A medieval majesty, Madhya Pradesh is quite a brilliant state that presents some unparalleled opportunities to the holidaymakers to delve deeper into the heart of India. From the finest stone carvings of Khajuraho’s temples to spotting a Royal Bengal tiger in one of the wildlife parks, the state brings out a tapestry of attractions that make it a pure gem embedded in the map of India.
This central Indian state is home to numerous tribes, including Baigas, Bhilals, Bhils, Gonds, Halba, Kamaras, Kols, Korkens, Murias, Oraons and Sahariya. Interestingly, modern world has failed to touch the cultures of these tribes, and they still practice their unique age old traditions and customs. One can find an amalgamation of varied traditions being practiced in this state, making it vibrant in terms of clothing, festivities, food, art & craft, dance, etc. The dressing of the locals of Madhya Pradesh differs from region to region. However, a majority of men wear dhoti along with Bandi while women folk dresses in Lehenga Choli with an Orni. Hindi forms the main language of the state.
Madhya Pradesh is home to numerous natural wonders blessed with the waters of serenity. Bhimbetka Caves in Bhiyanpura takes you to a stroll to the prehistoric era of India. The caves act like a beautiful natural gallery treasuring wall paintings from the past. Jatashankar Cave is another sacred cave nestled by a stunning gorge. There is a 'lingam' on the cave floor, resembling the god's deadlocks. Those looking for a serene sight to unwind can visit the charismatic Panchmarhi’s waterfall. The shallow waters of the waterfall make it an ideal place to plan a day picnic with your family. In addition, Pandava caves are also highly popular among travellers owning to the historical tales associated with them.
There is no dearth of adventure activities in Madhya Pradesh. From flying fox over Kerwa Lake of Bhopal to cable car ride over the Marble rocks of Bhedaghat, from River Rafting in Betwa River in Orchha to rock climbing across natural rock formation, the state brings to you numerous activities to challenge yourself. One can also partake in the famous Delawadi Jungle Camp where the guests are treated with trekking, camping and bird watching in a natural setting.
With over 9 National Parks, 6 Tiger Reserve, 25 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 95,221 km2 forest area and 10,862 km2 protected forest area, Madhya Pradesh comes out as the best temptation for the devotees of wildlife. The wildlife destinations of the state are beyond the ordinary. Travellers love visiting National Parks like Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhav National Park and Sanjay National Park - housing remarkable flora and fauna. Wildlife Sanctuaries of the state such as Bori Wildlife Sanctuary, Bagdara Sanctuary, Phen Sanctuary and Ghatigaon Sanctuary present incredible facades of nature and act as great hubs to spot wildlife from a closer perspective. It is important to note that Bandhavgarh National Park has the highest density of tigers in the country and thus, it attracts numerous travellers seeking a sight of the royal tigers.
Madhya Pradesh is a melting pot of varied religions. The religious hubs located here are known for their mystical overtones and architectural glory. The temple city of Madhya Pradesh, Ujjain houses more than its fair share of temples, including Mahakaleshwar Temple, Karkoeshwar Mahadev, Harsiddhi Ma Temple, Gadkalika Mandir, Temple of Kalbhairav, etc. Apart from these, Khajuraho is a spectacular sight that was once home to 85 temples. Thankfully, 22 temples still breathe here, luring the travellers with their elaborately engraved figures displaying different aspects of life.
The state also holds many Buddhist Temples including the Great Stupa of Sanchi. Main exhibits of the stupa include oldest Buddhist relics belonging to different dynasties. In addition to this, Taj-ul-Masjid in Bhopal, the finest model of detailed art and culture, is another great retreat for the soul.
Madhya Pradesh is the perfect place where you can shop till you drop. The state is known for its high-quality textile products, including beautiful Chanderi and Maheshwari saris and intrinsic handicrafts. The vibrant bazaars of Gwalior lure travellers looking for great local picks. The Chowk and the New Market in Bhopal also remain jam-packed with locals and travellers alike. These markets sell embroidered bags and beautiful dress materials in tussar and other raw silks. In addition to this, do not miss a chance to plan a shopping spree in Jabalpur. The vigorous streets and thin alleys of the city are dotted with numerous shops selling anything and everything under the horizon.
An eclectic variety of cuisines greets you in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Cities like Bhopal remain under the influence of Muslim religion and thus, one can find various meat delicacies being served at the restaurants here, including kebabs, Biryani, korma, keema, etc. Gwalior is known for milk products like Bafla made with wheat and served with ghee and daal. Also, for the lovers of street food, Indore is a blessing.
This beautiful Indian state emits vibrancy reflected through all its fairs and festivals. Lokrang Festival is a renowned festival for the lovers of folk music. Celebrated in the month of January in Bhopal, the festival brings to you folk dances, music, and a spectacular collection of handicrafts. Malwa Utsav is another big event renowned for dance and music performances. The festival is planned in the May month in Ujjain to underline the amalgamation of cultures and tradition in Madhya Pradesh.
Khajuraho Festival is the most popular event of Madhya Pradesh celebrated during the first week of February in Khajuraho. The festival flaunts the cultural extravaganza of the state while offering a mind-blowing presentation of various dance forms including Kathak, Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali. In addition to this, Ujjain Kumbh Mela is a must visit fair of the state. The fair is organised four times in every twelve years in Ujjain and is attended by millions of devotees.
The months from October to March are best to plan holidays to Madhya Pradesh. The weather of the state differs from region to region. For instance, Bhopal experiences pleasant climatic condition throughout the year. Whereas, Gwalior, Mandu, Indore and Jabalpur remain hot during summer with temperatures rising as high as 40°- 42° Celsius. Thus, it is advisable to check the weather condition beforehand depending on the area you are planning to visit in Madhya Pradesh.
Bhopal, Gwalior, Khajuraho and Indore are well connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta by air. A number of private airlines offer regular services to the state. Madhya Pradesh also lies on the main rail routes between Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai, thus, offering great connectivity via rail. Those who wish to travel by road can opt for bus services from neighbouring states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra.
Cities like Bhopal, Gwalior, Khajuraho and Indore are well connected by air. National and state highways also link various cities making road travel a pleasant option for the travellers. Madhya Pradesh is also known for its vast Railway network that connects all the cities and town of this state to each other and rest of the country.
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