Geography of Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh Geography

The geography of this state in the country of India mainly includes its location on earth, area and area-wise divisions, rivers, weather, soil, crops, topography as well as its flora and fauna.

Position of Madhya Pradesh on the globe

With its geographical location at 22.42° N and 72.54° E, Madhya Pradesh is a state of central India. The state shares its borders with the other Indian states of Uttar Pradesh in the north eastern side, Rajasthan in the north western side, Gujarat in the western side, Chhattisgarh in the south eastern side and Maharashtra in the southern side.


This state, often called as the "Heart of India" stretches over an area of 3, 08, 252 sq. km. in the central part of the country. It accounts for 9.38 % of the land area of the nation.

Different area-wise divisions of Madhya Pradesh

Area-wise, the state is divided into 10 broad divisions of Bhopal, Gwalior, Chambal, Hoshangabad, Indore, Rewa, Jabalpur, Sagar, Ujjain and Shahdol. However, in total, Madhya Pradesh comprises of 50 districts, which are Anuppur, Balaghat, Alirajpur, Ashoknagar, Betul, Barwani, Bhopal, Burhanpur, Bhind, Chhatarpur, Chhindwara, Damoh, Datia, Dindori, Dewas, Dhar, Gwalior, Guna, Harda, Hoshangabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Katni, Jhabua, Khargone, Mandla, Khandwa, Mandsaur, Neemuch, Morena, Narsinghpur, Raisen, Panna, Ratlam, Rewa, Rajgarh, Sagar, Seoni, Satna, Sehore, Shajapur, Shahdol, Shivpuri, Sidhi, Sheopur, Singrauli, Umaria, Tikamgarh, Vidisha and Ujjain.

The vast area of Madhya Pradesh makes it one of the largest states in India. It is located at the heart of the country. The area of Madhya Pradesh has been estimated to be 443,446 square kilometers.

Around one third of the state's area is occupied with tropical forests lying with the rivers Chambal in the north and Godavari in the south.
If you go towards the east of Chambal, you will find the areahaving rocky surface and thick forest.
The plateau area of Malwa reveals a view of waving fields of grain amongst the trees of mango and tamarinds. The area is a predominantly agricultural field.
The lowlands in the north of Malwa is different. The hilly areas include the Vindhya and Satpura ranges inhabited by the Bhils, Gonds, Korkus.
The state is noted for the river Narmada which begins from Amarkantak, runs through Jabalpur and Mandla. and emerges near Mandhata.
The state has got some of the known catchments, watersheds and river basins of the country. Two most significant among them are the Narmada River, which originates from Amarkantak and the Tapti River, which originates from Betul district. The basins of these rivers divide this central Indian state into two parts. The northern part drains into the Ganges while the southern part drains into the river systems of the Mahanadi and the Godavari rivers. Rivers like Betwa, Chambal, Dhasan, Kali Sindh, Kuno, Parbati, Shipra and Sind being river Yamuna's main tributaries, flow towards the river Ganges. Rivers, which lie on the eastern side of the Ganges, are the Rihand, the Tons and the Son. The Mahanadi with its tributaries of the Mand, the Kharun and the Hasdeo flows towards southeast whereas, the Narmada with its tributaries of the Banjar, the Denwa, the Machna, the Sonbhardra and the Tawa flows towards west. The state even gets the water of the Tapi River.

Some of the other rivers flowing through the state of Madhya Pradesh are as follows:
  • Kanhan
  • Ken
  • Pench
  • Penganga

Soil and Vegetation

Soil and vegetation of Madhya Pradesh is an important arena of its natural wealth. The dense forests stretching over one-third of the state is the producer of India's best teak wood.
Special mention should be made of the soil and vegetation of Gwalior, Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand in the Malwa region of the state. The region is rich in rich black soil. If you go to Chattisgarh, you will find a lighter sandy soil. The composition of soil and vegetation is absolutely different when one moves to the Narmada valley. Here there is rich alluvial deposits.
Madhya Pradesh has a distinctly diverse topography and hence a wide range of variation in the soil and vegetation.The forest forms include:
  • dry thorn forests
  • tropical moist deciduous forests
  • tropical evergreen forests

The vegetation at the Bandhavgarh national Park in Madhya Pradesh, is quite luxuriant. The dominant vegetation in this region consists mostly of moist deciduous forests along with the bamboo thickets as well as the mixed forests. The most common tree in the the dry deciduous forests of this area is the Sal.The soil and vegetation lying on the riverbanks of the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh, is extremely fertile.If you make a tour to the the Kanha National Park you will find it covered with bamboo thickets, Sal forests, grasslands and streams.The diversity in vegetation at the Kanha National Park enables a large variety of mammals, reptiles and birds to select the right natural abode.

