Located right at the center of the country, the geographical location of Madhya Pradesh is just one of the reasons for its sobriquet of ‘The Heart of Incredible India’. This beautiful state is home to some of the finest destinations of the country that have preserved themselves across major eras of Indian history. The culture of Madhya Pradesh combined with its historic sites make it one of the best places to get a true taste of India. While there are some really popular places to visit in Madhya Pradesh like Khajuraho that draws in tourists on account of its erotic sculptures and Gwalior known for its historic and humongous fort, there are also several hidden places in the state that not many people know about. These offbeat places of Madhya Pradesh are ideal holiday spots for those who like to ditch the cliched tourist destinations and explore something new.

Burhanpur

Burhanpur - a tomb in the 1980s

Burhanpur – a tomb in the 1980s

Burhanpur’s association with the famous Taj Mahal in Agra is something that most people are unaware of. This is where Shah Jahan’s beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth. The inspiration for the structure of the magnificent Taj Mahal is believed to have come from one of the paintings in Burhanpur. It has a rich history wstarting with the Faruqi dynasty which founded the city in the 14th century followed by the royal Mughal era from 1601 AD. Today, the ruins in Burhanpur are a reminder of its past glory.

Orchha

Orchha in Madhya Pradesh

Orchha in Madhya Pradesh

There is something about Orchha that just warms the cockles of your heart. Its historic cenotaphs and marvelous temples like the Raja Ram Mandir are epitomes of the Bundela architecture. If you like history and architecture, you are sure to fall in love with the quaint and serene Orchha.

Pench National Park

Leopard in Pench Tiger Reserve

Leopard in Pench Tiger Reserve

One of the most alluring things about Madhya Pradesh is its wildlife. Home to some of the most amazing national parks in the country, Madhya Pradesh is a delight for wildlife lovers. One of the lesser-known but absolutely stunning national parks is the one at Pench. Known for its Royal Bengal tiger population, Pench National Park is one of the best places to spot tigers in India. Several cottages located in the vicinity of the park’s boundaries offer a comfortable stay and every safari you take in the park is bound to be an enriching experience.

Maheshwar

Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh

Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh

The land of Ahilya Bai Holkar, Maheshwar is famous for its Maheshwari saris and the lovely AhilyaFort. The small town is located on the banks of the Narmada river against a scenic backdrop. The ghat adjacent to the river is a great place to witness daily life and culture of this sleepy town.

Bhimbetka

Rock-Shelter-Bhimbetka

One of India’s most historic sites, Bhimbetka is known for its caves and rock shelters that draw in history buffs and geeks from all over the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhimbetka takes you back in time with its pre-historic cave paintings. It is believed to be home to one of the earliest human settlements. The beautiful rock sculptures against the backdrop of greenery make for a wonderful sight.

Panna

Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh

Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh

Another wildlife destination in Madhya Pradesh that is not as famous as Bandhavgarh or Kanha is the Panna National Park. It is located among the Vindhya Hills along the Ken river providing an extremely picturesque backdrop. Home to elephants, leopards, bears, langurs and several other wild species, Panna National Park offers great safari experiences for those who like to witness life in the wild. Panna is also home to several waterfalls and the only diamond mines in India giving it the sobriquet ‘city of diamonds’. Located just 45 km from Khajuraho, Panna can easily be clubbed with your Khajuraho travel plan.

Mandu

Mandu in Madhya Pradesh

Mandu in Madhya Pradesh

Located around 60 kms from Indore, Mandu is delight for architecture lovers. It is home to several old structures dating back to the 10th century. Most of the buildings are now in ruins giving you the perfect ambiance for a historical trip. The Mandu Fort here is a must-visit and makes for a great excursion.

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