Home > Indore getaway, Travel > Patal Pani – a pleasing waterfall

Patal Pani – a pleasing waterfall

1 Aug 2006: The monsoons have enriched our environs. After an early morning class, 3 of us decide to go to Patal Pani on a whim. The clouds are out and it rains often. That only adds to the delight. Well, a bike trip in the rains is the most pleasing to the senses. We go to Mhow. In spite of going there so many times, we get lost. The newness of a familiar place! We ask a dozen people and end up on the other side of the rail track – an alternative road to Patal Pani. Last year, we had gone via Kothariya. My natural instincts prick up and we prefer to explore the new route. What a tragedy it proved to be!

We struggle past the slushy routes. We are immensely relieved when we reach the silver falls without any mishaps. The green meadows, the grazing cows, the missing crowds and the gushing waters make up a great sight. Here are our pictures. You have to see them. Maybe, I shall experiment with a photopost. Determined to go all the way down, we discover the route. We are the only souls at the bottom. The pond is muddy and we could not enjoy a refreshing dip sadly. The climb back up is tiring. One of us has hurt his feet and we decide to turn back, though I wish we could walk through the railway track past the tunnel and find some more spots of rare beauty. Thus ends another sweet little trip. Here’s what I have written last year.

14 Aug 2005. We plan to go to Mandu, the mood of the monsoons. I am raring to see the most secure fort of medieval India. Early after breakfast, I am disappointed after none of the other guys turn up to join me. I sulk to myself and resign myself to a boring Sunday, with no classes, no quizzes and innumberable group assignments to be submitted after that rare holiday for our 59th Independence Day. My wanderlust gradually increases till I agree to appease it by going to Patal Pani, about 20km away. It is tough to find company,as every one is skeptic. Luckily, Ateesh my good friend and wingmate is more than willing to come with me and accomodate my passion for travel.

Just the two of us and my Splendor to take us, we start soon after lunch. We borrow Anupam’s camera. Our first stop is Mhow with its military academy. Here we get directions to Patal Pani. There seem to be a few routes to this place. We are told to go through the ‘mandi’. We go past the Mhow railway station, an interesting place in its own right. We ask good-mannered Malwa folks frequently. Kodhariya is the village we pass through. 5km after Mhow, the roads are worse and after the monsoons, I should not expect any better. There is an ashram which signals the end of the nice life. Bumpy roads give us company till the water fall. We spot big pumpkins being loaded to trucks and capture ourselves for eternity. ‘The Pumpkin Bikers’? We take the wrong straight road, before we ask again and find ourselves on the right road after a tamarind tree (imli ka ped). This stretch is definitely not in any classification of proper roads and we wonder how long the stretch would be. My bike sounds out strange and later I realise all the jerks have sent out two screws into the wild. I won’t be able to lock my precious love for the next two days.

The sights are beautiful and we stop to snap ourselves again in the green to the others going green. There are a few cars going before us and we know we are on the right road. Patal Pani appears in our sights after a steep slope and there is quite a crowd in the place. It is a Sunday and Patal Pani is Indore’s waterfall and Mhow’s delight. It has a railway track (the Ajmer-Khandwa line of the Malwa plateau and the Meenakshi Express fame), its own tunnel, plenty of eye-pleasing sights, a delightful pond and a breathtaking waterfall. We are not able to lock the bike and leave it to the mercy of the nice parking attendant. We walk past the first stream, when we face the fall from its sides. We are awe-struck, to say it short. Goa’s Doodh Sagar comes into my mind now as I write this. Patal Pani must be one of the hidden spots of the nation. I curse the bad roads that ensure this remains hidden always. Tourism needs to have a revamp here, I tell myself. We walk along the walls that offer a splendid view of the cascade.

We choose between walking down to the pond formed by the fall, which is very deep, according to hearsay and walking through a tunnel, which would be a FOAK(first-of-a-kind) experience in my lifetime, reminded of the assignments we have to finish. Both of us are excited by the tunnel and so it is the tunnel. All along, we take fantastic shots of ourselves. The tunnel lives upto our expectations. We stand at the face, inside it and on the top, stopping occasionally to see the streams through the picteresque valleys surrounded by the innumerous trees. We climb up the tunnel and walk through to the other side just in time to click me with an engine below. As we descend, the two of us pose together for a final shot. Corn is hot, tasty and suits the times perfectly. My bike remains intact and we are back to our room, after a bakery halt in Mhow. It has taken us three-and-a-half hours. Our photos turn out extremely well and I am very impressed with Anupam’s camera. They stir the sleeping souls of our campus who choose to see the waterfall in all its beauty the very next day.

Mhow is 10km from the Pithampur diversion on the Agra-Bombay road in Indore. Patal Pani is about 10km away, after Kothariya, inclusive of a 5km stretch of tracks fit for cattle carts.

Categories: Indore getaway, Travel
  1. A
    7 August 2006 at 8:16 am

    Wow – this waterfall looks awesome!! The entire place is very beautiful – I guess most places look their greenish best during the monsoons!

  2. sk
    9 August 2006 at 11:01 am

    Hey nice write up and amazing pics! :–)

  3. 11 August 2006 at 7:47 am

    you said it, A. the rains, that are not stopping at all, certainly make this place most beautiful. one long ride down the Indore – Khandwa road at this time is an exhilarating experience.

    sk, i had the old post at the old blog. i just wanted to get it here. i’m trying to attract visitors on the indore getaway search. 😉

  4. Mustafa
    26 August 2006 at 6:09 am

    hey! I really enjoyed reading your blog and specially the photographs. i have spent my childhood years in Mhow and have visited patalpani on many occassions with friends.

    Please could you share with me any photographs if you have of Mhow.

  5. 30 August 2006 at 2:57 am

    hey mustafa,

    thanks for the good words. most of my photos are on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cool_spark/. please try looking for mhow in them.

  6. Vignesh
    7 November 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Hi arun

    we have 5 days of holidays now….we are planning to goto pataal pani tomorrow…we wanted some directions but most ppl have gone home…so i turn to google and guess who it delivered us to? …U

    am repeating the compliments by others…nice writeup, amazing clicks…but sadly for us, i don’t think the greenery will remain when we go tomorrow, but dry grass has its own golden brown beauty…

    ps. hope u and urs r fine…

  7. 20 November 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Hey Vignesh,

    Nice to read your comments. Patal Pani this time will be just okay, not as good as when you go in the monsoon. You should walk up the track for a different experience.

  8. Iori
    19 June 2008 at 10:51 am

    Was stationed in MHOW in 1946 and seems to remember a place called Baircha Lido(?) and a walk or road down to Patal Pani which we thought was wonderful. Was taught to swim there by a Signmn Stanley Victor Smith(a claimed cockney always!!!) but can remember very little about it except a place of great beauty. Stan Smith was passionate about cactii I remember. Whether they were there or not icannot remember. Fond memories of MHOW and India – and if you have any ohotos would be pleased to see them. Best Wishes – Iori

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