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Madhya Pradesh Tourism

Madhya Pradesh has some interesting sites for tourists. The state is crossed by the Vindhya and Satpura mountains and its main river is the Narmada. The northern part is famous for Khajuraho temples, while the eastern region has two of India’s finest game sanctuaries – the Bandavgarh and Kanha. The southwestern part of Madhya Pradesh offers some elegant monuments – the Buddhist stupa of Sanchi and 15th - 16th century citadels of Mandu are worth visiting. The state has been home to the cultural heritage of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. Innumerable monuments, exquisitely carved temples, stupas, forts and palaces are dotted all over the state. The natural beauty of Madhya Pradesh is equally varied. There are spectacular mountain ranges, meandering rivers and miles and miles of dense forests which offer unique and exciting panorama of wildlife in sylvan surroundings.

Whats So Special About Madhya Pradesh ?

Madhya Pradesh has a rich past and culture due to its location and has everything right from monument to plateaus, temples to museums, mountain ranges to sanctuaries. Madhya Pradesh is a state of rich cultural heritage, forts, palaces, museums, temples and religious shrines. The state lies in the heart of the country and is surrounded by other states and is culturally a rich state. Madhya Pradesh has myriad elements, it is blessed with rich flora and fauna, it is home to numerous wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks. Madhya Pradesh, due to being centrally located has been the hub of economic activity and the seat of many dynasties and kingdoms. It has also been an ancient seat of learning hence we can find numerous temples and shrines. Madhya Pradesh has something to offer to everyone and it should be one of the must-visit lists of states in India.

Top Famous Cities in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal

Madhya Pradesh Tourism
Moti Masjid in Bhopal

Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh was founded in the 11th century by Raja Bhoj of Paramara dynasty. The city, encompassed by hills, stretches along two artificial lakes, the Upper Lake and the Lower Lake. To the north of the lakes are bazaars and some old mosques flanked by narrow lanes. To the south is the new city with its leafy suburbs and industrial enclaves. Bhopal is also the gateway to visit some fascinating sites in Madhya Pradesh. Bhopal is one of the few cities in the country which has been able to retain its old world charm along with all the modern influences. Bhopal faced one of the world’s worst industrial disasters - a gas tragedy in December 1984. The toxic gas that leaked from the Union Carbide factory claimed some 5,000 lives. The wounds of this tragedy are still fresh. For More Click Here

How to Reach ?
Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh is well connected by air, rail and road.The airport is located 12 km away from the old city and is served by regular flights from Delhi, Gwalior, Indore and Mumbai and other important cities. Bhopal is one of the major railway stations in central India. It is located near Hamidia road. Major trains from Mumbai to Delhi pass through Bhopal via Itarsi and Jhansi. Bhopal is well connected by a network of state and national highways. There are regular buses available from Bhopal to most of the towns and cities in Madhya Pradesh and also to the neighboring states.

Indore

Famous Cities of Madhya Pradesh
Rajwada in Indore

Indore is the largest city of Madhya Pradesh and located on the southern edge of the Malwa Plateau. Indore derives its name from temple Indreshvar which was built in the 18th century. The city is all appealing with historic grandeur and architectural brilliance. One can find numerous building and monuments from the period of the Holkars, Mughals and the British. This bustling commercial city of Madhya Pradesh was a princely state of British India till 1947. It was ruled by the Maratha Holkasr who had gone against the old customs of not allowing Harijans into the temples. The city holds some magnificent temples, monuments, museums and parks. At the first sight you will come across two sacred rivers – Saraswati and Kham flowing merrily along the city. For More Click Here

How to Reach
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Indore, being a commercial hub of the state is well connected by flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal and few other cities of India. The airport is located 8 km east of Indore city. Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Jet Airways and Sahara Airways operate flights to and from Indore. Indore is one of the major railway stations on the western railway line. There are direct trains to and from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata (Howrah), Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, Pune, Jammu, Jaipur, Lucknow, Bhopal, Nagpur, Patna and other major towns. There are four other stations within the city limit - Rajendra Nagar, Lokmanya Nagar, Saifee Nager and Lakshmibai Nagar. Indore has a well maintained network of state and national highways. The Agra-Bombay national highway (NH3) passes through Indore. State government owned buses and private buses run regularly between Indore and its nearby towns and cities including Bhopal, Gwalior, and Ujjain.

