Madhya Pradesh is referred to as the ‘Heart of India’, since it is situated in the centre of the country. This historical land is bordered by the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. The state is crossed by Vindhya and Satpura mountains. The main river of the state is Narmada. Madhya Pradesh tourism has shown a phenomenal growth in the recent years. This place must be visited by the people having a desire to explore the Indian culture.
Madhya Pradesh has diverse topographical features that range from the hill ranges to the mighty rivers. The state is famous for its legendary tourist attractions and the various wildlife sanctuaries. The state has been home to the cultural heritage of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam. Madhya Pradesh is religiously and culturally vey rich state. The prominent tourist attractions of Madhya Pradesh are:
Khajuraho: Khajuraho is a small city situated amidst the forested plains of Bundelkhand. It is famous for its Jain and Hindu temples. The Khajuraho temples are an eternal masterpiece. These are India’s unique gift to the world. These temples represent brilliant craftsman’s artistry. The carvings on the walls of the temple dramatically portray every mood of life. The Khajuraho temples have been declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Sanchi: Sanchi is located in a small isolated hill in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is very well known for its oldest stupas. These hemispherical domes are one of the finest examples of Buddhist architecture. It was built by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. This has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site. The historical Ashoka Pillar, the Gupta temple and the Great Bowl carved out of one piece of stone are like wonders of this city.
Bhopal: Bhopal city is the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. Many important government offices are located here. The city offers a beautiful blend of the past and the present. It is an exciting amalgam of scenic beauty, history and modern urban planning. It has monuments, buildings, as well as natural beauty. Bhopal is also known as the city of lakes. It is famous for the biggest mosque of the country, Jama Masjid. The other major attractions of Bhopal are Bharat Bhawan, Moti Masjid, Van Vihar, Upper Lake and Lower Lake. It also reminds us of one of the world’s worst industrial disaster, the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
Gwalior: When at Gwalior, the Gwalior Fort is a must visit site. The tomb of Tansen is a magnificent example of early Mughal architecture. The city is a witness to many decisive battles, blood and death.
Ujjain: Ujjain means the ‘city of victory’. It is located on the western boundary of Madhya Pradesh, on the banks of Shipra River. Ujjain was earlier known as ‘Avantika’. It is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus. The temple of Mahakaleshwara in Ujjain dominated the tourism of the city. Ujjain is also one of the four sacred sites for the Maha Kumbh Mela. The Bhimbetka Cave is home to the wonderful paintings on its walls, dating back to the prehistoric period. Besides being a holy city, Ujjain is also home to magnificent museums and palaces.
Panchmarhi: Panchmarhi is a beautiful and the only hill station in Madhya Pradesh, and is located about 190 kms. away from Bhopal. It is the destination for nature and peace lovers. One can enjoy the waterfalls and deepwater pools in Panchmarhi. The lush green forests and lovely sunsets are also worth seeing. There are also various Shiva temples in this area.
Mandu: Mandu is a historical attraction. It is a city of love and delight. Jami Masjid and Hoshang Shah’s Tomb are the main destinations in Mandu. The city lies in ruins now.
National Parks: There are many national parks in the state, of which the most famous are Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Pench National Park and the Panna National Park. Kanha National Park is the sole habitat of the rare barasingha. It was made famous by Rudyard Kipling. Bandhavgarh National Park has the highest population of tigers. It is also known as the white tiger country.