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Central India

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh constitute of central India and are also known as the "Heart of India". The new state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of the state of Madhya Pradesh, when 16 Chhattisgarhi speaking south-eastern districts were given statehood on November 1st 2000. The capital of Madhya Pradesh is Bhopal and of Chhattisgarh is Raipur. Madhya Pradesh is bordered by Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan; Chhattisgarh on the other hand has Madhya Pradesh to its northwest, Maharashtra to its west, Andhra Pradesh to its south, Orissa to its east, Jharkhand to its northeast and Uttar Pradesh to its north.

Madhya Pradesh is known for famous cities like Gwalior, which is popular for attractions like the Gwalior Fort, Teli-Ka-Mandir, Sasbahu Temple and the Man Singh Palace. The small town of Orchha is famous for its beautiful palaces, temples, and gardens. The renowned town of Khajuraho is known to have the largest number of Hindu and Jain temples famous for their exquisite and erotic art work. This group of temples have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are considered to be one of the "Seven Wonders of India". Also popular in Khajuraho is the Khajuraho Dance Festival, held every year in February/March and gives visitors the chance to experience Indian classical dance against the backdrop of these beautiful temples. The city of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh is famous for its plethora of mosques, lakes and temples, the most popular being the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. Also popular sights are the Birla Museum and the State Archaeological Museum.

The city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh has not many sights to offer, but is interestingly known as the "Detroit of India", due to its large scale automobile production plants. Also well known in Madhya Pradesh is the Bandhavgarh National Park, one of India's largest national parks. This park is known for its high density of tiger population, along with other forms of wildlife like chinkaras, leopards, chital, nilgai, wild boar, jackal and hyena. This national park also attracts many migratory birds during the winter season. The gateway to the large Bandhavgarh National Park is Umaria, which is renowned for its abundance of flora and fauna, dense forests and wild animals and birds. When talking about national parks one cannot ignore the famous Kanha National Park, located in dense wilderness and covered with Bamboo and Sal forests, this national park is home to the tiger among other wild animals and birds.

Cities like Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh are known for their strong political footing, as many famous dynasties in history had Jabalpur as their capital, including the Narmada Empire. Surrounded by hills and mountains the city of Jabalpur has earned its name from the Arabic word "Jabal" which means "Mountain". A few popular tourist destinations in Jabalpur are; Tilwara Ghat (a place associated with the memory of Mahatma Gandhi), Madan Mahal Fort, Sangram Sagar and Bajnamath, Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat, and the Rani Durgavati Memorial and Museum.

Sanchi, located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh is known for the evolution and propagation of the Buddhist faith. This little village has a vast expanse of Buddhist temples and stupas and monasteries that strongly reflect the Mauryan culture. These Buddhist stupas in Sanchi should not be missed during a trip to Madhya Pradesh.

Chhattisgarh, on the other hand is known for its heavy forests and a large tribal population. Popular in Chhattisgarh is the old town of Kawardha and Chitrakote, known for its water falls and tribal villages. The town of Bastar is also known for its dense forests, tribal villages, complete with tribal dance and music.

Cuisine of Central India

Cuisine from Central India is a combination of sweet and salty. This part of the country does not have a distinct cuisine of its own but has beautifully imbibed the best of the food culture from its neighbouring states. The staple food grain of people in this part of the country is wheat, jowar and maize and protein rich lentils; the most common being Arhar Dal. Vegetables are cooked in a variety of styles as it is an important part of their meals. People from this part love sweets and these are an important part of their meals, along with sweets they also enjoy namkeens (salty snacks).

Cuisine of Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh has a wide variety of mouth watering food to choose from, some examples of food from this region are; Lapsi, Bafla, Bhutte ki Khees and Bhopali Kabab.

Cuisine of Chhattisgarh

Food from Chhattisgarh is categorized under two broad heads, Tribal Food and Non-Tribal Food. Some of the popular dishes from this region are Bafauri, Kusli and Red Ant Chutney.

Last Updated on : 07/10/2013

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