Jabalpur

Madhya Pradesh famous cities
Madan Mahal Fort in Jabalpur

Jabalpur, earlier known as Jubbulpore is situated on the banks of the River Narmada, although the city has drifted from the river. Jabalpur has been the centre for many kingdoms including the Kalchuri and the Gond dynasties. Jabalpur once was a stronghold of Gond tribal kings. It was the capital of the kingdom of the Gonds from 12th to 16th century. The most famous ruler was Rani Durgavati who made several forts in the region.The ancient city of Jabalpur is surrounded by rocky hills and is also known as the ‘the city of the rocks’. Jabalpur is famous for the Marble Rocks gorge on Narmada River and is also the gateway to two important wild life sanctuaries of India – Bandhavgarh and Kanha. Jabalpur is named after the saint Jabali Pattanam (‘Jabal’ means mountain in Arabic), this point out to the ancient trade connections with Arabs. For More Click Here

How to Reach ?
Jabalpur has a domestic airport at Dumna, about 20 km from the city center. It is connected to the major airports in India. Jabalpur railway station is located north of the Civil Lines Area. It is connected with all the metros and the major cities in India. It has direct trains to Satna (189 km, 3 hours), Varanasi (505 km, 13 hours) and Bhopal (336 km, 7½ hours). Jabalpur is on the National Highway No. 7. It takes nearly 8 hours to reach Jabalpur from Bhopal by bus. The main bus junction in is located west of Napier town. The towns like Indore, Satna, Raipur and Nagpur are well connected by bus.

Gwalior

Tourist Spots in Madhya Pradesh
Gwalior Fort

Gwalior had served as an important destination for many dynasties either Tomars, Mughals or Marathas. The origin of this city dates back to 8 A.D. This fort city derives its name from Gwalipa, a saint who had cured the local chieftain Suraj Sen from the deadly disease leprosy. The massive fort that stretches for nearly 3 km is a testimony to the city’s glory and grandeur. Gwalior finds a prominent position in the medieval history of India and also in the history of Indian freedom struggle. There are many palaces and tombs in the city built by the Mughal emperors. Gwalior boasts of a rich history of art and culture, the contribution to the classical music is worth mentioning. The present day Gwalior is the amalgamation of the rich past deeply entwined with the modern life. Among the must-see places in Gwalior are the Gwalior fort and the sound and light show, museums, Jai Vilas palace, Teli ka Mandir and various other monuments.Today Gwalior is a bustling city and is the administrative head quarter of Gwalior district and division. The city has also the reputation of having few prestigious institutions of the country. For More Click Here

How to Reach ?
Gwalior has a domestic airport connected to Mumbai, Bhopal, Indore, and Delhi by regular flights. The airport is 8km from the city centre. Gwalior railway station lies within the city limit. It is on the main Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai railway line. Taj and Shatabdi express connect Gwalior with Delhi and Agra. Gwalior has well maintained networks of state and national highways that connect most parts of the state and the neighboring areas.

Sanchi

Tourist Spots in Madhya Pradesh
Sanchi Stupa

Sanchi, a tranquil hill town is famous for its numerous caves and stupas. It has one of India’s best preserved and most extensive Buddhist sites. Starting from 3rd century BC to 7th century AD, Sanchi was a thriving Buddhist establishment of stupas and monasteries. Of these monuments the most famous was Sanchi Stupa built by great Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the then governor of Ujjain, whose wife Devi was a daughter of a merchant of the nearby Vidisha. Sanchi continued to be a great Buddhist establishment till 14th century after which it was deserted and half forgotten. It was only in 1818, when the site was rediscovered by General Taylor of the Bengal Cavalry. Between 1912 and 1919 the site was extensively restored by the archeological survey of India under the guidance of Sir John Marshall.

How to Reach ?
The nearest airport to Sanchi is Bhopal, located 46 km away from the hill town. Bhopal is an important domestic airport in central India and is well served by important airlines connecting cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jabalpur, Gwalior, and Indore. The nearest railhead to Sanchi is also Bhopal. Bhopal is an important railhead in central India and is well served by important trains running from different parts of the country. Sanchi is well connected by a network of all season motorable roads with Bhopal (46kms), Vidisha (10kms), Indore (232kms) and other parts of the state.

Ujjain

Must visit places in Madhya Pradesh
Jyotirlinga at Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain

Ujjain is situated on the banks of the river Shipra and is one of the seven sacred cities of India. It is also one of the four sites where Kumbh Mela is held. In between the 4th and 5th centuries it was the second capital of the Gupta Empire. Ujjain is also known as the city of temples. Although it is difficult to trace the birth of this city and its early history but Ujjain is mentioned in the Buddhist Scriptures describing the city around 6th century B.C. Ujjain also finds mention in Mahabharta. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirilinga, one of the twelve jyotirilinga shrines to Lord Shiva is situated in this city.The celebrated Sanskrit Poet Kalidasa was from Ujjain. Some of the must- see places in Ujjain are Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir, Pir Matsyendranath, Chintaman Ganesh, Bhartrihari Caves, Kaliadeh Palace, Kalidasa Academy, Vikram Kirti Mandir, The Vedha Shala (Observatory), Siddhavat, and Durgadas Ki Chhatri among others. For More Click Here

How to Reach ?
Ujjain is well connected by roads to/from important towns/cities within the state. Buses ply regularly from Ujjain to nearby towns. Indore Airport is nearest to Ujjain, 53 km away. Ujjain is well connected by express and super-fast trains to major cities of the country.

