Madhya Pradesh, India (Central india)

Madhya Pradesh, as the name suggests, is situated on Central India and is surrounded by different states. It is a huge state mainly consisting of fertile planes and this is the reason, a lot of agriculture activities takes place here. From the tourism point of view, Madhya Pradesh has a lot of history in its culture. Tourists might be interested in pre-historic paintings, monumental forts and different forms of traditional Indian art.

Madhya Pradesh is famous for its numerous tribes, found in the deep jungles. The traditions and cultures followed by these tribes are very interesting and usually bring in a lot of researchers from around the world to study their culture.

Madhya Pradesh is the land of the mighty Rajputs, who were considered to be efficient landlords and brave warriors. There are various historical forts in Madhya Pradesh which have illustrated paintings on their fort walls, giving an idea on life before man invented technology.

Madhya Pradesh is a large state, which was later cut into another state - Chhattisgarh. Madhya Pradesh is divided into Northern Madhya Pradesh, Western Madhya Pradesh and Eastern Madhya Pradesh. 

Northern Madhya Pradesh: A major city in Northern Madhya Pradesh is the historic town of Gwalior. Gwalior is famous for its forts and numerous temples, with the Gwalior fort being the most visited by tourists. The Gwalior fort has a lot of interesting history behind it, which makes it one of India’s top monuments. 

Madhya Pradesh Tours

Gwalior has interesting temples in its territory. The famous ones among the lot of them are the Kheda Pati and Achaleshwar temples. This makes Gwalior a major pilgrim destination, bringing in tourists from all around India.

Gwalior is one of the popular cities in the Gird region of India in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The destination attracts tourists for its rich historical and religious significance, which is evident in forts, palaces, museums, temples and kunds.  

Gwalior Fort
Gwalior Fort (Must See)

While visiting Gwalior, tourists can explore various attractions like Gwalior Fort and numerous kunds within the fort. It is believed that the fort was built during the 8th century and comprises museums, temple and forts. The fort is popular for its beautiful surroundings and blend of different architectural styles.
Gwalior Fort
Gwalior Fort is situated on an isolated rock, offering views of entire Gwalior town. Full of medieval architecture, the fort houses a number of historic buildings including Man Mandir, Gujari Mahal cum museum, Teli-ka-Mandir Temple and many others.

To highlight the importance of this fort, the Indian Postal Service has issued a postage stamp with a picture of the fort. It is one of the biggest forts in India and historical records state that it was built in the 8th century.
Way TO Gwalior Fort - Gwalior

Known as ‘The Pearl in the Necklace of the Forts of Hind’ by the Mughal Emperor Babur, the fort attracts thousands of tourists every year. The fort was constructed in two parts; the first part constitutes the main fort that was built during the early rule of the Tomaras. Apart from this, other buildings present in the fort were constructed by Raja Man Singh Tomar for his queen, Mrignayani during the 15th century.

The groundwork for the Gwalior Fort was started by Raja Suraj Sen, around 1,000 years ago. Constructed on the advice of Sage Gwalipa, the fort witnessed the rule of various dynasties including Rajput kings, Kacchawa Pal Dynasty, Pratihara rulers, Muslim rulers, Tomaras, Lodi Dynasty, Mughals and the British.

Spread across an area of about 3 sq km, the fort was constructed at a height of 100 metres above the city. Surrounded by walls of sandstone, the fort has three temples, six palaces and number of water tanks. The southern part of the fort attracts many tourists due to its rock faces with intricate carvings of the Jain tirthankars.

Timing:        9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Admission Fees (Subject To Change):   
INR 5 (Indians)
INR 100 (Foreign Nationals)
Free (Children below 15 years)
Phool Bagh:Phool Bagh is situated within the vicinity of Gwalior Railway Station. Constructed by late Madho Rao Scindia, Phool Bagh comprises a residential palace and a museum along with other buildings.
The garden was inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1922 on his visit to Gwalior. Gwalior zoo along with a temple, a mosque and a Gurudwara are situated in the garden. Moreover, there is a Theosophical Lodge and a prayer place within the campus of Phool Bagh.
Sas - Bahu Temple
Sas-Bahu Temple                    

The Sas-Bahu Temple was constructed by the Gurjara-Pratihara Dynasty of Gwalior in the 11th century. The regional dynasty is called as the Kachchhapaghatas and is known for starting wielding power. The name of the temple is a short form for Shastra Bahu, another name of Lord Vishnu.

Located near the eastern wall of the Gwalior Fort, the temple has idols of Lord Vishnu. Constructed by King Mahipala, the doorway offers tourists a wide view of idols of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

The temple also comprises a stone carved three-storeyed building, which is designed without arches. Adding to the beauty of temple, the carved pillars along with a stairwell provide support to the huge structure.

