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Madhya Pradesh


Madhya Pradesh, located in the geographic heart of India, is surrounded by seven states viz. Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh in the south, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the north, Bihar and Orissa in the east and Gujarat in the west. Madhya Pradesh is the second largest Indian state in size with an area of 308000 sq km. Though the state of Madhya Pradesh came into existence on November 1, 1956 but it came into its present form on November 1, 2000 following its bifurcation to create a new state of Chhattisgarh. The concept of District Governance has been implemented and District Planning Committees have been empowered to plan and execute development works. A system of village level governance, Gram Swaraj, has been put in place, from Jan. 26, 2001, under which Gram Sabhas have been bestowed with considerable powers for development of villages and welfare activities. Madhya Pradesh, because of its central location in India, has remained a crucible of historical currents from North, South, East and West. Except for the valleys of the Narmada and the Tapti, Madhya Pradesh consists of a plateau with a mean elevation of 1600 ft above sea level, interspersed with the mountains of the Vindhya and the Satpura ranges. The main river systems are the Chambal, Betwa, Sindh, Narmada, Tapti, Mahanadi and Indravati. Nearly one third of the state's area is covered with tropical forests ranging between the rivers Chambal in the north and Godavari in the south. To the east of Chambal, the area has rocky surface and thick forest. Farther north, the topography of the plains stretches up to the ravines of Chambal. The magic of Madhya Pradesh lies in its exquisitely carved temples, proud fortresses and variety of wildlife. Madhya Pradesh has a number of important pilgrimage centres. While Ujjain and Omkareshwar have special significance due to Shrines having two of the twelve jyotirlingas, Maheshwar, Mandleshwar, Amarkantak, Hoshangabad are also important in their own rights. Rich archaeological wealth has been unearthed in various parts of the state throwing light on its history. Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, is a fascinating amalgam of an old historic city, and modern urban planning. It presents a multi-faceted profile: the old city with its marketplaces and fine old mosques and palaces still bears the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers. Equally impressive is the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern edifices. Madhya Pradesh has everything from rich history and heritage, divinity, colorful simple people, art and architecture, wonderful handicrafts to unique wildlife.

Madhya Pradesh comprises several linguistically and culturally distinct regions, including:


A plateau region in the northwest of the state, north of the Vindhya Range, with its distinct language and culture. Indore is the major city of the region, while Bhopal lies on the edge of Bundelkhand region. Ujjain is a town of historical importance.

Nimar (Nemar)

The western portion of the Narmada River valley, lying south of the Vindhyas in the southwest portion of the state.


A region of rolling hills and fertile valleys in the northern part of the state, which slopes down toward the Indo-Gangetic plain to the north. Gwalior is an historic center of the region.


A hilly region in the northeast of the state, which includes the eastern end of the Vindhya Range.

Mahakoshal (Mahakaushal)

The southeastern portion of the state, which includes the eastern end of the Narmada river valley and the eastern Satpuras. Jabalpur is the most important city in the region.


Madhya Pradesh has a topography that is crossed from north to south by plains separated by upland areas. The climate is extreme in the north of Madhya Pradesh. It is cool and breezy in the central parts and humid in the eastern and southern regions. Best time to visit is between September to February. The state has three main seasons:


November to February are the months of winter during which the average temperatures range from 10° to 27° C (50° to 81° F). Winters are usually pleasant and dry.


The March-to-May season is hot and dry. Summers are hot, with an average temperature of 29° C (85° F) and a high temperature that at times reaches 48° C (118° F).

Monsoon season

The climate is monsoonal between June to September. During the monsoon season temperatures average 19° to 30° C (66° to 86°). Madhya Pradesh receives an average annual rainfall of about 1200 mm (nearly 50 in), of which 90 percent falls during the monsoon season.

How to reach

By Train

Trunk Rail route connecting nothern India passes through Madhya Pradesh. Main junctions in the state are Bhopal, Bina, Gwalior, Indore, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Katni, Ratlam, Ujjain & Khandwa.

By Air

Major airports linking Delhi, Bombay, Varanasi & Nagpur are Bhopal, Indore, Khajuraho & Gwalior. Stations linked by Vayudoot are Bhopal, Khajuraho, Satna, Rewa, Guna, Indore & Jabalpur. Bhopal is also connected to Jaipur, Raipur & Nagpur by Vayudoot.

