Madhya Pradesh is situated in the centre of the subcontinent of India. It is surrounded by Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra and its capital city is Bhopal. It is situated on either side of the Narmada River and between the imposing mountain ranges of Vindhya and Satpura. This makes it geographically and naturally beautiful. In addition, it is a state diverse in its languages and cultures, enriching its society and intriguing its visitors.

Madhya Pradesh was largely ruled by the famous Gupta Empire between 1556 and 1605 CE (Common Era). Certain areas (such as Gondwana and Mahakoshal) did not submit to the Guptas, though, and remained under the Gond Kingdom. However, as the Mughal Empire gradually began to disintegrate, the Marathas began to take control of this area. Then, in the 18th century, the British arrived with the aim of colonising India and establishing global spice routes. Some settlers arrived with the sole purpose of converting the locals to Christianity. Through a series of uprisings and battles, the British soon gained control over much of India. After centuries of struggling, India gained political independence in 1947, and Madhya Pradesh was made a princely state three years later.

Because of its central positioning, Madhya Pradesh is often called the Heart of India. Its landscape ranges from vast plateaus, river valleys and hills to gorges, sandstone mountains and green forests. It is divided into various regions: Malwa, Bundelkhand, Nimar, Baghelkhand, Mahakoshal, Central Vindhya and Satpura. The climate is subtropical in
Image of Cenotaphs With Reflection From Orchha, Madhya Pradesh, India
Cenotaphs With Reflection From Orchha,
Madhya Pradesh, India
nature, making this area hot and humid. The different geographical regions are each home to a different array of plants and animals. For example, the dense, moist forests are ideal habitats for certain species, while the cooler mountain heights are far better for others.

Because of the biodiversity as well as the climate, Madhya Pradesh boasts many national parks, gardens and reserves. These are not only designed to protect its natural wealth, but are also popular tourist attractions. Some of the national parks include Bandhavgarh National Park, Satpura National Park and Mandla Plant Fossils National Park.

Madhya Pradesh is, unfortunately, one of the states of India that suffers economically. Many of its residents are poor and hungry. The rural society relies heavily on the availability and production of Sal seed, teak seed, Tendu leaves and lak.

This state has received many migrants from other states and lands. In addition, Madhya Pradesh is still rather more tribal than many other Indian states. These tribes, which together make up the vast majority of the population, each boast different customs, ideals and beliefs. This has resulted in an eclectic combination of languages, religions and cultures within one region. Over 90% of the population are Hindus, while approximately 6% are Muslims. The remaining numbers are made up of Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs. The main tribes include (but are not limited to) the Gonds, Bhils, Mariyas and Sahariyas.

Tourist attractions in Madhya Pradesh:
• The Khajuraho Temples (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
• Sanchi Stupa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
• The Bhimbetka Caves (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
• The Bagh Caves
• The Ken Gharial Natural Reserve
• The Chambal Natural Reserve

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