Madhya Pradesh Tour | Madhya Pradesh Package | Madhya Pradesh Hotels

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Madhya Pradesh - Quick Facts

Capital: Bhopal

Area: 308,245 sq. km.

Population: 72,597,565

Altitude: 499 m

Climate: Sub-Tropical

Season: October to March

Annual Rainfall: 1200 mm

Languages: Hindi, Bhili, Gondi

Religion: Hinduism, Muslim, Jain, Islam, Christian

Best Time To Visit: Oct-April 

Khajuraho, once the capital of Chandella rulers is 595 km from Delhi. The embodiment of the great artistic activity of the 9th to the 12th centuries, only 22 temples temple out of 85 have survived. Ujjain where Kumbha Mela is held every 12th year, Sanchi with ancient Buddhist monuments, Bhopal the lake-side capital city, Jabalpur famous for marble rocks, Gwalior with beautiful forts, Indore the largest city in the state, Pachmarhi the hill station, Mandu the historical town and Amarkantak the source of the Son & Narmada rivers are among the other tourist attractions. Kanha National Park near Jabalpur is one of the most beautiful wild life sanctuaries in India.

Landlocked in the central part of the country, it is bounded by the states of Rajasthan to the northwest, Uttar Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east and Maharashtra to the south, and Gujarat to the west. Madhya Pradesh has a topography that is crossed from north to south by plains separated by upland areas. The state has three main seasons: winter (November through February), summer (March through May), and the monsoon season (June through September). During the winter average temperatures range from 10° to 27° C (50° to 81° F). Summers are hot, with an average temperature of 29° C (85° F) and a high temperature that at times reaches 48° C (118° F). During the monsoon season temperatures average 19° to 30° C (66° to 86°). Madhya Pradesh receives as average annual rainfall of about 1200 mm (nearly 50 in), of which 90 percent falls during the monsoon season.The capital of the state is Bhopal.

The history of Madhya Pradesh goes back to the time of Ashoka, the great Mauryan ruler. Major portion of Central India formed part of the Gupta Empire (300-550 AD). In the first half of the seventh century it was part of domains of famous emperor Harsha. The close of tenth century was a period of confusion. In the early eleventh century the Muslims entered central India, First Mahmud of Ghazni & then Mohammad Gori who incorporated certain parts with Sultanate of Delhi. It also formed part of Mughal empire with the rise of Maratha's. Till the death of Madhoji Scindia in 1794, Marathas ruled supreme in Central India, but after that independent & smaller states came into being. The disintegrated smaller states paved way for British suzerainty. Some great women rulers like Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, Gond queen Rani Kamla devi & Rani Durgawati have carved a nick for them in history. When India became independent in 1947, the British Indian province of Central Provinces and Berar formed Madhya Pradesh. Boundary changes followed; the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh.

By Air
A number of airports are located in Madhya Pradesh. Gwalior, Khajuraho, Indore, Jabalpur, and Bhopal are major airports in the state. All major public and private airlines operate flights regularly to these airports.

By Rail
Bhopal is the key railway station of Madhya Pradesh. It operates important trains connecting it to the rest of India.

By Road
An intricate network of National Highways and State Highways link the cities of Madhya Pradesh to the other cities of India.

Madhya Pradesh has at least four agro-climatic zones, and thus, has the most interesting mix of people and ways of life. It is home to about 40 percent of India's tribal population. There are three distinct tribal groups in the state. The largest chunk is formed by the Gonds, who once ruled a major part of the state and after whom Gondwana, the central portion of the state is known. Western Madhya Pradesh is inhabited by the Bhils, a colourful group of warriors and huntsmen. Eastern Madhya Pradesh is dominated by the Oraons, most of whom have now turned Christians.

