My photo from Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh, often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal. Indore is the largest city & largest urban agglomeration in the state while Gwalior is the fourth largest city and tourist capital of the state.
Legend has it that Lord Rama bequeathed the fort to his brother Laxmana, hence the name Bandhavgarh (Bandhavgarh National Park) which means "brother's fort". The Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India; its stone-age rock paintings are approximately 9,000 years old.
The city of Ujjain (also known as Avanti) arose as a major center in the second wave of Indian urbanization in the sixth century BC, and served as the chief city of the kingdom of Malwa or Avanti. Further east, the kingdom of Chedi lie in Bundelkhand. Chandragupta Maurya united northern India c. 320 BC, establishing the Maurya empire (321 to 185 BC), which included all of modern-day Madhya Pradesh. King Ashoka's wife was said to come from Vidisha- a town north of today's Bhopal.
The Maurya empire went into decline after the death of Asoka the Great, and Central India was contested among the Sakas, Kushanas, and local dynasties during the 3rd to 1st centuries BCE. Ujjain emerged as the predominant commercial center of western India from the first century BCE, located on the trade routes between the Ganges plain and India's Arabian Sea ports. It was also an important Hindu and Buddhist center.
Heritage and architecture 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). Madhya Pradsh being very large geographically, and the history being spread over several millennia, developing a comprehensive picture of heritage and architecture is a monumental task.