Shivpuri

Wildlife in Madhya Pradesh
Madhav National Park

The summer capital of the Scindia rulers, Shivpuri was once a thickly forested region and a favourite hunting ground for Mughal emperors. Most of the elephants in Emperor Akbar’s army were taken from these forests. Shivpuri has numerous palaces and lakes which are its main attraction. The 19th century white marble cenotaphs of Madhavrao Scindia and his mother stand facing each other in a formal Mughal style garden are worth a visit.

How to Reach ?
Shivpuri is well connected by roads. There are regular bus services between Gwalior and Indore, Bhopal, Jhansi, and Ujjain. Nearest airport is at Gwalior (117 km). Jhansi and Gwalior railway stations are nearest rail heads.

Pachmarhi

Hill stations in Madhya Pradesh
Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve

This delightful hill station, at an altitude of 1067 m, lies in the verdant hills of the Satpura Mountain Range. Its main attractions include pools, waterfalls and pre-historic caves. In 1857, Captain James Forsyth of the Bengal Lancers spotted this saucer-shaped plateau and quickly it was developed into a sanatorium and Army Station by the British. Panchmarhi means five houses; the town derives its name from five ancient Pandava caves, set in a garden south of the town’s bus stop. In the centre of the town is the victory Pillar. About 6 km from this pillar is the Mahadeo Cave with paintings dating back to 10, 000 years. The wooded hills around this cave are homes to the ancient Gond and Korku tribes. Harper’s cave is situated close to the Jatashankara Cave Temple and is so named because it has one painting – a man seated and playing a musical instrument that looks like a harp. For More Click Here

How to Reach ?
Pachmarhi is also well connected by regular bus services with Bhopal, Hashangabad, Nagpur, Pipariya and Chhindwara. Taxi services are available at Pipariya. The nearest railhead to Panchmarhi is Pipariya (47 kilometers), on the Bombay-Howrah mainline via Allahabad. The nearest airport from Panchmarhi is Bhopal (120 kilometers) connected by regular flights with Delhi, Gwalior, Indore, Mumbai, Raipur and Jabalpur.

Mandu

Mandu in Madhya Pradesh
Jehaz Mahal at Mandu

The deserted citadel of Mandu is perched on the Vindhya Mountains, one of India’s most romantic and picturesque sites. Within its winding parapet walls are palaces, mosques, lakes and pleasure pavilions built between 1401 and 1529 by Sultans of Malwa, who referred to it as Shadiabad, “the City of Joy”. Mandu city is spread over an area of 23-sq. km but its monuments are clustered in two groups – the Royal Enclave and the Village Group.

How to Reach ?
Mandu is well connected to different cities of Madhya Pradesh by road. Buses ply regularly between Mandu and Indore via Dhar, Mandu and Ratlam and also between Mandu and Bhopal. The nearest airport is at Indore which is connected to Mumbai, Delhi, Gwalior and Bhopal.The nearest railway station is at Ratlam. All important trains have their halt at Ratlam.

Monuments and Forts in Madhya Pradesh

Travelling to Madhya Pradesh
Bandhavgarh Fort:
The fort of Bandhavgarh is believed to be some 2000 years old. No records are available when this fort has been constructed. Various dynasties have ruled this fort since from 1st century AD; the last inhabitant abandoned this fort in 1935.

Shaukat Mahal: Shaukat Mahal, situated at the entrance to the Chowk area in Bhopal is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Built by a French mercenary, this 19th century palace is a blend of modern and Islamic architecture. Several government offices are housed here.Gohar Mahal, Sadar Manzil are amongst the top famous historical destinations in Bhopal. They in total reflect the growth and evolution of the medieval Bhopla into modern day Bhopal.

Gwalior Fort: This massive fort is situated at Gopachal, nearly 100m above the town of Gwalior. It stretches for nearly 3 km atop a 100 m high sandstone and basalt hill. Gwalior fort is famous for its formidable bastioned walls, exquisite temples and palaces. It has earned the reputation of being North and Central India’s most impregnable fort. Babur described the fort as, "The pearl amongst fortresses in India". North of the fort is Gwalior’s old town which has two interesting Islamic monuments – the 16th century tomb of Mohammed Ghaus, a Mughal noble man and Tomb of Tansen, the famous singer in the court of Akbar.