Hindi is the most widely spoken language though Marathi is also widespread. Urdu, Oriya, Gujarati and Punjabi are each spoken by sizeable numbers. The Bhils speak Bhili and the Gonds Gondi, the independent in origin of the Indo-European and Dravidian language groups. The Gonds, Bhils and Banjaras have several vibrant tribal dances like Phag (a sword dance), Lota (dance by women full of water on their heads), and other stilt dances. Textiles are important but Madhya Pradesh also has a strong traditional village handicraft industry. Handloom Chanderi and Maheshwar silks are especially sought after. The tribal population produces attractive handicrafts. Among the temples known throughout the world for their erotic art are those at Khajuraho in the Chhatarpur district in the north of the state; dating from AD 1000, they were built by the Chandella kings. The temples at Gwalior and in its vicinity should also be mentioned. The palaces and mosque at Mandu (near Dhar), the majestic Bandhogarh fort built in the 14th century, and the Gwalior fort-perhaps the most impressive of the residences of the former princes of Madhya Pradesh-represent other notable architectural achievements.

The state has several well-known annual cultural events, such as Kalidas Samaroh (for performing and fine arts) in Ujjain, Tansen Samaroh (music) in Gwalior, and a dance festival in Khajuraho, where artists from all over India participate. In Bhopal there is a unique multifaceted cultural complex, the Bharat Bhavan, which functions as a meeting ground for artists from various fields. Located along the Bhopal Lake, this sprawling complex houses a museum, a library, an open-air theatre, and a number of conference halls. The state has important yearly religious melas (gatherings) in Mandasor and Ujjain, as well as the religious Dashhara festival in the Bastar region.

Madhya Pradesh dishes out some of the most delectable platters in India. The state domiciles people from all corners of the country. Thus, recipes of various states influence its salver. Madhya Pradesh has skillfully amalgamated the recipes of the various erstwhile states and given them its own distinctive flavor. As far as daily meals are concerned, wheat, jowar and maize are the core grains and are mostly included in every meal. The meals also incorporate protein rich lentils, especially Arhar Dal. An important traditional food of Madhya Pradesh is 'bafla' (wheat cakes), dipped in ghee and eaten with strong peppery lentil broth.

The recipes of the state are a heady combo of both sweet and salty flavors. People have a strong penchant for sweets and desserts, which reflects in their food habits. Popular sweet delicacies are Jalebi, Kusli and Cashew Burfi. As cities like Gwalior and Indore abounds in milk and dairy products, dairy-based platters are more common in these regions. However, desserts and traditional mithais are common in every household. During summers, sweet flavors follow each meal. Juicy mangoes, watermelons, custard apples, bananas, papayas and guavas are preferred after heavy meals.

Food habits in Madhya Pradesh vary from region to region. Wheat and meat dominate the northern and western regions, while the people of wetter south and east prefer rice and fish. In certain regions of Madhya Pradesh, people consume rice and fish in a daily manner. Bhopal is famous for its rich variety of meat and fish dishes. Piquant delicacies like rogan josh, korma, keema, biryani pilaf and kababs (shami and seekh) are very popular. Among drinks and beverages, lassi (buttermilk), sugarcane juice, sulfi (liquor distilled from the flowers of mahua tree) and date palm toddy are very famous.

In the heartland of India lies the State of Madhya Pradesh. Filled with lush forests, magnificent monuments, exuberant festivity and blissful solitude in this land of wonderful and contrasting variety, handicrafts lend a touch of mystique - a charm unique to Madhya Pradesh. They radiate an aura, exhibit hereditary skills, whisper painstaking craftsmanship and evoke an urgent desire to learn more about the land and its colourful people. A deftly woven silk or a cotton blended saree. Block printed fabrics, stuffed leather toys or floor coverings. Folk paintings, bamboo, cane or jute. Woodcraft, stonecraft, ironcraft. Metalcraft, terra-cotta, papier mache. Zari work (gold thread embroidery), ornaments, dolls... each hand-crafted product of Madhya Pradesh is charming enough to sweep you off your feet.

While the traditional religious festivals of the Hindus, Muslims and other communities are celebrated in Madhya Pradesh as enthusiastically as in the rest of India, it is the tribal fairs and festivals of Madhya Pradesh, which are a celebration of the ethnic life-styles of the colourful tribes of the land. The tribal festivals in Jhabua are marked by carefree revelry, drinking bouts and exotic entertainment like cock-fighting, uninhibited dancing, etc. The casual visitor often fails to appreciate adequately the genuine and strong tradition of democracy in tribal society, the harmonious living with nature, the respected status accorded to women, the amicable sharing of the community resources.

