16 Best Heritage Sites in Madhya Pradesh


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 121 km from Agra, 174 km from Mathura, 268 km from Kanpur, 330 km from New Delhi, 334 km from Lucknow, 346 km from Jaipur, 448 km from Bhopal and 459 km from Allahabad, Gwalior is a historical city situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the important tourist places near Agra and also one of the top tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh.

One of the most beautiful cities of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior is very famous for its glorious history and rich cultural heritage. After being founded by Maharaja Suraj Sen in 8th century AD, Gwalior Fort was described as the pearl amongst fortresses in India. The city and its fortress have been ruled by several historic northern Indian kingdoms. From the Tomars in the 13th century, it was passed on to the Mughal Empire, then to the Maratha in 1754, followed by the Scindias in 18th century AD.

Well-known for its ancient temples, marvelous palaces and alluring monuments, Gwalior is the tourist capital of Madhya Pradesh. Gwalior is best known for being the birthplace of the great musician, Tansen. And apart from all this, Gwalior was also one among the five princely states that got the honor of 21 gun salute during the British rule. Gwalior Fort, Jai Vilas Mahal, Teli ka Mandir, Sun Temple, Gujari Mahal, Sas Bahu Temple, Man Mandir Palace are some of the popular places to visit in Gwalior. Gwalior ...


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 47 km from Chhatarpur, 118 km from Satna, 179 km from Jhansi, 223 km from Kanpur, 265 km from Jabalpur, 283 km from Gwalior, 283 km from Allahabad, 388 km from Bhopal and 624 km from Delhi, Khajuraho is a historical town located in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Khajuraho is one of the top places to visit in Madhya Pradesh and among the must include places in your Madhya Pradesh tour packages.

Earlier, Khajuraho was the cultural capital of Chandela Rajputs who ruled this part of India during 10th to 12th centuries AD. Khajuraho Temples were built by the Chandela monarchs over a span of 200 years, from 950 to 1150 AD. After the fall of Chandela rulers, these temples were abandoned and long-forgotten until rediscovered by British Captain T.S. Burt, in 1838 AD. Known around the world for its stunning temples adorned by erotic carvings, the Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the seven wonders of India.

The marvelous architecture and erotic carvings are the best and most notable aspects of Khajuraho temples. There were originally over 80 Hindu temples, of which only 25 now stand in a reasonable state of preservation, scattered over an area of about 8 square miles. The temples also have numerous other sculptures depicting the life of a common man in that era. Khajuraho ...


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 16 km from Jhansi, 123 km from Gwalior, 174 km from Khajuraho, 237 km from Kanpur, 253 km from Agra, 326 km from Lucknow, 352 km from Bhopal, 467 km from Jaipur and 456 km from New Delhi, Orchha or Urchha is a small ancient town in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is one of the popular tourist places in Madhya Pradesh.

Orchha, means a 'hidden place', is situated on the banks of Betwa River and is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. Orchha was established in 1501 AD by Bundela king Rudra Pratap Singh, who became the first emperor of Orchha, (1501-1531) and also built the Orchha Fort. Since then the town has witnessed many battles and conflicts. Raja Jujhar Singh was a monarch of Orchha who fought against the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. After this defeat, the Bundela rulers moved their capital from Orchha to Tikamgarh in 1783 AD. Finally after independence, Orchha became a part of the State of Madhya Pradesh from the year 1956.

The main attraction of Orchha is the Orchha fort complex, located on an island of River Betwa. The fort complex includes Jahangir Mahal, Raj Mahal & Rai Parveen Mahal. Besides Orchha Fort, Chaturbhuj Temple, Chhatris, Lakshmi Narayan Temple and Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary are some of the famous places to visit in Orchha. Rafting and Boating in Betwa River is one of the most popular things to do in Orchha besides sightseeing. There are ...


Historical & Heritage

Famous worldwide for its Buddhist monuments, Sanchi is one of the popular places of heritage in India, and among the must include places in Madhya Pradesh Tour Packages. It is located about 21 km from Raisen, and 46 km from Bhopal.

The town of Sanchi is the center of a region with innumerable age-old stupas, monasteries, temples, monolithic pillars, and other remnants of the rich Buddhist culture. The monuments of Sanchi are probably the best-preserved group of Buddhist monuments in India.

A renowned UNESCO World Heritage site, the Great Stupa is one of the oldest stone structures in India and was installed by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty in the 3rd century BC. This Greco-Buddhist-style monument is believed to hold the bones and beads of some of the closest disciples of Buddha. Besides, there is also Ashoka Pillar, the Great Bowl, Sanchi Museum, Gupta Temple, and Udayagiri Caves that are worth a visit.


