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Visiting the Scenic Chikhaldara Hill Station

Nestled in the Satpura mountain range, Chikhaldara is a lesser-known hill station in Maharashtra that offers a peaceful retreat into nature. As an avid traveler always seeking offbeat destinations, I decided to visit Chikhaldara Hill Station for a quiet weekend getaway.

In this article, I will share my first-hand experience of touring its verdant beauty, landscapes, and attractions.

Let's Explore Chikhaldara

Chikhaldara gets its name from "Keechaka-lalara," referring to the prolific bamboo vegetation (keechan means bamboo) dotting the hill slopes. Located at an altitude of 1118 meters in the Amravati district, the tiny hill station witnessed my solo exploration recently.

And I was left spellbound.

chikhaldara hill station

Why Visit Chikhaldara

Before embarking on my journey, I scoured blogs and travel magazines to learn more about Chikhaldara. Two phrases tagged frequently with it grabbed my attention - 'abundance of flora and fauna' and 'unexploited offbeat destination.' As an amateur photographer and nature lover, these were enough reasons for me to book my tickets.

And indeed Chikhaldara offered plentiful sights to behold. Dense forests, misty valleys, gushing waterfalls, and lakes - all in pristine environs devoid of the summer tourist rush - made me an instant fan.

I would strongly recommend visiting Chikhaldara if you:

  • Cherish walking through untouched nature trails

  • Are you an avid birdwatcher or wildlife photographer

  • Seek secluded spots from commercialized mainstream hill stations

  • Wish to discover uncharted territories

Do keep travel essentials and gear ready to fully embrace everything this underrated beauty presents.


Reaching Chikhaldara

I boarded an overnight bus from Nagpur to Chikhaldara. The roads are decent till Amravati town, after which it gets bumpy and curvy. Nonetheless, I reached by dawn to behold an ethereal sunrise above mountains blanketed in mist.

Other means to reach:

  • Hire a taxi from Nagpur (230 km) or Amravati (90 km)

  • Take a train to Paratwada and arrange a further commute

The drive through dense forests while approaching made me sense an exhilarating vacation ahead.

What I Explored

I had only two days for my wooded escapade. So based on recommendations from locals and tourists, I crafted an itinerary covering these attractions:

Lakes

The hill station is home to numerous lakes that proffer picture-perfect scenes. I began with Bharti Lake, encircled by lush green hills. One can enjoy boating or a nature trail walk along its banks dotted with colorful flowers.

Next, I headed to the very famous Hurricane Point, the highest point in Chikhaldara perched atop a cliff. The strong gushing winds literally gave me a 'blow'. The vistas of hills and lakes around made it worthwhile.


Shakkar Lake was next which offered stunning views of the surrounding scenic valley. Its pristine environs made me linger for longer to soak in the sights and capture more photos.

Waterfalls

The Bhambar Waterfalls cascading from great heights into a pool make for a pretty picnic spot and photography haven. There are provisions for overnight camping too near it to stargaze into clear skies at night.

I also drove to Semadoh Lake, renowned for boating with a "Seven Waterfalls" trail nearby. It would make you go wow like it did for me.

Wildlife & Activities

The Melghat Tiger Reserve is a prime attraction to spot rich fauna like tigers, leopards, sloth bears, wild dogs, etc. However, I could only spot some deer and birds this time due to the scarcity of time.

For adventure junkies, Chikhaldhara offers exciting stuff like treks to Kandakoor, Gavilgarh forts or just walking through the many jungle trails immersing into raw nature. One may also enjoy camping, rappelling, bird watching, or angling in the Shakkar Water Reservoir.

On my last day, I chose to laze on the banks of the Venna Lake soaking peaceful vibes before heading back with my soul rejuvenated.


What Could Be Better

While there were ample positives, I did take note of a few points that dampened my experience a bit:

  • The packed itinerary left me yearning for more. Need flexible long-duration stay options now.

  • Spotty mobile networks made navigation slightly tough sometimes

  • Limited stay and eating joints compel one to scramble for basic facilities

However, focused development preserving ecology is crucial as mass tourism may erode away the offbeat charm of Chikhaldara's natural beauty and serenity.

Why It Appeals as an Offbeat Destination

Despite housing astounding natural sights, Chikhaldara receives limited tourists making it devoid of peak season rush or noise. Hence you are greeted with pristine environs, cordial hospitality of locals, and no hassles in enjoying the offerings to heart's content.

Its unblemished, unhurried aura provides a much-required calmness to weary souls. Chikhaldara's splendid isolation kept surprising me with something new around the next corner. And such an exploratory spirit is what the hill station silently beckons to experience.

For anyone bitten by the nature bug or seeking secluded tranquil gateways blending leisure with discovery, Chikhaldara emerges a hands-down winner.


Final Thoughts

My weekend sojourn through Chikhaldara's wooded environs made me collate beautiful memories and bond more with Mother Nature. The sights enchanted me while the eco-friendly relaxed vibes worked like a balm for my urban-fatigued senses.

I sincerely hope that while Chikhaldara evolves further as an offbeat destination, factors like sustaining ecological balance and retaining the essence of native cultures receive equal importance. Sensitive tourism can ensure the two goals are pursued harmoniously.

As for me, I am already planning to revisit and explore those remaining treasures being hidden in dense forests, meandering lakes, and cascading falls. The tryst will continue.

So pack your bags to visit Chikhaldara whenever you need an intimate nature retreat garnished with discovery and adventure.

Let the wooded magic and tranquility cast a lasting spell on you too.

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