Madhya Pradesh Tourism (An Overview)
Madhya Pradesh tourism has several hidden treasures as tourist attractions which take you to the world of incredible wildlife, historical sites, and spots of cultural importance. From the tourism and travel point of view, Madhya Pradesh Tourism is well known as the heart of incredible India and this is absolutely true at every extent due to its stunning natural resources. The total forest region of the Madhya Pradesh is about 94690 square Km comprising approx 31% of the geographical region of the state and 12.5% of the entire forest area of India. Therefore, Madhya Pradesh tourism has great strength particularly in the area of activities related to wildlife tourism. Madhya Pradesh tourism offers travel and tourism activities in its abundant of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves. The famous character Mowgli of the fiction novel Jungle book written by Rudyard Kipling was born here in famous Kanha Tiger Reserve which is one of the finest tourist attractions of Madhya Pradesh. A trip to Panchmarhi can give you a chance to see the variety of flora and fauna in enchanting lap of nature which is also a popular Biosphere Reserve in state. Beside these natural heritages, Madhya Pradesh Tourism also offers various famous sights for pilgrimage and of historical importance too within state such as Amarkantak, Khajuraho, Ujjain, Mandu, Bhopal, Gwalior, Udaigiri, Shivpuri, Chanderi Fort, Bandhavgarh Fort, Maheshwar, Mandasaur Fort, Omkareshwar etc.
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Places to Visit
Although Madhya Pradesh Tourism presents many of beautiful tourist attractions within the state so it is good to put all of them in few important category of tourism to emphasize separately on them such as wildlife, cultural & historical and Pilgrimage tourist sites.
Kanha Tiger Reserve/ Kanha National Park
Kanha tiger reserve is protected area and developed by Govt. particularly for the Royal Bengal Tiger. Kanha is one of the most popular tiger reserves and also called as National Park in India which attracts a huge number of foreign and domestic tourists every year. Kanha tiger reserve is the habitat of many animals especially Bengal tiger, Leopard, Bear, Wild dog, Barasingha (Swamp Deer), Jackal, Wild cats and Fox. Nilgai, spotted deer, Sambar is the common species found here in the Park. Most of the area of Kanha National Park lies in the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh and it is stretched in approx 940 km². Kanha National Park has plenty of trees in the forest mix with the Sal and Bamboos from lower to high land. There is also a huge area covered with grassland, provides support to Barasingha to survive in the Jungle from predators. Madhya Pradesh tourism department has built some forest guest house in the core and in the outer area as well for the tourists so they can experience the wildlife of Kanha tiger reserve closely.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park has the largest density of tigers among other national parks in India as per the recent survey. The core area of Bandhavgarh National Park is located in Umaria and spread in approx 105 Km² whereas the total forest area of the park has stretched in 437 Km² under Umaria and Katni district of Madhya Pradesh. In 1951, Mohan, the first white tiger had been captured by the king of Rewa (Maharaja Martand Singh) in this area and presently stuffed as a display in the museum which is used to be the palace of Maharajas of Rewa in ancient times. Besides the tiger, the leopard has good breeding inhabitants along with many species of deer. Nilgai, spotted deer, Jackals, Wild cats and Elephants are the most common species to see in Bandhavgarh National Park. Madhya Pradesh tourism offers a great stay and experiences the wilderness of Bandhavgarh National Park in their different resorts and jungle lodges.
Pench National Park
Pench national park is equally distributed in the two districts of Madhya Pradesh; Seoni & Chindwara. Pench has initially declared a sanctuary which got a status of a tiger reserve in 1992. This is one of the most popular National Park, Madhya Pradesh tourism have within the state. The famous River Pench crosses from the middle of the National Park & quite popular for River Rafting. The total core expanded area of Pench is approx 300 Km² whereas throughout the area is about 758 square km. Satpura mountain range and forest provide a magnetic beauty to Pench National Park. Royal Bengal tiger is the main attraction of this park. Another species like Sloth Bear, Nilgai, Hyena, Jackal, Pig, Deer, and Wild Cat are commonly seen in Pench National Park.
