In this site of one of the world's earliest and most highly developed civilizations, there are over 1,800 magnificent monuments bearing witness to the glory that was this land of Malwa. Cheek by jowl with this centuries old culture of many varied streams, live some of the most primitive of aboriginal tribes in India. And in this great central plateau of rugged mountain ranges, deep ravines and rushing rivers, there are also vast unexplored tracts of thick forest where some of the country's finest big game roam.
Emperor Ashok had first of all ruled over Ujjain. A sizeable portion of Central India was part of the Gupta empire (300-500AD). The Muslims came into Central India in the beginning of the 11th century .First of all Mahmud of Ghazni came over here and then Mohammad Gauri who incorporated some parts of Central India into his ruling territory of Delhi. Central India was also part of the Mughal empire. During the period between the beginning of the influence of the Marathas and the death of Madhoji Scindia in 1794, Marathas were on the rise in Central India but later on the small States started coming into existence which helped the perpetuation of British power in the country. Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, the Gaud Maharani Kamala Devi and Queen Durgawati were some women rulers whose names have been written in an indelible ink in the Indian history for their outstanding rule. After independence Madhya Pradesh came into being in November 1956.
Madhya Pradesh has the largest population of scheduled tribes of all States and a high proportion of Schedule Castes, together they constitute nearly one third of the population.
Bandhavgarh National Park
This national park is 97 km north-east of Jabalpur in the Vindhyan mountain range. It's not part of project Tiger but tiger are occasionally seen here, more frequently late in the season. There are 25 tiger in the core area of 105 sq km but a buffer zone of 343 sq km has recently been added, along with another 25 tiger.
Bandhavgarh's setting is impressive. It's named after the ancient fort built on the top cliffs 800 meters high. There's a temple at the fort which can be visited by jeep and below it are numerous rock-cut cave shrines.
The core area of the park is fairly small with a fragile ecology but it supports such animals as nilgai, wild boar, jackal, gaur, sambar and porcupine as well as many species of birds. The ramparts of the fort provide a home for vulture, blue rock thrush and crag martin.
Capital of Madhya Pradesh, it combines scenic beauty, historicity and modern urban planning. It is situated on the site of an 11th century city, Bhojapal, founded by Raja Bhoja. Bhopal today presents a multi-faceted profile; the old city with its teeming market places and fine old mosques and palaces still bear the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers; among them the succession of powerful Begums who ruled Bhopal from 1819 to 1926. Equally impressive is the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern edifices.
Datia is smallest district of Madhya Pradesh, situated at 75 Km from Gwalior (in Madhya Pradesh) and 30 Km from Jhansi (in Uttar Pradesh). Datia is famous for its seven storey Palace atop a hill built by Raja Bir Singh Deo. Also it is fmous for its temples and is also called mini Vrindavan. The most famous temple is Maa Peethambra temple. Lot of people visit the temple throughout the year and is heavily crowded during Nav Ratri.
According to local tradition, Gwalior owes its name to a sage called Gwalipa. In the 8th century, a chieftain called Suraj Sen was stricken by a deadly disease. He was cured by the hermit saint Gwalipa, and in gratitude founded a city which he named after the saint who had given him the gift of new life.
A historic city, Gwalior, the former princely state is famed for its outstanding palaces, sacred temples and glorious monuments. Gwalior's history is as fascinating as the attractions in the city. A cradle of great dynasties, this fabulous city was in existence over the centuries. The magnificent momentoes of a glorious past have been preserved with care, giving Gwalior an appeal unique and timeless. Gwalior is considered to be a city where a rich cultural tradition has been interwoven into the fabric of modern life.
Kanha is India's Eden. No other sanctuary in the country offers the density of wildlife found in this park. Often called 'tiger land', Kanha is located in a horse shoe shaped valley, bound by two distinct spurs which rim the valley with sheer cliffs and large plateau. A favorite hunting ground at the time of the British Raj, Kanha was notified as a sanctuary in 1955 and upgraded to a national park in 1976, Kanha covers 1,945 Sq. km of hills, plateaus and grassland. It supports 22 species of mammals in the central park land and the adjoining plateaus. Vegetation at Kanha also varies between the sal dominated meadows and plateaus with rich forests of bija, haldu, dhaora and bamboo.
The name Khajuraho, ancient "Kharjuravāhaka", is derived from the Sanskrit words kharjura date palm and vahaka "one who carries".
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India.
