenest area in Vidharbha otherwise known for its droughts and farmers’ suicides. The vast expanse of meadows reminds you of English countryside. No wonder it was discovered by Captain Robinson of the Hyderabad Regiment in 1823. The Englishmen must have felt at home here with the lush green meadows surrounded by misty mountains. The undulating paths are so inviting that even a lame would be tempted to set out for an indefinite stroll onto the serpentine pathways. It’s that kind of countryside that must have inspired poets like Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley. When the leaves fall in September/October, one is reminded of autumn in England. There was even a proposal to make it
the seat of the Government of India during British Rule. How it lost its glory later is astonishing.
The sole hill resort in the Vidarbha region, it is situated at an altitude of 1118 m with highest
Vairat point 1188m and has the added dimension of being the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra. Chikhaldara has an annual rainfall of 154cm. Temperature varies from 39C in summer to 5C in winter. Best months to visit are from October to June. It abounds in wildlife too and there is a famous wildlife reserve called Melghat Tiger reserve with an encouraging population of 82 tigers.
The tourist points are Hurricane Point, Prospect Point, and Devi Point. There is also a tribal museum and a Lake. But the beauty lies in just breathing in the greenery. Only about 231.1 k.ms from Nagpur, which is also the nearest airport, it takes just about 5 hours to reach there by road. Roads are excellent, barring few patches which would not hurt a habitual Indian motorist.
The only diffidence would be the place to stay. There are very limited choices and the best is also below average. But I would trade that discomfort for the untradeable experience. You may not be as lucky as to visit English countryside but what the hell! Go visit Chikhaldara, we are a free country with places more precious and beautiful than Kohinoor.