Man Mandir Palace: The most spectacular structure within the fort complex is the Man Mandir Palace, built between 1486 and 1516 by Raja Man Singh of the Tomar dynasty. This palace is a fine example of Rajput secular architecture, embellished with superb stone carving and lattice work.
Palaces in Madhya Pradesh
Jai Vilas Palace
: Apart from Gwalior Fort the main attraction for visitors in Gwalior is the opulent, Italianate Jai Vilas Palace, built in the late 19th century by an Italian architect, Colonel Sir Michael Filose. The palace is still the residence of the Scindia rulers. A part of it has been turned into a museum. The most magnificent room within the Palace is the Durbar Hall where there are two of the world’s largest chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Also on view a mechanical toy train that carried liquors around the Maharaja’s dining table.

Rajwada Palace: At the heart of the city surrounded by a lively bazaar is the Rajwada Palace, a blend of French, Mughal and Maratha architecture. The seven-storeyed palace belonged to Holkars is nearly 200 years old. Now, there only exists an imposing façade following a fire in 1984. The palace was originally characterized by lower storeys made of stone and upper stories of wood, and a well-laid garden with fountains and an artificial waterfall.

Famous destinations in Madhya PradeshKhajuraho: The monuments of Khajuraho are famous worldwide for their erotic sculpture. They were built by the Chandela dynasty and were actively used in the 12th century. There were a total of 85 temples spread over an area of 20 square kilometers but now only 2o remain in an area of 6 square kilometers. They are recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The monuments comprise of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples. Almost all the temples are built on raised platforms. Khajuraho was encircled with a wall with eight gates for entry and exit. These gates were flanked by date-palm (Khajura) trees on each side and hence the name Khajuraho.

During the fall of Chandela dynasty (1150 A.D.) these temples were desecrated by the invading armies. So the people moved from Khajuraho to live elsewhere. With time the temples were over grown with forest and trees and forgotten, which saved them from further destruction. In 19th century a British army captain T.S. Burt who was employed by the Asiatic Society, discovered these temples. The temple is divided in three complexes of which the west is largest.

Interesting fact about the temples: All the erotic sculptures are situated outside the temple. Nothing erotic is written, made or drawn inside the temples. They symbolize that one must leave all the worldly desires outside before entering and must enter with a pure heart in the house of God.

Sanchi: Historical monuments in Madhya PradeshThe monuments of Sanchi are known all over the world for its great Stupa, which is perhaps the oldest stone structure that was built in India. The construction of the Stupa was commissioned by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd BC. And the overall construction was looked over by Ashoka’s wife, Devi herself, as Sanchi was her birth place and the place of their wedding.The centre of the structure has a hemispherical brick structure. It has a parasol like structure at the top to symbolize high rank and it honors the relics of Buddha, which the structure houses. It has four elaborately carved gateways known as Tornas. Various inscriptions are present on the walls in Sanskrit. Most of them as deciphered are donations given to the temples.

The construction was started by the Mauryan Empire but over the years other dynasties kept adding to the whole structure. Among them were the rulers of the Sunga Empire, the Satavahana Empire, and the Gupta Empire. They were discovered by General Taylor who was a historian, in the nineteenth century. Over the years, looters and amateur archeologists ravaged the sites. Renovations started in the twentieth century. Many relics that had been taken abroad as trophies were returned. Now it is a famous place for pilgrimage of the Buddhists. UNESCO recognizes it as a Buddhist monument and is a world heritage site.

Bhimbetka Rock SheltersBhimbetka Rock Shelters: These rock shelters are mentioned as a Buddhist site in Indian Archeological Records of nineteenth century. UNESCO declared them a world heritage site in 2003. According to Hindu mythology, it got its name from Bhima and is believed to have been the place whether Bhima and his brothers took shelter while they were exiled from their kingdom. Later in 1957, an Indian archaeologist V.S. Wakanakar discovered these rock formations, similar to the ones he had seen in Spain and France. Since then 750 rock shelters have been discovered in the area dating to prehistoric times. These rock shelters have paintings dating back to 30,000 years to as recent as the medieval era. These paintings belong to seven different periods. Some of the oldest stone walls and floors in the world are found here. The paintings depict the life at that era and the progress of humanity can be recorded from them.

