Madhya Pradesh situated right at the center of India is bearably the most underrated tourist destination in India. It still remains unexplored in-spite of the numerous palaces, forts, temples and wildlife destinations it offers. The options are never ending in Madhya Pradesh. Be it Adventure, Wildlife, Cultural or Spiritual there is something for everyone here. To know why you shouldn’t overlook Madhya Pradesh as a tourist destination check out the below mentioned places.
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Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Madhya Pradesh as a Tourist Destination
Situated in Chattarpur District, Khajuraho, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s famous for its Nagara Style Architecture and erotic sculptures. Set against the backdrop of the Vindhya range, Khajuraho was built by the Chandela Dynasty in the years between 950 to 1050 A.D. The temples are a confluence of Hindu and Jain religions. This shows the harmony and acceptance the people of that era had, for different religions. The Chandelas were immensely passionate about art which is evident in these temples.
Also Read: The Khajuraho Temple Guide to know more about this heritage site.
Orchha (means Hidden), a small sleepy town in Madhya Pradesh unknown for many is actually, a hidden treasure. Nestled on the banks of river Betwa, this historical town founded in the 16th century by King Rudra Pratap, the Bundela Rajput Chief. What makes this town special are the fascinating temples, palaces and Chattris that make this town seem frozen in time. Orchha was once the capital of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India. The monuments here still retain the grandeur of its lost era. The Mughal inspired Rajput architecture resonates in the palaces and temples here.
Also Read: Orchha – A Hidden Wonder to know more about this beautiful place
The small town of Bhedaghat near Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) has a unique identity. Located on the banks of river Narmada its famous for its Dhuandhar Falls, India’s very own Niagara Falls. Dhuandhar Falls or Smokey Falls got its name from Dhuan (smoke) and Dhar (water flow). The Narmada narrows down its flow and flows down into a mass of mist hence the name Dhuandhar Falls. The falls are 30 meters high. The falls make their way through the very popular marble rocks. The pattern the river has made on the rocks a it cuts through them while flowing is absolutely stunning.
Also Read: Dhuandhar Falls – India’s Niagra Falls
Established in June 1955 with a core area of 917.44 square kilometers and surrounding area of 1,134.361 square kilometers, Kanha National Park provides an all-round nature experience with lush green tall Sal trees, Sindoor & Bamboo trees, ghost trees and vast green meadows & grasslands for deer grazing. Under the Project Tiger in 1973, it was made the Kanha Tiger Reserve. Apart from the Royal Bengal Tigers, it houses sloth bears, leopards, Indian wild dogs, Jackals, wild boars, bison (gaur), peacocks, spotted deers, blackbuck, sambhar, chital, barking deer and the rare hard-ground swamp deer the famous Barasingha which is found exclusively at the Kanha Tiger reserve. It’s therefore no wonder that this beautiful glorious jungle inspired Rudyard Kipling to create the world-famous novel The Jungle book with our little ones favorite character Mowgli.
Also Read: Wildlife Jungle Safari at Kanha National Park to know more about how to plan a visit here
Gwalior, a major city in Madhya Pradesh is known for its rich heritage. Gwalior was one the main sites during the 1857 rebellion and since Independence it has become a prominent tourist destination. Gwalior Fort is aptly known as the “pearl among the Fortresses in India”. This beautiful fort is perched on a hill-top and comprises of 6 palaces, gardens, museums and temples within its complex. The major monuments of the fort are the Jain Temples, Garuda Monument, Teli ka Mandir, Saas Bahu Temple, Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor, Hathi Pol, Man Mandir Palace, Chhatri of Bhim Singh Rana among others. Chaturbhuj Temple in the Fort premises has an excavated rock face with an inscription of “Zero” on it and is believed to be the earliest known mention of the digit.
Everybody has heard of Sanchi Stupa. Stupa are spherical structures containing relics of Buddha or his followers. Sanchi Stupa is famous for its main or Maha stupa, that is built on a hilltop in Sanchi. This is the center and it is surrounded with more stupas all over the region. It was built by Ashoka the Great to maintain and preserve Buddhism. It’s famous for its stupas, temples and monasteries. The Maha stupa is surrounded by four gateways that depict the life of Buddha via intricate carvings. Another point of interest is the Ashoka Pillar which still stands tall on the side of the main Gateways. The Maha Stupa is also declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Situated at a height of 1100 meters in the Satpura Range, Panchmarhi is also called as the “Queen of Satpura”. Legend has it that the Pandavas visited Pachmarhi when they were in exile for 15 years. They built 5 caves and hence the name Panch (five) Marhi (caves). The caves are situated at the highest point in Madhya Pradesh. Captain James Forsyth discovered Pachmarhi in 1857, and later on it developed as a popular hill station. The Pachmarhi also falls under UNESCO Biosphere Reserves due to its rich flora and fauna. Rajat Pratap Falls which is one of India’s highest falls is also in these hills. There are many tourist spots along the caves and it is popular with tourists all year round.
Ujjain is known as the Temple city owing to its many temples. It is situated on the banks on River Shipra. Ujjain was once the residence of Ashoka the Great and the political and cultural capital of Central India. Once in every 12 years, Ujjain also hosts the Kumbh Mela during which thousands flock to this beautiful city. The most famous temple in Ujjain is the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple which is one of the 12 main Jyotirlindas (temples) of Lord Shiva.
Mandu is a historical Village in the Malwa plateau near Western Madhya Pradesh. This place boasts of many forts, palaces and numerous heritage monuments that speak of its rich past. It is all in ruins now but it gives a glimpse of how splendid the bygone era must have been. Mandav Durg was regarded as one of the largest and iconic forts before the Mughals destroyed it. The other monuments worth visiting are Jaami Mosque, Mausoleum of Hoshang Shah (which is said to be the inspiration for the Taj Mahal). Another iconic monument is the Jahaz Mahal or Ship palace that resembles a ship and is built between two artificial lakes. The Afghan architecture is at its best in Mandu and will surely leave you mesmerized.
Madhya Pradesh has an enormous green forest belt and Bandhavghar is one of the main national parks for tiger spotting in the state. Bandhav means “Brother ” and Garh means “Fort”. According to a legend Lord Ram gifted this place to his brother Lakshman, hence the name Bandhavgarh. There are many man-made caves, rock paintings and sculptures inside the forest that date back to 2000 years. Bandhavgarh has a high density of the Royal Bengal Tigers in the world and there is always a good chance of spotting one. For years it was a favorite hunting ground of the Maharajas and now it’s a treasured National Park. Apart from the famed tigers it also houses 37 species of mammals and 25 species of birds.
If you think the only thing that Madhya Pradesh lacks is a beach; well you are wrong. Here is where Hanuwantiya comes into picture. It gives an illusion of a beach. Hanuwantiya an island, at the banks of the Indira Sagar Dam and the other islands of Madhya Dweep are famous with adventure seekers for its water sports. Madhya Pradesh Tourism arranges Jal Mahotsav on the Island of Hanuwantiya in the months of October to January. its a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate on house boats, sail boats and to indulge in some thrilling adventure.
Hope you find this Post on Madhya Pradesh of use to you. Have you also done any road trips in Madhya Pradesh with kids. What was your experience? Do let us know about your experience or if I am missing something, please contact us or comment below and I will update this blog soon. Your comments and/or feedback are most welcome.
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