Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Madhya Pradesh often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh was the largest state in India until November 1, 2000, when the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out. It borders the states Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The state has an area of 308,252 km2 (119,017 sq mi). The largest city and the commercial capital of the state is Indore.
After Indian independence, Madhya Pradesh was created in 1950 from the former British Central Provinces and Berar and the princely states of Makrai and Chhattisgarh, with Nagpur as the capital of the state. The new states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, and Bhopal were formed out of the Central India Agency. In 1956, the states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, and Bhopal were merged into Madhya Pradesh, and the Marathi-speaking southern region Vidarbha, which included Nagpur, was ceded to Bombay state. Bhopal became the new capital of the state. Madhya Pradesh, in its present form, came into existence on 1 November 2000, following its bifurcation to create a new state of Chhattisgarh. The undivided Madhya Pradesh was founded on 1 November 1956. Madhya Pradesh, because of its central location in India, has remained a crucible of historical currents from North, South, East and West.
Madhya Pradesh, being surrounded by land, has both Land and Air transport facilities.
Extensive rail network criss sross the state, with Jabalpur serving as headquarter for West Central Railway Zone of Indian Railways.The state has a total of 20 Major Railway Junctions.
Buses and trains cover most of Madhya Pradesh. Extensive road network is also being developed. Madhya Pradesh leads in nation in implementing Gramin Sadak Nirman Pariyojna, a central government aided programme to provide road networks to villages.
The state has Five domestic airports located at Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Khajuraho. Air strips are located at Ujjain, Khandwa and Satna. Flights are operated by Indian Airlines and Air Deccan among others.
Several cities in Madhya Pradesh are extraordinary for their architecture and or scenic beauty. Three sites in Madhya Pradesh have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: the Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986) including Devi Jagadambi temple, Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989) and the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003). Other architecturally significant or scenic sites include Ajaigarh, Amarkantak, Asirgarh, Bandhavgarh, Bawangaja, Bhopal, Chanderi, Chitrakuta, Dhar, Gwalior, Indore, Maheshwar, Mandleshwar, Mandu, Omkareshwar, Orchha, Pachmarhi, Shivpuri, Sonagiri and Ujjain. MP being very large geographically, and the history being spread over several millennia, a developing a comprehensive picture of heritage and architecture is a monumental task.