Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are at the heart of India. They contain many of the tribal groups least touched by modernization and most of India's remaining genuine forest. The magnificent paintings made in rock shelters at Bhimbetka illustrate the continuity of settlement for over half a million years, while Buddhism left a still-visible mark in the glories of Sanchi's 2000-year-old stupas. The magnificent palaces of Orchha and temples of Khajuraho testify to the power of Rajput dynasties for over a thousand years.

Flowing westwards along the southern edge of the great Vindhyan ranges runs the Narmada, the site of one of the largest - and most controversial - dam development programmes in the world. Yet Madhya Pradesh remains largely unindustrialized and little visited, allowing the dense forests and grasslands of the east to house two of India's best national parks at Kanha and Bandhavgarh.

On 1 November 2000, 16 districts in the southeast of Madhya Pradesh were carved out to create the new state of Chhattisgarh. One of the least accessible areas of peninsular India, it is a largely tribal state, currently in the throes of a modern-day peasant rebellion.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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