Madhya Pradesh Tour
Madhya Pradesh is the India’s largest state. The word Madhya Pradesh literally means central province. Geographically, Madhya Pradesh is the heart of India. Madhya Pradesh is the southernmost state of the landlocked states in India. The size of the state is so large that the time is 40 minutes ahead of the local time zone in Ramanujgang, a town on the eastern border of the State and Jabhua, on the western border. Inspite of its central position it has all the characteristics of a marginal territory. The western region has been part of the north-south corridor of population movement for over 4,000 years. Some of the major towns in Madhya Pradesh are Gwalior, Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur. Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh. Most of the people speak Hindi or some dialect of Hindi.
The climate of Madhya Pradesh is very hot and dry in summers and pleasant in winters. So, the best time to visit Madhya Pradesh is from September to March.
Madhya Pradesh has been a shatter belt between the northern and southern core regions of India’s cultural development. Thus, despite its central position in South Asia it has never been the home of the Indian empire. The state of Madhya Pradesh has been the home of some of India’s earliest settlements. Several remains of prehistoric cultures, rock paintings and stone artifacts were found here.
The magnificent paintings and other archaeological discoveries made in rock shelters and caves at Bhimbetka, illustrate the continuity of settlement from before the Acheulian period to the recent historical past. The written history of Madhya Pradesh goes back to the Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C., who built a great Buddhist Stupa at Sanchi. One of the earliest states that existed in Madhya Pradesh was Avanti of which Ujjain was capital, a part of the 3rd to 4th century BC Mauryan Empire. From the 2nd century BC to the 16th century AD, various dynasties ruled part or most of the state. Some of these dynasties were the Sunga dynasty, from 73 to 185 BC in Eastern Malwa; the Andhras (Satavahanas) from 1st Century BC to 3rd century AD and the Ksaptrapas and the Nagas, from 2nd to 4th centuries AD. The Guptas ruled the region to the north of the Narmada, from 4th to 5th century AD and the Hunas (Huns) struggled to seize control of Malwa during this period while in the 7th century it became part of Harsha’s North Indian empire.
In the 10th century, various dynasties controlled different parts of the region like the Kalachuris ruled the Narmada Valley, the Paramaras ruled the south-west Madhya Pradesh, the Kachwahas controlled around Gwalior and the Chandelas at Khajuraho. The Paramars are often remembered for some of their great rulers and real patrons of arts like Raja Bhoj who gave his name to Bhopal. Between 950 and 1050 AD, the Chandelas ruled the north-eastern parts of Madhya Pradesh and gave India its famous temples of Khajuraho-a place which remained hidden from the world for a few centuries. Later the Tomaras took Gwalior. Gwalior was conquered by the Muslims in the 11th century.
The Delhi Sultanate incorporated Hindu domains in 1231 and the Khalji dynasty took Malwa. Akbar annexed this into his empire in the mid 16th century. The Scindia and Holkar dynasties of Marathas established independent rule at Gwalior and Indore. In 1817-18, territories known as the ‘Saugor-Nerbudda’ were ceded to the British. To the north and west, the Central India Agency was formed in 1854 and comprised of Malwa, Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand. Other districts were added in 1860 and the region came to be known as the Central Provinces. Berar was added in 1903. On independence, the Central Provinces and Berar became Madhya Pradesh. The Central India Agency was first divided into Madhya Bharat (Middle India) and Vindhya Pradesh (Vindhya Provinces) and then added to Madhya Pradesh.