HEART OF INDIA:MADHYA PRADESH
Madhya Pradesh, the center most state of India, and popularly known as the “Heart of India”, is one of the most stunning states in the country. Its capital is Bhopal, and it borders the states of Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Second largest state in terms of area and sixth largest in terms of population, Madhya Pradesh has been ruled by many dynasties.
The state exhibits splendid monuments, ancient temples, palaces and forts. Sights of its splendid past can still be seen in the state. The state is a tourist’s haven, travel fanatics can participate in cultural, wildlife, pilgrim, and heritage tours.
A Spectacular State
The Narmada River flows through the state from east to west between the Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges. The state has sub-tropical climate, like most parts of North India it experiences hot-dry summers, followed by rainy season and then cold and dry winters.
Madhya Pradesh is a mighty state, entailing largely of a plateau splashed with the hill ranges of the Vindhyas and the Satpuras. The hills give rise to the main river system – Narmada and the Tapti, running from east to west, and the Chambal, Sone, Betwa, Mahanadi west to east.
An Exciting Panorama of Wildlife
One third of the state is forested and offers an exclusive and exhilarating panorama of wildlife. Madhya Pradesh houses 11 national parks, Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park, Satpura National Park and Sanjay National Park being few of them. Three of the 18 biosphere reserves in India are in Madhya Pradesh, namely, Panchmarhi Biosphere Reserve in Satpura Range, Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve and Panna National Park.
A Sacred Destination
Madhya Pradesh is known for its heritage sites, holy destinations such as Ujjain and Omkareshwar, and natural exquisiteness with hills, forests, waterfalls, rock cliffs and rivers. With a perfect blend of all cultures, people from all religions striving in the land, a sight of India and its unity in diversity is clearly seen in Madhya Pradesh. Read on to know about some of the bravura tourist places in the state.
Mandu: This awe-inspiring location is situated at the projection of the Vindhyan mountain range. Surrounded by a plateau, it is separated from the valley by a deep ravine. The place has wonderful crystal clear lakes and glittering ponds. The place is fantabulous and will be loved by nature lovers.
Khajuraho: Khajuraho is the most famous heritage site in Madhya Pradesh. A must visit place, it is famous for its ancient temples built during the reign of Chandela kings. 83 temples were built over a span of 100 years, from 950 AD to 1050 AD. Only 22 temples are remaining at the moment. Bandhavgarh National Park: Bandhavgarh has the highest collection of tigers in the country. Madhya Pradesh is also known for its wonderful white tigers. The park has a large biodiversity.
Pench Tiger Reserve: Popularly known as the “Land of Kipling” or the place where Mowgli lived, Pench Tiger Reserve is a splendid place to visit. This place inspired Rudyard Kipling and he wrote, “The Jungle Book”. This place in India did actually have a small boy who was nurtured by the wolves in the jungle. This incident was actually penned down in “Camp Life of Seoni” by Col. William Sleeman.
Sanchi: Sanchi stupa is the most celebrated monument in Madhya Pradesh. It is the oldest stone structure in India, and was commissioned by emperor Ashoka in 3rd Century BC. The stupas at Sanchi has inscriptions written in Brahmi, and hold great historical significance.
Ujjain: It is a major magnetism for spiritual tourists from all over the world. It has many artistic and magnificent temples, one of them being Mahakaleshwara, an ancient temple which is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Other attractions in the city include, Ganeshji ka Mandir, Kaliadeh Palace, Kal Bhairava, Durgadas ki Chhatri among others.
Orchha: Located at a distance of about 75 km from Gwalior, this place was the seat of administration of the Bundela Rajputs. Orchha boasts of excellent palaces depicting the typical architectural designs of the Bundela Rajputs. The Jehangir Mahal, Raj Mahal and the Ram Raja Temple are among the best attractions to visit in Madhya Pradesh.
Bhopal: The capital city of MP, the palaces and temples in Bhopal boasts of its rich historical past. The city was earlier called Bhojpal, after king Bhoj who constructed the city with beautiful dams and lakes surrounding it.
Indore: Indore has two sparkling rivers flowing across the city namely Khan and Saraswati. There is small and artistic temple in the center of the city, which belongs to the 18th century. Must visit places include Chhatris, Chokni Dhani, Kanch Mandir, Lal Baag Palace, Nehru Park, Mahatma Gandhi Hall and Rajwada.
Chitrakoot: Chitrakoot is a noteworthy location for Hindus. This place is assumed to be visited by Lord Rama and Sita during the exile of 14 years. Some of the attractions to visit in Chitrakoot are- Hanuman Dhara, Janki Kund, Bharat Milap Temple and Sage Atri Shrines.
The Chatori Gali
Like any other part in India, Madhya Pradesh also has a rich and varied cuisine. Wheat and meat are prominent in the North and West part of the State, while Fish and rice are widely consumed in the Southern and Eastern parts. Milk is a common ingredient in many parts of the state. Bhopal is famously known for rogan josh, korma, qeema, biryani, pilaf and kebabs. There is a street named “Chatori Gali” in old Bhopal where one can find traditional Muslim non-veg fare like Paya Soup, Bun Kabab, and Nalli-Nihari as some of the specialties.
Madhya Pradesh, the central most state of India boasts of a great culture and history. Its world class monuments, temples and splendid natural beauty is worth observing. Away from the hustle bustle of the busy city life, Madhya Pradesh is the place to be if you’re looking for some peace, and spiritual therapy and spend some time in the laps of nature.