Monuments in Madhya PradeshJahaz Mahal : The Jahaz Mahal or Ship Palace in Mandu was built by the 5th Sultan of Malwa, Ghiyasuddin. It is situated between two artificial lakes Munj Talao and Kapur Talao, offering this two storeyed building a magnificent look. The palace gives the impression of an anchored ship, especially during the monsoon when the lakes are full. This pleasure palace was staffed entirely by the hedonistic sultan’s harem of 15,000 women, who also served as his bodyguard.

Jal Mahal: Mandu, the city of joy, is the place where one can find Jal Mahal, named so as it looks like a ship floating in water. It has not been dated yet but it is believed to have been built by Sultan Ghiyas-suddin Khilji in the fifteenth century. It is built between two artificial lakes, with marble and decorated with blue medallions. The real purpose is yet to be concluded. But either it served as a harem for the sultan or was a retreat for royal couples. It appears to be two storied. The ruins of the palace surround a water tank, into which steps are laid that descend into the tank. There are few rooms and it seems that the palace was used as a monsoon retreat.

Hindola Mahal: The majestic T- shaped Hindola Mahal literally means “Swinging Palace” is a late 15th century monument noted for its ornamental facade, delicate trellis work in sandstone and beautifully moulded columns. To the west of Hindola Mahal are few unidentified buildings which hold traces of past grandeour. Next to the Hindola Mahal is the Champa Baoli, connected to a series of subterranean rooms cooled by flowing water, where the ladies of the harem used to spend hot summer days. Gada Shah’s house is located to the east of Hindola Mahal. The house belonged to an ambitious Rajput Chieftain at the court of Mandu. The double storeyed structure with water channels and fountains, still has traces of two fine paintings of the chieftain and his wife.

Hoshang Shah Tomb: It is one of the first marble tombs to be built in India. The tomb is a perfectly proportioned structure, where Malwa’s most powerful sultan is buried. The inscriptions on the door record the visit of Shah Jahan’s four architects in 1659.

Jami Masjid: Opposite to the Hoshang Shah’s tomb is the magnificent Jami Masjid, built in 1454. The mosque is said to have been inspired by the great mosque at Damascus. Three large domes and 58 smaller ones surmount its colonnade.

Ashrafi Mahal: Next to the Jami Masjid is the Ashrafi Mahal with the ruins of the seven -storeyed victory tower. This is one of Mandu’s finest structures, built by Sultan Mahmud in 1443 to mark the battle with the Maharana of Mewar. Also the latter built a Victory Tower at Chittorgarh after the same battle.

Madan Mahal Fort: The remains of Madan Mahal Fort, built by Gond kings in 1116, overlook the town from a hill to the west. The view of the town and its countryside is really panoramic.

Wildlife Destinations in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh is blessed with diverse natural beauty that is home to some of the most exquisite species in the world. Madhya Pradesh has several national Parks and bird sanctuaries to offer to the tourists and they attract several thousand people every year. These National Parks and Sanctuaries are well maintained by the Madhya Pradesh government and it is ensured that their natural habitat isn’t compromised. There are numerous wildlife destinations in Madhya Pradesh such as Kanha National Park, Pench Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh National Park, Fossil National Park, Madhav National Park, Van Vihar National Park, Sanjay National Park, Sardarpur Sanctuary, Bagh Caves among others.

Kanha National Park

The Kanha National Park is spread over an area of 940sq.km and stretches to the Mandla and Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh and was setup in the year 1955. Kanha National Park is the largest national park in the state of Madhya Pradesh and is counted among the Top 10 famous places for tourists. Kanha National Park and the picturesque locales, lush green bamboo forests are considered to be the Rudyard Kipling’s inspiration behind the book ‘The Jungle Book’.

Wildlife destinations in Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park

The Park has significant number of tigers, mostly Bengal tigers and animals such as Barasingha, Sloth Bear, Leopards, grey langurs, spotted deer, sambar and more than 300 species of birds. Kanha National Park is home to some of the rare species such as Bengal Tiger, Swamp Deer and the Hard Ground Barasingha which was on the verge of extinction. Kanha National Park also boats of rich flora and has more than 1000 species of flowering plants. Black Buck had completely vanished from the park, it has now been reintroduced and kept in a fenced area in the park. It also has ‘Tal’ lake which is a lifeline for migratory birds.

