Madhya Pradesh is truly Hindustan ka Dil or the Heart of India. With a total area of 308,252 km, Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state in the country. With innumerable monuments, stupas, forts and beautiful temples, the list of tourist places in Madhya Pradesh really overflows. No matter which city you start your trip from, you will find many incredible places if you visit Madhya Pradesh.
Exploring tourist places in Madhya Pradesh
1. Majestic fort at Gwalior
Gwalior Fort, located on the Gopachal hill, is one of the popular tourist places in Madhya Pradesh. Dating back to the 6th Century, it is one of the biggest forts in India. Presently it is divided into two main palaces, Gujari Mahal and Man Mandir. The palace is now an archaeological museum, with smaller monuments and inscriptions dating back centuries.
The Gwalior fort has seen the rise and fall of dynasties over its course. You can also see imprints of all these dynasties on the palace. However, you must check out the Teli ka Mandir, Sas Bahu Temple, Hathi Pol and Chhatri of Bhim Singh Rana. The famous Scindia School is also in the palace complex. If you love forts, you might also want to check out the forts from Shivaji’s era in Maharashtra. For that matter, even the Portuguese architecture of the forts in Goa and majestic forts of Rajasthan are nothing short of wonder.
2. Temples of Khajuraho
The temples of Khajuraho are a designated World Heritage Site, with beautiful architecture and inspiring sculptures. Having said that, the cluster of Jain and Hindu temples, date back to the Chandela reign in 950-1050. As with most temples, it is located near water, close to the Shib Sagar, Khajur Sagar and Khudar Nadi. All the temples, except the Chaturbhaja Temple, face the sunrise. The many engravings and sculptures reflect different gods and goddesses & their interdependence. Thought it is primarily known as one of the tourist places in Madhya Pradesh where you can see erotic sculpture, these statues just comprise 10% of the whole. You must check out the light & sound show when you visit. If you’re planning a trip in winter, you can attend the famous Khajuraho Dance Festival in February.
3. Kanha National Park
Nestled in the Maikal range of Satpuras, the Kanha National Park is one of the most popular Tiger Reserves in India. Spread across two revenue districts, the Mandala and Kalaghat the Park was declared as a reserve in 1879. This is definitely a must visit tourist place in Madhya Pradesh that you must consider visiting.
Like most other parks, dense jungles, beautiful landscapes, and lush green meadows make up most of the area. The dense crowd of forests and magnetic sightseeing experience make a journey to this part of the state an unrivaled experience. Also, the forests and weather are ideal for a wide range of wildlife. An interesting fact is that the sanctuary was immortalized in Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book” which drew most of its inspiration from Kanha National Park.
4. Bhimbetka Rock shelters
The Bhimbetka rock shelters exhibit the earliest footprints of human life in the Indian subcontinent. The shelters are located in the Raisen district in Madhya Pradesh. Apparently, the inside of the caves shed some light into the lives of the earliest humans. Some paintings inside the caves also show signs of dance events and date back to 30,000 years. Having said that, the paintings are divided into eight periods characterising each era. Also, the walls and ceilings of rock shelters of Bhimbetka have huge paintings of different periods.
Also, the place is home to 760 rock shelters and 500 paintings. Just 45 km away from Bhopal, this is a one of a kind experience that you wouldn’t want to miss and definitely a tourist place in Madhya Pradesh that should be on your list.
5. Sanchi Stupa
One of the prominent symbols of Buddhism and reign of Ashoka, the Sanchi Stupa is a famous tourist attraction located 46 km north-east of Bhopal. The place is a centre for a number of stupas including the Satdhara Stupa (17 km from Sachi). Having said that, one of the oldest construction in India, the nucleus of this gigantic structure is a hemispherical brick holding the relics and teaching of Buddha.
Also, the Sanchi Stupa is considered as an asset by the Madhya Pradesh state government. The place is extremely well maintained and easily accessible being located on the highway to Panchamari. So, we recommend taking a guide if you want to experience and dive into the true heritage of this exquisite architecture. Another feature is the hills that boast of amazing views and great for a family picnic.
In addition, you can visit the Fairs and Festivals
The story of Madhya Pradesh will be half written without mentioning its festivities. Also, considered as the state of contrasts and of unique diversity, each city in Madhya Pradesh has their own story to tell. From Shivaratri in Khajuraho, Dusshera in Jabalpur Ramnavami in Chitrakoot to Malwa festival in the streets of Indore, Madhya Pradesh glitters with joy throughout the year.
To add to it, the Gwalior trade fair is the second largest fair in India and the newly introduced Gwalior Carnival lasts for 22 days in December. So, if you are visiting Madhya Pradesh at any time of the year chances are you will get to see one of these amazing cultural celebrations.
Abundant in diversity!
Madhya Pradesh is home to over thirty architecturally significant sites, ten natural parks, and fifteen nature reserves. It is amazing how the government have maintained all of them and treasure them as their identity. If you are a foreigner without any outside experience of Indian life, we would recommend you to take a visit to the heart of India. We assure you Madhya Pradesh won’t disappoint you.
We love planning road trips so if you’re looking for a well curated itinerary around Madhya Pradesh, drop in your contact details in the comments section below.