Known as the heart of India , Madhya Pradesh (MP) is the land of ancient art, architecture and the majestic palaces. It has the most important roots in history with many forts and ancient sculptures which are at around 2000-years-old. The beauty of the state is tempting with various exciting and unforgettable attractions. So, here we are with the various beautiful heritage sites of this beautiful historical state of India — Madhya Pradesh.
MONUMENTAL HERITAGE OF MADHYA PRADESH
Monumental heritages in Madhya Pradesh are so beautiful, charming and ecstatic that it pulls tourists from across the world to visit here. From the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho to the great Stupa at Sanchi, there are many ancient ruins and architectural marvel within the boundary of Madhya Pradesh.
The first thought that comes to mind when we think about Madhya Pradesh is Khajuraho group of temples. It is a group of monuments including Hindu and Jain temples, which are about 175 kilometres (109 miles) south-east from Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh (UP). One of the popular UNESCO world heritage sites in India, these temples are famous for the nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures. Built between 950 and 1050 AD by the Chandela dynasty, the Khajuraho temples are dedicated to two such religions which were suggesting a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views.
Located in Sanchi town of Raisen district, the Buddhist vihara is famous for its Great Stupa, which is considered one of the oldest stone structures. Originally commissioned by emperor Ashoka the great it is 46 km north-east from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
Orchha (or Urchha) is a historical town in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh state in India, which literally means ‘hidden place’. The town was established by Rudra Pratap Singh some time after 1501 AD, as the former princely state of central India, in Bundelkhand region. Orchha lies on the Betwa River, 80 km from Tikamgarh and 15 km from Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. It was founded by Bundela Rajput chief Rudra Pratap Singh, who later on became the king of Orchha.
CAVES IN MADHYA PRADESH
Surrounding the splendid nature of Madhya Pradesh is the deep and dark world of its beautiful and fascinating caves. Caves in MP are a rich amalgamation of history, spirituality and mystery that gives a thrilling experience of adventure exploration.
Bhimbetka Caves in Bhojpur Raisen:
The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site of the Paleolithic, exhibiting the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent and the beginning of the South Asian Stone Age. It is located in the Raisen District in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, near Abdullaganj town, inside Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary. The name Bhimbetka is associated with Bhima, a hero-deity of the epic Mahabharata and its literal meaning is “sitting place of Bhima.”
Bhartrihari Caves in Ujjain:
Bhartrihari caves of Madhya Pradesh stand proudly on the bank of Shipra River, near the revered Gadkalika Temple of Ujjain. Named after the famous sage ‘Bhatrihari’, the caves stand as testimony to the traditional wealth of India. Today, these caves are popular amongst tourists for their historical charm and the pellucid waters of Shipra cascades near the caves, adding to the beauty of the place.
Udayagiri Caves in Vidisha:
Feature some of the oldest Hindu images and cave temples of India, Udayagiri Caves are located near the city of Vidisha, northeast of Bhopal in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
FORTS IN MADHYA PRADESH
Scattered ruins on the towering hills to the restored masterpieces, Forts of Madhya Pradesh are incredible sites to visit and a perfect venue to go for a heritage photo walk. Castles, fort and fortress of Madhya Pradesh are epitomes of the rulers’ struggle to conquer the state. These are the art from the past and depicts the cultural history of the state.
Madan Mahal Fort:
The Gond rulers reigned over Jabalpur, Mandla and surrounding regions and Madan Mahal is one the forts built by them. Though not exactly an architectural marvel, the little fort is characterised by the intrigue of ancient monuments in India. Situated atop a hill sharing the similar name, the monument is situated at a height of about five hundred meters. Dates back to 11th century AD, the fort was more of a manned post on vigil for invaders which is now enveloped in the shroud of history.
Well associated with Rani Durgavati the Gond queen and her son Madan Singh, it is famous for the historical Durgavati fort. Rani Durgavati eventually died fighting the Moguls and is hailed as a martyr in Indian history. She also built numerous temples and tanks scattered around Jabalpur, chiefly around her Garha principality. Another attraction is the Balancing Rock which is a huge stone balanced on the tip of another as a geological wonder on the way to the fort.
Situated in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, India, Bandhavgarh Fort is located on Bandhavgarh hill, at the centre of Bandhavgarh National Park. It is surrounded by a large number of smaller hills separated by gently sloping valleys which end in small, swampy meadows, locally known as ‘Bohera’. Another interesting fact is the fort is a home to many of the endangered species of Vulture found in India.
Also known as Gwalior Qila is an 8th-century hill fort in Madhya Pradesh which consists of a defensive structure and two main palaces, Gurjari Mahal and Man Mandir, built by Man Singh Tomar. The Gurjari Mahal palace was built for Queen Mrignayani, and now, it is an archaeological museum. The fort has been controlled by a number of different rulers in its history. There is an around 1500-years-old inscription in a small temple located on the way to the top of the hill which consists of the oldest record of “zero” in the world.
INTERESTING FACTS OF MADHYA PRADESH
- Overall, there are three UNESCO world heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh — Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka and Khajuraho Group of Monuments.
- Some of the oldest Buddhist relics are spotted in Sanchi including the Stupa which was built in the year 262 AD by king Ashoka.