Mahindra Scorpio 4x4 AT through Satpura

Having collected the car from Mahindra’s Bhopal showroom, we headed out looking out for places of significance in Madhya Pradesh, places that were still relatively underexposed to tourists. We headed 33km down to the Bhimbetka rock shelters for the first leg of our journey.

These caves and rock formations date back 30,000 years, and shows the first signs of human settlement in India. The drive to Bhimbetka takes you off the main road and through a path surrounded by vast stretches of flat, rocky terrain. The rock formations are overwhelming at first, with gigantic stone pillars supporting rocky roofs. Inside, there’s plenty of prehistoric artwork depicting the life of these cave people as well as paintings of animal. You can learn a lot here even without a tour guide, thanks to the well-labelled artifacts and enough informative signs along the paths.

After spending some time with the spirits of our primal ancestors, we headed 170km out into Pachmarhi, a forest sanctuary, close to the Satpura national park. It was a pretty smooth drive all the way to Satpura, but the best part was the final 14km stretch up the winding mountain roads to Pachmarhi. Winding and bendy as the roads were, the tarmac on them was smooth, perfect for the Scorpios to zip around the bends. A road this good with the right weather and an all-terrain SUV was the perfect combination.