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Madhya Pradesh - Indian States and Union territories

Madhya Pradesh situated in the central part of India is the second largest state and occupies pivotal position in the country. It is land-locked state with Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the North, Gujarat and Rajasthan in West, Maharashtra in the South and recently carved out Chattisgarh in the East. The state is divided into 9 divisions (Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Chambal, Rewa, Sagar, Bhopal, Hoshangabad and Jabalpur). Madhya Pradesh is the seventh most populous state in the country. Bhopal is the state capital.
Madhya Pradesh is a cluster of innumerable districts and varied topographic and climatic characteristics. Housing the magnificent Vindhyachal mountain range, river valleys and plateau Madhya Pradesh is famous for its wonderful art, craft, music and dance. Rich in geographical varieties, the state also has a good number of important mines that has a good influence on the economy of the country. Engaged mostly in agricultural activities, the state is the homeland of many tribal races.
Geography

Madhya Pradesh,as its name implies, the state is located in the heart of the country. The state is surrounded by five states. It is bounded by Rajasthan on the northwest, by Uttar Pradesh on the north, by Chhattisgarh on the east, Maharashtra on the south and Gujarat on the west. Physio-graphically this state is divided into three regions. i) Middle Highland - the area between the Narmada-Sone valley and Arravali mountain range is known as middle high land. The height of this land to the west is approx 800 meter, which descends to the about 600 meter to the east. This region is further divided into five sub-regions- Vindhyan Scrap land (Sone and ken are main river), the Malwa plateau has an average altitude of 1600 ft, Bundelkhand Plateau, Madhya Bharat Plateau and Narmada-Sone Valley. ii) the Satpura range iii) Eastern range - It is also called as Baghelkhand. Madhya Pradesh has a unique character in the sense that it has no sea and no connection with the Himalayas and yet it has some hills and mountains and has some big rivers. Some of the Satpura peaks are as high as 3,500 ft. and the average height is no less than 2,000 ft. Narmada is the main river of the state. The other main rivers are Chambal, Tapi, Mahi,Betwa, Sindh,Ken,Dhasan,Wainganga and Sone. About 1.7 million hectares of land in this state is under forest. The climate is extreme in the north, temperate and breezy in the plateau and generally hot and humid in the eastern and southern plains.

Brief History
Historical record reveals the fact of it being ruled by a number of famous empires of India. The empires included the Mauryan Empire to the Mughals and later off course by the British. During the rule of the Mughals, famous musician Tansen of Madhya Pradesh used to be the official singer of the Mughal Samrat Akbar's court. There are many interesting legends and folklore related to Tansen and Birbal in the court of Akbar.
Madhya Pradesh is also the homeland of Kalidasa, the famous immortal Indian poet and dramatist. The innumerable monuments, carved temples, stupas, forts and palaces on hilltops signify the aesthetic sense of the empires and kingdoms, of great warriors and builders, poets and musicians, saints and philosophers.
In the earlier times influence of religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam are still evident in the historical places here. Dynasties like that of Sungas, Andhras, Satavahanas, Ksaptrapas, Nagas and last but not the least the Guptas ruled over this place. During and after the tenth century different regions of the state were ruled by different dynasties like Chandellas, who ruled in Khajuraho, Muslims in Gwalior and the Holkar in Indore etc.
After the British took over the state, the state had been declared as the central province. After India gained her independence, under the provision of the state reorganization act of 1956, Madhya Pradesh was given the status of a full-fledged state with effect from 1st November 1956.
Chattisgarh has been carved out as a new state in November 2000 to fulfill a demand that was long due.

Madhya Pradesh District Information
Madhya Pradesh state is made up of 48 districts, which are grouped into eight divisions: Bhopal, Chambal, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur, Rewa, Sagar, and Ujjain. The districts are: Anuppur, Ashoknagar, Balaghat, Barwani, Betul, Bhind, Bhopal, Burhanpur, Chhatarpur, Chhindwara, Damoh, Datia, Dewas, Dhar, Dindori, Guna, Gwalior, Harda, Hoshangabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jhabua, Katni, Khandwa, Khargone, Mandla, Mandsaur, Morena, Narsinghpur, Neemuch, Panna, Raisen, Rajgarh, Ratlam, Rewa, Sagar, Satna, Sehore, Seoni, Shahdol, Shajapur, Sheopur, Shivpuri, Sidhi, Tikamgarh, Ujjain, Umaria, Vidisha.

