Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh also known as the Central Province is a State located in Central part of India with Bhopal city as its Capital and Indore as the State’s largest city. Other major cities are Jabalpur, Gwalior and Ujjain. Madhya Pradesh is also known as the “Heart of India” due to its geographical location and also the second largest state in the country in terms of area. Madhya Pradesh was formed on 1 November 1956 and now the State has total 51 districts. Hindi is the common language spoken here along with other languages such as regional dialect Malvi is spoken in Malwa, Nimadi in Nimar, Bundeli in Bundelkhand and Bagheli in Bagelkhand and in the southeastern areas of the state. Other languages spoken are Telugu, Gondi, Bhilodi (Bhili), Korku, Nihali (Nahali) and Kalto (Nahali which are spoken by the tribal population of this state and a substantial number of populations also speak Marathi and Gujarati.

Established 1 November, 1956
Capital Bhopal
Largest City Indore
Area 308,252 km2
Density 236/km2
Total Population (2011) 72,597,565
Districts 51
High Court Madhya Pradesh High Court Jabalpur
Rivers Narmada, Shipra, Betwa, Ken, Chambal, Mahi, Tawa and Wardha
National Parks Kanha Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh, Panna National Park and Madhav National Park
Languages Hindi, English, Malvi, Nimadi, Bhilodi, Gondi, Korku, Kalto, Nihali
State Animal Barasingha
State Bird Indian paradise flycatcher
State Tree Banyan Tree
State Flower Madonna lily
State fish Mahasheer
Literacy Rate (2011) 82.91%
Females per 1000 males 930
Lok Sabha constituencies 29
Assembly constituency 230
Official Website
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)


Madhya Pradesh has various landmarks of Indian history belonging to different era. Sites like Bhimbetka, Adamgarh, Pachmarhi, Raisen, Jaora etc stand witness to the prehistoric period. The ancient city of Ujjain served as the capital of one of the Mahajanapadas- the Avanti kingdom in 6th century BCE. The kingdoms of Malava, Karusha, Dasarna and Nishada were mentioned in Indian epics which have also been identified as parts of Madhya Pradesh. Moreover, dysnasties like Mauryans, Kushans, Satavahanas, Rashtrakutas, Rajput clans, including the Paramaras of Malwa and the Chandelas of Bundelkhand, Mughals, Scindhias also ruled this State. After India’s independence, a large number of princely states were restructured to form the present day Madhya Pradesh.


Before 2000, when Chhattisgarh was a part of Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh was the largest state in India. Now its total area is 308,252 km2 sharing borders with the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the west, and Rajasthan to the northwest. This region literally means “Central Province”, and is located in the geographic heart of India, between latitude 21.2°N-26.87°N and longitude 74°59′-82°06′ E. The river Narmada flows on both sides of the State flowing east and west between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges. The highest point in Madhya Pradesh is Dhupgarh with an elevation of 1,350 m (4,429 ft).


The State has a population of over 7 crore (72597565) as per 2011 census, ranking it sixth among Indian states in terms of population. The 2011 census says that the tribal population in Madhya Pradesh was 73.34 million, constituting 21.1% of the total population. There were 46 recognized Scheduled Tribes and three of them have been identified as “Special Primitive Tribal Groups” in the State. Madhya Pradesh ranks very low on the Human Development Index value of 0.375 in 2011 census which is below the national average. Here 90.9% of the population follows Hinduism, while others are Muslim (6.6%), Jain (0.8%), Buddhists (0.3%), Christians (0.3%), and Sikhs (0.2%). There are also 931 females for every 1000 males in this State. In 2011, literacy rate of Madhya Pradesh is 70.6 per cent as compared to 63.7 per cent in the year 2001. During the last 10 years the literacy rate of Madhya Pradesh improved to 6.9 %. Female and male literacy rates in 2011 are 60.0 per cent and 80.5 % respectively.