Panna National Park
Panna has got the status of a National Park in 1994 and became 21st National Park in India along with 5th in the state of Madhya Pradesh tourism. The area of Panna National Park lies in Chatarpur and Panna districts and stretched in the total area of approx 545 square km. The decline of tiger counts have been reported by Madhya Pradesh tourism to Central Govt. many times, however, Panna National Park has got the award of excellence for a well-maintained national park of India by the department of tourism, Govt. of India. Forest department is trying to increase the population of tiger in Panna and for that, they are taking some major steps to do so with the help of Madhya Pradesh tourism department. Besides the tiger, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Chinkara, Nilgai, Chital are inhabited and very common to watch by tourists on roaming.
Van Vihar National Park
Van Vihar National Park is located in the capital city of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. It is declared as national park in the year 1983. Van Vihar National Park is spread over the total area of approx 5 km² and support the city of Bhopal to keep pollution free. Due to easily accessibility, this park is quite popular among travelers and tourists. The animals are held in reserve in their close to natural environment. The majority of the animals are either orphaned brought from the different part of the state or those, which are switched over from various zoos located in the country.
Madhav National Park
Madhav National Park is another important national park in Madhya Pradesh and has been one of the most accessible attractions among tourists and nature lovers located in Shivpuri district.
Satpura National Park
Satpura National Park covers the total area of 524 square km and located in the district of Hoshangabad. It also adjoins the Panchmarhi wildlife sanctuary. Altitude of Satpura National Park is between 300 meters to 1352 meters. Sandstone peaks and dense forest area of Satpura range produce a magnetic beauty which attracts numerous tourists. It has very rich biodiversity. Leopard, chital, Muntjac, Chinkara, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Flying squirrels, Antelopes, Mouse Deer, and Fox etc are the most common species to be found here. Teak, Sal, Tendu, Mahua, Bamboo along with some medicinal plants are commonly found in this national park. Satpura National Park is also home to some beautiful species of birds such as Peafowl and Horn-bills. Dhoopgarh is known as the highest peak of Satpura National Park at the altitude of approx 1350 meters.
Panchmarhi Biosphere Reserve & Wildlife Sanctuary
Panchmarhi is only hill station in Madhya Pradesh located at the altitude of 1100 meters above sea level. Panchmarhi is also known as Queen of Satpura due to its location which lies in the valley of Satpura range. Panchmarhi got the status of a Biosphere reserve in the year 2009 by UNESCO and therefore it conserved area and not allowed to any access for tourism purpose. The complete area of Panchmarhi Biosphere reserve is distributed in the districts of Hoshangabad, Betul & Chindwara with total expanded area of approx 4927 km² including Panchmarhi wildlife sanctuary, Bori sanctuary, and Satpura National Park. It is supposed to be a specific shifting zone linking the species of the western and eastern side of the country. The whole region is a habitat of Tiger, Leopard, Chital, Sambar, Indian Bison, Wolf, Squirrels, Chinkara, and Nilgai etc as fauna along with some rare species of flora. There are many hotels operated by Madhya Pradesh tourism located in the town of Panchmarhi or in the nearby area offers great stay along with good amenities. There are many famous tourist attractions in and around Panchmarhi can be accessed by the tourists such as Dhupgarh Peak, Bee Fall, Gupt Mahadev, Panchmarhi Hill’s Sunset Point, Apsara Fall, Duchess fall, Draupadi Kund, Handi Kho, Little fall etc. Beside all these, there are many other tourist spots of natural and cultural interests can also be explored by the tourists.
Amarkantak is known as the source of Narmada River and one of the sacred tourist spot under Madhya Pradesh tourism. Kapil Dhara, Narmada Kund, and Dudh-Dhara are another points of interest located in Amarkantak.
From the cultural and historical point of view, Khajuraho is most famous tourist place not only in Madhya Pradesh but also in India. Khajuraho has declared world heritage site by UNESCO for its rich artistic activity in many temples. Khajuraho attracts a large number of foreign tourists too every year. They just get lost to see the beauty of architecture and sculpture of temples which are supposed to be built between 9th to 12th century A.D. Khajuraho had been the capital of Chandela dynasty during that period. Chausath Yogini temple, Kandari Mahadeva temple, Adinath & Parshwanath Jain temple are the famous group of temples in Khajuraho. Madhya Pradesh tourism department has some of their best tourist lodges and hotels established in Khajuraho apart from various private players.
