Madhya Pradesh Tourism

Madhya Pradesh – A medley of history and culture

Magnificent Madhya Pradesh is a land of sepia coloured forts, monuments, and caves. Spellbinding architecture reflects ancient religions, powerful kingdoms, and the earliest vestiges of human life. Sprawling sanctuaries provide solitude to the majestic tiger, while winding valleys boast a plethora of natural wonders. Sweet song and dance lie adjacent to iconic cultural references and delectable cuisine. Madhya Pradesh is indeed, a magical state. 

Madhya Pradesh: A Quick View of the state 
Capital Bhopal
Official Language Hindi
Dial Code 0755 (Bhopal)
Population 79,6344 million (as of 2018)
Currency Indian Rupee (INR)
Time Zone UTC+05:30 (IST)
Area 308,252 square km

 

Highlights of Madhya Pradesh: Premier places

Temples

Bateshwar Hindu Temples are scattered across 25 acres of land, like beautiful sand castles longing to be admired. Visit the Morena district, to catch a glimpse of an ancient complex, restored and preserved for centuries. Approximately 200 exquisite shrines, dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Shakti, reflect the classic Gurjar-Pratihara style architecture. The historical city of Orchha is blessed with the stunning Lakshminarayan Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Built with bricks and lime mortar, its façade is a fusion of temple and fort architecture. Comb through the colorful fresco paintings that depict Mughal and Bundela art forms.

 

Nature parks

Home to 10 national parks of significant stature, Madhya Pradesh will woo you into an exciting world of prowling tigers and lush forests. The largest national park in central India - Kanha National Park, stretches an impressive 940 km. It is home to the royal Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, sloth bear, and wild dog. This is but the beginning of a long list of fascinating species that you will discover. Bandhavgarh National Park, a former game reserve for the maharajas and their guests, is yet another tiger fortress. Did you know that the first healthy male tiger in Bandhavgarh was named Charger, due to his habit of charging at elephants? Pench National Park is a popular cultural reference today. It is the original setting of Rudyard Kipling’s iconic Jungle book. Imagine exploring Mowgli’s beloved home, while Baloo, Bagheera, and Shere Khan could reveal themselves in the open at any given moment.

 

Hill stations

Wander through idyllic Pachmarhi, a charming little hill station within the Satpura range. Deemed as the queen of Satpura, it is an adventurer’s dream come true. Here, you can enjoy splendid sunsets, or fish in cool glassy waters. You can traverse through magical waterfalls, and ancient caves. Chikhaldara, offers its visitors a chance to immerse themselves in mythology. This tranquil hill station is featured in the Mahabharata as the place where Bheema defeated Keechaka. Home to temples, forts, national parks, gardens, museums, dams, and waterfalls, you will have options galore.

 

Heritage sites

Visit the Bagh caves, a cluster of 9 rock-cut monuments on the slopes of the Vindhyas. Of the 5 surviving caves, cave 3 and 4 have remnants of ancient mural paintings. Bhimbetka rock shelters in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, symbolise the earliest traces of human life in India. Deemed a UNESCO world heritage site, it consists of 7 hills and 750 rock shelters. An experience like no other, it will provide you with rare insight into the cultural evolution of the country. Khajuraho Group of Monuments, also recognised by UNESCO, commemorates both – Hinduism and Jainism. A representation of nagara-style architecture, you will discover that 25 out of the original 85 temples have survived.

 

Local culture

While Madhya Pradesh lies at the heart of India, classical performing arts lie at the heart of Madhya Pradesh’s culture. Khajurao Festival of Dances, in the Chhatarpur district, is a weeklong (February 20th -26th) extravaganza filled with Kathakali, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, and Manipuri performances. Tansen Sangeet Samaroh (December) is a 4-day musical fiesta in the Gwalior district that celebrates the great Indian classical maestro – Tansen. While you’re taking a classical tour of this vibrant state, don’t forget to try Madhya Pradesh’s authentic cuisine. We recommend Daal Bafla (ghee laden dough balls), Bhopali Gosht Korma (slow cooked mutton with a peppery gravy), Palak puri, and Malpua (ghee laden pancake with dry fruits on top).

 

Interesting facts about Madhya Pradesh: Thrilling Titbits

  • Inspiration for the classic Jungle Book came from the Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Kishore Kumar, legendary actor and playback singer, hails from the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Madhya Pradesh has the highest tribal population in India.
  • Madhya Pradesh has been nicknamed the heart of India due to its geographical location.
  • Madhya Pradesh is the only diamond producing state in the country.

 

Location: Heart of India

Madhya Pradesh is nestled in the heart of the Indian subcontinent. The state shares its border with Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the north, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra in the south, and Gujarat in the west.