Distance from Bhopal to (Highways in Kms):
City Distance City Distance City Distance
Agartala 2454 Gurgaon 737 Panaji 1291
Agra 541 Guwahati 1855 Paradwip 1266
Ahmedabad 568 Gwalior 423 Pathankot 1220
Aizawl 2321 Haldia 1435 Patna 911
Ajmer 543 Hassan 1536 Pondicherry 1600
Akola 537 Hissar 908 Porbandar 962
Aligarh 624 Hubli 1198 Pune 802
Allahabad 551 Hyderabad 839 Purulia 1188
Ambala 935 Imphal 2339 Raipur 630
Amritsar 1191 Indore 186 Rajkot 784
Asansol 1130 Jabalpur 308 Rameswaram 2027
Aurangabad 588 Jaipur 584 Ranchi 1069
Bhaktiyarpur 959 Jaisalmer 982 Ranippettai 1620
Bangalore 1401 Jalandhar 1108 Raurkela 1065
Barauni 1022 Jammu 1327 Rohtak 805
Barddhaman 1233 Jamnagar 870 Sagar 183
Bareilly 753 Jamshedpur 1217 Saharanpur 874
Belgaum 1132 Jhansi 381 Salem 1604
Bellary 1206 Jodhpur 743 Sambalpur 892
Bhagalpur 1146 Jorhat 2158 Shahjahanpur 827
Bhavnagar 755 Kakinada 1188 Siliguri 1380
Bhubaneshwar 1192 Kandla 933 Shillong 1955
Bikaner 776 Kanniyakumari 2082 Shimla 1086
Bilaspur 654 Kanpur 601 Shivpuri 311
Calcutta 1356 Kochi 1981 Silchar 2181
Chandigarh 981 Kohima 2194 Solapur 912
Chennai 1435 Kolhapur 1035 Srinagar 1620
Chittardurga 1334 Kota 342 Surat 651
Coimbatore 1741 Kozhikode 1756 Thane 736
Cuttack 1167 Krishnagiri 1492 Thanjavur 1777
Dehradun 922 Kurnool 1045 Thiruvananthapuram 2154
Delhi 744 Lucknow 678 Thrissur 1855
Dhanbad 1084 Ludhiana 1049 Tiruchchirappalli 1751
Dhule 445 Madurai 1847 Tirunelveli 2001
Dibrugarh 2294 Mangalore 1576 Tirupati 1431
Dimapur 2129 Meerut 752 Tuticorin 2099
Dindigul 1781 Moradabad 808 Udaipur 589
Durgapur 1170 Motihari 1209 Ujjain 188
Ganganagar 1041 Mumbai 779 Ulhasnagar 733
Gangtok 1494 Muzaffarnagar 803 Vadodara 509
Gaya 926 Muzaffarpur 1125 Varanasi 676
Ghaziabad 736 Mysore 1540 Vijayawada 1039
Ghazipur 748 Nagpur 352 Vishakhapatnam 1312
Gorakhpur 849 Nanded 730 Warangal 802
Gulbarga 992 Nashik 594
Guntur 1071 Nellore 1263

Information Centres

Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.
4th floor, Gangotri, T.T.Nagar,
Bhopal-462003. Ph. 554340/43

Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.
C\O Hotel Tansen, 6, Gandhi Road
Gwalior. Ph. 21568, 26742

Government of India Tourist Office
Opp. Western Group of Temples
Khajuraho - 471606. Ph. 2047

Regional Office
MPSTDC Tourist Bungalow Complex
Khajuraho - 471606. Ph. 2051.

Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.
74, World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Colaba
Mumbai-400005. Ph. 2187603, 2184860.


Agriculture is the basis of Madhya Pradesh's economy. Less than half of the land area is cultivable, however, and its distribution is quite uneven because of variations in topography, rainfall, and soils. The main cultivated areas are found in the Chambal valley, the Malwa Plateau, the Rewa Plateau, and the Chhattisgarh Plain. The Narmada valley, covered with river-borne alluvium, is another fertile area. The most important crops are rice, wheat, sorghum (jowar), corn (maize), pulses (legumes such as peas, beans, or lentils), and peanuts (groundnuts). Rice is grown principally in the east, where there is more rainfall, while in western Madhya Pradesh wheat and sorghum are more important. The state is the largest soybean producer in India. Other crops include linseed, sesame, sugarcane, and cotton, as well as inferior millets, which are grown in hilly areas. The state is a large producer of opium (in the western district of Mandasor, near Rajasthan) and marijuana (in the southwestern district of Khandwa [East Nimar]).

