Chikhaldara is one of the lesser known towns in Maharashtra and is situated at an elevation of 1,120 mt above sea level. This beautiful valley town which is located on high plateau has many mythological tales associated with it.
It is rumoured that Bheema, one of the Pandava brothers, killed Kichak here and also that Lord Krishna is said to have brought Rukmini here. No one knows as to how far these tales are true but over the period of time they have gained prominence and draw many tourists here. Here is a guide to the mystical town of Chikhaldara.
Another place to visit in Chiikhaldara is the Gawilgarh Fort which was constructed by the King of Gawali some 1000 years back. The fort now partially in runs can still amaze visitors with its majestic beauty. Tourists come here to explore the fort and also to enjoy the scenic view it provides.
The ruins of the fort.
Photo Courtesy: Ashish Gautam
One of the major sightseeing places in Chikhaldara is the Bhim Kund, which is locally known as Kichakdara. According to mythological beliefs it was here that Bheem, one of the five Pandava brothers, killed the demon Kichak and threw him down the valley. Bhim Kund is nearly 3,500 ft deep and provides a scenic view of the nearby cascading waterfalls. Tourists come here to take in the marvelous views of nature.
One of the places to visit in Chikhaldara are its two museums namely the Maharashtra Forest Ranger's College and the Melghat Tiger Project. Both these museums have the samples of various wild animals and plants. The museums also hold few rare fossils which are put on display for the tourists.
An exhibit at the museum.
Photo Courtesy: Kaushik Narasimhan
Another place to visit in Chikhaldara is the Bir Lake, which is an artificial lake made by the Britishers. The lake was the major supplier of water in this region. However, today it is a mere picnic spot where one can enjoy their weekends with family.
How to Reach Chikhaldara
By Air: The Akola Airport at Chikhaldara is well-connected with major cities of the country. You can also travel to Mumbai Airport and take connecting flights to here.
By Train: At a distance of 110 km, the Badnera station is the nearest railway station. Several inter-city and out-station trains reach Badnera regularly from all major towns and cities within and outside Maharashtra.
By Road: Chikhaldara is very well linked by road. Many towns and cities in Maharashtra are connected by means of daily, regular buses.
So when are you heading to the mystical town of Chikhaldara?
Photo Courtesy: Ankur P