Click here to view Madhya Pradesh on Google Map

 

Timings: Best time to visit

Madhya Pradesh’s climate varies depending on the season. Summers can get scorching and particularly uncomfortable, while monsoons witness heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. In terms of climate, October to March is the ideal time to visit the state. Winter weather is perfect for sightseeing.

 

How to get to Madhya Pradesh: Bon voyage!

By Road –Major national highways that connect Madhya Pradesh to its neighbouring states include NH-7, NH-12A, NH-25, N-H26, NH-27, N-H69, N-H3, N-H92, and N-H12. Interstate bus services are available, but should you choose to hire a private vehicle, you can stop at a variety of tourist destinations in and around the state.

By Rail – Due to its geographical location, most Indian railway networks pass through the state. Significant railway junctions are located at Itarsi, Katni, Bina, Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Chhindwara, Dewas, and Khandwa.

By Air – Madhya Pradesh is well connected to cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Bangalore, Srinagar, and Ahmedabad. You can opt to fly into one of the following airports – Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khajurao.

 

History: Forgone, but not forgotten

Archaeologists have uncovered remnants of the Middle Pleistocene era, Mesolithic period, Kayatha, and Malwa cultures. The pre historic period was followed by conquests, battles and settlements of several powerful clans - Avanti Kingdom, Malavas, Karushas, Dasarnas, and Nishadas, Mauryan Empire, Sakas, Kushanas, Satavahanas, Gupta Empire, Vakatakas, White Huns, Rashtrakuta Dynasty, Rajput Empire, Paramaras, Chandelas, Gurjara-Pratihara Dynasty, Western Chalukya Empire, Malwa Sultanate, Maratha Empire, Holkars, and Puars. Eventually, the British ceased control over Madhya Pradesh, rendering it a princely state of British India. It in 1950, independent Madhya Pradesh was formed. In 2000, through the Madhya Pradesh Reorganization Act, the south eastern portion of the state split off to form the new state of Chhattisgarh.

Language Spoken

Hindi

Currency used:

Indian Rupee (INR)

APR-JUN 34oC
OCT-MAR 15oC
JUL-SEP 30oC

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Madhya Pradesh Tourism Guide

 

About

The Heart of Incredible India, Madhya Pradesh is perhaps the only destination that can live up to this title that’s awarded to it. With the perfusion of everything that India is known for, rich heritage, deep cultural roots, intriguing history, astounding landscape and vast array of wildlife, the state is truly the ideal travel destination for any passionate traveller. From the erotic carvings of Khajuraho temples and the grand architecture of Mandu to the sublime jungles of Kanha or Bandhavgarh with their majestic beasts and beautiful sunsets of Pachmarhi, you are in for a delightful treat with Madhya Pradesh tourism. 

This centrally located state is named based on its geographical location within the country; with ‘Madhya’ meaning ‘Centre’. But what was only a starkly literal manifestation, came out to be known as a gratifying truth about the state. With MP being at nothing less than the centre of India’s exalting art, culture, religion and history, tourism in Madhya Pradesh resonates strongly with those looking to explore the nation pedantically. While the state is filled with innumerable ancient monuments, it is also progressive with modern amenities and developments.

The food, cultural practices and native people of the state are also something that can only be described as impressive. Because of such dynamism and vibrancy of MP is why its fame and demand as a tourist destination has transcended geographical boundaries at such an amazing rate. 

It hasn’t been long since Madhya Pradesh found its rightful place as a tourist destination. Often underrated as one, the state is in fact a treasure trove of resplendent sites to visit, for both their striking natural beauty and admirable monuments. The region is filled with places like Orccha, Jabalpur, Burhanpur, Amarkantak, Pachmarhi and Bhimbetka which are infinitely blessed with unsullied natural surroundings and which do not refrain from leaving you spellbound with their powerful charm. 

While at the same time, Madhya Pradesh tourism also offers you many wonderful places that are well known for their unparalleled mysticism that emanates from their purely imperial monuments like temples, palaces and forts that demand innate respect. Boasting of such exemplars, the region has Mandu which has a number of skilfully shaped palaces and forts, Gwalior with its gargantuan fort that houses several ornate temples and palaces, and Khajuraho with its unique and simply ravishing temples that portray masterly carved erotic sagas. 

Ancient temples and pilgrimage sites in the state are another reason why tourism in Madhya Pradesh has gained such boosting response from travellers both national and global. You will find some noteworthy examples of these at Ujjain with the widely famous Mahakaleshwar temple, Amarkantak with its pious ghats and many heritage temples, Sanchi with its well-known Buddhist Stupa which inadvertently ignites spirituality within and Orccha, Omkareshwar, and Maheshwar with some more intricately carved old temples that radiate peace and harmony. 

