Tourism in Madhya Pradesh has been an attraction of India because of its location in the centre of the country. It has been home to the cultural heritage of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism etc. Innumerable monuments, but exquisitely carved temples, stupas, forts & palaces are dotted all over the state. Madhya Pradesh has won Best Tourism State National award for 3 consecutive years i.e. 2017, 2016 and 2015.
The natural environment of Madhya Pradesh is varied. Consisting largely of a plateau streaked with the mountain ranges of the Vindhyas and the Satpuras, the hills give rise to the main river system – Narmada and the Tapti, running from east to west, and the Chambal, Sone, Betwa, Mahanadi west to east.
One half of the state is forested and offers a unique panorama of wildlife. In the National Parks of Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Shivpuri and many others visitors have the opportunity to see the tiger, the bison and a wide variety of deer and antelope in natural surroundings.
World heritage sites
Although the modern state of Madhya Pradesh came into being in 1956, its cultural heritage is ancient and chequered. Innumerable monuments, exquisitely carved temples, stupas, forts and palaces on hilltops, raise in the visitors mind visions of empires and kingdoms, of the great warriors and builders, poets and musicians, saints and philosophers; of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The famous Sanskrit poet-dramatist Kalidasa and the great musician of the Mughal court, Tansen, were from Madhya Pradesh. They are known all over the world.
- The Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
- Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
- The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
Other architecturally significant or scenic sites include:
Madhya Pradesh being very large geographically, and the history being spread over several millennia, a developing a comprehensive picture of heritage and architecture is a monumental task.
Madhya Pradesh is home to several National Parks, including:
- Bandhavgarh National Park
- Kanha National Park
- Satpura National Park
- Sanjay National Park
- Madhav National Park
- Van Vihar National Park
- Mandla Plant Fossils National Park
- Panna National Park
- Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh.
- National Chambal Sanctuary
There are 10 national parks and 25 wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from tiger, the national parks in Madhya Pradesh have animals like Leopard, Gaur, Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Chinkara, Barking Deer, Barasingha, Samber Deer, Wild Boar, Monkey, Peacock, etc.
There are also a number of nature preserves, including:
- Bagh Caves
- Bori Wildlife Sanctuary
- Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary
Fairs and festivals
Customs and beliefs in each area in Madhya Pradesh have added colours to the fairs and festivals. Shivratri in Khajuraho, Bhojpur, Pachmarhi and Ujjain; Dusshera in Jabalpur, Ramanavami in Chitrakoot and Orchha, Bhagoriya dance in Jhabua and the annual festival of dances at Khajuraho are events for the tourists to remember. The Malwa festival in Indore, Mandu and Ujjain, and the Pachmarhi festival bring alive the rich folk and tribal culture of the state in colourful celebrations. Gwalior trade fair is India’s second largest trade fair. It is organised in various sectors which includes electronic sector, automobile sector, food sector, fun (jhula) sector etc. Gwalior carnival is a newly introduced festival in 2012. It was organised for 22 days in December. It is planned to organise carnival every year. Nimar Utsav takes place every year in the holy city of Maheshwar in the Hindu month of Kartika on the occasion of Kartika Purnima. The festival lasts for 3 days with a cultural programme at Ahilya Ghat in Maheshwar.
Mausolea on the bank of the Betwa River, Orchha
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