MADHY A PRADESH, THE DIVERSE HEART OF INDIA
About Madhya Pradesh:
The well-known 'heart of India' might be the largest and most diverse state in the country. This massive state is a wonderful assortment of wildlife, history, religious significance and natural beauty, yet it doesn't top our bucket list. Why? We need to ponder and think about it? But now in the past few years it has started to become famous and flourish. Endowed with rich natural resources, rare flora and fauna and breath-taking natural splendors, Madhya Pradesh has preserved its ancient heritage and inheritance. And did you know apart from all these this state has so many fun facts too. Like this is the 2nd largest state in India with an area of 308,252 sq. km. It is also the fifth largest in terms of population. This is the house of one of the oldest cave collections in India, some of the rock shelters were inhabited more than 100,000 years ago. Bhimbetka site has the oldest known rock art in Indian subcontinent, dating back more than 30,000 years. History lovers out there, Bhimbetka is well known amongst them. You can find numerous of ancient temples here adorned with some intricate erotic and sensuous carvings. The sculptures showcase the open, progressive and artistic heritage of the time. Bandhavgarh National Park is the home for Royal Bengal tigers in the world, and is home to some of the most exotic wildlife, which is difficult to spot in other parts of India. That’s why it is also known as the “land of tigers''. Madhya Pradesh has been famous for its classical and folk music. In fact, India’s two medieval legendary singers, Tansen and Baiju Bawra were born near Gwalior. Tansen especially, we have been studying about him and his music in our history lessons. This time plan and trip and witness more about him live. Madhya Pradesh is home to a large number of ethnic groups and tribes namely Gond, Bhil, Bagia, Korku, Bhadia, Malto, Kaul, Dhar and many more. And the more interesting part is more than 20% of the population here is tribal. So whenever you plan a trip, make sure to include some free time to spend with the tribals in your itinerary to experience the best of local culture.
Oh yes, and how can you forget the rivers of Madhya Pradesh. Narmada is the longest river in Madhya Pradesh and has many tributaries . Tapti river runs parallel to the Narmada and the two rivers together, provide drainage to almost a quarter of land area of the state. Surprisingly, all the rivers which drain in the Ganges, flow from South to North. Can you miss Pachmarhi? Never. It is also widely known as “Satpura ki Rani” (Queen of Satpura). The name Pachmarhi is derived from the Hindi words ‘Panch’ (Five) and ‘Marhi’ (Caves), believed to have been carved out by the Pandava brothers of Mahabharata era, during their thirteen years of exile. And the most historic the Great Stupa at Sanchi, its like a pilgrimage for buddhists and every year tourists throng to this place because of that. Also, its great place for shopping handloom clothes, handmade artifacts, bamboo items, handwoven carpets, and wooden craft items.
Best time to explore and experience the diversified Madhya Pradesh: Generally The climate of Madhya Pradesh is hot and dry due to its location in central India.
Best time to explore in October to March, Winter Season in Madhya pradesh. You can explore the group of iconic and historic Monuments at Khajuraho, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sanchi, and cities like Bhopal, Indore, and Gwalior. Winter is also a popular time to go on wildlife safaris in Kanha, Pench, Bandhavgarh national parks, and attend Pachmarhi Utsav. In this Pachmarhi utsav you can witness different forms of folk dances, music, and art. It is a 6-day annual festival which usually begins on December 25 and concludes by New Year. The festival showcases folk dances like Matki, Raai, Ahirai, and Bhagoria. Besides catching the sight of colorful folk dances of Madhya Pradesh, people also get a chance to enjoy the folk music of the state. So winter would be a great time for you to plan a trip.
Summer Season in Madhya pradesh, which usually starts from march and ends in June. The weather starts to become really hot during the day. It is not the ideal time to visit cities in MP such as Indore or Bhopal. But still, you can witness some of the parts such as Satpura hills. Also it is considered to be is the best time to visit Pachmarhi Madhya Pradesh. But, it can be a good time to visit wildlife sanctuaries like Pench National Park, Kanha National Park, and Bandhavgarh National Park. The hot weather forces the wildlife including tigers and their prey to come out in open to small lakes and streams to cool themselves down.
