Gwalior: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 21

Gwalior is a major city in Madhya Pradesh, 343 kilometres from Delhi, Capital of India and 414 kilometres from Bhopal, the state capital of Madhya Pradesh. The historic city and its fortress was ruled by several historic North Indian kingdom. It was ruled by Tomars in 13th century, and then by Mughals, Marathas and Scindias. Gwalior remained a princely state under British Raj with Scindias as ruler, prior to Indian Independence. The city is situated in the valley surrounded by high hills. Gwalior is named after sage Gwalifa. Alternatively, name of Gwalior might have come from Gopachal or Gopagiri hills. Also, Gwalior area is the part of greater Brajabhumi, the abode of Gwalas or cowherds, from where this name has been derived. Main Sightseeing spots of Gwalior are Surya Temple,Tomb of Sufi Saint muhammad Ghaus, Jai Vilas Palace, Jain Tirhankar statues in Gopachal Parvat,Gwalior fort, Man Singh Palace, Gujari Mahal, Saas Bahu Temple, Teli ka Mandir, Gurudwara Shri Data Bandi Chhor Shahib and sound and light how at Gwalior fort in the evening.

Khajuraho: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 20

In the world tourism, Delhi-Agra-Khajuraho-Varanasi circuit is one of the most sought after tourist attraction. In this attraction, Khajuraho is just after Agra. All these tourist places are connected by air routes. Kings of Chandela dynasty starting from Chandravarman created Khajuraho with huge numbers of temples. From 950 to 1050 AD, Chandelas created 85 temples of sandstone in Indo-Aryan architecture. All these temples were dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma along with other gods and goddesses. Most of the temples were ruined. Only 22 temples could retain the glory. All these temples were made in Nagara style. The carved sandstone figures of Gods, Goddesses, common people with their dresses, hair style, poses are almost like real life, made in medieval India. Love is the main theme of these temples and its carvings. Two main groups of temples, namely Western and Eastern group of temples are most famous. The western group consists of Varaha temple, Lakshman temple, Chitragupta Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Kandariya Mahadev Temple, and Matanageswara Temple.  The eastern group consists of Adinath Temple, Brahma Temple, Ghantai Temple, Hanuman Temple, Javari Temple, Parsvanath Temple and Vamana Temple.

Orchha: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 19

Orchha Fort complex houses a large number of ancient monuments consisting of the fort, palaces, temples, and other monuments. It is located in the Orchha town in Madhya Pradesh on the banks of Betwa river. After the death of Sikander Lodhi in 1517, Bundela rajput Rudra Pratap established his kingdom in Orchha in 1531. Orchha became famous during the reign of King Bir Singh Deo. The fort and other structures within it were built by King Bir Singh Deo, King Rudra Pratap Singh, Madhukar Shah of the Orchha State and others who followed them. Notable architectural features in the fort complex are projected balconies, open flat areas and decorated latticed windows. King Bir Singh Deo constructed Jahangir Mahal with hanging balconies, Jali windows, wide courtyard and beautiful pillars. Jahangir stayed in this building in 1606. The Raja Mahal Palace was built by king Rudra Pratap and king Madhukar Shah. Kanchanghat on the banks of Betwa river has Royal Chatris of Bundela kings. There are 14 Chatris or Memorials in the memory of Bundela rulers.

Kanha: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 18

Kanha National Park is situated in the Maikal range of Satpura hills in Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India that forms the central Indian highlands. This national park is one of the finest wildlife areas in the world. The Kanha National Park is spread across the area of 940 sq km. The landscapes and the surrounding meadows along with the dense forests offer fantastic sightseeing experiences for the nature lovers. The Kanha National Park is a natural habitat for the wild species and  there are large varieties of fauna out of which the jungle is best known for Barasingha, the swamp deer, wild boar, bisons and so on. The tiger tour is perfectly a great option for the nature lovers in Kanha. There are countless species of plants, birds, reptiles and insects. This reserve is well known to many travellers around the world. The well-developed infrastructure of the park is also an attraction for the visitors. Not only Kanha, the nearby destinations next to Kanha like Bandhavgarh, Pench etc. are the magnificent locations for the wildlife & nature lovers.  Best season to visit Kanha is during the months from October to June. Kanha natonal park is home to over 1000 species of flowering plants. The forest of Kanha is a mixture of sal, mixed-forest trees,  dry deciduous type of trees and different types of bamboo. There are around 300 species of birds and the most commonly seen birds are the black ibis, bee-eaters, different types of heron, blossom-headed parakeets, common teal, crested serpent eagle, different types of  hornbills, Indian roller, woodpeckers, pigeon, mynahs, different types of  peafowls, white-breasted kingfisher and vultures among many more.

Amarkantak: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 17

Amarkantak,also known as "Teerthraj", is a pilgrim town in Madhya Pradesh, India. The Amarkantak region is a unique natural heritage area and is the meeting point of the Vindhya and the Satpura Ranges, with the Maikal Hills being the fulcrum. This is where the Narmada River, the Son River and Johila River emerge. Legend says that Lord Shiva blessed the Narmada with unique purifying powers. Amarkantak also finds a mention in Mahabharat, where Pandavas made one of their homes during their exile. It is said that Narmadakund temple was the place of meditation for great saints like Maikaal, Vyas and Brighu etc. There are 27 temples in the complex. There is a three feet tall black marble statue of Goddess Narmada in the Namada temple. Other places of interest are Kalachuri ancient temples,Kapil Dhra, Sri Yantra temple, Mai ki Bagiya, Amareshwar Mahadev and Jaleshwar Dham.