Historical & Heritage

The archaeological site of Bhimbetka is one of the popular places of heritage in India, and among the must include places in Madhya Pradesh Tour Packages. About 45 km from Bhopal, it is situated inside the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, embedded in sandstone rocks, in the foothills of the Vindhya Range.

The site consists of around 750 rock shelters distributed over 10 km (6.2 mi). The Bhimbetka group contains 243 of these, while the Lakha Juar group nearby has 178 shelters. The Bhimbetka site has the oldest-known rock art in India. Among all other caves, Auditorium Cave is one of the significant features of the site.

Out of the 750 rock shelters, 500 are adorned with interesting paintings and the earliest are about 30,000 years old. However, only 15 caves are opened for visitors. The paintings in the caves are completely diverse in nature as the caves have been around for millennia, and are executed with themes taken from the everyday events of the people who lived in the caves.


Historical & Heritage | City

Bhopal is the capital city of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Bhopal district. About 193 km from Indore, it is the 16th largest city in India, and among the must include places in Madhya Pradesh Tour Packages.

The city of Bhopal is often called the 'City of Lakes' as it features a pair of artificial lakes - Upper Lake and Lower Lake, that split the city. Bhopal is a true paradise for history buffs as it boasts numerous historical monuments, religious places, and several museums. Moti Masjid, Upper Lake, Birla Mandir, Shaukat Mahal, Van Vihar National Park are the top and major places to visit in Bhopal as part of Bhopal Tour Packages.

The city is also famous for its Nawabi food that is an absolute delight for foodies. Tragically, Bhopal is also a reminiscence of the world's worst industrial disaster in the chemical plant of Union Carbide that was responsible for at least 8000 deaths from the explosion alone.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 24 km from Sanchi, and 44 km from Bhopal Junction, Raisen Fort is a historical edifice located in the town of Raisen, Madhya Pradesh. Situated atop a hill, it is one of the ancient forts in Madhya Pradesh, and among the must include places in Bhopal Tour.

Built-in 11th Century AD, Raisen Fort was an important center of administration from the period of its foundation from Hindu times. In the 15th century CE, this fort was ruled by the Sultans of Mandu, from whom it passed to the Rajputs. In 1543, Shershah Suri captured th fort from Puranmal. In Akbar's time, Raisen was the headquarter of a Sarkar in the Subah of Ujjain in Malwa. Fiaz Mohammad Khan, the third Nawab of Bhopal State occupied the fort in about 1760, later got himself recognized as Faujdar of Raisen by Emperor Alamgir II. Now, this fort is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The Raisen Fort is spread over ten sq. km on a hill of more than 1500 high. The fort has a massive stone wall pierced with nine gateways. Adorned with a large courtyard and a beautiful pool in the middle, the Raisen Fort has four palaces namely Badal Mahal, Rohini Mahal, Itradaan Mahal & Hawa Mahal within its boundaries. The ancient fort also houses a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and a shrine dedicated to Muslim saint Hazrat Peer Fatehullah Shah Baba. The doors of the temple open every year on the occasion of Shivratri. The fort also had well-maintained water management and conservation system with ...


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 35 km from Gwalior Junction and 28 km from Morena, Bateshwar Temples are a group of historical temples situated in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh. Bateshwar is one of best heritage place in Madhya Pradesh and also one of the prominent places to visit in Gwalior. It is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India.

Bateshwar complex is home to about 200 sandstone temples. Spread over an area of 25 acres in the ravines of Chambal, Bateshwar Temples were constructed during 8th to 11th century CE by the Kings of Gurjara - Pratihara dynasty. Most temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva while some are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple complex was ruined due to the earthquake in the area.

The Archaeological Survey has begun the restoration work in 2005. More than 100 temples have been restored till now. Bateshwar Temple Complex is wonderful with its stone architectures, intricate sculptures and overall design shows their passion towards art. It is more amazing to see so many temples spread in one place.

Padhavali temple is another historical temple situated about 2 km from famous Bateshwar temple complex. Located inside an old fort, this magnificent temple is known purely for its classic architecture and exquisite stonework. The temple, particularly its roof, depicts ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Ram Leela, Krishna Leela, marriage of Lord Shiva, samudra manthan ...


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 33 km from Panna and 65 km from Khajuraho, Ajaygarh Fort is an ancient fort situated at Ajaygarh in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh. Ajaygarh Fort is listed among the top attractions of the region.

Built at a height of 688 meters, Ajaigarh or Ajaygarh Fort stands on a flat-topped projection of Vindhya ranges. It was the capital of the Chandelas in their declining years. The fort is bordered by beautiful Vindhya Hills and provides absolutely stunning views of the Ken River. This grand fort is noted for its rich historical past and architectural beauty, which speaks volumes about the Chandela dynasty.

