The Heritage of Madhya Pradesh: 6 Cities of Historical Importance

Ranked as the second largest state of India Madhya Pradesh has grown up to become one of the popular tourist destinations. This state not only does consist of the humongous population but it is also known to be one of the few states with the highest number of heritage sites. In fact, the area occupied by this state consists of a large portion of ancient land where numerous civilisations have their roots buried in. Today we discuss 6 of the most important heritage cities present in here which definitely should be on your bucket list if you are planning to visit the ‘heart of India’.

1. Ujjain


Shri Ram Ghat, Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, CC BY 2.0

One of the oldest cities in the state of Madhya Pradesh Ujjain is established on the banks of Kshipra River. Tourists are attracted to Ujjain because of its glorious past and it has been home to numerous dynasties and some of the greatest kings in the history of the nation. According to literature as well as manuscripts, Ujjain was the first city to experience urbanisation in 700 B.C. This city which once served as the centre for literature, as well as politics, acted as an important administrative sector during the reigns of Mughals as well as Ashoka. According to a few historians as well as archaeologists, it was this city where Lord Krishna and Balram acquired their education and later this city served as the important are in a battle of Mahabharata.

2. Maheshwar


Maheshwar Fort, Photo by Arian Zwegers, CC BY 2.0

Maheshwar is the second city in this list which is of utmost historical importance. This city which was previously known as Mahishtmi has been mentioned in the tales of Mahabharata as well as Ramayan. This place still possesses within it the taste of Mughal civilisation. One can see numerous forts standing tall accompanied by temples built by the queen of Holkar dynasty. Visiting this city, you will find numerous ghats built by rulers who owned this place during various times. Some of the popular historical sites present here to visit include The Maheshwar Fort, Temple of Maheshwar as well as the archaeological site found here back in the year 1950.

3. Gwalior


Man singh palace, Photo by Nagarjun Kandukuru, CC BY 2.0

It is believed that Gwalior was built by a prince at the request of sage, who cured the prince of leprosy. The prince built a wall so that the sages could comfortably pray within the area without any wild animal attacking or bothering them. Since then this city was first ruled by Maharaja Suraj Sen who built the beautiful Gwalior Fort located in the centre of this city and is one of the must visit places in Gwalior. Later it served as the centre of Nanda Dynasty kingdom and later was under Naga Dynasty control. This city within its boundaries possesses an endless number of artefacts which clearly related to the time of Before Christ. Upon exploration, the archaeologists have found cave paintings dating around 20,000 years back. There were certain items belonging to the iron age discovered here.

4. Rewa


Govindgarh palace, Photo by Lala Deen Daya, public domain

One of the popular places of Madhya Pradesh, Rewa does have an interesting backdrop .This state has witnessed rise and fall of numerous dynasties, and it is here that Akbar, a Mughal emperor hid while his father was defeated in a war. Rewa was initially under the control of the Maurya kingdom; however, the evidence of same couldn’t be recovered. After the fall of Maurya Dynasty, this place was taken over by the Kalchuri dynasty that didn’t do much good to this place. After a sequence of rising and falling finally, this province came under the British control. It was during the time before Kalchurians that this place actually rose to glory and they were the once who decorated this state with some of the best architectural wonders as well as left behind a legacy through which they will be remembered. Some of the historical sites to visit in this place include the Rewa Fort, Govindgarh Palace as well as Venkat Bhawan.

5. Jabalpur


Ruins of Madan Mahal Fort, Photo by Vizziee, CC BY 3.0

Classified as the tier-2 city in Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur has grown to become one of the most urbanised sectors. This place, however, does have an important place in the history of India. It is told that this place did exist from the time of Ramayan and was named after a popular sage Jabali. Once a home to evil, according to Hindu mythology, it was here that Lord Shiva defeated the darkness. Later this place became home to the M
aurya Empire as archaeologist did find some remains of those times. This was one the central control station of Satavahana, Kalchuri as well as Gondwana dynasty. The only dynasty which survived after them were the Marathas, soon after which this area came under British control. Some pretty famous historical sites with Madan Mahal Fort as well as Rani Durgawati amongst the prime are the must visit destinations of Jabalpur.

6. Pachmarhi


Pandav caves, Photo by LRBurdak, CC BY-SA 3.0

Last but not the least in this list of places is Pachmarhi, a beautiful hill station located in Madhya Pradesh. It is believed that it was here during the times of Mahabharata that “Pandavas” built five caves and resided during the times of their exile. These places still do provide a magnificent view of the town. This place is believed to be so pure and precious that British didn’t allow any sort of construction in this area, except a sanatorium which was constructed for the British officials. All other people were asked not to visit Panchmarhi, and only exclusive access was given to this hill station. Some of the historical sites which one can witness include Pandav Caves as well as Dhupgarh.

So, these were the 6 sites of utmost historical importance in Madhya Pradesh. There are towns as well as sites to explore. However, these 6 have contributed majorly to the development of our nation as it is right now. So, in case you have any more of such places, do not let us know in the comments.

Rohit Agarwal

Rohit is an architect and loves to travel. Not only is he keen to read more about spirituality, he wants to get straight in the epitome of the place and grasp it. 

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