About Madhya Pradesh State of India
Heart of India
Madhya Pradesh is divided into ten divisions which comprise of fifty districts. Major agglomerations are Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Gwalior. These towns are also commercial hubs as well as major education centers.
Also known as MP, it is the second largest state in India with a substantial population of tribal and migrants. Hindi is the most popularly spoken language besides English and regional languages. The Capital City is Bhopal which is close to Jabalpur and Indore. Indore is the commercial hub of the state with many manufacturing units in its industrial areas. It is also a major trading center.
Being rich in mineral wealth and forest cover the economy thrives on mining, manufacturing, trade and commerce. The locals rely on minor forest produce as means of income.
After partition from Chattisgarh, the state retains an area of 308,252 km² and has a population of more than 74 million. The level of literacy is seventy percent plus. The gender ratio is 931 females to 1000 males and is going higher every year.
Ahilya Fort Maheshwar
Madhya Pradesh in Photos
Cenotaphs In MP
Madhya Pradesh is enveloped by two major plateaus namely the Vindhaya and Satpura Ranges. The former lies in the North West while the latter runs Southeast. The two hill ranges converge at Amarkantak Hills which is also known as Maikal Range. The two ranges were once heavily forested but remain fragmented in the present time.
Amarkantak Hills are the origin of the major river system called Narmada which flows from east to west. Lot many dams have been built on this river. The other river that originates from Amarkantak is the Son River which merges with the Ganges.
The tributaries of Narmada are Banjar, Denwa, Tawa, Machna and the Sonbhardra rivers. The Vindhyas contain rivers that flow from south to north. These systems are Chambal, Shipra, Kali Sindh, Parbati, Kuno; Sind, Betwa, Dhasan and Ken. The eastern part of the Ganges basin consists of the Son, the Tons and the Rihand rivers.
Plateaus and valleys which are branches of Satpura and Vindhyan ranges are:
- Kaimur Plateau
- Narmada valley
- Wainganga valley
- Gird Region
- Malwa Plateau
- Nimar Plateau
- Jhabua Hills
The soil types support good agricultural practices. The primary soil types are:
Black Soil (Malwa Region)
- Red Soil (Baghelkhand)
- Yellow Soil (Baghelkhand)
- Alluvial Soil Northern Madhya Pradesh
- Laterite Soil Central India Highlands
- Mixed Soil Gwalior & Chambal Division
Tiger Safari Pench
Political Madhya Pradesh
The State is divided into districts with regions comprising of political seats. Some of the seats are reserved for tribal, schedule castes, women and the rest are general. The Legislative Assembly comprises of 230 seats. The members elect the Chief Minister who has executive powers while the constitution head is the Governor.
At present the Chief Minister is Shivraj Singh Chauhan he belongs to Bharatiya Janta Party.
Madhya Pradesh also sends 11 representatives to Rajya Sabha and 29 representatives to Lok Sabha which governs the Center.
List of Divisions:
- Narmada Puram
List of Districts:
- Ashok Nagar
- Agar Malwa
Madhya Pradesh Geography
Sprawled across the center, Madhya Pradesh is often called the heart of India. It is the State with unique characteristic, culture and topography. The State excels in geographical beauty and is one of the greenest in the country.
Madhya Pradesh has large forest cover besides other ecosystems like grassland and wetlands. It has large expanse of rivers and lofty mountain ranges. The State is beholder of ancient history of kings and queens and the rich tribal culture. The ancient monuments in modern India excel as tourism destinations and elaborate the cultural wealth of the state.
In case of historical monuments Gwalior has much to offer. So do other cities like Bhopal, Jabalpur and Indore. Palaces & Forts, Ancient Temples, Chattris and many other architectural wonders enthrall the tourists.
Wildlife tourism is one that takes the cake. World's most popular tiger reserves are found in MP. Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench are the best places to see tiger in the wild. Other places are Panna, Satpura, Madhav National Park and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary. These destination are ideal for birding in MP as well.
Organized package tours in MP are the best means for sightseeing and wildlife safaris in the State. Large number of tourists visit Madhya Pradesh every year especially during the winter holidays and at the time of major festivals.
Some of the popular destinations are:
Pachmarhi: is situated atop the Satpura Mountain Range. The resort thrives on abundant biodiversity and natural formations. The verdant greenery and panoramic splendor is unparalleled by any place in India. The destination is also a wildlife sanctuary with home to many Central Indian Mammals and Birds. Along with Satpura and Bori it constitutes Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Summers are the best time to visit this Hill Station thanks to its cool climes. The way to reach is to arrive at Pipariya Station on Bhopal - Jabalpur rail line. From Pipayria the resort is one and a half hour ride.
Khajuraho Temples: In Chhattarpur District of Madhya Pradesh, there are ancient wonders carved out of hard sandstone rock. The temples where built by Chandela Kings in 9th Century AD. As of now 20 temples are left in good condition some contain erotic carvings on the outer walls. The town attracts thousands of tourists from all over the World to see the magnificent architecture of the erotic monuments. There are many hotels and luxury resorts for accommodation at Khajuraho. In order to reach one can take a direct train from New Delhi or Jhansi CIty in Uttar Pradesh. The temple town is well connected with New Delhi, Varanasi and Mumbai by flight services.
Amarkantak Hills: The River Narmada originates from the hills of Amarkantak hence it is a major pilgrimage center for the Hindus. The destination has many temples and ashrams of the Gurus. It is also a biosphere reserve an encompasses Achanakmar Sanctuary as well.
Ujjain: Situated on the banks of River Shipra, the city is a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Famous Kumbh Mela (fair) is held here every year. One of the twelve Jyotirlinga sacred to Hindus resides here in Mahakaleshwar Temple.