Pench Tiger Reserve

Pench Tiger Reserve named after the Pench River that flows through the heart of the reserve from north to south almost dividing the park into equal halves. The Pench National Park is situated in Chhindwara and Seoni districts of Madhya Pradesh and it was given the status of a national park in 1983, in 1992 it was declared as a Tiger Reserve. Pench Tiger Reserve is the only national park which is famous for water rafting. It is also believed that Pench Tiger Reserve is the inspiration behind Rudyard kipling’s jungle book. Pench Tiger reserve is rich in flora and fauna and the river, dark forests add to the beauty of the dense forrest. It has a sizeable number of tigers and other predators like leopard and wild dogs are also very common. Tigers are often spotted along the Pench river where they find their prey easily, leopards are also spotted easily in this region. Other animals such as Chinkara, Sloth bear, sambar, chital, nilgai, jackals, langurs, Chowsingha, barking deer are others are found in abundance. Almost 280 species of birds are found in the national reserve. The famous tourist attractions of this reserve are Bison Camp, Bison Retreat, Kalapahad, Chhindimatta, Karmajhiri, Totladoh dam. The best time to visit Pench is the period between November and June.

Van Vihar National Park

Van Vihar National ParkVan Vihar National Park is situated in the centre of the city of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. It is developed as a modern day Zoological garden and is habitat to variety of flora and fauna. Van Vihar National park attracts a lot of bird-watchers as it is home to 200 avifauna species. It was notified as a national park in 1983, the animals are given a safe environment as close to their natural living conditions. One of the interesting thing about Van Vihar National Park is that, it was a barren land once and no animals are captured and brought from the forest. All the animals in the Van Vihar National Park are either orphans or exchanged from other zoos of the country.

Van Vihar National Park has various animals such as tigers, sloth bear, leopard, hyena, lion, sambar, chital along with gharial, crocodile, tortoise and around 60 species of butterflies. Some of the popular attractions of the Van Vihar National Park is the lake where migratory birds land joyfully during the winter months. For More Click Here

Bandhavgarh National Park

One of India’s most important tiger reserves, Bandhavgarh National Park is located in the district of Shahdol covering an area of 625 sq. km. Bandhavgarh with its great rocky hills, lush deciduous forests, marshes and meadows make it one of India’s most scenic spots. A picturesque hilltop fort with fine sculptures is among other attractions in the park. Bandhavgarh National Parks draws decent amount of tourists each year and is one of the popular wildlife destinations. According to the popular legend Lord Rama gave Bandhavgarh fort to his brother Lakshman. Bandhavgarh was famous for the presence of tigers long before it became a national park. It is home to white Tigers, the tigers are the star attraction of this national park and can be easily spotted according to their behavioural moods and patterns. The national park also boasts of the highest density of tigers in the country and interesting territorial fights have been observed in this area. Beside the tigers, birds are also a source of major tourist attraction, there are around 73 species of butterflies found in this region. Apart from these, animals like Sloth bear, Jackal, Hyena, Langur, Chinkara, Nilgai, Sambar, Chital are also spotted and are present in good numbers.

Madhav Shivpuri National Park

Madhav Shivpuri National Park is situated in close proximity to the shivpuri town and has derived its name from the town and the maharaja of Gwalior, Madho Rao Scindhia. Madhav Shipuri National Park was once considered to be the hunting ground for the maharajas and was declared as the national park in 1956. The 354 km² Madhav National Park is a mixed deciduous forest with an artificial lake, surrounded by grasslands. It is home to 227 species of birds and various other migratory birds. The park is open throughout the year and boosts large numbers of chinkara, Indian gazelle and chital. It is also a dwelling place for nilgai, sambar, chausingha, blackbuck, sloth bear, leopard and the common langur. Due to the presence of a lake, it attracts a wide variety of migratory birds from distant places. This National Park boasts of rich flora and fauna and the beautiful Chandpata lake which is the major attraction of this national park.

Religious Spots in Madhya Pradesh

Religious Spots in Madhya Pradesh
Kandariya Mahadev Temple

Kandariya Mahadev Temple: The most impressive of the temples in Khajuraho is the Kandariya Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is a fine example of North Indian temple art and architecture. Its grand dimensional complex with exceptional sculptural adornment is praiseworthy. More than 800 exquisite sculptures of gods, goddesses, beasts and warriors, dancers, musicians and some erotic scenes adorn the temple walls.

Khajuraho temples are divided into three groups on the basis their geographical location. These are Western groups, Eastern Groups and Southern groups. Apart from the Kandariya Mahadev temple in the Western Group, other temples worth visiting are Lakshman and the Vishwanath Temples. Both these temples are similar to the Kandariya Mahadev temple in composition, theme and sculptural embellishments. They also have some individual significance.The Archeological Museum near the entrance to the Western group has fine collection of sculptures found in the area. The star exhibits are dancing Ganesha and a fascinating fresco showing the construction of Khajuraho. The Eastern Group of temples includes the Parsvanatha Temple, built in 950 AD. Three exquisite sculptures are present showing apsaras applying kohl around their eyes. The intricately carved ceilings are also remarkable.
The Southern Group of temples has the magnificent Chaturbhuj Temple, built in 1090 AD. The temple in its inner sanctum has a four armed image of Lord Shiva. This is the only temple in Khajuraho without any erotic image.

