Also known as the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh is the second-largest state that is home to three spectacular World UNESCO Heritage Sites, picturesque landscapes, and amazing wildlife. Boasting a rich cultural heritage and stunning topography, the centrally located state is quite popular amongst historians, archaeologists, and tourists from all over the world. With a myriad range of cultural festivals, there’s a lot to explore in Madhya Pradesh as it is one of the richest tourist destinations in India. The capital city, Bhopal is also famous for many historical and archaeological sites and recreational activities. The ideal time to visit Madhya Pradesh is either during winters (October to March) or monsoons (July to September).
According to archaeologists, Madhya Pradesh has been inhabited since the Middle Pleistocene age. Pottery discovered in Bhimbetka rock shelters reflects the traces of the Mesolithic era. The Chalcolithic sites in the western part of the state depict Kathya and Malwa culture. The Avanti Kingdom captured the quintessential city of Ujjain and made it their capital. Malava, Dasarna, Nishada, and Karusha also ruled the state before it finally came under the control of Chandragupta Maurya -the king of the Mauryan dynasty in the 4th and 5th centuries. Their rule was collapsed with a series of attacks by the nomadic tribe from Central Asia, White Huns. Along with the existence of Paramara's reign in Malwa, Chandelas in Bundelkhand, many regions of Madhya Pradesh came under Rajput clans.
Finally, in 1531, the Sultanate of Gujarat conquered Malwa and Sher Shah Suri ruled in most of the areas of the state until the Second Battle of Panipat which was held in the year 1556. With this, the cards changed and Akbar ensured Mughal rule over the majority of the parts of the state. After the death of the last Mughal king, Aurangzeb in 1707, Marathas acquired the state. After Marathas, the seat kept changing between Peshwas, Holkars, Pawars, Bhonsles, and the Scindias. Later during the Anglo Maratha War, the entire region was taken over by the Britishers. Rebellions like Tatya Tope revolted in 1857 which were suppressed by the Kings of some princely states. Finally, after India got Independence in 1947, the historically replete Madhya Pradesh was declared as an independent state.
Domiciled by the communities of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, and Sikhs, Madhya Pradesh is also home to various tribes such as Bhils, Gonds, Oraons, Kols, Bhilalas, Murias, and Korkens. One-third part of the state is covered by the tribal communities and therefore the tribal culture is quite prevalent. Many parts of the state such as the Bastar region, south of Jabalpur, etc. are still unaffected by urbanization.
The vibrant and diverse culture can be seen in various art forms, folk dances, songs, and festivals of Madhya Pradesh which is the major highlight that draws tourists from everywhere. Hindi is a widely spoken language, however, people also speak Malawi, Bundelkhand, Chhattisgarhi, Sindhi, Urdu, Marathi, and Gujrati. The essence of the cultural ethnicity of Madhya Pradesh can be seen in various traditions and rituals that are followed since ancient times. As the state is rich in soil and other resources, the main occupation of people here is agriculture and cattle farming.
Boasting a rich cultural lineage, the food of Madhya Pradesh is an assortment of diverse cultures and heritage. Many cuisines of the state are influenced by the neighboring regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The staple food of the state is wheat, while Jowar and milk are widely used in almost every household. Indore is known to be a city of foodies that offers a unique culinary experience with its wide range of delicacies. The city of Gwalior is famous for Bedai and Jabalpur for its Badkul.
Since people here are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, you will find a wide range of delectable dishes. Indori Poha is a popular breakfast that shouldn’t be missed. The most iconic vegetarian dishes of Madhya Pradesh are bhutte ki kees, dal bafla, palak poori, chakki ki shaak which are truly delightful. Some of the most popular non-vegetarian dishes include gosht korma from Bhopal, seekh kebabs, biryani pilaf, and Murgh Rezala. Sweet savouries such as malpua, mawa-bati, khoya jalebi, badkul, shrikhand, chikki, etc are definitely going to make you ask for more.
The art and crafts of Madhya Pradesh portray a huge diversity through its tribal art. Most popular tribes such as Gond, Baiga, Basar, Korku, etc create hunting tools, fishing traps, baskets, etc from bamboo while paintings found in regions such as Bundelkhand, Malwa, Gondwa, etc depicts the vivid folk culture. Intricate stone carving found at various monuments and temples in Madhya Pradesh depicts the rich art culture of the state.
Madhya Pradesh is also famous for crafts such as bamboo works, carpet weaving, durries, iron crafting, cane coverings, jute works, metal crafting, stone carving, terracotta, stuffed toys, zari embroidery, textile weaving, paper mache, woodcraft, and whatnot. Jali work of Gwalior is very popular while places like Tikamgarh are famous for tall human structures and figurines carved out of stone. The art and craft culture in Madhya Pradesh is well maintained by the local artisans and tribes. Apart from various delightful indulgences, tourists also get a chance to shop exquisite antiques and artifacts along with beautiful handicrafts.
Among the numerous tourist attractions in Madhya Pradesh, we have compiled a list of the best for you. Scroll down to know the activities you can experience during your tour to Madhya Pradesh.
Overall, Madhya Pradesh is an exciting state to visit in India as it offers everything a traveler needs. Delve in the rich cultural diversity and get the most splendid wildlife experience in Madhya Pradesh. Get the best travel package by Adotrip to experience hassle-free traveling.