Ujjain is ancient, holiest and the pilgrimage destination of mammoth Kumbh Mela. Ujjain was the former capital of Parmar kings and also associated with famous ancient personalities like Ashoka, Gupta & Vikramaditya. Popular Hindu pilgrimage temple Mahakaleshwar dedicated to Lord Shiva is an identification of Ujjain. Beside this, Jantar- Mantar, ancient palace and the holy Shipra River are another point of attraction in Ujjain. Madhya Pradesh tourism department & Ujjain administration plays a significant role to manage the crowd during huge Kumbh Mela at the bank of Shipra river.
Mandu is another ancient city located in Western Madhya Pradesh. Mandu is known as the ruined city of Central India. Many of historical monuments of Mandu attract the tourist to explore the city. The magnificent architecture of different palaces, temples, mosques is notable tourist spots of Mandu. Jahaj mahal, the twelve darwaja (gates), hindola mahal, hoshang shah tomb, Jama-masjid and Roopmati’s pavilion are some major tourist attraction located in and around Mandu.
Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh is blessed with natural beauty along with historical and cultural importance. The city is full of beautiful lakes, gardens, palaces, and many beautiful Mosques and Temples including India’s biggest Taj-Ulm Mosque. These attractions give an immense pleasure to the tourists during exploration of Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh tourism has developed and added some beautiful artificial shows such as light show, water fountain show etc at different tourist spots to attract the people.
Gwalior is a major city of Madhya Pradesh and famous for its hilltop fort which is called the pearl of fortresses in India. In ancient time, Gwalior has been the center of a numerous dynasty that ruled it over a long duration; therefore their influence is evidently seen in the various majestic constructions that overlook the city. Logically, it persists to retain a medieval dignity. Sarod Ghar, Gujari mahal, Tansen memorial, Man Singh palace, Sun temple etc are the popular tourist spots in Gwalior. Hotel Tansen Residency operated by Madhya Pradesh tourism is one of the best heritage hotels in Gwalior which is also known to be best and beautiful hotel among others.
Udaigiri is another important tourist site famous for caves under Madhya Pradesh tourism located near the city of Vidisha. The art of portrait of Hindu and Jain can be seen in the caves. The famous world peace pagoda of Sanchi is also very close to Udaigiri.
Chanderi is famous for its huge Mughal fort surrounded by hills. The main entrance of Chanderi fort is called Khooni Darwaja. Chanderi is supposed to be a central point of trade in ancient India and many of Mughal and Rajputana kings have ruled over the years in the past.
Bandhavgarh fort is located at the center of Bandhavgarh National Park in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh fort is must visit site for travelers and tourists. This fort is located at the altitude of approx 750 meters above sea level and surrounded by hills. Madhya Pradesh tourism department offers jeep safari to see wilderness of National Park including a sightseeing stay at Bandhavgarh fort for the tourists.
Maheshwar is also a center of attraction for the pilgrimage tourists, located approx 90 Km from Indore at the bank of holy Narmada River. Ahilya Devi fort is a major tourist attraction in Maheshwar along with many Hindu temples dedicated to Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Mandsaur fort is one of the ancient forts got constructed during 1469 -1500 A.D by Mukbil Khan who was supposed to be an Army officer under the rule of Giyas shah. Mandsaur fort is mainly associated with the king of Mandu that time, however; this fort has been associated with many ancient rulers including Mughal, Rajput, Maratha and British during 1469 to 1818 A.D. Presently, Mandsaur fort is comprised in one of the major historical monument under Madhya Pradesh tourism.
Omkareshwar is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage centers of India comprising with one of the 12 Indian Jyotirlingas. A grand temple of Omkar-Mandhata sculptured in medieval style to be known as a most famous tourist attraction of Omkareshwar.