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Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh

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Madhya Pradesh, in its present form, cameinto existence on November 1,2000 following its bifurcation to create a new state of Chhattisgarh.The undivided Madhya Pradesh was founded on November 1, 1956. Madhya Pradesh, because of its central location in India, has remained a crucible of historical currents from North, South, East and West.

Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Iron Age Cultures have flourished in the state along Narmada Valley and other river valleys. Rich archaeological wealth has been unearthed in various parts of the state throwing light on its history.

Bhimbetka Cave

Madhya Pradesh is situated at the heart of India. The magnificent paintings and other archaeological discoveries made in rock shelters and caves at Bhimbetka, illustrate the continuity of settlement for over half a million years. Ujjain with historic palaces, Sanchi with ancient Buddhist monuments, Gwalior with beautiful forts, Khajuraho with beautiful temples and Bhopal the lake side capital city are the main tourist centres.

Bhimbetka Caves, in a very short span of time have become the most visited attraction in Madhya Pradesh and have earned a place in the list of one of the best in India. Situated just 46 km from Bhopal, these exquisite caves are surrounded by the northern limits of Vindhya mountain Range. As the legend goes, these hills got their name after Bhima, one of the five Pandava brothers. The name 'Bhim-bet-ka' means 'where Bhim sat down'. There are more than 600 caves that have the collection of oldest Prehistoric paintings in India.

Fairs & Festivals

Madhya Pradesh has a list of innumerable fairs and festivals including all the common major occasions. Existing rituals and collective behaviour have cast their impressions by diffusing certain practices with traditions.

The popular fairs occur mostly in the months of Phalguna, Chaitra, Bhadra, Asvina and Kartika. During Phalguna many fairs coincide with the Holi and Shivaratri. The Tansen Urs also falls at Gwalior during this season. Sankranti Melas are held at various places. Melas held around Basant Panchami are also important. Baldeviji Ka Mela(Panna), Rajim Mela and the fairs held in Bilaspur district are worth notice.

In the tribal villages of Bastar the Madai fairs record their social consideration as of vital importance to all the ethnic groups of the area. The Madai fairs of Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Dantewara and Dhanara, falls within February, March and April every year.

In the Chaitra fair held at Biaora (Malwa), the Dhup Dehi ka Mela of Hirapur (Rewa Division), the Ram Navami fair of Naya Gaon, the Bhilat Baba ka Mela of Seoni and the Gal Yatras held at over two dozen villages of Malwa are worth mention.

A good number of fairs are held in the 10th day of the month of Bhadra, to mark the birth of Tejaji. Many tales are current about this legendary figure. In Tejaji's fairs rituals are made to cure snake-bite. In Guna district at Bhamavad village there is a platform on which a statue of Tejaji on his horse is installed. Every year during the fair many persons come with pieces of cloth round their necks. This they untie near the platform and as soon as they untie it, they become unconscious only to regain it after water and milk are sprinkled on their faces. Similar rituals are witnessed in the fairs held at Sagar village of the same area and at Rawati of Ratlam district.

In the months of Asadha and Bhadra, at Deotalab (Rewa) the Somnath Sankarji ka Mela and Tejaji fair draw thousands of people. The Triveni ka Mela held at Ratlam and the Singaji Jatra held at Piplya vilage of Nimad encourage the people to attend fairs occurring in Kartika at Ujjain, Mandhata (Nimad), Naya Gaon and many other places. The Kumbha Mela is held after every twelve years at Ujjain.

Lachhandas Baba's fair (Laljit ka Pura-Morena) or the fairs of Hira Bhumia (Gird-Gwalior), Shah  Peer Budhan (Sanwarw-Shivapuri district), Abda Peer (Bamhori-Rewa), Chaumukh Nath (Panna), Baba Shabuddin Saheb Oulia (Mandsaur district), Kaluji Maharaj (Piptya Khurd-West Nimad) and Singaji (Rajpur Tehsil-Nimad), Khalari (Mahasamund-Raipur) etc, carry a number of anecdotes about their beginning. Bhilat Baba ka Mela (Malapur and Seoni Malwa-Hoshangabad), Garibnath Baba ka Mela (Awantipur Barodia-Shajapur district) and Kana Baba ka Mela (Harda Tehsil) have many legends behind them. Ramlila Mela of Bhander is one of the oldest fair supposed to be over a century old. The Bhaya Sokar  Devi fair of Rewa, the Unao or Baramju fair of Datia are also old fairs. The Somhar Dev Baba ka Mela of Goradiya village (West Nimad) is held in the honour of Somhar Dev whose glory is recited in a narrative called Pathwad.

Arts & Crafts, Madhya Pradesh Travel Guide

Madhya Pradesh Arts & Crafts

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.

All varieties of handicrafts in Madhya Pradesh are available under the brand Mriganayanee Collections in the Mriganayanee Emporiums of Madhya Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation located at Bhopal, Indore, Pachmarhi, Sanchi, Jabalpur and Khajuraho. Mriganayanee Emporiums in Noida (New Delhi), Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Panaji, Chennai, Bangalore, Calcutta and Kozhikode also stock these beautiful handicrafts.

