India >Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh occupies perhaps the oldest part of the subcontinent - called the Gondwana - the home of the Gonds. Close to Bhopal at Bhimbetka are the prehistoric caves that preserve some fascinating paintings dating back to paleolithic times. Experts have concluded that these are at least as old as the specimen at Pyrnees. This was perhaps one of the earliest dwellings of human beings.
In fact, the excavations here have revealed a cultural sequence right from the late stoneage to the early historical period. Madhya Pradesh is the richest state in the country in respect of painted rock-shelters, the majority of which have been found in the districts of Sehore, Bhopal, Raisen, Hoshangabad and Sagar.
Madhya Pradesh consisted Bhimbetka neolithic rock of the region called Malwa. The Malwa region was occupied by the predecessors of the Bhils, Gonds and other tribes who had to confront the Aryans. The Aryans who were stronger pushed the tribal inhabitants to the south of the Vindhyas. The Malwa region is also found to have evidences of a civilization contemporary to the Indus Valley Civilization. This region excelled in art and architecture during the period of Buddhism when this area witnessed the rule of Mauryan empire till 327 B.C. The Sungas also established their influence over this region. The rule of Vikramaditya lasted from 78 to 388 AD and after this Chandragupta II ruled from 388 to 401 AD. After the decline of the Guptas, by the 10th century Malwa was under King Bhoja II of the Paramaras. Internal rivalry between the tribes and the Rajputs made it easy for the Muslims to establish their rule which lasted till 1401 AD. The Khiljis under Mahmud Khilji ruled from 1435-1459. The invasion of Babar paved the way for establishment of a strong Muslim rule from 1526 to 1530. The Sur dynasty under Sher Shah also had its influence on it. In 1562 Akbar made it a part of the Mughal empire and it remained a part of Mughal empire till the 18th century. The tribal, Gonds gained control of Malwa after the decline of the Mughals followed by the Marathas from 1690. Though this area too fell under the British jurisdiction it was administered by the Marathas who ceded it to the British completely by 1817. In 1948 after independence this region of Malwa was joined with regions of Indore and Bhopal. In 1956 it was organised into the present Madhya Pradesh.
Capital : Bhopal.
Area : 3, 08, 000 sq.km.
Literacy : 64.7%.
Languages : Hindi, Urdu, Marathi.
Roads : 1, 98, 936 km.
Railways : 5, 893 km.
Airports : Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur, Khajuraho, Raipur.
When to visit : Oct to May.
Climate(in °C) : Summer 48 to 2 Winter 23 to 4.
Districts : 45, Balaghat, Barwani, Betul, Bhind, Bhopal, Chhatarpur, Chindwara, Damoh, Datia, Dewas, Dhar, Dindori, East Nimar, Guna, Gwalior, Harda, Hoshangabad, Indore, Jabalpur , Jhabua, Katni, Mandla, Mandsaur, Morena, Narsimhapur, Neemuch, Panna, Raisen, Rajgarh, Ratlam, Rewa, Sagar, Satna, Sehore, Seoni, Shahdol, Shajapur, Sheopur, Shivpuri, Sidhi, Tikamgarh, Ujjain, Umaria, Vidisha West Nimar.
Places of Tourist importance : Khajuraho, Sanchi, Bhimbetka, Pachmarhi, Omkareshwar, marble rocks at Bhedaghat, Mandu.
Madhya Pradesh People