Madhya Pradesh is India’s largest state. It spreads right across the heart of the sub-continent, covering an area much larger than Germany or Italy (443,446 sq. km). Almost a third of the state is under forest cover and it boasts some of the finest wildlife reserves in the country. The denizens of the deep woodlands and forests of Madhya Pradesh are the stately ‘gaur’ (Indian bison), wild dogs (‘dhole’), deer and antelopes like the sambar, chinkara, cheetal (spotted deer), chousingha (four horned antelope) and the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger.
These forests are home to over 900 Royal Bengal tigers, a sixth of the world’s population of this endangered animal. No wonder Madhya Pradesh proudly sports the appellation, "Tiger State"! Spectacular low mountain ranges and ravines, meandering rivers and waterfalls, forts and fortresses, palaces and hunting lodges, ruined cities and temple towns and miles and miles of dense forests just waiting to be explored. Tempted?
Best Time of Visit:
- The best time to visit Madhya Pradesh is in the winter months, anytime from October to March.
- Bhopal has an extremely pleasant climate, so all times of the year are good to travel. Gwalior, Mandu, Indore and Jabalpur can be very hot in summer months with the mercury climbing as high as 40°- 42° Celsius.
- The best time to visit the National Parks in Madhya Pradesh differ slightly depending on which one you wish to visit: Bandhavgarh is good between November and June; for Kanha, the best time is February to June, though travelers would find the weather more comfortable during the cooler winter months of November to January.
- The parks are closed during the monsoon season from 1 July to 31 October, so plan accordingly.
Min Days Required:
Places of Interest:
- Bhopal - Van Vihar National Park, Bharat Bhavan, Taj –Ul- Masjid
- Gwalior - Gwalior Fort, Teli Ka Mandir, Jai Vilas Palace, Tansens Tomb, Gwalior Zoo
- Khajuraho– Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Lakshamana Temple, Devi Jagadambika temple, Duladeo Temple,
- Mandu - The Darwazas, Jahaz Mahal, Hindola Mahal, HOSHANG SHAH'S TOMB, Jami Masjid,
- Indore - Choki Dhani, Lal Baag Palace, Kanch Mandir, Rajwada
- Bandhavgarh National Park
- Kanha National Park
- Madhya Pradesh’s climate is either hot and arid or cold and dry with the maximum precipitation from June to October. Generally, rainfall decreases westward and northward; in the east and southeast it averages 60 inches or more, dropping to 40 inches or less in the west and less than 30 inches in the Chambal River valley to the north.
- With the annual rainfall ranging between 20 inches and 40 inches in the plateau region, the climate is breezy and temperate with summers tolerably warm and the winters pleasant.
- The northern parts of the state have extremes of temperature while the plains in the east and south are generally warm and humid.
Things to carry:
- In case, you are Madhya Pradesh-bound during summers (March, April & May) remember that the mercury level soars to more than 29oc in almost all the places of the state. Therefore, it is advisable that you carry light cotton clothing and clothes made of natural fabrics with you. Synthetic clothes and clingy fabrics preferably to be avoided. Go for loose and airy clothes that regulate airflow in the body. Opt for clothes in lighter shades and avoid loud colors.
- Monsoon season in the state stretches for a long period and generally lasts from June to October. If you happen to visit the state during this season of showers, i.e. in monsoons, remember that most of the cities here experience high levels of humidity apart from the frequent spells of monsoon rain. Therefore, it is recommended that you take loose and breathable fabrics, instead of tight-fitting clothes. At the same time, carry waterproof clothing that comes quite handy while taking monsoon strolls.
- Winters are very pleasant and favorable from the vacationing point of view. In fact, it is the best season to visit the state. It lasts from November to February and the place beckons many tourists during this period. Winters can be moderate to quite severe in Madhya Pradesh. So, while on a trip to the state during winters, loads of woolen clothes (both light & heavy) will provide the answer to 'how to dress up'. Shawls, pullovers, jackets, overcoats, skullcaps, mittens, mufflers and inner thermal wear are basic clothing that the season calls for.
How to get there:
- Towns and cities in Madhya Pradesh are well connected by inter state buses that ply to Madhya Pradesh from the neighboring states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra.
- The major highways are well maintained, making for pleasant driving conditions. The distances between Bhopal (the capital of Madhya Pradesh) and Bombay are 789 km, Aurangabad-588 km, Ahmedabad-571 km, Agra-523 km, Delhi-728 km.
- Bhopal, Gwalior, Khajuraho and Indore are connected by air to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta.
- A number of private airlines have commercial services to the state, as does the national domestic carrier.
- Madhya Pradesh lies on the main rail routes between Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai.
- Superfast and express trains link the major cities in the state to other important destinations in the country. The Taj Express and the Shatabdi Express are two superfast trains from Delhi to Gwalior (4hrs) and Bhopal (7hrs).