Bhagoria Haat, Jhabua
This colourful festival of the Bhils and Bhilalas, particularly in the district of West Nimar and Jhabua, is actually in the nature of a mass svayamvara, a marriage market, usually held on the various market days falling before the Holi festival in March. As the name of the festival indicates, (bhag, to run), after choosing their partners, the young people elope and are subsequently accepted as husband and wife by society through predetermined customs. It is not always that boys and girls intending to marry each other meet in the festival for the first time. In a large number of cases the alliance is already made between the two, the festival providing the institutionalised framework for announcing the alliance publically. The tradition is that the boy applies gulal, red powder, on the face of the girl whom he selects as his wife. The girl, if willing, also applies gulal on the boy's face. This may not happen immediately but the boy may pursue her and succeed eventually.

Khajuraho Festival of Dances
Every ancient monument has a fascinating story to tell. But few match the mystery wrapped around the temples of Khajuraho in central India.Once the capital of the great Chandela Kings, Khajuraho today is a quiet village of a few thousand people .It is also the setting of the Khajuraho Festival of Dances which draws the best classical dancers in the country every year, who perform against the spectacular backdrop of the floodlit temples.With international status under the Government of India programme categories, this seven-day extravaganza is a unique treat for connoisseurs from all over the world.

The Khajuraho Festival of Dances draws the best classical dancers in the country who perform against the spectacular backdrop of the floodlit temples every year in February/March.

The past and the present silhouetted against the glow of a setting sun becomes an exquisite backdrop for the performers in a setting where the earthly and the divine create perfect harmony - an event that celebrates the pure magic of the rich classical dance traditions of India. As dusk falls, the temples are lit up in a soft, dream-like ethereal stage.The finest exponents of different classical Indian styles are represented - Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri, and many more.

Tansen Music Festival, Gwalior
Madhya Pradesh occupies a special position in the history of Indian music. The Gwalior gharana is among the most prominent arbiters of the classical style. Raja Man Singh’s patronage of Dhrupad singers is well known.

A pillar of Hindustani classical music, the great Tansen, one of the 'nine jewels' of Akbar's court, lies buried in Gwalior. The memorial to this great musician has a pristine simplicity, and is built in the early Mughal architectural style. More than a monument, the Tansen Tomb is a part of Galion’s living cultural heritage. It is the venue of the annual Indian classical festival held here in November-December. Renowned classical singers of the land regale audiences through five mesmerizing night-long sessions of the much-loved classical ragas.

List of the Fairs & Festivals

•        Lokrang, Bhopal (Held in January)
•        Alauddin Khan Samaroh, Maihar (Held in February)
•        Khajuraho Dance Festival (Held in February)
•        Kumar Gandharva Samaroh, Dewas (Held in April)
•        Bundalkhand Utsav (Held in December)
•        Sanchi Utsav (Held in November
•        Sharadoutsav Bhedaghat (Held in October)
•        Mandu Utsav (Held in October)
•        Pachmarhi Utsav, Pachmarhi (Held in October)

Madhya Pradesh promises a wonderful shopping experience. In fact as you travel to Madhya Pradesh, you can't return without doing a little bit shopping in Madhya Pradesh so much is the attraction of its traditional handicrafts. Madhya Pradesh is renowned for its textile products. Once upon a time the craftsmen of Madhya Pradesh used to weave the finest muslins. The tradition still seems to be alive in exquisite Chanderi and Maheshwari saris. Zari work of Madhya Pradesh is also quite famous.

Apart from that, there are few more specialty handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh are:

•        Zardozi embroidery on lehengas and saris
•        Carpets and Durries (Floor coverings)
•        Zari Work
•        Silver and Brassware
•        Bamboo, Cane and Wood Work
•        Beaded Batuas (purses)
•        Iron Craft & Metalcraft
•        Stuffed Leather and Velvet Toys
•        Jute Crafts

Bhopal | Gwalior | Indore | Jabalpur | Khajuraho | Mandu | Orchha | Panchmarhi | Sanchi | Ujjain.

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