Mahakaleshwar Temple: This temple is situated in Ujjain along the side of Rudra Sagar lake. Mahakaleshwar temple is one of the most popular temples of Madhya Pradesh and has thousands of ardent followers. It is one of the twelve ‘Jyotirilingas’ in India, jyotirilingas were the secret abodes of Lord Shiva and evokes passionate religious sentiments among the devotees. This temple is also considered as one of the top 10 tantra temples of India. It is the only temple where Bhasma-arti is performed. Devotees from all over the world pay visit to this temple.

Taj-ul-Masjid
: The most important monument in Bhopal is the Taj-ul-Masjid, built by Sultan Jehan Begum in 1878 but was left unfinished for 100 years before being completed in 1971. This large, pink coloured structure has an imposing double storeyed gate-way with 4 recessed archways and 9 imposing cusped multi-foiled openings in the main prayer hall. The enormous courtyard of the mosque has a dukka (water tank) for ritual ablutions. The general ambience of the mosque is majestic.

Jami Masjid: Dominating the centre of the old quarter is a beautiful mosque – the Jami Masjid. Built in 1837 by Qudsia Begum in Bhopal, the mosque is adorned with gold finals. It is surrounded by shops selling silver ornaments which are quite attractive.

Moti Masjid: Built in 1860 by Sikander Jehan, daughter of Kudsia Begum, Moti Masjid is a replica of Delhi’s Jami Masjid (Jami or Jama..pls chk). Its stripped dome and tapering sandstone minarets are eye-catching.

Laxminarayan Temple: On the Arera Hills is a large, recently built and brightly painted temple Laxminarayan Temple overlooking the Lower Lake.

Mahavirgiri: It is the highest point in Bhopal and is recently built temple. The site offers a great panoramic view of the city. You can use the ropeway or drive up to reach the top.

Ramghat: This is one of the most important ghats on the banks of the river Mandakini. The site in Chitrakoot offers a changing kaleidoscope of religious activity every day. Countless pilgrims throng to the place for silent meditation and to hear the chanting of hymns by sadhus. At dawn, devotees of all ages perform rituals and take holy dip in the sacred waters of river Mandakini.

Kamadgiri: Kamadgiri located in Chitrakoot is considered to be the original site where Lord Rama had performed his exile. Covered by deep forests and hills, this place has few temples and is venerated today as the holy embodiment of Lord Rama. Nearby is the Bharat Milap temple which marks the spot where Bharat (Rama’s brother) is said to have met Rama to request him to return to Ayodhya. Many pilgrims visit the spot to perform sacred rituals.

Sati Anusuya: It is located further upstream, about 16 km from Chitrakoot town. This is a serene place, covered by thick forests. According to Hindu mythology, this is the place where Atri Muni, his wife Anusuya and their three sons (who were the three incarnations of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) had meditated. The place can be approached through a densely forested and curved path.Other important sites in Chitrakoot include Bharat Koop, Hanuman Dhara, Janaki Kund and Sphatik Shila.

Gurudwara Data Bandhi Chhod: This is a memorial of Guru Hargobind Saheb, the 6th Sikh Guru who was imprisoned here by Emperor Jehangir for over two years. It is located in the Gwalior Fort.

Jain Sculptures: The Gwalior fort can be best entered from the Urwahi Gate in the western side where 21 colossal Jain sculptures of the tirthankaras (dating from 7th to 15th centuries) are carved into the rock face.

Teli ka Mandir: An 82-ft high temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu is located inside the fort. The temple has an unusual sikhara, rounded at the top. After the Indian Mutiny in 1857, the British captured the fort and used it as a soda factory.Towards the north is a pair of 11th century Vishnu temples, called the Saas – Bahu temples. These temples are covered with superb sculptures of dancing girls and deities.

Bada Ganapati: As the name suggests it is the largest Ganesh idol in the world measuring a height of 25 feet from crown to foot. It is located in Indore. The statue was created in 1875 as a result of the dream of an Avantika (Ujjain) resident, Shri Dadhich. The idol frame is made of precious metals but the idol itself is made up of a bizarre mix of bricks, limestone, gur (jaggery), and mud from the stables of elephants and horses, besides holy soils from various sacred places of the country.