There is plenty to explore in the fort, which makes it a treat for history lovers. Ajaigarh Fort originally had five gates, but now only two gates are survived. There are two temples and two rock-cut tanks present inside the fort. These tanks have been named as Ganga and Yamuna. Close to it is a ruined Chandela temple, dedicated to Raja Parmardi deva. Three ruined Jain temples built in Khajuraho style have been traced here. The fort walls have been constructed with large, dressed, stones and no visible mortar.

One has to climb 500 steep steps to reach the fort entrance. There are no signboards, maps, info sources, human habitation at the top. It is not a well-developed place so one needs to carry water and food.

Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 58 km from Panna and 104 km from Khajuraho, Kalinjar Fort is a historical fort situated at Kalinjar in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the ancient forts in Madhya Pradesh and also one of the popular attraction not to miss in a Khajuraho tour Packages.

Kalinjar Fort is located on an isolated flat-topped hill in the Vindhya Range, with a height of 244 m above the plains. It is one of the eight famous forts built by Chandela kings. It served many ruling dynasties in the region, from Guptas to Solankis to the Chandela dynasty. Although many rulers fought fierce battles to win this fort, the Chandelas managed to control it for a long time. Mughal invader Babur was the only commander in history to have captured the fort in 1526 CE. It was also the place where Sher Shah Suri met his death in 1545 CE. Kalinjar played a prominent part in history down to the time of the Revolt of 1857, when it was held by a small British garrison.

Kalinjar Fort is a treasure trove for history lovers with its rich collection of monuments, temples and artefacts. The main body of the fort lies from east to west, oblong in form, being nearly a mile in length by half a mile in breadth. The fort has a height of 30-35 meter and 8 meter wide. Big sand stone and granite pieces are used to build the fort. The name of the fort was coined by using Kalinjar, which is related to the incident of Lord Shiva consuming the ...


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 30 km from Bhopal Junction, and 34 km from Bhimbetka, Bhojpur Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located at Bhojpur in Madhya Pradesh. Also known as Bhojeshwar Temple, it is one of the beautiful shrines located near Bhimbetka and among the popular places to visit as part of Bhopal Tour Packages.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Bhojeshwar Temple is an incomplete Hindu temple believed to have started in the 11th century CE, during the reign of the Paramara king Bhoja. The Jain writer Merutunga, in his Prabandha-Chintamani, states that Bhoja constructed 104 temples in his capital city of Dhara alone. However, the Bhojpur temple is the only surviving shrine that can be attributed to Bhoja with some certainty. The construction was abandoned for unknown reasons, with the architectural plans engraved on the surrounding rocks. The temple has been protected and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Bhojpur Mandir is a simple square with an outside portion of 66 feet. Although the temple is incomplete, it has a magnificent soaring strength of line and is supported by four pillars. The doorway is richly carved and, has two exquisitely sculpted figures on either side. The other three sides are balconies each supported by massive brackets and four intricately carved pillars.

Also known as the 'Somnath of North India', the Bhojpur Temple houses a 7.5 feet (2.3 m) high Shivalingam, carved out of a single rock. Set upon a massive platform of ...


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 7 km from Vidisha, and 10 km from Sanchi Railway Station, Udayagiri Caves or Udaigiri Caves are a group of rock-cut caves located at Udaigiri village in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in India, and among the must include places in Sanchi Tour Packages.

Udayagiri, literally means the 'sunrise mountain', was a Buddhist and Hindu site by the 2nd century BCE. The place is also referred to as Visnupadagiri which means the hill at 'the feet of Vishnu'. The Udayagiri Caves are a group of 20 rock-cut caves near Vidisha from the early years of the 5th century CE. They contain some of the oldest surviving Hindu temples and iconography in India. Besides, these caves have rock-cut water tanks, and some have shrines and monuments on top.

Out of 20 caves, one is dedicated to Jainism, while others to Hinduism including Vaishnavism, Shaktism, and Shaivism. The Jain Cave is notable for one of the oldest known Jaina inscriptions from 425 CE, while the Hindu caves feature inscriptions from 401 CE. Cave 1 is the southernmost cave which is also considered to be a false cave since the side and the front were added later on. There are four pillars and the back wall has a deity carved onto it. Cave 2 is located north of Cave 1 but is still in the southern group and has traces of two pilasters. And there is also evidence of a structural mandapa underneath its roof.

Cave 3, also known as Skanda Temple, is the first one of the ...


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 11 km from Sanchi, Sonari is an archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex of Buddhist stupas in Madhya Pradesh. Positioned on a hill, it is one of the must include places in the Buddhist Circuit of Central India, and among the top places to visit near Sanchi.

