Capt. James Forsyth of the British army, along with Subedar Major Nathoo Ramji Powar are credited wioth discovering & exploring Pachmarhi & adjoining Satpura landscape way back in 1857, while leading their troops of Bengal lancers on a journey towards Jhansi.
Post the 1857 Indian Mutiny, looking out for the India freedom fighter Tantya Tope on his way from Jabalpur to Jhansi, Forsyth discovered this little known plateau “inhabitated by aborigines” as he writes in his memoirs, and recommended to be developed into a british settlement.
Subsequently, the British empire set up a sanatorium for the troops in Pachmarhi.
Forsyth, along with his troops, crossed the ravines on horse back and foot to reach the existing Pachmarhi.
Forsyth later documented his entire journey and stay in his memoirs “The Highlands of Central India”.
Forsyth notes that King Edward VII shot 12 tigers on his visit to Pachmarhi, which substantiates the fact this area was always a critical tiger habitat.
The Forsyth Trail takes you on a journey in the picturesque Pachmarhi hills and insidfe the Satpura forest, the original route followed by James Forsyth while exploring Pachmarhi and the neighboring country side.
What does this trail mean to you
A specially curated experience to showcase the forest community insight. Visit the village community which is predominantly the Gond tribe, and get an indepth feeling of the forest – village life.
The trail takes you to varied landscape from the higher altitude highlands, sub tropical climate and is a trekking paradise.
- Forgo luxury as you stay in exotic locations, forest lodges with prior special permission of the Forest Department and are efficiently managed by local natives, the Gond tribals.
Enjoy local freshly cooked organic food.
- A relaxed stay in luxury at the highest point of Madhya Pradesh, Pachmarhi.
Illustrative Itinerary of the Forsyth Trail
Day 01 : Arrive Jabalpur / Bhopal. Transfer to Pachmarhi. If travelling from Bhopal, take a brief stopover at “Bhimbhetka Rock Shelters” Overnight Pachmarhi.
Day 02 : Full day to explore Pachmarhi. Overnight Pachmarhi.
Day 03 : Today is exhaustive as we follow the trail taken by Capt, Forsyth through the rugged teak and sal forests to reach the core zone of satpura National Park. The trek, of around 5 hrs, showcases vivid topography, enchanting landscapes, flora and fauna. We reach Dehlia, a forest department check point virtually located in the edge of the core zone of Satpura. Stay in comfortable safari tents and relish authentic home made cooking, courtesy the local tribal community. Overnight Camp in Dehlia
Day 04 : Plan a day at leisure as you spend the entire day at Dehlia. Relish the wilderness of the forest and enjoy the tranquility of the local river Dhudhar.
Day 05 : A leisurely breakfast ollowed by a trek to the village of Chopna which is the next stopover. A 3 hr walk which takes you to the village Chopna. Accommodation in safari tents & authentic home cusine. Overnight Camp in Chopna
Day 06 : Full day rest at chopna. The villages are located at a distance from the nearby cities and that’s what makes them so surreal. Overnight Camp in Chopna
Day 07 : Post breakfast, hop in our vehicle to enter “Mogli Land”. A 6 hr drive takes you to Seoni district, the cradle of Rudyard kipling’s iconic Jungle Book. Courtesy, Madhya Pradesh Forest department, your accommodation is booked in the well located village of Sakata. An old hunting lodge is your pointf stay. MP Forest Department and the local tribal community manages the propertyand offer traditional local cusine. Overnight Lodge at Sakata.
Day 08 : Full day at leisure. Explore the villages, community and the neighbourhood forest and wildlife. Overnight Lodge at Sakata.
Day 09 : We run parallel to NH44 to enter into Karmajhiri village. Karmajhiri village is located in the periphery of Pench national park and is a core wildlife habitat. Post lunch, you will be taken for a jungle safari to spot wildlife from close quarters. Overnight Lodge
Day 10 : Morning safari in Touria zone. Post lunch, we drop you at Nagpur airport ( 100 kms | 2 s drive ) feeling contented about a memorable holiday spend at “Madhya Pradesh : The Heart of Incredible India”.
The Highlands of Central India; Notes on their Forests and Wild Tribes, Natural History, and Sports.
We leave you with the words of the man who first set foot on the Forsyth Trail:
“By-and-by, through the vistas of the trees great isolated peaks began to appear, glowing red and fiery in the setting sun against the purple background of a cloud bank. The center one of three, right ahead of us, was the peak of Mahadeo, deep in the bowels of which lies the shrine of god himself; to the left, like the bastion of some giant’s hold, rose the square and abrupt form of Chauradeo; while to the right, and further off than the others, frowned the sheer scarf of Dhopgarh, the highest point of these Central Indian highlands.” — Captain J. Forsyth
While at Satpura, a visit to Churna is an extraordinary experience. Know more
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