There are still many other wonderful places to visit in MP with the likes of Bhopal, Indore, Shivpuri, Bhimbetka etc. that are a blend of old world charm and new age developments that wins hearts. 

Nevertheless, tourism in MP is not just about sightseeing. The state being profusely opulent in terms of wildlife and intimidating verdant jungles, offers several exciting nature parks, animal sanctuaries and tiger reserves that any nature lover simply cannot fathom to miss. Pench, Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh, Satpura and Panna are such places which have abundance of flora and fauna in their natural habitat. You can enjoy watching them and many beautiful birds as well through jeep safaris organized in these parks. 

However, even safaris doesn’t cover the long list of tourism offerings in this beautiful Indian state. You can very well enjoy a range of exciting and adrenaline rushing activities from the likes of river rafting, water zorbing, zip lining, hot air ballooning, museums hopping, cave explorations, rock climbing and what not, right here in Madhya Pradesh. In short, MP is a place for every kind of traveller, those with a knack to witness the bygones days, those with a penchant to be in close proximity with undisturbed nature and those too who do not believe in simply watching but in putting their energy to use with myriad fun activities. The list of things to do here is never going to be covered in a single trip to the region, you are always welcome to keep coming back for more.

 

Geography

Madhya Pradesh is a state of India which is located at its centre hence it received its name as ‘Madhya Pradesh’ meaning ‘Central State’. It is often referred to as the ‘Heart of India’ for the same reason as well. It is a landlocked state and shares its boundaries with five different neighbouring states including Rajasthan, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. MP covers a significant area of the plateau region of India. Betwa, Narmad, Chambal, Sone, Indravati and Mahanadi are some important river which flow through the heart of India. The land is also adorned by two mountain ranges, namely Vindhya and Satpura. These are mostly inhabited by the native tribes of MP, the Gonds, Bhils and Korkus. The capital of the Madhya Pradesh is Bhopal

 

History

The history of this beautiful land is as much vivid as its landscape. Owing to its strategic location in the centre, Madhya Pradesh has been ruled by several empires throughout the history of India. The ages speak of rulers from dynasties such as Sunga, Nagas, Andhras, Ksaptrapas, Guptas and Satayahanas. After the foreign invasions in the country, it also saw rulers belonging to the Mughal Empire and the British Colonisers. The early period in the state shows influence from religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Jainism, which can be evidently seen today as well, in the many historical places scattered all over the state. 

After the reign fell into Britishers’ hands, the state of Madhya Pradesh was declared a central province.   Once the country achieved independence, the reorganization act of 1956 was provisioned MP to attain the status of a separate Indian state on 1st of November 1956. At the time Chattisgarh was also a part of the state, and was only carved out to make it a distinct state in November 2000, which was to fulfil a long due demand.

 

Population

The population of Madhya Pradesh is 73.34 million as per the census of 2012. 

The people of this land enjoy a slow paced life with lesser demands and lower pressure on life. This centrally situated state of India is majorly inhabited by varied tribal communities whose main occupation is agriculture. The most prominent of these tribal groups are Baigas, Gonds, Kols, Murias, Sahariya, Bhils, Halba, Bhilals, Korkens, Kamaras and Oraons. They lead a simple life and are usually far from modern progression, although the population residing bigger towns and main cities of MP enjoy all modern amenities and ideologies. 

Many of the originally tribal population of the state have now moved to cities to work as labourers in different factories, street hawkers, office employees and shop owners as well. The warm, hospitable and accepting nature of its people sets MP apart from other states and also encourages its visitors to explore their culture more. 

 

Religion

Hinduism is the prime religion of the population in Madhya Pradesh. Other major religions found in the state include Islam and Jainism, with the notable presence of Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians as well. 

 

Language

Hindi is the official language spoken in Madhya Pradesh with many dialects profoundly observed in different regions of the state.

 

Currency

Indian Rupee (INR) is the only currency accepted in Madhya Pradesh.

 

Cost and Money

Budget: You need an amount of less than Rs. 3,000 for staying in a dorm room or budget hotel, having meals from small eateries serving thalis with unlimited food, and travelling around by bus or train.

Mid-Range: A daily budget of Rs. 3,000- 8,000 is needed for a stay in a mid-range hotel, meals at reasonably priced restaurants, purchasing tickets to museums and other historic sites, and travelling around by auto-rickshaws or cabs.

Luxury: A daily budget of more than Rs. 8,000 is required for a stay at a luxury hotel, meals at top-end restaurants and travelling via rented cars and first class in trains.

ATMs are widely available in all major towns and cities of Madhya Pradesh but may be scantily located in smaller towns. Cash may be needed for purchases at most places except for big stores, hotels and restaurants which may accept credit cards.

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