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Madhya Pradesh

Located in the central part of India, Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state of the country after Rajasthan by area. By virtue of having its central location, the state is surrounded by Rajasthan to the north-west, Uttar Pradesh to north-east, Chhattisgarh to the south-east, Maharashtra to the south and Gujarat to the west.

Historically, ruled by the legendary dynasties including Mauryans, Mughals, Marathas and many more, the state had pretty extensive geographical area but by 18th Century, it was disintegrated into various smaller kingdoms. However, after the arrival of British rule, the region is again consolidated as central province (by British ruler). Furthermore, after independence, the state Madhya Pradesh had a big geographical area and its capital was Nagpur. But with passage of time, some of the independent states are evolved including Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh and its capital is shifted to Bhopal.

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Along with the historical traditions and heritage, Madhya Pradesh is also home of many groups of tribal people. With subtropical climate, it has three seasons i.e. Summer, Winter and Monsoon or Rainy season. The state has many rivers, important of them are Narmada, Tapi, Tawa etc. Furthermore, the state is categorized into agro-climatic regions such as: Kaimur Plateau, and Satpura Hills, Vindhyan Plateau (Hills), Narmada valley, Wainganga valley, Gird (Gwalior) Region, Bundelkhand Region, Satpura Plateau (Hills), Jhabua Hills, Malwa Plateau and Nimar Plateau. All of these agro-climatic regions have their own economical and political significance. Interestingly, these regions are also fascinating points for the tourists.

Besides, there are three sites that come under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Khajuraho Monuments (it includes Devi Jagadambi temple at Rewa); Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi and the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka. Madhya Pradesh is also quite popular for music; it has some of the country popular ‘Hindustani Classical Music Gharanas such as Gwalior Gharana, Senia Gharana, Maihar Gharana etc. Interestingly, well known singers of Medieval India namely Tansen and Baiju Bawra were the native of Gwalior, one of the favourite tourists’ cities in Madhya Pradesh.

Tourisms in Madhya Pradesh

Significant Tourists’ Cities of Madhya Pradesh:

Bhopal: The Capital city and one of the most preferred tourists’ places. The city has various attractions for the tourists.
Indore: The largest city of Madhya Pradesh is pretty important for the tourism purpose.
Gwalior: It is the city popular for its forts.
Amarkantak: It is popular hill stations of the state.
Ujjain: It is a popular religious city of Madhya Pradesh.
Panchmarhi: A popular hill station.
Jabalpur: Located in Madhya Pradesh, it is one of the most popular tourists’ points largely known for Madan Mahal Fort, Rani Durgavati Museum, Tripur Sundari Temple, Shousat Yogini Temple, Dhuandhar Waterfall and Behdaghat.
Shivpuri: A significant hill station.
Chitrakuta: With having scenic landscapes, it is a religious place.
Chanderi: Located in Ashoknagar District of the state, it is the town of historical importance.
Deorkothar: It is a historical place known for the Buddhist stupas.
Dhar: Located in the region of Malwa, it is popular for its natural beautiful surroundings.
Sonagiri: Located at the distance of about 60 kms from Gwalior, the place is known for Jain temple.
Mandleshwar: Located at the banks of Narmada River, it is historical religious place.
Omkareshwar: Located on an Island of Narmada River, it is a religious place dedicated to Lord Shiva. Interestingly, it is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. Therefore, it is also famous as Shivapuri.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Madhya Pradesh:

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments: Located in Chhatarpur District of Madhya Pradesh, it is world-wide popular for its erotic sculptures, Jain Temples and Medieval Hindu. The word Khajuraho was actually "Kharjuravahaka", during the ancient time; it is derived from the Sanskrit words kharjura means ‘date palm’ and vahaka means ‘one who carries"’. It is must visit point in the state.

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Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi: Located in a small village of Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh, it is popular for the ‘Stupas’. The sites had been developed during the period of 3rd century BCE and continued to early medieval time. During the passage of time, it became pretty popular for the Buddhist pilgrimage. It is pretty surprising to share that the 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in entire India, which was originally and specially made by the great emperor Ashoka during the period of the 3rd century BCE.

The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka: Located in Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh, the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka is an archaeological World Heritage site. The Bhimbetka shelters portray the earliest known traces of human life in India and also give evidences of dance from the prehistoric times. Various analysts speculated that at least some of these shelters were inhabited by hominids such as Homo erectus (who were present more than 100,000 years ago). In addition, some of the Stone Age rock paintings those are found in the premises of the Bhimbetka rock shelters are about 30,000 years old (belonging to Paleolithic Age).

Surprisingly, Madhya Pradesh has following 9 National Parks:

Bandhavgarh National Park: Located in Umaria District of Madhya Pradesh, it has pretty rich biodiversity and largely known for maximum number of tigers and Leopards.
Kanha National Park: Located in Mandla and Balaghat Districts of Madhya Pradesh, it is a Tiger Reserve of India.
Satpura National Park: Located in Hoshangabad District of Madhya Pradesh, it derived its name from Satpura hill ranges.
Sanjay National Park: Located in the Sidhi District of Madhya Pradesh, it has large numbers of Tiger, Leopard, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, Neelgai, Chinkara, Porcupine, Civet etc.
Mandla Plant Fossils National Park: Located in Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh, it is popular for the plant fossils.
Panna National Park: It is located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Madhav National Park: It is located in Shivpuri District of Gwalior region of Madhya Pradesh.
Van Vihar National Park: It is located in Bhopal, the capital city of state Madhya Pradesh.
Pench National Park: It is located in the regions of Satpuda hills of Southern Madhya Pradesh.

Besides, out of 17 biosphere reserves of India, 2 biosphere reserves are located in Madhya Pradesh namely Panchmarhi Biosphere Reserve and Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve. Other natural reserves popular for tourism are Bagh Caves, Balaghat, Ken Gharial, Ghatigaon, Shikarganj, Bori Natural Reserve, Narwar, Chambal, Kukdeshwar, Narsinghgarh, Patalkot, Tamia etc. These places are also popular for their scenic landscapes and wildlife.

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Madhya Pradesh Itineraries