Nicknamed the Heart of India, Madhya Pradesh contains many of the tribal groups least touched by modernization and most of India’s remaining genuine forest.

Covering a vast area of 443,406-sq km (171,200-sq miles), Madhya Pradesh (literally meaning “central state”) and Chhattisgarh constitute the geographic heart of India. Between them, they border on to seven states, have one-third of India’s forest cover, and are home to 40 per cent of the country’s tribal population. In November 2000, the thickly forested and remote southeast, with its predominantly tribal population, became the new state of Chhattisgarh.

Nicknamed the “Heart of India” due to its geographical location in India, Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state in the country by area. It borders the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the west, and Rajasthan to the northwest. Its capital is Bhopal and the largest city is Indore.

Located south of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh doesn’t roar for attention like its more celebrated neighbours. Instead it growls deeply from within, offering the promise of something big and beautiful for those prepared to prowl the plains.

The vast but unassuming state of Madhya Pradesh is a vast landlocked area that contains some of the loveliest untouched vistas on the subcontinent. They contain many of the tribal groups least touched by modernization and most of India’s remaining genuine forest.

Tiger parks are the star attraction, and your chances of spotting a wild tiger here are good, but lesser-known treasures abound: Khajuraho’s temples display some of the finest temple art in the world and are the architectural highlight of a region scattered with ruined palaces, majestic hilltop forts, ancient Buddhist stupas and India’s biggest and smallest mosques.

Laidback traveller havens like Orchha and Omkareshwar add some chill-out flavour to the region, but the more adventurous will love a foray into tribal Chhattisgarh which remains a world far removed from mainstream Indian culture.

Madhya Pradesh is crossed by the Vindhya and the Satpura mountains, and its main river is the Narmada, the site of one of the largest and most controversial dam development programs in the world. Yet Madhya Pradesh remains largely unindustrialized and little visited, allowing the dense forests and grasslands of the east to house two of India’s best national parks at Kanha and Bandhavgarh.

Click on one of the sections on the right for more information about Madhya Pradesh or choose a city from the map below.


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