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Tourist Places To Visit In Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh, also known as the Heart of India due to its central location is one of the most up and coming tourist hotspots in India. It is also quite unexplored and untouched. Be it the wide range of national parks, nature reserves, historical sites and the like, Madhya Pradesh has it all. It was also awarded The Best Tourism State Award in 2012.Here are the best tourist places to visit in Madhya Pradesh, from Indore to Bhopal, Orchha to Gwalior and Khajuraho. With many more.
Western Madhya Pradesh
The three important cities of Western Madhya Pradesh are Indore, Mandu and Maheshwar. It also includes Ujjain which is a site for the Kumbh Mela. Mandu offers a host of historical Afghan architecture inspired by the Taj Mahal era. Indore is one of the fastest commercially growing cities and boasts of excellent infrastructure and booming economical strength. Maheshwar is popular for its exquisite temples and festivals which promote Indian art and culture. The temple town also finds its mention in epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Khajuraho town in Madhya Pradesh has a large number of Hindu and Jain Temples from the medieval era famous for their erotic sculptures. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sights and presents India’s medieval era art culture and beauty through carved stones and aesthetically appealing creations. These are thousand year old temples still standing strong as the foundation of India’s unique architecture. Tourists from all over the world visit Khajuraho for these magnificent carved temples and sculptures, including that of the Kama Sutra.
Gwalior city located in Northern Madhya Pradesh boasts of several amazing historical temples and forts including the most visited one, the Gwalior Fort. It was the land of the Scindia Dynasty and has always attracted musicians, artists, poets and travelers to its inspiring space. Music is one of Gwalior’s special attractions with festivals such as Tansen Sangeet Samaroh. The Museum of Music in Gwalior is another popular tourist attraction.
Chitrakoot is a city located in the Eastern Region of Madhya Pradesh and considered historically relevant as its mention in the Ramayana and its temples suggest. It is composed of natural tranquil beauty including rivers, hills and lush green forest region. It is here that Rama and Sita are believed to have spent 11 years of the 14 years of exile. Yoga and ayurvedic centres can also be found in abundance attracting people for peace and meditation. The majestic ghats, solacing ashrams and historical temples make it a must visit place in Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh has a large number of National Parks and Natural Reserves due to the vast amount of natural flora and fauna still preserved in the green state. Bandhavgarh is the home for tigers and the natural home for white tigers. It is a highly preserved area where tigers can easily be spotted due to their large population here. Kanha National Park is another one popular for animals such as sambhar and swamp deer.
World Heritage Sights
Apart from the Khajuraho Temples, two other sites are included in the world Heritage Sights list. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi are eminent as the land of Stupas also containing the world’s oldest Sanchi Stupa. The monuments and ruins at Sanchi mark an important milestone for Buddhist culture and spread of its religion in the Indian plains. When Ashoka embraced Buddhism, the stupas were built in its honor and still provide a window to the history of that time. The Rock Shelters at Bhimbetka provide historical significance as Stone Age rock paintings are to be found here. Additionally, direct relation to the Mahabharata increases its importance. Its caves are an appealing option to the traveler too.
The capital city, also known as the City of Lakes, popular for its natural and artificial lakes has immense natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. It is a combination of the modern and the historical and Bhopal blends a right mixture of both ranging from lakes and gorgeous hills to busy marketplaces and business centers. Its lush gardens and parks along with extraordinary temples make it a great place to visit.
Ujjain, a town that was known as Avantikapuri two centuries ago, and later came to be known as Ujjaini, is located on the banks of River Shipra. The great Indian poet Kalidas wrote about Ujjain: 'the town is fallen from heaven, to bring heaven on earth.' And it is so. Ornamented by ancient temples, ghats and small places of worship, interspersed with ashrams and baithakjis and dharamshalas, Ujjain is a dream for someone who wants to travel back in time. It is a very sacred city in Hinduism and was once a commercial and political hub of Avanti Kingdom. The place was governed by Asoka under his father's reign at one point in time and is today renowned for Kumbh Mela, the world's largest gathering that happens every 12 years.
You must visit Ujjain's most famous temple - the Kaal Bhairav temple that is dedicated to an avatar of Lord Shiva, who is the god of time and death. Do also visit the Sandipani Rishi aashram nearby where Lord Krishna has said to have studied in his time, and the Mahaprabhuji Baithak next to the Aashram. There are many other temples, shopping bazaars and ghats to explore here.
Indore is MP's largest city and one of the cleanest, most hygienic and aesthetically lovely in the state. It used to be a trading hub connecting the deccan India to Delhi in the 16th Century and was later planned into a city by Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar. It is a hub of palaces, shopping bazars and arcades as well as commercial and trade centres today. The food here is to die from, from the restaurants to roadside eateries to the stalls lined in the famous Sarafa Bazar area. It is also a smart city and a must-visit when planning a trip to explore Madhya Pradesh.