Like Sanchi, Sonari is again a complex of Buddhist stupas comprising two large and five smaller stupas. The stupas were excavated around 1850 by Alexander Cunningham, who discovered two boxes containing relics. One of the reliquaries, which is very ornate, is visible nowadays at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The date of construction of Stupa 1 and Stupa 2 must therefore be equivalent to those of Sanchi Stupa No.2, i.e. 125-100 BCE. About 15 meters in diameter, Stupa No.1 is a solid hemisphere of dry masonry and is the largest stupa in the complex. It is made over a cylindrical plinth of about four feet high with fragments indicating traces of railings. The stupa contained a miniature soapstone reliquary.

Alexander Cunningham and FC Maisey searched Stupa No.2 in 1851. The stupa contained three miniature reliquaries, two in soapstone and one in rock crystal, as well as a certain amount of bone ash and a piece of wood. The main reliquary is shaped to resemble a lotus bud, with incised petals decorating the lower half of the reliquary. It was turned on a lathe and then carved in bas-relief. The reliquary of Stupa No.2 presents has inscriptions in Brahmi mentioning the ...


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 14 km from Sanchi, Satdahara is an archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex of Buddhist stupas in Madhya Pradesh. Overlooking Halali River, it is one of the must include places in the Buddhist Circuit of Central India, and among the top places to visit near Sanchi.

As the Buddhist community flourished around Sanchi, new settlements of worshippers appeared in the region. Although these settlements had a physical and spiritual link to Sanchi, they also built their stupas and monasteries. There are four groups of stupas surrounding Sanchi within a radius of 20 km - Bhojpur and Andher to the southeast, Sonari to the southwest, and Satdhara in the west. Further south, about 100 km away, is Saru Maru.

There are 8 stupas spread across 28 acres of land on the banks of Halali River. The main stupa is almost as large as the Great Stupa of Sanchi and would have also been built during Emperor Ashoka's reign. The main Stupa of the site is similar to that of Sanchi having remains of railings. It is 13.65 m high excluding the platform with a diameter of 32.80 m. Recent excavations have revealed brick pradakshinapatha & staircase of the Stupa.

There are some ruins near the stupa comprising a monastery and temple remains which are collectively called siddh ka makaan which is indicative of Satdhara's most enlightened monks once having lived there.

Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM

Entry: Free


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 19 km from Sanchi, Murel Khurd is an archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex of Buddhist stupas in Madhya Pradesh. Also known as Bhojpur Stupas, it is one of the must include places in Buddhist Circuit in Madhya Pradesh, and among the top places to visit near Sanchi.

As the Buddhist community flourished around Sanchi, new settlements of worshippers appeared in the region. Although these settlements had a physical and spiritual link to Sanchi, they also built their own stupas and monasteries. There are four groups of stupas surrounding Sanchi within a radius of 20 km - Bhojpur / Murel Khurd and Andher to the southeast, Sonari to the southwest, and Satdhara in the west. Further south, about 100 km away, is Saru Maru.

The Bhojpur Stupas, also called Murelkhurd Stupas are a group of about 37 stupas located at Bhojpur (Pipalia) near Murelkhurd on the top of a hill. All these stupas were discovered in the 19th century by Major Cunningham. The biggest stupa at the site has a 2.3 m hemisphere. The center of the stupas was hollow to accommodate small relics, and the stupa would have been wearing an umbrella. These stupas probably date from the 1st century BCE.

The stupas have had adorned relic caskets with relics of Buddhist educators and senior disciples. One of the reliquaries is made of rock crystal and comes in the form of a Buddhist stupa. Rock crystal, a material of extreme purity, was often used to make containers for sacred relics. ...


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 13 km from Murel Khurd, and 30 km from Sanchi, Andher is an archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex of Buddhist stupas in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the must include places in Buddhist Circuit in Madhya Pradesh, and among the top places to visit near Sanchi.

As the Buddhist community flourished around Sanchi, new settlements of worshippers appeared in the region. Although these settlements had a physical and spiritual link to Sanchi, they also built their own stupas and monasteries. There are four groups of stupas surrounding Sanchi within a radius of 20 km - Bhojpur / Murel Khurd and Andher to the southeast, Sonari to the southwest, and Satdhara in the west. Further south, about 100 km away, is Saru Maru.

The Andher Stupas are a group of three stupas perched atop a hill near Karhod village in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, India. The site overlooks the magnificent Murel Khurd Stupas or Bhojpur Stupas. The Stupa No. 1 is dated to about 150 BCE and is the largest of the 3 stupas. This stupa has a railing that now has the remains of a barrier of stone surrounding it. Stupas No. 2 and No. 3 have inscriptions in the Brahmi script with the names of the same monks whose relics were found in Sanchi Stupa No. 2 and Sonari. Just like other Buddhist sites, stupas here also revealed the inscribed relic caskets but surprisingly all were empty.

Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM

Entry: Free

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