The state of Madhya Pradesh is the center point of India. It has aptly gained the recognition of “The Heart of India”. Surrounded by other states on all four sides, Madhya Pradesh tourism is booming the tourist industry. Many wildlife reservations sprawling across the state are home to an impressive variety of flora and fauna. The plain it lies on bears some of the oldest lands in the entire subcontinent.
The state hosts an assortment of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist relics of the times bygone. Especially, history buffs will be greatly enamored by the temples and monasteries of Madhya Pradesh. Presented below are some of the worthwhile mentions to make up for some Madhya Pradesh tourism.
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Top 20 Madhya Pradesh Tourism
1. Bandhavgarh National Park
This is one of the most prominent national parks in India. It is located in the district of Umaria. In ancient times, the Maharaja of Rewa used to hunt here. However, the park features hilly terrain. Lies atop an 800-meter tall cliff the Bandhavgarh Fort.
Although the fort is in a shabby condition now, you can observe the park in all its glory from the height. Very few locations in the world can boast of such a dense Tiger population. As of 2012, this park was the habitat of about 50 tigers. You will be able to see other forms of wildlife here as well, such as Spotted Deer, Red-Faced Monkeys, Bengal Fox, Striped Hyena, Indian Bison Sloth Bears, and Wild Boars.
Do you enjoy viewing Alpenglow? Does the prospect of watching the sunset atop a soaring hill excite you? Mount Dhoopgarh is sure to quench your thirst for a picturesque sunset. At 4429 feet, It is the highest point of Satpura Range in Pachmarhi. Reaching the top, however, is not a piece of cake as the trekking route follows through multiple waterfalls and creeks.
3. Jai Vilas Mahal
Contrasting the appearance of the other forts and castles in Madhya Pradesh, the Jai Vilas Mahal resembles European constructions. It is a famous spot when it comes to Madhya Pradesh tourism. The mahal shows a gorgeous amalgamation of Corinthia, Tuscan and Italian architecture. Appropriately, it houses furniture from Italy, France, Belgium, and Versailles. Swords yielded by Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan are also kept here. Currently, it is the abode of the Scindia family.
4. Kandariya Mahadeva Temple
The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple lies in the Khajuraho village of the Chhatarpur district. The temple covers 6 square kilometers of area. It is about 102 feet tall. The temple displays stunning architectural finesse. It was built as an offering to Lord Shiva. There is a Shiva Lingam at the interior of the temple. The temple is structurally similar to a mountain. This is because the mythological Mount Meru served as its inspiration. Scattered around the temple are carvings and sculptures depicting erotic imagery. The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is worth a visit if you are curious about India’s longstanding cultural heritage.
5. Upper Lake
The capital of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, is widely regarded as the city of lakes. Among them is the Upper Lake. Out of all of the artificial lakes in India, this one is the oldest. Locally, it is also known as Shah Ali Talab, Bada Talab, and Bhojtal. In local lore, the water of the lake is said to possess mystical properties. The contribution of this lake to the lives of the citizens of Bhopal cannot be overstated. It is their main source of usable water. Within its vicinity, the Kamala Park was built which only adds to the charm of the lake.
6. Gwalior Fort
Standing on 6th place in Madhya Pradesh Tourism, the Gwalior Fort has at least 1600 years of legacy behind it. Many rulers across the history reigned over it. Its beauty has gained it the monicker ” the pearl among the forts of Hindustan”. If one is to hear about Gwalior, this is the place that immediately comes to mind. The fort spreads over an area of about 3 square kilometers and lies a hundred meters above Gwalior. It has multiple temples nearby, namely Gujari Mahal, Man Mandir, Teli Ka Mandir and so on. Raja Man Singh Tomar built these during the 15 century. The second-ever references to the number zero were discovered inside this fort.
7. Bee Falls
Also known as Jamuna Prapat, this is the most well-known waterfall in Pachmarhi. It is just 10 minutes away from Apsara Vihar. About 35 meters high, the townsfolk frequent this waterfall for picnics and excursions. There is a bathing pool on top of the falls. This waterfall also serves as a natural source of drinking water in the locality.
8. Bhimbetka Rock Shelters
Bhimbetka rock shelters bear the earliest evidence of life on Indian soil. Aside from historical periods, inhabitation in this area predates paleolithic and mesolithic periods. The location is especially momentous as it signifies the advent of the South Asian Stone Age. In 2003 it was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The walls of the caves showcase prehistoric paintings of humans, animals, and ancient daily activities. The oldest paintings here are speculated to be at least 30,000 years old!
9. Gujari Mahal Archaeological Museum
Gwalior has many palaces scattered throughout the region and is a top spot when it comes to Madhya Pradesh tourism. One of them, Gujari Mahal, now functions as an archaeological museum. Wife of Raja Man Singh Tomar, Mrignayani, asked for a castle built specifically for her. The Rai river nearby provided the water supply of the castle. In 1922, the authority decided to open this for the public as a museum. The 28 galleries of the museum hoard numerous artifacts of Jain and Hindu culture. Here you will find potteries, ceramics, sculptures, and terracotta-work dated from the 2nd to the 16th century.
The name of this mosque stands for “The crown among mosques”. Certainly befitting, as it is the largest mosque in India. It is one of the largest mosques in Asia as well. During the ruling of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, the construction work for this commenced. Following many years of halted progress, the construction was completed in 1971. Two minarets, octagonal in shape, lie on the two sides of the mosque. These are 18-storeys tall with marble domes. Beautiful pillars adorn the main hallway. Above it are three imposing domes.