Situated adjacent to each other, there are a number of temples that attract tourists for their carvings and sculptures. The smaller temple is the exact replica of the larger one. The roof of the larger temple is decorated with a huge lotus carving, designed by an architect of the medieval period.

Raised on a platform, the walls of the temple have scriptures, figures and intricate stone works and is an example of the architectural skills of sculptors belonging to the 11th century

In Bundelkhandi (Local language), Orchha literally means ‘hidden land.’

Orchha is one of the few places in India that combines natural beauty, the aesthetic legacy of history and a certain authenticity. Orchha is in transition from village to town and many of its smaller temples throne over well-tended fields. It's a paradise for bird watchers with a wide variety of colourful birds often making an appearance. Life in Orchha revolves around the Ram temple where one can see how vibrant Hinduism remains today.

Orchha's rapid development brings with it the chaos rooted in the lack of urban planning that is typical of India... inadequate roads, non-existent or choked drains and fast accumulating piles of waste. Being a small town of about 10,000 inhabitants, these problems are not insurmountable but require a strong dose of good governance and transparency in the use of public money. That is why the strengthening of local democracy is so important.

So is the empowerment of the women of Orchha who remain constrained by traditional attitudes concerning their roles and capabilities. Meeting women from other cultures has made them aspire to more independence for their daughters. Coming together to form self-help groups and undertake remunerative activities has transformed many of their lives.

Fort Complex: The fort complex is a great place to visit; hit this first to obtain an all-day ticket good for all the sights in Orchha. Divided into 3 parts, it consists of  Three Part - Raj Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Rai Praveen Mahal.

Raj Mahal
One of the important tourist attractions in Orchha is the Raj Mahal that was started by Raja Rudra Pratap, but after his death in 1531, the construction was completed by his son Bharti Chand and the final touches to the Mahal were added by Raja Madhukar Shah who further built several other monuments in Orchha. After entering the Raj Mahal premises you will witness the lively murals encompassing a variety of spiritual and secular themes. This palace is a fine example of Mughal architecture with stone jali work.

Jahangir Mahal
Take a stroll in the exquisite and intricately carved Jahangir Mahal built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo to commemorate Emperor Jahangir’s visit to Orchha. The palace is crowned by graceful chhatris and complementing the exteriors are the interiors of this palace that represent the finest work of the Bundela School of Architecture. The Jahangir Mahal is decorated with geometric patterns, paintings of peacocks and flowers. You can get a great view of soaring temples from this palace.

Rai Praveen Mahal
The third magnificent palace in Orchha
is Rai Praveen Mahal that was built in 1618 by Maharaja Indrajit Singh. The palace is surrounded by lush gardens with flowerbeds and shrubs trimmed in various artistic shapes. As the legend goes this Mahal was built in honour of the ‘Nightingale of Orchha’, Rai Praveen who was well known for her enchanting beauty, poetry and music. 

You can also visit the beautiful Laxminarayan Temple and Chaturbhuj Temple that attracts many tourists. Spotted around the area are various shrines and memorials each with its own history.

How to Reach Orchha by Air
The nearest airport to Orchha is Gwalior Airport that is 113 kms from Orchha and Khajuraho Airport that is 155 kms away. You can hire a taxi or bus to reach Orchha from these airports. 
How to Reach Orchha by Rail
The nearest railway junction to Orchha is in Jhansi that is 16 kms away.

How to Reach Orchha by Road
Orchha is well-connected by road to the places like Jhansi, Gwalior and Khajuraho. You can hire a taxi or bus to reach Orcha from these places.

Getting Around Orchha
Rented taxis and cycle rickshaws are the common modes of transportation in Orchha. The more energetic can hire bicycles. Orchha is easily crossed on foot so simply walk around and enjoy this historic town. 

Madhya Pradesh Tours

A UNESCO world heritage site in central India, Khajuraho is a famous tourist and archaeological site known for its sculptured temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Jain patriarchs. Khajuraho was one of the capitals of the Chandela kings, who from the 9th to the 11th century CE developed a large realm, which at its height included almost all of what is now Madhya Pradesh state. 

Situated in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, the town of Khajuraho has been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO. The town is famous for its imperial temples. The temples were built by the rulers of Chandela dynasty between 10th and 11th century. The construction of the temple just took around 100 years to complete. There were around 85 temples in the area but now only 22 exist. Rest are nothing more than ruins. They sure have gained popularity due to the erotic sculptures carved on the walls. However such sculptures cover only a small portion. The major share of sculptures are depicting the daily life of people in the rural India.
Major Attractions
The biggest tourist attractions of Khajuraho are the many temples that adorn the face of this unique town. Temples of Khajuraho are the greatest artistic gift given by the Chandela Kings to the world. The walls of these temples are carved with erotic statues and sculptures. Temples have been divided into three group, Western Group, Eastern Group and Southern Group according to their location in the town.

