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Heritage Sites in Madhya Pradesh | Ancient Ruins & Architectural Marvels

Replete with rich cultural heritage, the heart of India - Madhya Pradesh is acknowledged as a quintessential hub of heritage sites from the bygone era. The central state of India not only reflects the architectural brilliance of ruling empires but also takes us back to the golden age of India. Dotted with ancient temples, UNESCO World heritage sites, forts, caves, palaces, and more, the wide terrain of Madhya Pradesh offers more than eyes can meet.

Top 7 Heritage Sites in Madhya Pradesh

1. Khajuraho Group of Monuments

Khajuraho Group of Monuments

Built between 950 to 1050 AD, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is the most renowned heritage site that is famous for aesthetic erotic carvings etched on the walls of temples. Located in the Bundelkhand region, the incredible cluster of monuments covers 25 beautiful temples and caves that stood the testimony of time. Also declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khajuraho is the most popular historical destination in Madhya Pradesh that is visited by a large number of tourists from all over the world. Khajuraho World Heritage Site is indeed the pride of Madhya Pradesh Tourism.

2. Orchha Fort Complex

Orchha Fort Complex

Home to a cluster of ancient monuments comprising forts, palaces, temples, and other edifices, Orchha Fort Complex is one of the most famous heritage sites of Madhya Pradesh that attracts tourists from all over the world. Located in the Niwari district of Madhya Pradesh, Orchha is just about 18 km from Jhansi. Built-in the 16th century, Orchha Fort was established during the reign of Rudra Pratap Singh Bundela who was the famous Rajput ruler of his era. Offering tourist attractions such as Jahangir Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Raja Mahal, Phool Bagh, Rai Praveen Mahal, etc, the architectural splendor of Orchha heritage sites reflects the glory of Bundela Rajputs which is absolutely a feast for eyes.

3. Sanchi Stupa

Sanchi Stupa

One of the oldest stone structures in India, Sanchi Stupa is a famous Buddhist complex that was built in 262 BC by the great Mauryan emperor, Ashoka. Preserved under UNESCO World heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh, Sanchi Stupa is also the most prominent pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Sanchi Stupa, being the most significant along with Sonari, Satdhara, Andher, and Murelkhurd forms the Buddhist Circuit in Madhya Pradesh. Perched on the hilltop, the great Stupa of Sanchi is located in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh which is about 46kms from Bhopal. The elaborately carved gateways that depict Buddhist symbols and scenes from Buddha’s life are the major attractions of Sanchi Stupa that draws a massive footfall of tourists and spiritual seekers. 

Also Read: Top 10 Things To Do In Madhya Pradesh To Make Your Trip Memorable

4. Gwalior Fortress

Gwalior Fortress

The famous Gwalior Fort is among the most visited heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh that is famous for its majestic structure and architectural brilliance. The major attractions of Gwalior Fortress are Gujari Mahal, Dravidian style shrine - Teli-Ka-Mandir, Man Mandir Palace, Assi Khamba Ki Baoli, Karan Palace, the Jahangir Mahal, and Shahjahan Mahal. You can also visit the Tomb of Tansen and pay homage to the greatest musician of India who was also one of the nine gems of the Mughal court. With the history of Mughals, Marathas, and Scindias, the Gwalior Fort complex depicts a blend of various art forms practiced during different empires.

5. Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

An archaeological site located in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh, the rock shelters of Bhimbetka lie on the foothills of the Vindhya Mountains. The rock shelters date back to the Mesolithic times and the murals and paintings depict hunters and gatherers along with various animals such as bisons, elephants, wild boars, and tigers. There are more than 700 rock structures spread over the area of 10 km and some paintings found in these caves are believed to be 30,000 years old. V.S.Wakankar was the first archeologist to visit these prehistoric rock shelters in 1957 after which various surveys were conducted and it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003. This heritage site in Madhya Pradesh is definitely thought-provoking.  

6. Udayagiri Caves

Udayagiri Caves

Situated in Sonpura and Udayagiri villages of Vidisha district, Udayagiri Caves is a famous heritage site in Madhya Pradesh that houses a group of 20 temples and monasteries from the Mauryan Empire. Carved out of a rocky hill, the temples and monasteries found in Udayagiri contain iconography of Vaishnavism, Shaktism, and Shaivism. These historical caves dedicated to Jainism and Hinduism are significant heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh that give a glimpse to sculptures and art from the Mauryan dynasty.

Also Read: A Famous Festival Of Madhya Pradesh: Lokrang Festival

7. Bateshwar Temples

Bateshwar Temples

One of the most spectacular heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh, Bateshwar Temple Complex, about 45 minutes from Gwalior boasts around 200 small and big temples that were constructed during the mid-eighth to the 11th centuries under the reign of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty. According to historians, the earthquakes during the 13th-century destroyed this massive temple complex which was later restored under the Archeological Survey in 1920. However, until the 20th century, the entire complex was under the control of local dacoits and it was in 2002 when K.K. Mohammed, a renowned ASI archeologist saught permission from the local dacoit leader and began restoration work of these marvelous temples that have erotic carvings akin to the famous Khajuraho temples. The temple complex is now open for visitors and people can catch a sight of this huge temple complex anytime during the day.

Considered to be one of the heritage-rich states, a visit to Madhya Pradesh is no less than a visual treat. From incredibly stunning heritage sites to the famous food of Madhya Pradesh, there’s a lot to experience in the heart of India. Plan your trip with Adotrip for the most memorable travel experience. With us, nothing is far!

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--- Published By  Shradha Mehra