The vegetation species commonly seen at the Kanha National Park include

  • Acacia torta
  • Bauhinia retusa
  • Butea menosperma
  • Anogeissus latifolia
  • Emblica officinalis
  • Maughania stricta
  • Pennisetum alopecurus
  • Cassia fistula
  • Phoenix acaulis
  • Shorea robusta
  • Dendrocalamus strictus

Among the vegetation of Madhya Pradesh mention should be made of the cash crops like

  • rice
  • wheat
  • pulses
  • sugarcane
  • soya bean
  • mustard
Topographical condition of Madhya Pradesh

Geographically, the state has got varied geo-structural divisions. Being located towards the northern part of the Deccan Plateau, this state is mainly a land of plateaus and mountain ranges. Towards the northern side of the river Chambal and Son, lie the medium highland that got created by the Vindhya rocks, Granite Gneiss and Deccan Trap. This is a triangular shaped plateau between the Aravalli range and the valleys of the Son and the Narmada rivers. River Yamuna forms its northern boundary. The southern and southeastern part is covered by steep escarpments, which are famously known as the Bhander, Kaimur and Vindhyachal ranges. The mountain range of Vindhyachal has got an elevation of 881 and 150 metres whereas, that of Kaimur and Bhander ranges are 686 metres and 752 metres respectively. Apart from these, this highland in the central part of the state even includes Vindhyan Escarpment, Middle Indian Plateau, Bundelkhand Plateau and Malwa Plateau.
Based on the climatic conditions and physical features, the topography of Madhya Pradesh includes the following agro-climatic zones:
  • Northern Plain
  • Narmada Valley
  • Wainganga Valley
  • Malwa Plateau
  • Kaimur Plateau
  • Nimar Plateau
  • Vindhyan Plateau
  • Jhabua Hills
  • Satpura Hills
  • Gird Region
  • Bundelkhand Region

Weather of Madhya Pradesh

Characterized by the pattern of monsoon weather, this state experiences sub-tropical climatic condition. Madhya Pradesh weather can be divided into the three distinct climatic seasons, which are mentioned below:
  • Summer season: Summer in this central Indian state starts during the month of April and continues till June with temperature going as high as 42° C. The state has got a hot and dry type of summer season.
  • Monsoon season: Rainy season stretches there from July to the month of September with an average rainfall of 1, 370 mm per year. The eastern part of the state receives comparatively high precipitation (112 cm on an average) from the state's northern and western part (50 cm to 62.5 cm on an average). However, sometimes, the southeastern districts of the state receive quite heavy rainfall of about 2, 150 mm.
  • Winter season: The winter season of the state mainly comprises of the months of December and January. Madhya Pradesh, especially towards the northern part, experiences a relatively cold and dry winter. During this season, temperature can fall down to even -10° C.
Mineral found in Madhya Pradesh
The state of Madhya Pradesh has got varied mineral resources found in different parts of the state. Iron ore and coal are two of the most important minerals found there. Besides these, following are some of the major minerals found in the state:

Sl. No. Mineral Area
1 Bauxite Jabalpur's Katni tehsil
2 Iron ore Bastar, Dury, Gwalior and Jubalpur
3 Manganese Balaghat and Chhindwara

The state is even rich is limestone and marbles. The Panna area of the state is known for diamond production since it has a diamond bed.

Flora and Fauna

The present day is the day of 'Green Revolution' when the country is intensely concerned with the biodiversity or the flora and fauna conservation. Madhya Pradesh is a pioneer in this movement. There are 9 national parks and 25 sanctuaries for the welfare of the flora and fauna in Madhya Pradesh. Kanha National Park of the state is one of the first nine protected areas nominated under the Project Tiger policy. The maximum concentration and diversity of the flora and fauna is seen in:
  • Kanha
  • Panna
  • Bandhavgarh
  • Pench
  • Satpura

Madhya Pradesh is designated as the 'Tiger State' as it houses 19% of India's tiger population and 10% of the global tiger population. Sal forest form a major part of the flora of the state. It is seen throughout the valley. It gives way to the mixed forest generally occupying the places where the soil is of considerably poor quality. Grassy meadow patches are found in the valley and along the nalas.
The state also has got extensive lush greenery spreading over an area of 95, 221 sq. km. This forest land of the state covers almost 31 % of Madhya Pradesh's total area. As opposed to the eastern, central and southern areas of the state, the northern and western regions have got a deficiency of forest lands.

The forests of this state of central India can be broadly categorized into the following types:
  • Broadleaved Subtropical Hill Forests
  • Dry Tropical Forests
  • Moist Tropical Forests
  • Thorny Tropical Forests
All of the above types of forests are reserved, protected or unclassified forests. Madhya Pradesh forests can even be classified on the basis of terrain and forest composition. The three main kinds of such forests are sal, teak and miscellaneous forests. These forests are home to varied species of flora and fauna, which makes the state a reservoir of bio-diversity. Apart from the kinds of plants mentioned earlier, the forest lands with Bamboo plants are spread all over the state. Rosewood is another popular plantation of the state. Plantations are done even in some non-forest areas so as to decrease the pressure on the natural type of forests. These kinds of plantations mainly increase the availability of wood for fuel, fodder and small timber.

The species of flora generally seen here are:

  • Acacia torta
  • Bauhinia retusa
  • Butea menosperma
  • Anogeissus latifolia
  • Emblica officinalis
  • Maughania stricta

In Madhya Pradesh you can find more than 22 species of mammals. They include Common Langurs, Rhesus Macaque, the Asiatic Jackal, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard,Tiger,Wild Pigs, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Chausingha, Nilgai, Chinkara and Gaur. There are 250 species of birds. The common ones are Little Grebe, Egret, lesser Adjutant, Sarus Crane, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Common Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl, Dove, Parakeets, Kingfishers and Indian Rollers. Reptilian fauna found over here are Cobra, Krait, Viper, Rat-snake, Python, Turtle and Varanus. There are also some 30,000 insect species including some stunning butterflies.

Last Updated on : 14th March 2013