Facts about Madhya Pradesh that a few people know…
Madhya Pradesh, the state situated at the center of the country’s map is known as the state that speaks of its history and Indian art. The government, whose name directly translates to “Central Province”, is the second-largest state in the country. The population of about 75 million speaks predominantly in Hindi. The government is known for its richly decorated caves of Khajuraho and stretches of the rough Chambal valleys- a product of extensive gully erosion on the banks of river Chambal.
Some interesting facts about the heartland of the country
The formation of the state and the shift of capital
It was formed in the year 1956, merging the erstwhile states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh and Bhopal, and the Marathi speaking region of Vidarbha region. The capital shifted to Bhopal after the creation of a modern-day state.
Bandhavgarh National Park is known for the largest density of Royal Bengal Tigers in the world which earned it the name of “Land of the tigers”. Apart from tigers, the national park is also known for its rich collection of exotic animals. Kanha National park, another forest reserve, is the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s children’s book, The Jungle Book.
The land of Indian classical music
Ancient India is known for its rich culture of Hindustani classical music and Carnatic music. The two legends of classical music which took the art form to unthinkable heights during the Mughal era- Tansen and Birju Bawra- were both born in the regions corresponding to modern-day Madhya Pradesh.
A site of the Buddhist philosophy of peace and non-violence
Emperor Ashoka, after the Kalinga war, took to a life of “dhamma” which is a policy of non-violence and peace. He sent emissaries within and outside the country to preach the teachings of Lord Buddha. The Mauryan King commissioned the Sanchi Stupa in the 2nd century BCE, a Buddhist Stupa, and a place of worship. The Stupa has the richly decorated torans and makes it a site of Buddhist asceticism.
The state is the home of several tribal groups.
The state of Madhya Pradesh is known to be the home of several ethnic groups which has made it a popular choice of fieldwork for anthropologists around the world. Tribal groups like the Gond, Bhil, Bagia, Korku, Bhadia, Malto, Kaul, Dhar, and many others have inhabited the place for time immemorial and are known as the “sons of the soil”.
Pachmarhi hills- the “Satpura ki Rani.”
Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh is a hill station and a popular tourist attraction. The Pachmarhi hills situated here, at the height of 1,352 meters, derives its name from the words “Panch” meaning five and “marhi” meaning caves. It believes to have been carved out by the Pandava Brothers during the Mahabharata era during 13 years of exile. It is also popularly known as “Satpura ki rani” or the queen of Satpura.
The cave architecture and sculptures of Madhya Pradesh
The state is known for is the oldest cave collection in the country. The Bhimbetka site in Madhya Pradesh is the oldest known rock art in Indian subcontinents that dates back to 30,000 years ago. The Khajuraho temples have intricate rock cravings that portray erotic scenes from older works of Indian literature and are still one of the most progressive pieces of art even today.
Madhya Pradesh is the birthplace of legends from all fields.
The list of famous personalities born in the state of Madhya Pradesh is a long one and includes name such as Chandra Sekhar Azad, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Kailash Satyarthi, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Jaya Bachhan (Bhaduri), and many others.
Madhya Pradesh was the historical power base of the great Mauryan Empire.
The Mauryan Empire established by Emperor Chandragupta Maurya with the help of his mentor, Chanakya had its power base on the mineral-rich region of Madhya Pradesh, its lands made fertile by rivers. It was also a site of Ashoka’s dhamma principles and a lot of pillars with inscriptions belonging to Ashoka’s era. The Sanchi Stupa, the Khajuraho caves, and the Bhimbetka caves bear witness to the richness of the ancient Indian traditions and the level at which the artisans during those times reached. The later artists could not meet the bars set by these old artists in the country.
The mineral-rich regions of the state
Large reserves of coal, iron ore deposits, manganese ore, bauxite reserves, limestone reserves, dolomite reserves, copper ore, fire clay, and kaolin (used in China clay pottery) makes for the most of the economy of the state. Besides mineral ores, the state blesses itself with hydroelectric power potential which makes possible several hydroelectric power stations developed jointly with the neighboring countries. A vast coal reserve also makes raw materials readily available for the thermal power stations in the state and even outside the state.
The rich culture dating back to the Magadh, Maurya, Mughal eras to the comparatively recent Mughal period makes for a colorful experience for anyone who happens to visit the state. The mainstream Indian culture meets the tribal expertise to provide for a unique flavour, which is the state’s own.