Madhya Pradesh is rich in minerals, though these resources have not yet been fully exploited. There are large reserves of coal and important deposits of iron ore, manganese ore, bauxite, limestone, dolomite, copper, fireclay, and china clay. Diamond reserves at Panna are of particular interest.


The major industries of the state are electronics, telecommunications, petrochemicals, food processing and automobiles. The state has also taken a lead in the production of cement. The state is also famous for its traditional handicrafts and handlooms manufactured at Chanderi and Maheshwar. The state is well endowed with potential hydroelectric power. Main hydroelectric projects (jointly developed with other states) are the Babanthadi with Maharashtra, the Ban Sagar with Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the Chambal Valley with Rajasthan, the Narmada Sagar with Gujarat and Rajasthan, and the Rajghat and Urmil with Uttar Pradesh. The Hasdeo Bango, Bargi, and Birsinghapur thermal power projects are also within the state. The Narmada Sagar project has been a source of controversy because of its potential for damaging the environment.


Madhya Pradesh has at least four agro-climatic zones, and thus, has the most interesting mix of people and ways of life. It is home to about 40 percent of India's tribal population. Of the total 48 districts, 23 are predominantly tribal. The major tribes of Madhya Pradesh are Gonds, Bhils, Oraons, Korkens, and Kols. Away from the tribal stock of Madhya Pradesh the rest of the population consists of Hindu communities. They include Rajput landholders, traditional merchant classes and established agriculturists. The industries and factories in the urban areas have drawn labour from all the classes. A small percentage of Parsis, Muslims and Jains also add to the racial mosaic of Madhya Pradesh. The state presents in all a varied matrix of tribal culture ranging from animists and fowlers to advanced cultivators and factory workers. The socio economic condition of the people has improved considerably since independence. People have become conscious of their rights. The economy of the state has developed to a desired satisfaction. Social changes were bound to occur in the tribal section of the population of the state. Social welfare agencies made them aware of many things. There are instances of adapting traditional Hindu manners and ritualistic patterns by some of the Adivasis.


The peasant population of the state wears the dhoti. A white or a black jacket called bandi or mirzai is still in vogue in Bundelkhand and Malwa. Safa is worn on the head in the eastern parts of the state and pagri or paga (turban) is preferred in the western regions. Among the new generations trousers, socks and shirts have become very common. Women wear coloured lehnga and choli. A piece of cloth known as orni or lugra is used to cover the head and the shoulders. In the central region they prefer red and black colours, while yellow, blue and green are admired by the Chhathisgarhi women. Madhya Pradesh is famous for its colourful dresses and the art of jewellery. It is during the festivals that the women of this vast region wear their finest clothes and ornaments.


Hindi is the official and most widely spoken language. In addition to standard Hindi, several regional variants are spoken, which are considered by some to be dialects of Hindi, and by others to be distinct but related languages. Among these languages are Malvi in Malwa, Nimadi in Nimar, Bundeli in Bundelkhand, and Bagheli in Bagelkhand and the southeast. Each of these languages or dialects has dialects of its own. Other languages include Bhilodi (Bhili), Gondi, and the isolate Kalto (Nahali), all spoken by tribal groups. The second most important common language is Marathi. Other languages spoken are Urdu, Marathi, Sindhi, Punjabi, Gujrati etc.


The state's cultural lineage is ancient and checkered. Madhya Pradesh occupies a special position in the history of music. The Gwalior gharana is among the most prominent arbiters of style. The rivalry of Tansen and Baiju Bawra is remembered in fantastic detail to this day. In modern times, the revival of north Indian classical music was accomplished by the legendary Ustad Allaudin Khan, guru of famous sitarist Pt. Ravi Shankar and sarod player Ali Akbar Khan. MP also has a rich tribal culture: the bison-horn dance of the Muria tribe in Madhya Pradesh is a dynamic interpretation of nature's mating season.

Famous Personalities

Madhya Pradesh has produced great men and women who are held in high esteem due to their great deeds. India's immortal poet-dramatist Kalidas belonged to Ujjain and great musician Tansen to Gwalior. Bravery of great women like Durgawati, Avantibai, Kamlapati and Devi Ahilya Bai is inscribed in golden letters in history. Among the eminent artists/poets produced by the state are Shri Makhan Lal Chaturvedi, Ustad Allauddin Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Hari Shankar Parsai, Sharad Joshi, Gajanan Madhav Mukti Bodh and Vinod Kumar Shukla.

