The heart of incredible India, Madhya Pradesh, is a state rich in cultural heritage and natural splendour — be it monuments, plateaus, spectacular mountain ranges, meandering rivers or miles of dense forests. Proud of its green cover, Vivek Mathur, general manager, Madhya Pradesh Tourism, says, “The state offers an exciting panorama of wildlife in sylvan surroundings. One-third of the state is covered with forest — it has 25 wildlife sanctuaries and nine national parks, the most famous amongst which are Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Madhav, Satpuda and Van Vihar National Park.
What to see at…
Kanha National Park
1. Bamni Dadar — the sun set point
2. The tiger reigns supreme at Kanha, along with the spotted deer, majestic gaur and 12 singha.
3. Mammalian species: Kanha has 22 species of mammals. Most easily spotted are the striped palm squirrels, common langur, blackbuck and sambhar.
Best season to visit: November to June (closed from July 1 to October 15 due to rains)
Ujjain — the city of temples
1. As the city lies on the banks of river Shipra, it is known for hosting the Simhastha, the Kumbh Mela. Next Kumbh Mela would be held in 2016.
2. Ram Ghat
3. Mahakaleshwar temple
4. Gopal Mandir
Bhimbetka Bhojpur — a heritage of great civilization
1. Bhimbetka, a natural amphitheatre, has been recognised as a world heritage site.
2. Bhojeshwar temple, Bhojpur
Chander — the town of medieval forts and magical weaves
1. Handloom weaving has been a significant activity in Chander.
2. Sadar bazaar is the best place to pick up Chanderi saris and fabric.
Gwalior — the living heritage of heroism
1. Gwalior Fort dominates the landscape of the city
2. The place for historical Gurudwara Data Bandhi Chhod. The gurdwara was built in the memory of Shri Hargobind Sahib (the sixth Sikh guru). It was here that he was imprisoned by emperor Jahangir for over two years.
3. Teli Ka Mandir and Sas-Bahu Ka Mandir.
Mandu — legends of love
1. Jahaz Mahal, the elegant Ship Palace
2. Darwazas (gateways)
3. Jami Masjid
4. Hindola Mahal
5. To know the interesting love story of Baz Bahadur and Roopmati, visit Baz Bahadur palace and Roopmati pavilion.
1. Sri Omkar Mandhata
2. Siddnath Temple
3. Peshwar ghat, Fanase ghat
4. Maheshwari saris are mostly woven with cotton and silk. Their USP is the reversible border, known as budgi.
Orchha — medieval legacy in stone
1. Jehangir Mahal
2. Raja Mahal
3. Ram Raja Temple
4. Opt for river rafting at the Betwa river
Travel like a tourist
1. Caravan tourism (at Bhopal, Jabalpur and Indore)
2. Air taxi (nine-seater plane, within the state)
3. Cruise tourism (on Narmada river from Jabalpur to Kanha)
The most favourable months to visit Madhya Pradesh are October to February. If you plan to visit during the off-season, the hill station of Pachmarhi is ideal.
The screening of the film, The Barefoot Pilgrim by Laurent Bregeat, scheduled for today (June 2, 2013), 11.30 am, at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, Chandigarh, has been cancelled.