Central India, the heart of the country, presents a wonderful peek into the cultural brilliance of India. Be it the incredible historical wonders, the mesmerising cultural delights or the world-class architectural beauty, this part of India has it all in abundance. Take a look at some of the region’s most charming cities.
Khajuraho is a heritage site in Madhya Pradesh, India, known for its group of ancient monuments and Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples. Renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it leaves history buffs stunned with its delightful nagara-styled architecture and amazes with its annual dance festival where a number of Indian classical and international dance forms can be seen. Koshak Mahal, Badal Mahal Gate, Kati Ghati, Archaeological Museum and Chanderi Fort are some of the major attractions to explore here.
Gwalior is most famed for its royal structures and ancient temples. The city, which has seen different emperors through the years, is home to one of the largest fortresses in India, the Gwalior Fort which occupies a sandstone plateau overlooking the city! Besides, there is the famous Gandhi Zoological Park where you spot animals like bison, white tigers, hyena etc. Also, bird watching at Chambal River and boating at Swarna Rekha River and Tighra Dam are some other interesting things to experience here.
Known as “Varanasi of Central India”, Maheshwar is a small town in Madhya Pradesh located on the banks of River Narmada. It is one of India’s most popular spiritual hotspots mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata under its old name, Mahishmati. Among its many ancient temples, ghats and monuments, the Ahilyabai Temple, Maheshwar Fort and Narmada Ghat are the most popular ones. Moreover, this place is famous for producing exquisite cotton sarees which are known as Maheshwari sarees.
One of the largest cities in Madhya Pradesh, Ujjain is a prominent Hindu pilgrimage site nestled along the Kshipra River. It is known as a temple town and draws tourists from all over the world. The major attraction of this ancient tourist destination is the centuries-old Mahakaleshwar Temple that features a towering structure with a unique ornate roof. Kumbh Mela and Maha Shivratri are the two occasions when the city witnesses massive tourist influx.
Located on the banks of River Betwa, Orchha is a royal town in Madhya Pradesh famed for its medieval architecture and mural temples. Home to a large number of remains from the Bundela Era, this place is a delight for history and architecture lovers. Lakshminarayan Temple, the Orchha Fort Complex, Phool Bagh and Chaturbhuj Temple are some of the city’s most popular tourist spots.
The capital city of Madhya Pradesh and popular as the “City of Lakes”, Bhopal is an ideal mix of old world charm, modern urban planning and natural beauty. Divided into two parts by the two lakes – the Upper Lake and the Lower Lake, it is one of the greenest cities in India. Bharat Bhawan, Shaukat Mahal, Museum of Man, Van Vihar, Sara Manzil and Gufa Mandir are some of the major attractions to explore here. Also, you can enjoy a boat ride at its artificial as well as nature lakes.
A Buddhist complex best known for its ancient Sanchi Stupa, Sanchi is a small village located close to the city of Bhopal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site visited by a large number of Buddhist followers every year. The Great Stupa is one of the oldest structures in India, capturing the attention of all travellers to the town. The village reflects the Buddhist culture and houses many monasteries and monuments dating back to 3rd century B.C. Some of the popular places to visit here include the Eastern Gateway, the Ashoka Pillar and the Great Bowl.
A beautiful city in west-central India, situated on the Malwa Plateau, Indore is a terrific holiday destination capturing the attention of those who want to experience the rich culture of the land. It is known as the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh and is the largest city in Central India. Showcasing an ideal blend of the historic and modern world, the city is famous for its wonderful historical monuments, markets and food. Rajwada, Kaanch Mandir and Choki Dhani are the most popular places to explore here.