Madhya Pradesh, the second largest State in the country is also known as the “Heart of India”. Centrally located this historical land shares its boundaries with Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. It is predominantly a plateau that is interspersed by stunning mountain ranges, meandering slow rivers, gurgling streams and miles and miles of dense forest. Endowed with incredible natural beauty Madhya Pradesh is home to rich cultural heritage. Khajuraho temples, exquisitely carved Jain temples, lavish palaces, impregnable forts are the glorious reminders of erstwhile era of the royal Rajas and Maharajahs. Madhya Pradesh is also famous for its national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. It succeeds to allure a large number of tourists every year from all over the globe. The best time to visit here is in October and April when the state enjoys a salubrious weather.
Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh, popular for its historical importance and glory. The rich and glorious past and abundant natural beauty of the land attract tourists in great numbers.The rock paintings found here are around 30000 years old. Bhopal is a blend of old and modern architecture. Modern Bhopal is a place where one can witness the richness of tradition is intermingled with the modern life.The city of the Nawabs, it is a confluence of tradition, culture and rich forms of art which is evident in the grand mosques, havelis and museums. Bhopal provides many centres of performing and contemporary arts. Bhopal is considered as the Greenest city in India and popularly known as City of Lakes.
A UNESCO world heritage site Khajuraho, represent a distinct pattern of art and temple architecture reminding one of the rich and creative period of Chandellas. It was the principal seat of Chandella rulers who adorned it with scores of lofty temples of sculptural grace, many tanks and architectural splendour. In 1838 a British army captain, TS Burt, rediscover the complex of temples in the jungle in Khajuraho. It has around 85 temples and is extended over 21 sq. km built by multiple rulers from about 950 to 1050. Out of the 85 temples about 20 are still reasonably well preserved. The temples are richly carved with excellent erotic sculptures. Perfectly carved figurines depict the postures and scenes straight from Kamasutra. The temples are divided into three complexes-Western (with main temples), Eastern( sculptured Jain temples), and Southern(only two temples). Khajuraho classical dance festival held during February or March, adds to the tourist attractions. The festival showcases classical dance style from all over India including Kathak, Kuchipudi, Bharat Natyam, Odissi, Manipuri and Kathakali.The temples in Khajuraho are open from sunrise until sunset. Foreigners are charged Rs 250 for the western group of temples. Other temples are free. Children below 15 years are also free. Every evening at the western group of temples there’s a sound and light show, narrated by Shri Amitabh Bachchan. Tickets cost 400 rupees for foreigners and 120 rupees for Indians.
Bandhavgarh National park
Bandhavgarh National Park is in Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh. It has the highest population of tigers in India and is one of the preferred parks for tracking and photographing Tigers in wild. It is comparatively a small park, with an area of 105 square kilometers that’s open to visitors. Other than Leopards and Tigers the park has a large array of wildlife including Spotted Deer, Sloth bears, Wild Boar, Indian Gaur, Jackals and around 220 species of birds.The park features rocky hill terrain and dense green valleys, with an ancient fort built on 800 meter high cliffs. The park exhibit a 2000 year old rich historical past with 12 natural waterholes, historical monuments and remains of ancient caves. Elephant safari is also available. The best time to visit here is early in the morning or after 4 in evening to spot the animals. The park remain closed from July to September due to monsoon.
Tala Zone: Rs 2,400 for Indians and Rs 4,800 Kanha National Parkfor foreigners. (Up to 6 people)
Other Zones: Rs 1,200 for Indians and Rs 2,400 for foreigners. (Up to 6 people).
Kanha National Park
Located 145 km from Jabalpur city, Kanha National Park with a core area of 940 square kilometers and surrounding area of 1,005 square kilometers is one of the largest national parks in India. Kanha is famous for its research and conservation programs, and many endangered species have been saved. As well as tigers, the park abounds with barasingha and an extensive variety of other animals and birds. It provides an all-round nature experience and has the honour of providing the setting for classic novel, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. It’s rich in lush saal and bamboo forests, lakes, streams and open grasslands. The Jabalpur-Kanha National Park tour provide the visitors fascinating opportunity to discover the diverse natural heritage of central India.There are two safaris a day, starting from dawn until late morning, and mid afternoon until sunset.
Entry Fees and Charges for jeep safari
Rs 3,000 for foreigners and Rs 1,500 for Indians. Child rates are Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.
