Madhya Pradesh is a state seeped in history and traditions. Some of the most prosperous kingdoms and dynasties flourished in this region, leaving behind ample traces that will take you back to the ancient times.
If you are visiting Madhya Pradesh, here are some must-experience places that simply transcend you right into the era bygone.
Khajuraho is a small town located in Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh. Although it is a small town, it is one of the most glorious regions with respect to Indian culture and architecture. The Jain and Hindu temples that dot the region are known for their intricate carvings that depict passion in the most aesthetic way. These monuments were built between the periods of 950AD to 1050AD. The erotic carvings seen here are a stark contrast to the apparently conservative nature of the Indian society, leaving everyone spellbound and curious to know more about this diverse culture.
Sanchi is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the best examples of Buddhist architecture in India. It is located about 40 kilometers from the capital city of Bhopal and is known best for the Sanchi Stupa which was constructed by Ashoka the Great. The four gateways of this stupa showcase the life of Buddha, jataka tales and the history of Buddhism in India through intricate carvings. Sanchi is also home to several temples, stupas, monasteries and pillars that are testimony to the impact of Buddhism in Indian from the 3rd Century BC to the 12 century AD.
Orchha is located along the banks of the river Betwa in the 16th Century. This city was the capital of the Bundela Rajputs. A massive fort complex is one of the main attractions of the Orchha. It also has a medieval bridge that takes you to the three palaces inside this fort. This historic place has a Rama Raja temple where people worship Rama as a King instead of a God. The temple was originally a palace where an idol brought from Varanasi was installed. The 14 cenotaphs or chhatris build on the banks of River Betwa take you back to the glorious history of the Bundela rulers in this region.
Mandu has some of finest examples of the architectural excellence of our ancestors. The entire city tells you tales of passion between Prince Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. Each monument is a testament to the unconditional love between the two. The oldest monument in Indian was erected in Mandu. When you are in Mandu make sure you visit Rani Roopmati’s Palace, Jahaz Mahal, Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Hindola Mahala and the Champa Baoli and Hammam.
Bhopal and Bhimbetka (Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka)
Bhopal is located amidst two beautiful lakes. This city is the perfect blend of modern life and history. The city is adorned with the most majestic pieces of Mughal Architecture like the Taj-Ul-Masjid. It is one of the largest mosques in the country, built by the third female ruler of this region, Shah Jahan Begum. It is also home to some of the most beautiful forests and hills.
Located about 46 kilometers from Bhopal is Bhimbetka which is home to 14 beautiful rock shelters. These regions are home to the finest prehistoric art globally. It is recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site. These rock shelters are located inside the Ratapani Sanctuary. There are beautiful natural rock formations amidst the dense forests. Examples of prehistoric art from periods like the Mesolithic period can be found here. They showcase animals, ritualistic symbols and lots more.
This town is popularly known as the temple town of Madhya Pradesh. It is located on the banks of River Narmada and has a lot of historical and mythological significance. Maheshwar was the capital of the province of Rani Ahilyabai. She adorned the city with several buildings and monuments. The town is known for the production of specialized Maheshwari sarees as well.
Gwalior, founded by King Surajsen, is home to the most imposing examples of Indian and Muslim architecture. It is full of temples, palaces and mosques. The Sun Temple and the Jai Vilas Palace are the most popular monuments in this region. What is more, this is the birth place of Tansen, India’s greatest Musician. A four day Tansen Music Festival is celebrate here each year between November and December.