The Best Places to Visit in Central India

by pateluday

Discover the hidden secrets of the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh also called Central India. The MP State offers magical retreats, architectural marvels and wildlife preserves.

Madhya Pradesh is situated right in the Center of India and hence called Heart of India in tourism lingo. The state is rich in history and architecture, it is a colorful canvas of ethnicity and culture. It is blessed with verdant greenery, natural places and amazing tiger reserves home to magnificent big cats in mind boggling diversity of nature.

Spiritualism reins deep in the lives of people thanks to many pilgrimage centers and the Holy River Narmada that is heart and soul of masses. Madhya Pradesh is a lesser known destination in India somehow overshadowed by the Dazzling North, Royal Rajasthan, Verdant Goa and God's Own Kerala in South.

The jewels of Madhya Pradesh are hidden in infinite depth of mysterious landscapes. MP is famous for not only the tigers, birds but also magical ancient architecture of tribal and blue blooded kings who created marvels like the Khajuraho Temples, Gwalior Fort, Palaces of Mandu and Orchha

Urban Area Photo

Jabalpur City
Jabalpur City
John Matthai

Urban Madhya Pradesh

Major conglomerations are Jabalpur, Indore, Gwalior and Bhopal. There are many smaller towns in the state which is divided into districts.  

Major cities of Central India are heavily populated and cross over two million. Indore, Jabalpur and Bhopal are industrialized and commercial centers. The latter is the state capital. Jabalpur is a picturesque town with substantial government department offices and a defense production center. Gwalior was the seat of erstwhile Scindia rulers.  

Places of Interest are as follows:


Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Palace & Museum   


Marble Rocks & Dhuandhar Falls in Jabalpur

Madan Mahal Fort Jabalpur

Dumna Nature Reserve

Pariyat Tank


Lal Bagh Palace

Bade Ganesh Temple

Kanch Mandir 


Jama & Taj Ul Masjid

Birla Temple

Van Vihar National Park

Shaukat & Gohar Mahal

All the towns are well connected with, rail, road and air. They are endowed with modern facilities and are entertainment hubs.  



Holy River
Gwarighat Bank on Narmada
Gwarighat Bank on Narmada
Neeraj Vegad

Doorway to Hindu Pilgrimage & Spiritualism

Holy Places in MP

Amarkantak Narmada at Amarkantak

The state offers sanctuary to mind, body and soul through symbols of religious sanctity. The first an foremost is the Virgin Narmada that is the holiest lap of nature originating from Amarkantak the confluence of Satpura and Vindhya.   

Like the Ghats of Varanasi, the River Narmada offers solace to the believers and is a sacred platform to conduct a mystical array of Hindu rites and rituals that never cease to intrigue. Those cremated by Narmada attain spiritual peace and a blessed reincarnation.      

Chitrakoot at Mandakini

Tulisdas wrote the Epic Ram Charit Manas on the banks of Mandakini River. Ram, Sita and Laxman spent eleven years of their forced exile in the sylvan forests of Chitrakoot. Many Hindu sages spent time here to achieve internal peace and guiding light. The town is situated bordering the district of Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh and contains many interesting places associated by the Lord in exile.  

Mahakal at Shipra

Mahakaleshwar Temple on Shipra one of the 12 jyotirlinga associated with Lord Shiva is situated in the city of Ujjain.  The magnanimous Kumbh Mela is held here on banks of Shipra River once in four  years. The town is home to many ancient temples revered by the masses on pilgrimage. 

Omkareshwar & Mamleshwar at Narmada

The jyotirlings symbolize the infinite nature of Shiva and hence most revered by Hindus. Both the holy temples are situated on the banks of Holy River Narmada. Omkareshwar is situated on an OM shaped island in between.

Hindus on Pigrimage

Hindu Pilgrims
Hindu Pilgrims
Neeraj Vegad

Hidden Jewels


This fortified ancient city is situated at a short distance from Dhar City. The destination had turbulent history enacted by various invaders who also built magnificent palaces, forts and pavilions. Today the destination is a tourist paradise that offers amazing stay amongst the mesmerizing structures. 


The mystical magical temple town is a sylvan retreat that becomes a romantic destination during the monsoon.  The ancient temples, fort, cenotaphs, camel shelter and Jahngir Mahal were built by the Hindu Rulers and exhibit splendorous Indian architecture of past.   The retreat is situated between Jhansi and Manekpur North Central Railway Stations.