The Temple town of Khajuraho is much different from any other temple city of India. It is not about religion and worshipping and deities. The temples of Khajuraho are instead famous for the eroticism etched on its walls in the form of sculptures. These temples were built by the rulers of the Chandela dynasty over a span of 200 years, from 950 to 1150. There were originally over 80 Hindu temples, of which only 25 now stand in a reasonable state of preservation, scattered over an area of about 20 square kilometres (8 sq mi). Today, the temples serve as fine examples of Indian architectural styles that have gained popularity due to their explicit depiction of sexual life during medieval times.
Emperor Jehangir who journeyed all the way from Delhi to spend time here wrote: ' I know of no place so pleasant in climate and so pretty in scenery as Mandu during the rains' .A fine example of Indo- Islamic architecture, Mandu is a romance in stone echoing joyous life and the love tales of poet-prince Baz Bahadur for the beautiful Rani. Roopmati. The balladeers of Malwa continue to sing of the royal romance. According to a legend Rani Rupmati's lyrical voice can still be heard across the Narmada.
Mandu situated at an altitude of 2000 ft. was originally the fort capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa. Towards the end of the 13th century, it became the pleasure resort of the Sultans of Malwa who renamed it Shahidabad or the city of Joy.
Enclosed by 45 kms of parapets and walls, it can be entered by 12 gates, the most important among these being the Delhi Darwaza, the main entrance of this fortress city.
Today a sleepy little hamlet, it was once the capital city of the mighty Bundelkhand Empire.
Orchha was founded in 1501 AD, by the Bundela chief, Rudra Pratap Singh, who became the first King of Orchha, (r. 1501-1531) and also built the Fort of Orchha. Although Orchha was never really a very affluent place, that did not deter the fiercely proud Bundelas from undertaking ambitious projects.
Numerous cenotaphs or chhatris dot the vicinity of the fort. Elsewhere about the town there is an unusual variety of temples and tombs, the richness of its palaces, temples and cenotaphs is reflected in the gently flowing water of the Betwa River.
Rudra Pratap (150l-31AD) for his capital. Orcha contains three palaces each built by succeeding Maharajas.
Pench National Park
Nestling in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hills, it is named after Pench river, meandering through the park from north to south. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Maharashtra, in the districts of Seoni and Chhindwara. Pench National Park, comprising of 758 Sq Kms, out of which a core area of 299 sq km is of Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park and the Mowgli Pench Sanctuary and the remaining 464 sq km is the buffer area.
The area of the present tiger reserve has a glorious history. A description of its natural wealth and richness occurs in Ain-i-Akbari.
Panchamarhi's natural glory lies in green, nature's own colour . Complementing the magnificence of nature are the works of man, for Panchamarhi is also a archaeological treasure house. Caves shelters in the Mahadeo hills contain an astonishing wealth of rock paintings. The bulk of these have been placed in the 500 -800 AD, but the earliest paintings are an estimating 10,000 years old. The valley, ravines and maze of gorges, sculpted in red sandstone by the wind and weather, add their own coloring to this palette of shades, and cascading waterfalls flash silver in the sun shine.
Sanchi is known for its stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars stretching from the 3rd century BC to 12th century AD.
Carved with stories of the Buddha' s past and present lives and with incidents from the subsequent history of Buddhism, the gateways are the finest specimen of early classical art which formed the seedbed for the entire vocabulary of later Indian art.
Archaeological museum houses stone sculptures in Indian art from the 3rd to 11th century BC .
(101 km) Shivpuri was the summer capital of the Scindia rulers of Gwalior. Earlier, its dense forests were the hunting grounds of the Mughal emperors. A Shivpuri National Park for rare wildlife and avifauna, has transformed a royal past into a vibrant, hopeful present. This park is opened throughout the year. The artificial lake Chandpata is winter home for migratory geese, pochard pintail teal, mallard and gadwall. The Scindia family has built beautiful Chhatris in a Mughal garden, synthesising the architectural idioms of Hindu and Islamic styles with their shikhara-type spires and Rajput and Mughal Pavilions.
Madhav Vilas palace standing upon a natural eminence, the elongated rosepink summer palace of Scindia, a fine example of colonial architecture is remarkable for its marble floors, iron columns, terraces and Ganapati mandap. Deep within the forests of the Park, on its highest point, is the turreted George Castle built by Jiyaji Rao Scindia. Edging the forests of the Madhav National Park is the Sakhya Sager lake, habitat of a variety of reptiles. On the shores of the lake and connected to it by a broad pier is a boat club, an airy, delicate structure with glass panels. Bhadaiya kund is a picnic spot. A natural spring, the water here is rich in minerals, supposedly of a curative nature.