The Western Group
There is a entry fee of Rs. 10/- (for Indians) and USD $ 5 (for foreigners) to enter the Western Group of temples. (If you have a ticket from Taj Mahal, you can use it here again.) All the temples are open from sunrise to sunset. These are the richest and largest of all temple groups

Lakhmana Temple
  • Lakhmana Temple - The oldest and finest of the western group of temples, named after the ruler that built the temple. The A horizontal beam over the entrance of this beautiful Vaishnavite temple shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Lakshmi, Vishnus consort.

Kandariya Mahadeo Temple

  • Kandariya Mahadeo Temple - This temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.

  • Devi Jagdamba Temple - Dedicated to the Goddess(devi), this is smaller and much more delicately proportioned temple and is home to some of the finest sculptures of Khajuraho.The garbha griha has a huge image of the Devi of the Universe (Jagdambi), though it appears to have started as a Vishnu temple. It has the usual three bands of sculptures, but the third and most uppermost of these houses some of the most erotic sculptures
  • Chaunsat Yogini - The only granite temple in the Khajuraho group
  • Chitragupta Temple - is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya), it faces eastward to the rising sun
  • Matanageswara Temple - A temple dedicated to Shiva, a huge 8ft Lingam adorns the temple.
  • Varaha temple - dedicated to the Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu, it holds the statue of a Vraha[boar] in the centrestage with the Sheshnag lying beneath. Carving of an idol of Devi Saraswati on the snout of the Varaha reflects that every word/sound[dhvani] seeks blessing of Devi Saraswati [Goddess of speech,learning and knowledge]
  • Vishwanath Temple - dedicated to Lord Shiva, also called Vishwanath [master of the universe]. In the same premises, a temple dedicated to Nandi, holds a huge statue of Nandi [the Bull, the companion, attendant and closest aide of Lord Shiva].
Light and Sound Show at Western group of temples - After visiting the temple complex is over, the sound and light show, narrated by the Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan, is held every evening. Entry ticket Rs. 120/- for Indians and Rs. 300/- for foreigners (Please Check Before Booked).

The Eastern Group
There are mostly Hindu and Jain Temples in the eastern group. They are situated closer to Khajuraho temple.
  • Parsvanath Temple - Largest among the group, with exquisite carvings in detail. The sculptures on the northern outer wall are the highlights of this temple. The image was installed in 1860.The three roofs of this temple depict mixture of Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim influences.
  • Ghantai Temple - This Jain temple has a frieze which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother, and a jain goddess on a winged Garuda.
  • Adinath Temple - Dedicated to Jain Tirthankar(God), adinath, the temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including yakshis.
  • Hanuman Temple
  • Brahma Temple - considered to be one of the oldest temples of Khajuraho made entirely in granite and sandstone, is dedicated to Vishnu.
  • Vamana Temple - is the dwarf form of Lord Vishnu, located in a secluded place and is known for its simple architecture.
  • Javari Temple

The Southern Group
The southern group is also called Jain group of Temples. They are situated 5 km to the southeast of the town.
  • Dulhadev Temple - The last temple of Khajuraho, lies to the south of Ghantai temple. The temple enshrines a Shivalingam. The apsara and ornamented figures are the temple's most striking features.
  • Beejamandal Temple - It is a ruined temple, and is near the Chattarbhuj Temple
  • Chattarbhuj Temple Or The Jatkari Temple - Built in 1100 A.D., is well-known for its architecture, and is also the only temple to be devoid of any erotic sculpture. 3 km away from the Eastern Group. Facing West, have to take 10 steps to reach the sanctum. The massive 9 feet intricately carved Vishnu idol in Chaturbhuja (four-armed).
Fun Festivals

Khajuraho Dance Festival
Khajuraho, is a small village situated in the Chatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. This tiny village is one of the major tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh, due to the presence of the world famous temples. Tourists from far and near visit this place to view these temples which are known for supremely artistic representation of human sexuality in those days, and magnificent temple architecture. The different cultural festivities associated with Khajuraho also promote tourism in Madhya Pradesh.

Distance from major cities
Orchha 265 Kms
Panna 140 Kms
Gwalior 240 Kms

How to reach there
by Air Khajuraho airport is well connected to many cities in India, like Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bhopal, Indore, Allahabad and Mumbai.
by Rail Nearest railway station to Khajuraho is Mahoba which is located at 63 km from Khajuraho.
by Road Khajuraho is well connected by road to all major nearby cities of Madhya Pradesh.

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