Rediscovered by the British, Khajuraho temples built by the Chandelas lay hidden from the confines of history amongst the remote date palm groves. Out of eighty four today about twenty four temples survive in good condition within three complexes. The temples depict erotic carvings on the outer wall of the Hindu Temples. The exotic edifices attract thousands of visitors every year.

Khajuraho Temples are situated in the district of Chhattarpur in MP. The town is well connected by air with major cities. 

Other Places of Interest

Maheshwar on Narmada is a major weaving center making Maheshwari Saris. The Fort Ahilya now a hotel is also a major tourist attraction. Festivals  are celebrated with lot of pomp and show. The town is a major tourist attraction in MP.

Chanderi on Betwa is historical town famous for Chanderi Sari made of silk. The town has many interesting monuments made by Raput Rulers and Mughal Invaders. The turbulent history is etched on the walls of its magnificent monuments. The city is situated 37 km from Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Kanha National Park Forests

Kanha Forests
Kanha Forests
Neeraj Vegad

Wild Heavens

Spotted DeerMP abounds in dense tropical, moist and dry deciduous forests. The protected areas created by the State Government offer the best wildlife safaris and bird watching in India. Some of the popular tiger habitats are found at:
Kanha Nationa
l Park
Bandhavgarh National Park
Pench National Park
Panna National Park
Ken River Sanctuary
Chambal River Sanctuary
                                                                             Satpura Tiger Reserve

The protected areas offer sightings of many major mammals, biElephant Riderds and reptiles. The destinations have a well organized tourism infrastructure including five star resorts owned by major hotel chains.

The Chambal River Sanctuary is home to reptiles like the marsh crocodile and gharial besides many species of turtles. It is also home for the Gangetic River Dolphin a vanishing species.  

Lesser known wild heavens are:
Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary for birds, crocodiles and mammals chiefly Indian wolf. 
Rahta Pani Tiger Reserve: prehistoric caves, tiger, wolf, birds and deer.
Son Gharial Sanctuary birds, gharial and deer
Madhav National Park in Shivpuri bird, deer and reptiles. 


Bengal Tiger
Bengal Tiger

MP Tourism

Waterfall in Central India

Dhuandhar Falls
Dhuandhar Falls
John Matthai

Travel Blog

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Hill Retreats

Bhadbhada FallsPachmarhi Hill Retreat

Situated in the Central Indian Highlands Pachmarhi is an esoteric hill resort. It is a wildlife sanctuary, cantt and a part of Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. The reserve encompasses Bori Wildlife Sanctuary and Satpura Tiger Reserve. 

Pachmarhi is the most preferred holiday spot in Central India with abundance of natural places that intrigue and enthrall. The tourism infrastructure is well placed with jeep hire, guides and luxury resorts.  The hill retreat is accessible via Jabalpur and Bhopal Cities in Madhya Pradesh. 

 Tribal Priest - Baiga

Amarkantak Hill Retreat

Situated about 200 km from Jabalpur in cradle of Maikal Hills Amarkantak is a hill retreat and religious destination. The latter is due to origin of the holiest river Narmada. Amarkantak is also the confluence of Satpura and Vindhya Hill Ranges that intersect the state.

The destination is endowed with many natural places besides origin of River Son and Johila. It is also part of Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve.

All types of accommodations are available in the destination. The part of the retreat encompasses Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary in the neighboring Chattisgarh State.

Touring Madhya Pradesh

Easiest access to the state is provided by MPTDC a government enterprise. A chain of booking office string the Nation besides online resources. MPTDC owns a number of accommodations at places of tourist interest and major towns. 

There are many tour operators that organize package tours in MP for tourists. These operators specialize in wildlife and sightseeing packages while many focus on spiritual tourism. Luxury travel is also available with them for safaris and birding. 

One can contact the organizers through their websites and offices.  

Map of Central India

Books on MP

Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh - Blue Guide Chapter (from Blue Guide India)

Including Bhopal, Bhimbetka, Sanchi, Mandu, Gwalior and Khajuraho. Discerning on-site guide to the sights and monuments of Madhya Pradesh, with its important pilgrimage and temp...

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Madhya Pradesh, India - The Heart of India

View on Amazon


My book 'Madhya Pradesh Growth Story' shall reveal to the readers the socio-economic business cum Governance model to take countries, states and organizations towards Quantum Gr...

View on Amazon

Central India Posters

Bengal Tiger, (Panthera Tigris Tigris), Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh, India
Art Deco Period Bar Area, Usha Kiran Palace Hotel, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh State, India
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Updated: 09/03/2014, pateluday
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