Orchha is a historic town of palaces and temples and forts, located on the bank of Betwa river. Founded by a Bundela Rajput Chieftain back in the 16th Century, Orchha is a delight today for visitors. You can go exploring some of the most amazing temples here - like the Raja Ram Mandir where Ram is worshipped as a god as well as the king of the land, check out the Chaturbhuj Temple, go bird watching or just while away your time strolling the streets.
The word Chanderi is usually used along with a certain kind of fabric used for sarees and dresses. But the fabric really comes from this town of Madhya Pradesh. Chanderi is an ancient town, almost goes back to 11th Century CE, and is home to some of the most awe-inspiring lush hills, meadows and lakes in the state. There are many forts here as well. The town has ancient shops and workshops where the Chanderi fabric is still handwoven by artisans who are in the business for numerous generations. The weave of rich silk, soft cotton and bling zari makes Chanderi so covetable for Indian wear. The town is also a very important religious centre for the Jains.
Bhedaghat, best visited for the massive Dhuandar Falls, is also called the landscape of marble. People from all over come here to see the smoky white waterfalls and go boating in its pool. Moonlight boating expeditions, especially on full moon nights are perfect. The boatmen row you across and tell adventurous stories. The town is also known for the massive marble rocks nature erected on both sides of River Narmada. You can also visit Bandar Kudini (where monkeys cross two cliffs by merely jumping) and the 64 Yogini Temple.
Bhimbetka, known for the rock shelters, is actually an exotic location in all the other usual fare in Madhya Pradesh. Some believe that these Bhimbetka rock shelters hold the oldest, most earliest human life traces in the Indian arena. The South Asian stone age began here, and is carved on these caves.
There are paintings here as old as 30000 years, while figurines and geometric shapes more recent than that but still old enough. Root and vegetable dyes have been used, showing us how advanced our ancestors were. Bhimbetka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the best towns to visit.
Located in the Satpura ranges, Pachmarhi is called Satpura’s queen by the locals. It is a hill station, a rare one in the state of Madhya Pradesh, with bisons and leopards roaming around in the wilderness nearby. The town is enclosed by the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, creating a cool, natural hilly setting that generates peace. From mythical caves where Pandavas spent their exile to forests that invite your hiking boots, Pachmarhi is great for a summer escapade.
Omkareshwar is a religious pilgrimage destination of Madhya Pradesh, also called the mini Varanasi of the region. Kaveri and Narmada rivers meet here, creating a fertile ground for Hinduism. The fact that these rivers merge in the shape of Sanskrit symbol ‘om’ also makes the town special. Hence, of course, its name. You can visit shrines, soak in the vibes of Lord Shiva and the jyotirlingas (one of which is in this town).
The town of Maheshwar finds mention in Hindu epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. Located in the Maratha Malwa region, this town was once the capital of Queen Ahilyabai of Holkar. The architecture of old monuments, palaces, havelis etc is hence Maratha in style. This is a nice place to spend a day or two when in Madhya Pradesh — one day observing its architecture, the next shopping for its patent Maheshwari sarees.
Among all the Hindu temples and lores, also stands tall the set of Buddhist stupas of Sanchi. Sanchi is one of the prime most Buddhist pilgrimages in the world, attracting Buddhists from all corners. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with some of the oldest stone structures in the subcontinent, including the Great Stupa installed by Asoka in 3rd Century BCE. There are many other Buddhist relics and shrines around the town, along with stupas, Toranas and ornately carved gates.
Another town of rocks and marbles, Jabalpur sits in a suitable industrial belt, on the bank of Narmada. There are ghats, temples, factories as well as ancient marble art. This can be hence called a pretty wholesome destination of MP. You can visit the Dhuandhar waterfalls, Bhedaghat marble rocks, Roopnath, Chausath Yogini Temple and the grand Madan Mahal Fort. Natural beauty coupled with colonial buildings is an added charm of Jabalpur, as are the wildlife escapades nearby — Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Park.
Amarkantak, the land of the mystic poet Kabir, is also a tirth-raj, or the king of all pilgrimages. Sitting right in the middle of Satpura and Vindhya hills, this little town is a mix of hill station and pilgrimage vibes. From temples to forests to Kabir’s meditation ground — there is much to see here. Do not miss the origination point of River Narmada and Kabir Chabutra (Kabir’s meditating spot).
Vidisha holds great historic significance in Madhya Pradesh. It is home to ruins of the old culture of India, as well as to temples and monuments retelling the tales of society and religion of yore. Tourists are attracted here for the confluence of Rivers Beas and Betwa, as well as the archaeological excavations that have helped humankind understand its roots.