Madhya Pradesh’s gross state domestic product for 2013-14 was Rs. 4,509 billion (approximately US$ 72,726,000,000). The State is primarily an agrarian economy. The major crops of Madhya Pradesh are wheat, soybean, gram, sugarcane, rice, maize, cotton, rapeseed, mustard and arhar. Forest produce such as tendu leaves which is useful for rolling beedi, sal seed, teak seed, and lak also contribute to state’s rural economy and uplifts the overall economy. Madhya Pradesh is also famous for honey production in district Morena. Indore is the main business centre of Madhya Pradesh which also has various establishments of consumer goods companies. The state has the largest reserves of diamond and copper in India. Other major mineral reserves include those of coal, coalbed methane, manganese and dolomite. Madhya Pradesh has six Ordnance Factories at Jabalpur which are the Vehicle Factory, Grey Iron Foundry, Gun Carriage Factory, Ordnance Factory Khamaria) and one each at Katni and Itarsi. The factories are run by the Ordnance Factories Board, and manufacture a variety of products for the Indian Armed Forces.


The beauty of Madhya Pradesh is varied which can be defined in terms of spectacular natural surroundings, world heritage sites, national parks and forest reserves. Tourists flock to have a glimpse of Madhya Pradesh’s jewels which includes the Khajuraho temples, Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, the rock shelters of Bhimbetka, Bagh caves, Bandhavgarh National park, Kanha National park, Satpura National park, Panchmarhi, Chambal, Amarkantak, Mahakaleshwar, etc.


Cricket, Kabaddi, hockey, football, basketball, volleyball, cycling, swimming, badminton and table tennis are the popular sports in the state. Traditional games like kho kho, gilli danda, sitoliya, kanche and langdi are popular in the rural areas. In 2013, state government declared Malkhamb as the state sport. Snooker is generally originated in Jabalpur and is invented by British Army officers and now this is popular in many of the English-speaking and Commonwealth countries. Cricket is the most popular sport in Madhya Pradesh. There are three international cricket stadiums in the state – Nehru Stadium (Indore), Roop Singh Stadium (Gwalior) and Holkar Cricket Stadium (Indore). The State also has its own football team MP United FC that played in the 2nd Division I-League.


The State has a number of national highways run through the state. Some of them are NH3, NH 44, NH 12, NH 12A, NH 25, NH 26, NH 26A, NH 26B, NH 27, NH 59 A, etc. The major inter-state bus terminals are located in Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur. More than 2000 buses are conducted daily from these four cities. The intra-city transit systems mostly consist of buses, private autos and taxis which run in the 99,043-kilometre-long road network of this State. A 4,948-kilometre-long (3,075 mi) rail network runs throughout the state, with Jabalpur serving as headquarters for the West Central Railway Zone of the Indian Railways. The Central Railway and the Western Railway also cover parts of the state. The state has a total of 20 major railway junctions. The Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport at Indore is the busiest airport in Madhya Pradesh. Raja Bhoj International Airport in Bhopal, Dumna Airport in Jabalpur, Gwalior Airport and Khajuraho Airport also have domestic flights connecting Madhya Pradesh with rest part of India.


Madhya Pradesh is noted for its classical and folk music. Some of the noted Hindustani classical music gharanas in Madhya Pradesh include the Maihar gharana, the Gwalior gharana and Senia gharana. Indian History’s most noted singers, Tansen and Baiju Bawra, were born near Gwalior in present-day Madhya Pradesh. The major folk dances of MP are Rai,Karma,Saila, Matki, Gangaur, Badhai, Baredi, Naurata, Ahiri and Bhagoria. Gana-Gour, Ganga, Dashami, Hareli are the major festivals celebrated in this heart of India. The State is also rich in art and crafts like Wall paintings or bhitti chitras, Chippa bagh (Bagh prints) or hand-block printers and battubai dolls and textiles like Chanderi sarees and dress materials.


According to the 2009–10 figures, the state had 105,592 primary schools, 6,352 high schools and 5,161 higher secondary schools. The state has 208 engineering & architecture colleges, 208 management institutes and 12 medical colleges. The state is the centre to some of the premier educational and research institutions of India including Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal, IIM Indore, IIT Indore, NITTTR (Bhopal), Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology(Bhopal), IIITDM Jabalpur and IIITM Gwalior, Indian institute of Tourism and Travel Management(IITTM, Gwalior), SPA Bhopal, IIFM (Bhopal), National Law Institute University (Bhopal), Institute Of Engineering & Science IPS Academy Indore, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Bhopal, Jabalpur Engineering College and Madhav Institute of Technology and Science, Gwalior.

Hospitals and Health care

The state has 51 district hospitals, 333 community health centres, 1,155 primary health centres and 8,860 sub-centres. Some of the best hospitals here are Arihant Hospital & Research Centre, Greater Kailash Hospital, Bansal Hospital, Hamida Hospital, etc.