Madhya Pradesh means middle province, and it is located in the geographic heart of India. The state straddles the Narmada River, which runs east and west between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges; these ranges and the Narmada are the traditional boundary between the north and south of India. The state is bordered on the west by Gujarat, on the northwest by Rajasthan, on the northeast by Uttar Pradesh, on the east by Chhattisgarh, and on the south by Maharashtra.
Madhya Pradesh comprises several linguistically and culturally distinct regions, including:
Districts: Anuppur, Ashoknagar, Balaghat, Barwani, Betul, Bhind, Bhopal, Burhanpur, Chhatarpur, Chhindwara, Damoh, Datia, Dewas, Dhar, Dindori, Guna, Gwalior, Harda, Hoshangabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jhabua, Katni, Khandwa, Khargone, Mandla, Mandsaur, Morena, Narsinghpur, Neemuch, Panna, Raisen, Rajgarh, Ratlam, Rewa, Sagar, Satna, Sehore, Seoni, Shahdol, Shajapur, Sheopur, Shivpuri, Sidhi, Tikamgarh, Ujjain, Umaria, Vidisha.
The city of Ujjain (also known as Avanti) arose as a major center in the second wave of Indian urbanization in the sixth century BCE, and served as the chief city of the Malwa or Avanti region, which was an independent kingdom until it was absorbed into the Maurya, and later the Gupta, empires. Ujjain was the predominant commercial center of western India from the first century BCE, located on the trade routes between the Ganges plain and India's Arabian Sea ports. It was also an important Hindu and Buddhist center.
After Independence of India
Madhya Pradesh was created in 1950 from the former British Central Provinces and Berar and the princely states of Makrai and Chhattisgarh, with Nagpur as the capital of the state. In 1956, the states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, and Bhopal, made up of former princely states, were merged into it, and it lost the Marathi-speaking southern region Vidarbha, which included Nagpur, to Bombay state. Bhopal became the new capital. In November 2000, as part of the Madhya Pradesh Reorganization Act, the southeastern portion of the state split off to form the new state of Chhattisgarh.
Heritage and Architecture
Several cities in Madhya Pradesh are extraordinary for their architecture and or scenic beauty. Three sites in Madhya Pradesh have been declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco: the Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986), Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989) and the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003). Other architecturally significant or scenic sites include Asirgarh, Bhopal, Dhar, Gwalior, Indore, Maheshwar, Mandu, Orchha, Pachmarhi, Shivpuri and Ujjain.
For travel in Madhya Pradesh see:
Madhya Pradesh is home to several National Parks, including Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park, Satpura National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Madhav National Park, Van Vihar National Park, Fossil National Park, Panna National Park, and Pench National Park.
There are also a number of nature preserves, including Bagh Caves, Bori, Pachmarhi, Panpatha, Shikarganj, Ken Gharial, Ghatigaon, Kuno Palpur, Narwar, Chambal, Kukdeshwar, Narsinghgarh, and Nora Dehi.
The predominant language of the region is Hindi. 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 Nahali, all spoken by tribal groups. Due to rule of Marathas, Marathi is spoken by a substantial number of people.
de:Madhya Pradesh et:Madhya Pradesh fr:Madhya Pradesh hi:मध्य प्रदेश sv:Madhya Pradesh zh:中央邦