Sanchi: The stupas are the most ancient stone structure in India and date back to 3 BCE. They are architectural wonders and house the relics of Buddha. There are number of Buddhist monasteries worth visiting here.
Mandu: This ancient city is a romantic destination with turbulent history of savage takeovers. The city is cordoned by twelve impressive gateways that have turned the destination into a fort city. The romantic tales of Baaz Bhadur and Rani Roopmati still echo in the ancient palaces and forts. The enigmatic ambiance of the resort makes it an ideal honeymoon location.
Shivpuri: This is a hill resort with pleasant surroundings. The destination is home to wild animals and birds at nearby Madhav National Park. The Chand Patha Lake and George Castle are major attractions here.
Kalinjar Fort at Orchha
MP Wildlife Photos
Wildlife Safaris in Madhya Pradesh
Well known for its wildlife, MP holds a high population of Bengal tigers in India. They are conserved in protected areas designated as National Parks and Tiger Reserves.The State is rich in wildlife and is home to unique mammals, reptiles and avian species. There are many places for wildlife watching. The best are in some of the newly introduced places such as Satpura National Park and Nauradehi WLS.
Most visited places for safaris in the State of Madhya Pradesh are:
Kanha National Park MP
These are the three tiger reserves which are hub of tourism in Madhya Pradesh. The parks exhibit amazing biodiversity with immense floral wealth and wildlife. Tiger can be easily seen here on a safari. Other animals that are seen are bison, spotted deer, sambar and wild dogs. Leopard and sloth bear are sighted with luck. The reserves are rich birding areas and offer magnificent sightings of forest species.
Among other places for safaris are Chambal River Sanctuary, Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, Panna Tiger Reserve, Sanjay Tiger Reserve and Bori Wildlife Sanctuary.
The safaris in the parks are organized from 1st October to June 31st every year. Winters and summers offer the best chance to track the tiger in the wild. Elephant shows also increase the chance of big cat sightings.
Jabalpur City of MP
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Madhya Pradesh Videos
Fast Food In MP State
Culture & History of MP
In MP, major impact on culture has arisen from cities like Jabalpur, Gwalior, Bhopal and Indore. These cities were ruled by the Gonds in earlier times, subsequently many other dynasties occupied them. Notable impact on history and ancient architecture is seen in Gwalior, Mandu, Orchha and Bhopal.
Other places that have significant history are Ujjain in Malwa and Vidisha. The State was subsequently brought under control by the British who defeated the Maratha Rulers the ones who dominated in many provinces before being driven out.
The urban settlements were culturally very rich throughout. Development in art was the key feature. Many small places also contributed to the cultural development of the State.
The tribal communities formed bulk of artisan in the State. Even now artifacts crafted by these communities are much in vogue. The tribal culture is unique with customs and practices dating back to the Gondwana Land before the tectonic plate movement began.
Classical & Folk Music
Music was much patronized by the Maharajahs in the State. Maihar & Gwalior were at the forefront in the earlier days. Ustan Ala Uddin Khan was a renowned composer and musician guru of the Maihar Gharana.
The Gwalior Gharana produced many stalwarts during its heydays. Indian Classical Music was widespread and prevalent in the State with performers in major towns like Ujjain, Indore and Jabalpur.
The local folk music abounds patronized by different tribal and migrant communities. Though not very popular nowadays this form of music still exists in remote pockets.
Simple food comprising of lentils. rice. wheat,meat, poultry and vegetables prepared in a simple way is the normal diet. Most of the exotic recipes and styles came along with the migrants from other state to primarily a tribal domain.
Hence the cuisine displays impact of the country as whole more so among the migrant communities. In restaurants North and South Indian food is widespread prevalent. In households Dal Batti, Baign Bharta and curries are popular. Towns like Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur offer wide variety of foods in the eateries.
Fast foods like bhel puri, chaat, patis, pani puri, samosa and aloo bonda are widespread prevalent. These are the forte of small eateries and food stall on handcarts typical to India. Samosa and Aloo Bonda are usual tea stall snacks seen everywhere. Small eateries are popular of Southern dishes.
Global fast food chains are also making inroads in urban localities. Macdonald's, Dominos, KFC, Subway and some others have their outlets in the major towns.
Madhya Pradesh being the heart of India has similar weather pattern everywhere. The intensity of monsoon rains may waver with one district surpassing another. Most of the districts receive and average rainfall of sixty inches.
The ideal weather liked by most is during the period of mid Jan to mid March whence the weather is neither too cold nor hot.
Winters are very cold but it does not snow since the temperature hangs around 4 degree centigrade while dipping to zero at night in some districts.
Summers are uniformly hot and maximum temperature is direct sunlight could touch 45 degree centigrade.
Best Season to Visit the State
The best season to visit Madhya Pradesh is winters but destination wise the matter differs. Tourist visit Pachmarhi the most during the summers and rains. Likewise Mandu turns into a romantic heaven during the rains. Khajuraho temples are most visited during the winters and during Khajuraho Dance Festival in MP.
The tiger reserves experience high tourist traffic during the winters and holiday season especially during the Hindu festivals (Holi, Diwali), X'Mas and New Year. Many holiday makers from India prefer to visit these natural heavens during the summer holidays, heat not withstanding.
Map of MP
Madhya Pradesh India
© 2010 Uday Patel
More by this Author
Read how to travel in MP and discover various modes of transportation. Find popular destinations of Madhya Pradesh in Central India.
Read about tiger country in India . Discover the secrets of Bengal tigers and their ways.
An insight into organizing a tiger safari at Kanha. Find details on park excursions, rules and regulations.
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