Madhya Pradesh at a glance
Capital Bhopal
Area (sq km) 308,144
Population 6,03,85,118 (Census 2001)
Male 3,14,56,873 (52.09 %)
Female 2,89,28,245 (47.91 %)
Females per 1000 males 920 (Census 2001)
Literacy 64.11 %
Male 76.80 %
Female 50.28 %
Ratio of urban population 26.67% (Census 2001)
Density of Population 196 per sq km
Principal Languages Hindi
Per Capita Income (Rs. at current prices in 1992-93) 4,725
Recorded Forest Area ('000 sq. km) 155.4
Revenue Divisions 9
Districts 48
Name Area (sq.km) Population (2001) H.Q.
Badwani --- 1,081,039 Badwani
Balaghat 9,229 1,445,760 Balaghat
Betul 10,043 1,394,421 Betul
Bhind 4,459 1,426,951 Bhind
Bhopal 2,772 1,836,784 Bhopal
Chhatarpur 8,687 1,474,633 Chhatarpur
Chhindwara 11,815 1,848,882 Chhindwara
Damoh 7,306 1,081,909 Damoh
Datia 2,038 627,818 Datia
Dewas 7,020 1,306,617 Dewas
Dhar 8,153 1,740,577 Dhar
Dindori --- 579,312 Dindori
Guna 11,065 1,665,503 Guna
Gwalior 5,214 1,629,881 Gwalior
Harda --- 474,174 Harda
Hoshangabad 10,037 1,085,011 Hoshangabad
Indore 3,898 2,585,321 Indore
Jabalpur 10,160 2,167,469 Jabalpur
Jhabua 6,782 1,396,677 Jhabua
Katni --- 1,063,689 Katni
Khandwa (East Nimar) --- 10,779 1,708,170
Khargone (West Nimar) --- 13,450 1,529,954
Mandla 13,269 893,908 Mandla
Mandsaur 9,791 1,183,369 Mandsaur
Morena 11,594 1,587,264 Morena
Narsinghpur 5,133 957,399 Narsinghpur
Neemuch --- 725,457 Neemuch
Panna 7,135 854,235 Panna
Raisen 8,446 1,120,159 Raisen
Rajgarh 6,154 1,253,246 Rajgarh
Ratlam 4,861 1,214,536 Ratlam
Rewa 6,314 1,972,333 Rewa
Sagar 10,252 2,021,783 Sagar
Satna 7,502 1,868,648 Satna
Sehore 6,578 1,078,769 Sehore
Seoni 8,758 1,165,893 Seoni
Shahdol 14,028 1,572,748 Shahdol
Shajapur 6,196 1,290,230 Shajapur
Sheopur --- 559,715 Shyopur
Shivpuri 10,278 1,440,666 Shivpuri
Sidhi 10,256 1,830,553 Sidhi
Tikamgarh 5,048 1,203,160 Tikamgarh
Ujjain 6,091 1,709,885 Ujjain
Umaria --- 515,851 Umaria
Vidisha 2,742 1,214,759 Vidisha
Anuppur --- --- Anuppur
Ashok Nagar --- --- Ashok Nagar
Burhanpur --- --- Burhanpur

Agro-Climatic Regions

Chhatisgarh plains


Northern Hill Region

Shahdol, Anuppur, Sidhi and Parts of Mandla

Kymore Plateau & Satpura Hills

Rewa,Satna,Panna, (Partly) Seoni and Katni tehsil of Katni.

Central Narmada Valley

Jabalpur, Katni (except Katni teh.) Narsinghpur and Hoshangabad & Harda

Vindhya Plateau

Bhopal,Sehore,Raisen, Vidisha,Guna,Ashoknagar,Sagar & Damoh.

Gird Region

Gwalior,Bhind,Shivpuri (except Pichore and Karera Tehsil ). Morena & Sheopur kala


Chhattarpur,Datia, Tikamgarh, part of panna Teh.Karera and Pichore of Shivpuri.

Satpura Plateau

Betul & Chhindwara

Malwa Plateau

Mandsaur,Ratlam, Ujjain,Dewas, Indore,Shajapur, Rajgarh & Dhar (except Kukshi & Manawar Tehsils) and Petlawad Tehsil of Jhabua.

Nimar Plains

Khandwa,Burhanpur,Khargone, Barwan,i Kukshi & Manawar, Tehsils of Dhar District.

Jhabua Hills

Jhabua District. (Except Petlawad Tehs )