Madhya Pradesh State Information
Capital : Bhopal
Introduction to Madhya Pradesh
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 of Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh lies in the middle of the India, sharing its border with six neighboring states.
The northern border of the state has two neighbor states namely the state of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The western border of the state is shared by a part of Rajasthan and a part of Maharashtra with Gujarat in between. On the southern part of the state of Madhya Pradesh lie the states Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The entire eastern border of the state is bounded by the states of Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.
The total geographical area the state of Madhya Pradesh covers is approximately 308,000 sq km divided among the 45 districts of the state. Forests cover a major part of the state and the cultivated area accounts to almost half of the total landmass of the state. The state covers a wide area of the Indian plateau region.
A number of significant rivers flow through this land. Thus, with the mountain ranges, rivers along with the plains, Madhya Pradesh has a varied physical feature.
Brief History of Madhya Pradesh
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 of Madhya Pradesh
Coal and iron are among the more important of the minerals of Madhya Pradesh. The iron ore found in Madhya Pradesh is of high grade and occurs in the Dury, Jubalpur, Bastar and Gwalior districts. Manganese is another important mineral, which occurs in Madhya Pradesh in the Balaghat and Chhindwara districts.
There is bauxite which is required in the production of aluminum and which is available in the Katni tehsil of Jabalpur. Madhya Pradesh has a large deposit of limestone required for the production of cement. The Panna region has a rich diamond bed and is well known for the production of diamonds. Marble is also available in the state in several districts.
The state has rich granaries of food. In the northern part sillimanite and ochre are excavated. Other natural products are steatite and China clay. There are many flourishing textile mills in the state and artificial silk manufacturing plants located at Ujjain, Nagda, Indore and Gwalior. In the public sector, huge plants, namely the Bhilai Steel plant, the Heavy Electrical and the Bailadilla are the major achievements.
The Nepa Mills produces newsprint for the country. Diesel engines are manufactured at Indore and attractive pottery and carpets are produced at Gwalior.
The state is famous for traditional village crafts such as chanderi sarees, leather and clay toys. Ancillary industries such as dyeing, calico printing and bleaching have also tended to concentrate in areas producing handloom cloth, silk and wool products. The states wood work and lacquer-ware are also very famous.
Agriculture is the largest area of occupation in Madhya Pradesh. Around 1/5th of the cultivated land is under irrigation. The major food crops here include, jowar, wheat, rice and gram. Among the other crops, the oilseeds, cotton and sugarcane are some of those that need a mention.
Madhya Pradesh Travel Information
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. 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 of 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 in 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 of Madhya Pradesh
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 of Madhya Pradesh
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 of Madhya Pradesh
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.
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