Situated in Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior is famous for its majestic fort, considered as one of the best in the world. The great thing about Gwalior is that it is located at a distance of only 118 km from Agra and easily accessible — only two hours drive from Agra and well connected by rail and road. It is dotted with a number of tourist attractions. The main attraction the giant hilltop fort that towers over the city. Inside the fort are a number of temples and palaces, the highlight is the Man Mandir Palace. The Old Town of Gwalior lies at the bottom of the fort is brimming with fine examples of Mughal architecture and history. The Tansen Music Festival is held at the Tansen’s tomb every year in December.
Once the capital of the Bundellas, Orchha is located on the banks of the Betwa River, a hour and a half south of Gwalior. The location of the city in itself is picturesque with lush greenery and hills around making it picture perfect. Its monuments continue to retain their original grandeur.The city houses the architectural wonder, famed Orchha Fort. It’s relatively peaceful place, full of well preserved temples and palaces, with a distinctly medieval charm. 3 main palaces are enclosed in its fortified walls. The Jahangir Mahal is the most impressive and largest, its upper levels provide some amazing panoramic views. A stay at the Hotel Sheesh Mahal, inside the Jahangir Mahal is an amazing experience. It is a government run hotel, full of character though not luxurious.
Sanchi located in a small isolated hill in Madhya Pradesh, is a renowned Buddhist pilgrim site. A number of Monasteries, Stupas, Viharas and numerous relics excavated from here and nearby monuments throw a great deal of light on the life and teachings of Lord Buddha. Most notable is the Great Stupa, built in 262 BC by Emperor Ashoka after he embraced Buddhism, as penance for the atrocities he inflicted on the state of Kalinga. Sanchi is visited by a large number of tourists each year from all over the world. Sanchi presents a very big slice of India’s glorious history.
Ujjain, Mandu and Omkareshwar
The Malwa region is in the southwest part of Madhya Pradesh with Indore as the point of entry. Ujjain, Omkareshwar and Mandu popularly make up its Golden Triangle. Situated on the Malwa Plateau on the eastern side of the River Shipra, Ujjain is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. For over 2,000 years Ujjain has been a prominent centre of religious activities. The Mahakaleshwara temple of Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Ujjain is one of the four locations of the Kumbh Mela. The abandoned city of Mandu, in the Dhar district of western Madhya Pradesh was once the home of the Mughals. Mandu’s buildings encircled by a long 45 km stretch of wall with 12 gateways, palaces, baths, attractive canals and artistically crafted pavilions still hint of its grandiose past. Omkareshwar is a holy city situated around 77 km from Indore. It is basically an island, in the shape of Om, on the confluence of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri. There is a Hindu temple dedicated to God Shiva which is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlingas in India.
Jabalpur is one of the most important town for Tourism in Madhya Pradesh. The historic monuments reflect the rich cultural heritage and splendid architecture of the bygone era, which is a delight to history lovers. For nature lovers, Jabalpur is considered the most favored destinations in Madhya Pradesh as the land has plenty to offer from Majestic mountains, scenic waterfalls to mandering rivers. Its historical monuments and rich natural beauty will make your stay worthwhile. Dhuandhar Falls, is situated 30 kms from the city. River Narmada, falls down from a height of 98 feet forming Dhuandhar Waterfalls. Another beautiful attraction here is the marble rocks. Boating facilities are available. Bhedaghat is located 25 kms from Jabalpur. The place is famous for boating between the beautiful marble rocks. Other tourist attractions in Jabalpur are Madan Mahal Fort, Balancing Rocks, Bargi Dam and Narmada Valley.
Indore, the largest and most planned city in Madhya Pradesh, is located on the banks of River Khan and saraswati. Rich in history and architecture, the land is known for its architectural splendor. The tales of the glorious past are narrated by these splendid historical monuments that cast a magical spell on the travelers. Central Museum or Indore Museum is one of most frequented tourist destinations in Indore having rich range of collections that date back to 5000 BC. Lal Baag Palace is the most beautiful palace in Indore. The architecture of the palace is influenced by European style and the gates of the palace were cast in England. Prehistoric artifacts, sculptures and paintings of the past and present are seen here. Other top attractions in Indore include Patal Pani waterfalls, Rajwada palace, Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary and Tincha Falls.
There are hotels for every budget and thus tourists can enjoy a memorable stay here. The hotels here boast beautiful structures, wonderful interiors and meticulously designed airy rooms that increase the delight twofold. The accommodation in Madhya Pradesh is known for warm hospitality and grace that make the stay of guests quite comforting.
The nearest airport is at Bhopal with several domestic airlines that connect it to all key cities of India. Other major airports are in Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Khajuraho. An extensive railway network connect all major cities of Madhya Pradesh to rest of the country. A wide network of State Highways and National Highways interlink the cities of Madhya Pradesh to all major cities of India.
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