Jabalpur: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 16

According to legend, this place was the hermitage of Brahmashri Javali, from whose name Jabalpur was derived. Jabalpur was under the rule of Maurya, Kushan and Gupta dynasty. Later on it came under the rule of Kalachuri dynasty (Chedi Kings) in 875 AD. In 12th century Jabalpur went under the Gond kings and Jabalpur became their Capital. Marathas took over in 1789 AD and British took over in 1819 AD. Jabalpur is famous for Dhuandhar Waterfalls, Marble rocks and marble artefacts. The Dhuandhar Falls are located on Narmada River in Bhedaghat and are 30 meters high. The Narmada River, making its way through the world-famous Marble Rocks, narrows down and then plunges in a waterfall known as Dhuandhaar. The plunge, which creates a bouncing mass of mist, is so powerful that its roar is heard from a far distance. One can access the Dhuandhar waterfall from the east bank as well as from the west bank of Narmada River. To see the other side of Dhaundhar Waterfall you have to take the Cable Car Service available at Bhedaghat.

Pachmarhi: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 15

The Pachmarhi biosphere reserve is in the Satpura Range of Madhya Pradesh in central India. Pachmarhi is also known as Satpura ki Rani and is a hill station at a height of 1100 meters above msl. Legend says that the Pandava brothers visited Pachmarhi during their exile. Pachmarhi is the most popular hill station of Madhya Pradesh and is a treasure with ancient caves of the Buddhist era residing in harmony with serene waterfalls.  Dhupgarh, the highest point (1,352 m) in Madhya Pradesh and the Satpura range, is located here. Worth visiting places in Pachmarhi are Gupta Mahadev, Bada Mahadev, Jata Shankar Mahadev, Pandav Caves, Water Falls,Dhupgarh etc.

Udaigiri: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 14

The Udayagiri Caves are twenty rock-cut caves near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh from the early 5th century AD. They contain some of the oldest surviving Hindu temples. These sites are associated with the Gupta period as learnt from its inscriptions. The Jain cave is notable for one of the oldest known Jain inscriptions from 425 AD . Udayagiri hills and its caves are protected monuments managed by the Archaeological Survey of India. Udayagiri caves contain symbols and sculptures of Vishnu, Durga, Matrikas and Shiva. There are notable ancient monumental relief sculptures of Varaha Avatar with Bhudevi on his tusk and series of rock-shelters.

Sanchi and Bidisha: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 13

Sanchi Stupa is a Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, at Sanchi Town in Raisen District and is located 46 kilometres north-east of Bhopal .  The Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest stone structures in India, and an important monument of Indian Architecture. In the 3rd century BCE, Emperor Ashoka got it constructed. This construction work was overseen by Ashoka and wife Devi, who was the daughter of a merchant of nearby Vidisha. Sanchi was also her birthplace as well as the venue of her and Ashoka's wedding. Later in the 1st century BCE, four elaborately carved toranas (ornamental gateways) and a balustrade encircling the entire structure were added. It was crowned by the chhatri, a parasol-like structure, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. The Great Stupa also called Stupa No. 1 is the oldest, and also the largest monument. During the following centuries, especially under the Shungas and the Satavahanas, the Great Stupa was enlarged and decorated with gates and railings, and smaller stupas were also built in the vicinity. Although made of stone, the torana gateways looked like wooden carvings and the gateways were covered with narrative sculptures. It is said that the stone carvings were made by ivory carvers from nearby Vidisha, and an inscription on the Southern Gateway of the Great Stupa was dedicated by the Guild of Ivory Carvers of Vidisha.

Bhopal: Tour of Madhya Pradesh: Episode 12

Bhopal is the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. It is known as the City of Lakes for its various natural and artificial lakes and for being one of the greenest cities in India. According to folklore, Bhopal was founded in the 11th century by the Paramara king Bhoja, who ruled from his capital at Dhar. Bhopal was the capital of Bhopal state, established in 1707, ruled by Nawabs of Bhopal. There are numerous heritage structures of that era are available in Bhopal, like  Taj-ul-Masajid and Taj Mahal palace in Indo-Islamic and European style.  Bhopal was rated as the cleanest state capital city in India for three consecutive years, 2017, 2018 and 2019. In early 18th century, Bhopal was a small village. The modern Bhopal was established by Dost Muhammad Khan, a Pashtun soldier in Mughal army. Under British East India Company, Bhopal was ruled by Begums, a tradition at that time. The wemen rulers were  Qudsia Begum,  Shah Jehan,  Sikandar and  Kaikhusrau Jahan. Then this tradition was broken and Kaikhusrau's son Hamidullah Khan was the last ruler of Bhopal till 1947. There are two lakes namely upper lake and lower lake. The area of upper lake is 36 square kilometers and that of Lower lake is about 10 square kilometers. Bharat Bhavan is the main cultural centre of the city, and hosts many theatre and film festivals every year. It has an art gallery, an open-air amphitheatre facing the Upper Lake, two other theatres and a tribal museum.