Mountains and jungles, temples and tigers, forts and folk dance – Madhya Pradesh is a sensory montage of pristine wilderness and ancient civilisation in the heart of India. Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the forests and waterfalls of the tiger-filled national parks; and wide-ranging scenery from river valleys, dense forests and rolling plains to the ancient hills.
The state’s famous parks, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna and Pench, are the some of the last refuges of the magnificent tiger and many other exotic species of animals and birds.
History buffs flock to the three sites in Madhya Pradesh that have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, the Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi and the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka.
The region was ruled by all the major dynasties of India, including the Mauryans, the Mughals and the Marathas.
In addition to important military and royal sites, the central state also showcases some of the finest religious architecture across the many faiths on the subcontinent. Khajuraho is renowned for the erotic carvings on its 10th-century temples, while Sanchi offers the oldest Buddhist structures; and bathing ghats and colourful pilgrims line the banks of the Narmada River, one of the seven sacred rivers.
Beyond its wildlife and historical sites, Madhya Pradesh is also noted for its classical dance and folk music. Filled with wonders, it floods the senses in every possible way.
Viewing a Tiger on elephant back in one of the wildlife reserves | The erotic stone carvings on the temples in Khajuraho | The primeval rock paintings at Bhimbetka
− The second largest state in the country by area and sixth largest state by population (75 million people)
− Has the largest reserves of diamond and copper in India − More than 30% of its area is under the forest cover