Khajrana Temple: The people of Indore worship Lord Ganesha with a belief that he would fulfill all their wishes. The temple at Khajrana was built by Rani Ahiya Bai Holkar and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Near Khajrana temple is the dargah of Nahar Sayed which is an important pilgrimage place for Maita Muslims.

Kanch Mandir: Kanch mandir or “Glass Temple” in Indore is an opulent 19th century Jain temple located west of the Rajwada Palace. The unique feature is that the temple walls, ceilings, floors, pillars and door knobs are entirely covered with glass and beautiful paintings on it. The glittering chandeliers and murals on glass are together an architectural marvel.

Annapurna Temple : Built on the same lines of Meenakshi temple at Madurai, Annapurna temple is in Indore is guarded by four life-sized elephants. The inner sanctum has the images of Shiva and Kal Bhairav, besides the main deity Annapurna.

Chausat Yogini Temple: About 22 km southwest of Jabalpur is the 10th century Chausat Yogini Temple, situated on the top of a hill rock. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, this temple has exquisitely carved stone figures of deities belonging to the Kalchuri period. According to a local legend, this ancient temple is connected to the Gond Queen Durgavati's palace through an underground passage.

Vishnu Barha Mandir :This is one of the most famous temples in Jabalpur and is located in Sihora tehsil. Some other interesting sites nearby are Jain Temple (Pisanhari ki Madiya), Pariyat Tank, Bargi Dam, Lamheta Ghat, Devtal and Bhadbhada.

Jatashankar Cave Temple: It is dedicated to Lord Shiva is 2 km away from the main bus stop in Pachmarhi. Situated under loose massive boulders and encompassed by verdant hills and forests, this temple site offers a good excursion to the tourists. The Jambu Dweep Stream has its source from this hillock. During Shivratri festival a large number of devotees throng to the place to offer prayers and puja to Lord Shiva.

Christ Church: Built in 1875 it is the town’s most beautiful monument. Its stained glass windows look attractive when sun rays pass through it.

Great Stupa of Sanchi:Sanchi was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1989. Most of the buildings in Sanchi are within an enclosure at the top of the 91-m hill dominated by the Great Stupa. It is believed to be the oldest stone structure in India. With a height of 16.4 m and diameter 36.5 m, the stupa stands in eternal majesty having a massive hemispherical dome.One of the worth visiting sites in Sanchi is the Archeological Museum that includes some star exhibits like lion capital of the Ashokan Pillar, metal objects used by the Buddhist monks, statues of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. About 70 km from Sanchi is Udayapur, a place famous for its 11th -century Nilakantheswar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple’s architecture has great resemblance with the temples of Khajuraho. The symmetry of this graceful shikhara has been beautifully carved. There is also a broken image of a curious figure that seems to hang in the space.

Where to Stay in Madhya Pradesh ?

There are numerous hotels where one can opt to stay while traveling to Madhya Pradesh. Though ranking varies from one city to another still there are few that are known for their courteous services and comfort hospitality. Click to find Hotels Citywise in Bhopal | Bhind | Hoshangabad | Jabalpur | Guna | Mandsaur | Ratlam | Ujjain | Dewas | Gwalior | Indore | Khajuraho | Neemuch | Singrauli

Best Time to Visit Madhya Pradesh

Best time to visit Madhya Pradesh is between October to February however it also depends upon the reason of the visit and the interest of the traveller. It is advisable to carry warm clothings during this time as it can get cold and the mercury level can decrease considerably. Madhya Pradesh has a lot to offer, if you wish to visit the wildlife sanctuatries, the best time for you will be from March to June when you can spot the Tiger. However if you wish to visit the Kumbh Mela(the largest human gathering on Earth), it takes places from 22nd April to 21st May and it is held on the gap of every twelve years.

Tourist Helpline Numbers

Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.
Paryatan Bhawan, Bhadbhada Road, Bhopal - 462 003
Website: www.mptourism.com
E-mail: info@mptourism.com
Fax: +91-755-2779476/2774289
Tourist Helpline (Toll Free) : 1800 233 7777
Hotel Booking Tel.: +91-755-2778383
Transport Booking Tel.: +91-755-2775572
Contact Between: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Mon to Sat)*

Also Read

Bhopal Tourism | Bhind Tourism | Hoshangabad Tourism | Chhindwara Tourism | Jabalpur Tourism| Guna Tourism | Mandsaur Tourism | Ratlam Tourism | Ujjain Tourism | Dewas Tourism | Gwalior Tourism | Indore Tourism | Khajuraho Tourism | Neemuch Tourism | Singrauli Tourism | Vidisha Tourism

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    DEEPAK KEWAT from SHAHDOL 759 Days ago

    ALL PLACE IS THA BEST IN MP

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