Madhya Pradesh

Capital
Bhopal
Population
66 million
Area
443 446 km²
Languages
Hindi

Best time to visit
October to March
Climate (°C)
Extreme in the north. Temperate in the plateau region and hot and humid in the eastern and southern plains.

About

Madhya Pradesh is the largest state in India and is placed almost in the center of the country. The state has border with Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Madhya Pradesh consists of the plateau with an elevation of 1600 meters above the sea level.

How to get here

Airports
Airports at Bhopal • Gwalior • Indore

Rail & bus stations
Railstations at Bhopal • Gwalior • Jhansi • Indore • Jablpur • Bilaspur
• Katni • Raipur

Places to visit

Bhopal - Madhav National Park - The Gwalior Fort - Handi Khoch - The Harper's Cave - Khajuraho Dance Festival - Dussehra

.: Bhopal
Capital of Madhya Pradesh. According to a legend, the city was founded by an Afghan traveller who dated with the queen of the kingdom in the 18th century. However, there existed on the same site an ancient city called Bhojapal and its foundation had been laid by Raja Bhoja in the 11th century. The story of Bhopal's reign of the Begums is recent history.
There are several landmarks in Bhopal that a visitor cannot ignore. Its 2 lakes are its dominating feature. These, according to historians, provided ample scope to the reigning begums for their romantic breaks.

Madhya Pradesh is the largest state in India

.: The Gwalior Fort
Standing atop a small hill, Gwalior Fort dominates the city and is its most magnificent monument. A steep road winds upwards to the fort, flanked by statues of the Jain Trithankaras, carved into the rock face. The magnificent outer walls, of the fort still stand, two miles in length and 35 feet high, bearing witness to its reputation for being one of the most invincible forts of India.

.: Handi Khoch
Pachmarchi's most impressive ravine has a 300-feet high gap and very steep sides. A solitary place, with water flowing far below.

.: The Harper's Cave
So named because of one of its paintings - a man seated and playing a harp - is close to the Jata Shankar shrine. Chieftain's Cava derives its name from a battle scene showing two chieftains on horses. Another paintings depict women and a child sitting in a hut. A terrace that runs the length of the south, south-east and east faces of Kites Crag has some fine cave paintings, most of which are in white or outlined in red.

.: Khajuraho
The Khajuraho temples represent, a happy and unique coincidence of religious emotion, a artistic genius and aesthetic sensibility. Fortunately, these temples have weathered the climate for a thousand years and have withstood neglect surprisingly well.

Unlike the rather plain treatment of other central Indian temple interiors, the Khajuraho temples are richly decorated with sculpture. Other than numerous deities enshrined in wall niches, there are attendants, graceful "maidens" in a variety of provocative postures, dancers, musicians and embracing couples. On one temple alone, the figures thus depicted are over six hundred and fifty in number. Many of these compositions display great sensuality and warmth. There are also scenes of explicit sexual activity which possibly illustrate the tantric rites that accompanied temple worship. It is quite reliably said that some of the sexual postures follow the Kama Sutra, the ancient Indian manual of love-making.

.: Khajuraho Dance Festival
An annual event, held every evening for a week. Khajuraho Festival of Dances draws the best classical dancers in the country every year, who perform against the spectacular backdrop of the floodlit temples. The past and the present silhouetted against he glow of a setting sun, become an exquisite backdrop for the performers. The finest exponents of different classical Indian styles are represented - Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri, and many more.

.: Dussehra (Durga Puja)
Dussehra (10th day) is one of the most important Hindu festivals, celebrated with joy in the whole country. The festival marks the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king, Ravana, the victory of good over evil. On the 10th day, the Vijayadasmi day, colossal figures of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnath are placed in vast open spaces. Rama, accompanied by his companion Sita and his brother Lakshmana, arrive and shoot arrows of fire at these figures, which are stuffed with explosive material. The result is a deafening blast, enhanced by the shouts of happiness and triumph from the spectators. In burning the figures the people are asked to burn the evil within them and so follow the path of virtue and goodness.



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