Madhya Pradesh: A Rich Cultural Legacy

The state of Madhya Pradesh is situated in central India, and very often it is referred to as the heart of India. Before the constitution of Chhattisgarh in 1 November 2000, Madhya Pradesh was the largest state in India. Presently it shares its borders with Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The approximate population of Madhya Pradesh is 60,385,118 and the state has a population density of 196/sq km. 31 percent of the state is under forest cover. Tribals account for more than 20 percent of this population. Bhopal is the capital city, and Indore is the largest city of Madhya Pradesh.. . Madhya Pradesh comprises of 48 districts.

The geography of Madhya Pradesh can be demarcated into eight distinct regions. They are Malwa, Nimar, Bundelkhand, Chambal, Baghelkhand, Vindhyas, Mahakhosal and Satpura. Narmada, Tapti and Son are the important rivers of Madhya Pradesh. The state is characterized by a sub-tropical climate.

In terms of employment, the business and economy of Madhya Pradesh is centered on agriculture. About 80 percent of the population of the state derives their livelihood from agriculture. The mineral-rich state also has a sound industrial base, and its service sector is going through an impressive growth curve.

Though Madhya Pradesh as a state of the Indian Union came into being only in 1950, the land has a rich historical legacy, which dates to the age of the Mauryan Empire. If one goes by unrecorded history, then here it deserves a mention that this land of Madhya Pradesh was inhabited by Paleolithic settlements. The ancient rock cave paintings bear testimony to this fact. The rich history of Madhya Pradesh is exuded in the state's myriad forts and temples, which speak of grandeur and gaiety of regal eras, most notable of them being Khajuraho Temples and Sanchi Stupas. The historical and cultural legacy of Madhya Pradesh, together with the state's many wildlife parks and Pachmarhi hill station, endows the tourism of Madhya Pradesh with immense potential.

Madhya Pradesh's diversity is not only reflected in its wide range of tourist options, but also in its ethnographic composition. The state has a significant tribal populace; about 46 recognized scheduled tribes presently reside in Madhya Pradesh. Gond, Bhil, Muria, Baiga, Halba, Jhabua, Mandla are some of the major tribes of Madhya Pradesh and their exotic dance forms and festivities colour the culture of Madhya Pradesh with unique expressions. The tribal dances of Madhya Pradesh are rich and varied as are the delectable cuisines of Madhya Pradesh. Both are delight to the senses and must be included in the travel itineraries to this unique state, to have a better taste of Madhya Pradesh. .

The handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh have an exquisite tradition, crafted over millennia by its tribal artisans, and this legacy has evolved in indirectly giving the costumes of Madhya Pradesh a fascinating appeal. Both tribal and urban costumes of Madhya Pradesh can add to your fashion statement.

Madhya Pradesh also speaks in many languages. Though the languages of Madhya Pradesh are primarily Hindi and Urdu, but a variety of fascinating dialects of Hindi flourishes in different regions of Madhya Pradesh. Bundelkhandi, Malwi, Bagheli, Avadhi and Chattisgarhi are only some of them. Side by side, various tribal languages are also practiced and spoken by the sizeable tribal community of the state. Madhya Pradesh also speaks in Gujarati, Marathi and Sindi, which endorses the plural character of the state. .

The politics of Madhya Pradesh also reflects the essential diversity of the state. Though only two national parties have significant impact in the state's electoral politics, but the state has the credit of being a breeding ground for many marginalized political outfits, which though not having much electoral space, provide an element of interest in the political climate of Madhya Pradesh, and voices minority political concerns.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/14