Economy
Madhya Pradesh, India's second largest state, which occupies 9.38% of the country's area, is also the second richest state in terms of its mineral resources. Primarily, it has an agricultural and pastoral economy. Industrial development is primarily concentrated in the more advance districts like Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and Jabalpur.
A large part of the mineral production of India is contributed by Madhya Pradesh. Big reserves of Manganese are found in Balaghat and Chhindwara districts. The state also produces about 45% of Bauxite in India with Jabalpur, Mandla, Shahdol, Satna and Rewa being the important Bauxite producing centers. Iron ore deposits are found in Balaghat, Jabalpur and Mandla districts. The State of Madhya Pradesh also has rich reserves of coal in the northeastern and Satpura regions. The state has the distinction of being the only diamonds producing state in India, with production in Panna and Chhatishgarh districts.
Over 30% of the State's total area is enveloped by the forest. The eastern districts of Balaghat, Mandla, Shahdol, Sidhi have dense forest cover. The abundantly found trees include Teak, Sal, Bamboo and Tendu. Agriculture is the main occupation of villagers, Wheat, Soybean and Jowar (Sorghum) are the main Crops. Paddy and Coarse Millets are also sown in large parts. Pulses, Cereals and Groundnut are also grown. Important among the cash crops are Cotton, Sugarcane and Oil Seeds. Mandsaur is the largest opium producing district in the country.

CLIMATE
Like other parts of India, Madhya Pradesh also has three major seasons - Summer Monsoon and Winter. During summer (March-June), the temperature in the entire state ranges above 29.4°C. In general, the eastern parts of Madhya Pradesh are hotter than the western parts. The regions like Gwalior, Morena and Datia record temperature of over 42°C in the month of May. The humidity is relatively very low and the region usually experiences frequent mild dust storms. The south-west Monsoon usually breaks out in mid June and the entire state receive a major share of its rainfall between June and September. The south and south-east regions tend to experience a higher rainfall whereas the parts of north-west receive less. Mandla, Balaghat, Sidhi, Jabalpur and other extreme eastern parts receive more than 150 cm rainfall. The districts of western Madhya Pradesh receive less than 80 cm rainfall.
The winter season starts from the month of November. The temperature remains low in the northern parts of the state in comparison to the southern parts. The daily maximum temperature in most of the northern part in the month of January remains between 15 and 18°C. The climate is generally dry and pleasant with a clear sky.

PEOPLE
 Madhya Pradesh
The population of Madhya Pradesh is over 7 crore. More than 75% of the population resides in villages whose main occupation is agriculture, while the rest of the population lives in towns. The majority population is Hindu with Muslims making up the largest minority community. The tribes of Madhya Pradesh constitute over 20 % of the state's population and are mainly concentrated in southern southwestern and eastern parts of the state. The social customs prevalent among different tribes and castes vary more due to variation in their habitat and surrounding geographical conditions. For earnings they depend upon agriculture, forest produce and local craft. With improved communication and growth in the economy, the tribal's way of living is changing.
Baigas believe themselves to be descendents of Dravid and this tribe is found in Mandla, Balaghat, Shahdol and Sidhi districts. Saharia inhabit north-west area mainly in the districts of Gwalior, Shivpuri, Bhind, Morena, Sheopur, Vidisha and Raisen. Most Saharias are cultivators. Bharia tribe has major concentration in Jabalpur and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. The place Patalkot in Chhindwara has almost 90% population of Bharias. They work as agriculture labourers and work upon bamboo to create beautiful baskets and other items.
Gond is the best known tribe and forms the largest group in Madhya Pradesh. They mainly inhabit areas on both sides of Narmada in Mandla, Chhindwara, Betul and Seoni regions and the hilly terrains of Vindhya and Satpura regions. Agaria, Pradhan, Ojhan, Solahas are the descendant tribal groups originating from Gonds, with two sub-castes - Rajgond and Datoliya.
Bhil, the second largest tribe, is largely concentrated in areas around Jhabua, Khargone, Dhar and Ratlam. They are regarded as warrior with fine inherited guerrilla tactics and archery skills. Korku tribal community is administered by the head of a panchayat called Sarpanch and they are found in Hoshangabad, Betul, Chhindwara, Harda and Khandwa districts of Madhya Pradesh. Santia is a tribe of Malwa, who believe themselves to be originally a martial Rajput tribe. They prefer to remain nomadic. Mainly of labour class, Kols are found in Rewa, Sidhi, Satna, Shahdol and Jabalpur districts. This caste finds mention even in ancient puranas and the famous epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata and they are highly religious minded and staunch believer of Hindu mythology. Lesser known tribes like Dhanuk, Panika, Saur still form an important group.

Language
Hindi, the official language of Madhya Pradesh, is the most widely spoken and easily understood even in remote corners of the state. For a large number of people in the major towns and cities and for the business class English is the second language. It is widely spoken by those engaged in the hospitality and service industry. One would see words of English and Hindi both used on signages, milestones, shops and offices signboards. Malwi, Bundeli, Bagheli, Nimari are the commonly spoken regional dialects. There are several dialects which are spoken.

Place of Interest
 Madhya Pradesh
This land is a fascinating amalgam of scenic beauty, history and modern urban planning. Madhya Pradesh is famous for its legendary tourist destinations such as the temples of Khajuraho, the majestic forts of Gwalior, Buddhist stupas of Sanchi and the various wildlife sanctuaries that Madhya Pradesh is peppered with.
 Madhya Pradesh
Among the important cities of Madhya Pradesh Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, and Ujjain are some of those that must need a mention here. Some new circuits can be experienced in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh where the Golden Triangle of Gwalior-Jhansi-Khajuraho has been stretched to include Shivpuri and Orchha is situated at an easy 16 kilometers from Jhansi.