Wildlife Sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh is a pioneer state in the national movement for conservation of flora and fauna. Conservation oriented legal proviso were made in the erstwhile Acts regulating hunting of game -birds and wild animals. In tune with the national consciousness towards conservation of flora and fauna the state government began setting up a network of in-situ conservation areas (national parks and sanctuaries) under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. There are 9 National Parks and 25 Sanctuaries spread over an area of 10,862 sq. km constituting 11.40% of the total forest area and 3.52% of the geographical area of the state. Efforts are under way to increase the Protected Area network to 15% of the forest or 5% of the geographical area as suggested by State Wildlife Board.


Kanha Wildlife
Kanha National Park is situated in the eastern part of Madhya Pradesh and has been considered as the best national park in Asia. It covers an area of around 2000 sq. km and is covered by Satpura Ranges. The entire park is covered with vast grasslands and Sal trees. The grasslands are the best place where you spot most of the wildlife. Kanha is famous for Tigers as this is one of the oldest parks to have been included in Tiger Project. A sight of the legendary Sher Khan of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book will definitely leave you speechless but there is more to Kanha than tigers. The park is also home to the rare Barasingha. Seeing them strutting around, flaunting there antlers like crown on their head is a view of fantasies. Other animals that make Kanha one of the best parks in India are Wild Boar, Gaur, Chital, Indian wolf and many more. The park is also a great nesting ground for many birds species. Around 300 species of birds, both resident and migratory have been spotted here.


Bandhavgarh Wildlife
Bandhavgarh was recognized as a national Park in the year 1968. Situated in the Umaria district, the park covers an area of 448 The terrain of the park is quite rocky . The Bandhavgarh fort hill that stands in the center is around 811 m in height. The density of tiger in Bandhavgarh is known to be the highest in India. To spot one of them, you can take different safaris. Jeep safari and elephant safari are the most common, convenient, and capturing. Animals that you can spot here are Panther, spotted deer, Sambhar, Wild Boar. There is something for bird watchers also as different varieties of them have been spotted here. Inside the park, there are around 35 sandstone caves to the north that are also worth a visit.

Panna National Park
Panna National Park is situated in the Chhatarpur District and was established in the year 1981 and was made a part of Project tiger in the year 1994. The park covers an area of around 543 sq. km. The landscape of the park generally consists of vast plateaus, savannah grasslands and far spread teak forests. During a safari, you can spot animals like tiger, Panther, crocodiles, Bear, spotted Dear, hyena, jackal and many more endangered species. Elephant safari is the most exotic way of exploring this sedate yet striking National Park.

Tiger, Bandhavgarh National Park

Madhav National Park
Madhav (Shivpuri) National Park 156 sq km in area, the park is open throughout the year. Biogeographical Provinces 4.8.4 (Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest). The park enforces the conservation which the area enjoyed when it was the private shooting reserve of the Maharaja of Gwalior. It was established as the Shivpuri National Park in 1958 simultaneously with the creation of the State of Madhya Pradesh.

It now enjoys further protection under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Consists of level, undulating and hilly country in the Vindhyan range. Also lake. Altitude ranges from 360-480m. With a varied terrain of wooded hills, the forest being dry, mixed and deciduous with flat grasslands around the lake, it offers abundant opportunities of sighting a variety of wildlife. The vegetation in the park mixed dry deciduous forest of somewhat poor quality.

Pench National Park
The India Eco-development project was started in Pench Tiger reserve in 1996-97 with the aid from World Bank. Under this project 99 villages around the tiger reserve have been identified in order to develop their own resources, so that their dependency on the project area is mitigated. In return , they will co-operate and participate in protection of Tiger.

Tourist Centres

Perfectly preserved medieval cities, refreshing and enchanting wildlife sanctuaries and some of the holiest and most revered pilgrim centres offer to the tourist the most fulfilling experience. Tranquil beauty of Pachmarhi, glittering splendour of Marble Rocks and roaring sound of Dhuandhar Fall at Bhedaghat, Kanha National Park, with its unique Barasingha and Bandhavgarh National Park with its prehistoric caves and wildlife are some of the major attractions of the state. Gwalior, Mandu, Datia, Chanderi, Jabalpur, Orchha, Raisen, Sanchi, Vidisha, Udaygiri, Bhimbetika, Indore and  Bhopal are the places  well-known for their historical monuments. Maheshwar, Omkareshwar, Ujjain, Chitrakoot and Amarkantak are major centres of pilgrimages. Unique temples of Khajuraho are famous all over the world. The  temples of Orchha, Bhojpur and Udaypur attract large number of Tourists as well as pilgrims. Archaeological treasures are preserved in the museums at Satna, Sanchi, Vidisha, Gwalior, Indore, Mandsaur, Ujjain, Rajgarh, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Rewa and may other places.

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