Monsoon season in Madhya Pradesh starts from July to September. Here it really rains incessantly, The forested hills of Satpura and Vindhya covered with fresh greens. So if you want to drive through the lush greens, ifs a perfect time to go. Chitrakoot Falls also known as the Niagara Falls of India looks astoundingly beautiful. But make sure to Make sure to drive safely on the wet and slippery roads to traverse remote places of the state. Monsoons definitely brings respite after harsh temperatures. So you can also plan a self drive itinerary.
Places to explore in Madhya Pradesh:
Khajuraho erotic temples, it’s one of the top most destinations. These the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho was built 1000 years ago built these monuments which represent love and lust in various forms by the Chandelas. from North to South, there are many temples with erotic sculptures. The Chalukyas and the Hoysala temples have carved them on their walls, even if they are not as explicit as those in Khajuraho or Konark. You can see moon on the ways a lot which signifies, romance . Not just that there seems to be different interpretations regarding the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho- from stories to spiritual beliefs. Even these sculptures are metaphors and are actually a form of language, a form of educating the various doctrines through symbols and imagery. Most of the erotic sculptures are seen in the Western Group of temples. A few temples in the Eastern Group are dedicated to Jain tirthankaras.
Bandhavgarh National park. Bandhavgarh National Park is the best place for tiger safari in India. Also according to Madhya pradesh tourism as it says , “ andhavgarh is a place of mythological and legendary significance. The ancient Bandhavgarh Fort is of great importance as it is believed to have been gifted by Lord Rama to his younger brother Lakshmana.” Bandhavgarh has about 60 tigers and with so many tigers in such a small tiger reserve, your chances are better to spot tigers than just about anywhere else. Bandhavgarh is comprised of a semi-dry deciduous forest, grasslands and sal forests, 32 hills, and some stunning dramatic scenery that includes soaring cliffs and rocky plateaus. Bandhavgarh opens October 15 each year, and closes at the end of June. The park is closed from July 1 to October 14 to give the animals a break. So plan your trip accordingly.
Kanha National Park. Again it's the Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and The largest park with the biggest cats. Kanha National Park is open from October 16 to the end of June. It closes for the summer / monsoon season. Also this national part is ruled by four different types of vegetation such as, moist deciduous forest, dry deciduous forest, valley meadow, and dadar meadow. Sal trees dominate the moist deciduous forest. And not just tigers you an also spot herds of deer and Barasingha, troupes of langur monkeys, packs of wild dogs and golden jackals here. Kanha is the only place where you can see the magnificent Barasingha swamp deer in the wild. Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel inspiration was taken from here, The Jungle Book.
Gwalior, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. You can visit the majestic Gwalior fort perched on an isolated rock outcrop towering over the old city. The entry fees and timings are there too. From 6AM to 5:30PM every day and INR 75/adult for Indians; INR 250/adult for foreign nationals. Must visit The Sasbahu Temple this temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the smaller one to Lord Shiva. Timings are 6AM to 5:30PM and INR 15 for Indians; INR 200 for foreign nationals.. Jai Vilas Palace Museum, this is huge and magnificent. With 35 of the rooms converted to a museum, it is one of the best places to witness some rare and impressive pieces of art. 10AM to 4:45PM (April to September); 10AM to 4:30PM (October to March). Closed on Wednesdays. Entry fee is INR 120 for Indians; INR 800 for foreign nationals.
The Gujari Mahal Archaeological Museum. the archaeological museum which showcases and displays a collection of artefacts and sculptures. The entrance is guarded by mythological man-lion figures and the museum also proudly showcases the Indian Mona Lisa in stone, Shalabhanjika. They have preserved the sculptures from the Gupta period. And the timings are 10AM to 5PM, Tuesday to Sunday. Entry Fee is INR10 for Indians; INR 100 for foreign nationals. Here, you can spend a lot of time doing some historic photography and learning about history a lot. So make sure to include this place in your itinerary list of Madhya Pradesh trips.