Rivers
 Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh represents great river basins and the watershed of a number of rivers. Catchments of many rivers of India are lying in Madhya Pradesh. The Narmada and Tapti rivers and their basins divide the state in two, with the northern part draining largely into the Ganga basin and the southern part into the Godavari and Mahanadi systems. The Chambal, Sone, Betwa, Mahanadi and Indravati rivers flow from the western side of the state to the east, while Narmada and Tapti flows from the eastern side to the west.

Education
 Madhya Pradesh
The state of Madhya Pradesh has a well managed education system in the country. Schools in the state are either affiliated to the state board of secondary education or to the CBSE or ICSE. The schools run by the state government use Hindi as their medium of instruction; however schools affiliated to CBSE or ICSE use English as their medium of study.
The government has adopted the free and compulsory education policy to provide primary education to all children up to the age of 14. The state follows a uniform structure of school education i.e. the 10+2 system that is also adopted by other states and union territories of India.
Madhya Pradesh has 13 state universities, 3 deemed universities, 8 medical colleges and a good many number of engineering and management institutions. The state’s literacy rate figures 64.11% according to 2001 census report. The government is taking all possible steps to revamp the education system of the state.
Various projects are also running by NGOs to overcome the problem of illiteracy in remote villages. The state is getting tremendous success in this regard in the recent period.

Food 
Madhya Pradesh Food is characteristic of typical north Indian cuisine. Roti is the staple food of the state. The vegetables are cooked with tomato and onion as the major ingredients. Generally spicy and rich, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food are cooked.

Arts & Culture
Madhya Pradesh is home to majority of India's tribal population who, in most cases, live apart from mainstream India. The Gonds tribe is found in the jungles south of Jabalpur. On the west lives the Bhils, while the Oraons inhabit the eastern part of the state. The Bhils get their name from a Dravidian word for bow, which is the hallmark of the tribe.
Despite the encroaching influence of 20th century urban life, the tribals have largely managed to retain their own way of life, relatively untouched by modernization. However, besides the original tribes of the region, a number of other people belonged to different ethnicity has settled in the major centers of the state for varied reason.
The art and craft of the state is unique from region to region. A long heritage of tradition continues to add a highly distinctive, individualistic touch to the crafts of Madhya Pradesh.
The state is famous for its hand printing, generally with vegetable dyes. The major hand printing centers of the state includes, Jawad, Bhairongarh, Mandsaur, Umedpura, Burhanpur, Bhopal Indore, Gotampura, Sohawal, Tarapur and many more. Garments, bedspreads, tablecloths and curtain material are produced at Umedpura and Tarapur in Nandana prints that were once in vogue amongst the villagers of the legendary Nimar plain. From Bhairongarh come printed quilt covers in attractive colors and designs, lungies, odhanis, jajams (floor coverings), bedspreads and tablecloths. Tie and dye chunris are the specialty of Tarapur and Mandsaur. Textile weaving in Madhya Pradesh is as refined as the hand printing craft. Soft, subtle shades in delicate weaves come off the looms in Chanderi, near Gwalior.
The famous Chanderi sarees some of them with gold checks and rich gold border along with two gold bands on the pallav, give each saree a special touch. The craftsmanship of the famous Maheshwari sarees has a wide variety of checks. Madhya Pradesh is also famous at producing tussar silk handloom fabrics. Skilled craftsmanship of Madhya Pradesh also displayed in a variety of zari embroidered (gold and silver threads) articles.
There are zari wall hangings, handbags, sarees and splendid brocade borders. Carpet weaving center of Gwalior, in Madhya Pradesh is regarded as Mecca of crafts.
Madhya Pradesh is not only the geographical center stage of India it also occupies a similar position in India's traditional heritage of music. Genius like Tansen who perfected the dhrupad style of singing was born here. Moreover, the Gwalior Gharana of Madhya Pradesh is a famous name in the world of Indian classical music today.

Festivals 
Madhya Pradesh celebrates almost all the festivals of Hindu solar calendar. Besides the usual Hindu festivals, there are festivals that are unique from region to region. The Bhagoria or the spring festival of Jhabua, Shivaratri of Khajuraho, Bhojpur, Pachmarhi and Ujjain, Ramnavami of Chitrakoot and Orchha and the famous Khajuraho dance and music festival (tourism festival) are some of the festivals need to be mentioned here. The Pachmarhi festival is the storehouse of the rich tribal and folk cultural extravaganza. The attire again differs here from region to region and tribe to tribe. Though the most common among them is the usual Indian saree for women and kurta pyjama for men.

How to reach
The communication facilities are well developed along the north-south corridor in the west but very less, elsewhere. Good road and rail communications exist in the western part of the state, particularly along the corridor running from Gwalior to Bhopal. In many districts, however, the road network is very poor. This has hindered the development efforts.

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