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11. Pandava Caves
The hill station of Pachmarhi is home to many caverns with mythological backgrounds. Some of them are the Pandava Caves, sitting atop a hillock. These caves are said to have given the Pandavas protection during their exile. Among the five caves, the neatest and the one with adequate ventilation is the ‘Draupadi Kuti. Cut out of sandstone rock, the origins of these caves go as far back as the 1st century AD.
It is believed that Buddhist monks lived here as well, therefore it is a place of reverence for the Buddhist community. Another cave worth mentioning is the one dedicated to the Buddhist god of wealth, Kubera. Pandava Gardens also lie nearby which offers a pleasant view of nature.
12. Kanch Mandir
This temple from Indore is one of a kind. It entirely covers in glass sheets. It is alternatively known as Sir Hukamchand Temple as Sir Hukamchand Seth was the founder of it. This is a worship place for the Jain community. The pioneer of Jainism, Lord Mahavira, idolize here.
The idol of Lord Mahavira is a black onyx structure bejeweled with glass beads. It is inside a glass chamber. The view of the idol multiplies in a kaleidoscopic manner. Exquisite artworks can be seen on the glass panels of the wall, floor and ceiling of the shrine. They depict many historic events of Jainism.
13. Van Vihar National Park
Among the national parks of India, this is a conspicuous one. This expansive wildlife sanctuary locates in Bhopal, bordering the Upper Lake. It assumed the status of the national park 26 years ago, encompassing 4.45 square kilometers of area. The area encloses strictly, safeguarding the fauna. While the herbivores walk about freely, they keep the carnivores in a controlled environment. Van Vihar is a breeding ground for many species on the brink of extinction. You can opt for a safari-ride on a jeep to observe the wildlife from a close distance. During the months of December to February, birds from faraway places travel here.
14. Sanchi Stupa
This architectural marvel is one of the World Heritage Sites of Madhya Pradesh. It settles itself on a hilltop in Sanchi Town, Raisen. This antique stone structure is among the finest of Buddhist establishments Maurya emperor Ashoka founded it in the 3rd century BC in tribute to Lord Buddha. The hemispherical dome is at least 50 feet in height with a diameter of about 30 meters. Ambient greenery of the area brings serenity to an onlooker’s mind. The four ornamented gateways embody the virtues of trust, courage, love, and peace.
15. Bharat Bhawan
Bharat Bhawan is a government-funded art and cultural center from Bhopal. It was inaugurated in the latter half of the last century by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Charles Correa was the mastermind behind the museum. His architectural prowess shines throughout the establishment. The art gallery has access to some brilliant paintings and some of the finest sculpture-work of India. The museum split into separate blocks such as Bahirang (exterior theatre), Antrang (interior theatre) Roopankar (fine arts museum), Rangmandal (a repertory), Anhad (an array of traditional of Indian music) and Vagarth (poetry center).
16. Bagh Caves
They are not really caves by strict definition but are popular as such. They are more of man-made monuments inside rocky cliffs. The scenic beauty offered by the place is unparalleled. In order to visit these, you have to travel to the Dhar district. These artificial caves feature murals drawn by Indian artists of the distant past. Contrary to the usual Buddhist imagery, these actually portray materialistic aspects of life. They built as monasteries of Buddhist monks. Originally, there were 9 caves. But only 5 of them survived.
Alampur is one of the city councils of the Bhind district. It is a location of historical significance. The town got its name from Alam Shah Pavar, a former governor. The places of interest include the Alampur fortress, “Chhatri” of Malhar Rao Holkar and his “Chhatrisamadhi”. The umbrella-shape Chhatri, built-in memory of the demise of Malhar Rao Holkar. He was a prominent Maratha emperor of India. It features elaborate floral carvings. They built a temple in his memory, which is Chhatrisamadhi.
The city of Omkareshwar is a pilgrimage site for the Hindu community. Lying on the concourse of the rivers Kaveri and Narmada, this city built in an intriguing shape. It shapes like the Sanskrit symbol “Om”. It names itself after the word “Omkara”, an alternate name for Lord Shiva. Every year thousands of pilgrims gather here since this is the resting place of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The two shrines present here both Omkareshwar and Amarkareshwar are magnificent works of architecture. Traveling 80 kilometers from Indore will take you to Omkareshwar.
19. Rajwada Palace
About two centuries ago, the Holkars of the Maratha Empire built this palace in Indore. This seven storied edifice exudes grandeur. Built-in a fusion of Indo-Saracenic styles, it consists of two structures. The imposing entrance is the most striking part of the landmark. Upon entering, a vast courtyard, artificial waterfalls, and fountains will greet you.
Literally meaning “The Golden Peak”, Sonagiri is actually a town on the outskirts of Gwalior. It boasts of at least a hundred worship places for the Jain community. 77 of them are tower-like, with astonishing heights. The multitude of temples contributes to the aestheticism of this town. The 57th temple is the central attraction of the town and also the one with the most crowd.
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Hence, Madhya Pradesh has achieved the acclaim of the Best Tourism State at a stretch of 3 years (2015, 2016 and 2017). Needless to say, it is a place worth traveling to if you are an appreciator architectural ruins and medieval structures.