Madhya Pradesh as the heart of ‘Incredible India’ is rapidly becoming a preferred tourism destination in India. This is attributed to the state’s rich spiritual, cultural and natural heritage with 10 National Park, 25 Sanctuaries, 6 Tiger Reserves, 2 Shiva Jyotirlingas and 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tourists from all over the world visited Madhya Pradesh to experience the inheritance which showcases the architecture, civilisation, culture, and lifestyle of respective eras. Heritage Trio of Madhya Pradesh is the route or itinerary by which you can explore all three UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Madhya Pradesh.
The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
Famous as ‘India’s oldest art gallery’, Rock Shelters and Paintings at Bhimbetka were discovered in 1957-58 and is situated in Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh. Out of 750 rock shelters, 500 are adorned with the paintings. The site remained a center of human activity right from lower Paleolithic times up to the medieval period. These cave paintings show themes such as human figures, hunting, riding, communal dances, warfare and other scenes, depicting details of the day to day activities of the ancient man. The colours used for paintings are green, red, ochre and white. The rock shelters and caves of Bhimbetka have a large number of paintings. The oldest paintings are found to be 30,000 years old, but some of the geometric figures date to as recently as the medieval period. It is one of the rarest places in this world to understand how the lifestyle of the human being was thousand years back. Legend says Bhimbetka is derived from ‘Bhimbaithka’ meaning ‘the sitting place of Bhima’, from Mahabharat. It was included in UNESCO World Heritage site listed in 2003 and is situated 45 km from Bhopal.
Places to see around:
Bhojpur: Founded by legendary Parmar King of Dhar, Raja Bhoj and named after him, Bhojpur, 28 km from Bhopal, is renowned for the remains of magnificent Shiva Temple. The name of the temple is Bhojeshwar Temple is famous as the Somnath of the East. The lingam in the sanctum touches the height of 7.5 feet with the circumference of 17.8 feet. The temple architecture was constructed by red stone rock and was in incomplete form.
How to Reach:
Airways: Nearest Airport is Raja Bhoj airport situated in Bhopal (28 km from Bhojpur and 46 km from Bhimbetka). Bhopal (BHO) connects with New Delhi, Mumbai, Raipur, and Lucknow via air routes on regular basis.
Railways: Best option is Bhopal Railway station, trains available to almost all major cities of India.
Roadways: Both Bhojpur and Bhimbetka are connected by bus with Bhopal and nearby towns on regular basis.
Where to Stay: All categories of Hotels and Resorts are available in Bhopal. Tourists can also stay in Homestays.
Mahastupa (great stupa) of Sanchi is one of the finest pieces of Buddhist art in Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh. It was constructed by great Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 3rd Century BC. Sanchi is known for their world famous Buddhist Stupas where the relics related to Lord Buddha kept. The evolution of temple architecture is seen in the Gupta Temple in the stupa premises that were built in the 5th century. These stupas consist of plastered dome crooned by the temple umbrella within its core the brick-stupa of Ashoka. It houses 4 gateways that showcase Buddha’s life through intricate carvings. A circumambulation path approached by a double stairway inbuilt against its base. The four images of the Buddha installed, against the drum are the additions of the 5th century A.D. Stupas of Sanchi give the message of peace to the world. Chetiyagiri Vihara of Sri Lanka, ASI Museum, Monasteries, Gupta Temples are must-visit places in Sanchi. It listed in UNESCO World Heritage list in 1989.
Buddha’s Life carved on the 4 Gateways of Maha Stupa.
Places to see around: Tropic of Cancer, Gysraspur Temples, Vidisha.
How to Reach:
Airways: Nearest Airport is Raja Bhoj airport situated in Bhopal (46 km from Sanchi). Bhopal (BHO) connects with New Delhi, Mumbai, Raipur, and Lucknow via air routes on regular basis.
Railways: Sanchi also a Railway Station but very few trains have the stoppage. Better options are Vidisha (10 km) and Bhopal (46 km).
Roadways: Local buses always available for Bhopal, Vidisha, and Raisen.
Where to Stay: There are few guest houses and hotels available in Sanchi. Gateway retreat of MP Tourism.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments
Khajuraho located in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh known for its beautiful temples built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty. Temples of Khajuraho are India’s unique gift to the world, showcase love, and joy; perfect in execution and sublime in execution. The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures. Rock carving artistries on the walls of temples in Khajuraho attracted tourists from all over the world. Temples in Khajuraho belong to Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. It declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. These temples divided into sub-groups named Western, Eastern, and Southern Group Temples.
Places to see:
Some other important places to see in Khajuraho are Eastern Group (Parshavnath Temple, Ghantai Temple, Adhinath Temple) and Southern Group of Temples (Duladeo Temple)
How to Reach:
Airways: Khajuraho Airport is directly connected with New Delhi and Varanasi.
Railways: Khajuraho is connected with the cities like New Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bhopal etc.
Roadways: Regular buses available for the nearby cities like Chhatarpur, Panna, Jhansi, Gwalior etc.
Where to Stay: All categories of Hotels and Resorts are available in Khajuraho. M.P Tourism also has their properties in the town.
Day 1: Bhopal– Bhimbetka rock shelters- Bhojpur- Bhopal.
Day 2: Bhopal- Van Vihar National Park – Sanchi.
Day 3: Sanchi- Khajuraho
Day 4: Khajuraho Group of temples.
Keep Exploring and Share your experiences…Happy Travelling