7 Reasons Why Madhya Pradesh Should Be On An Architect's Wishlist


"Hindustan Ka Dil Dekho" - This iconic song and campaign was one of the most memorable ones for me. I have always associated Madhya Pradesh with this song, but somehow, while planning my trips, I have never dived into research for the state.

But recently, a friend of mine started posting photographs from his visit to Madhya Pradesh and it hit me that this state has so much to offer - even beyond the Dhuandhar waterfall in Jabalpur, which I thought would be the only thing MP could offer a traveler like me.

But I was wrong. I am no architect but my love for old buildings is no secret. So here I am, collating a list of 7 spots that I feel should be on every architect and design lover's wishlist for MP.

1. Chaturbhuj Temple (Orchha)

Orchha itself has a lot to offer when it comes to heritage and design. But what stood out to me from my 'desktop' research. A Vishnu mandir but what appealed to me is just how the temple towers over an old city. What it must look like once upon a time without the chaos and the streets and the tin roofs on shops.

2. Gwalior Fort

Man Mandir Palace inside Gwalior Fort Photo Credit: Prateek Parekh

Photo of Gwalior Fort, Gwalior by Yashodhara Roy

Can you really talk architecture without talking about the most iconic forts of India. In Madhya Pradesh, arguably the most recognised one is Gwalior Fort. Sculptures, palaces within the fort, temples that make your head turn and so much more. This is a list within a list moment for those of you making notes.

3. Orchha Cenotaphs

Photo Credit: Anders B

Photo of CENOTAPHS ORCHHA, Orchha by Yashodhara Roy

I first read about these cenotaphs in another travel blog and since my trip to Rajasthan, I just have a new love for cenotaphs. Tombstones have so much meaning in general and I remember spending hours at Part St Cemetery in Kolkata just reading inscriptions, I am sure a visit to the cenotaphs even at Orchha would be as interesting. Having seen pictures I can already notice the difference in these and the royal cenotaphs spread across Rajasthan. If I can find these nuances interesting, the architect or designer must be loving it.

5. Sanchi Stupa

Photo of Sanchi Stupa, Sanchi by Yashodhara Roy

Sanchi would be like ticking off a must-see. All of us would have read and studied this Stupa and it's history in school. After all, the great Stupa has more than historic significance, Ashoka's own history is tied to this. Need I say more?

6. Pachmarhi Church

Photo Credit: Outlook India

Photo of Church Pachmarhi, Pachmarhi by Yashodhara Roy

Pachmarhi, is a hill station in Madhya Pradesh. Can you believe it? I would have never associated hill stations to MP but it's there. And in this hill station is the same old British town influence that is there in Himachal and Uttarakhand and more. I love churches personally, and I was glad to discover this in my research. I might plan a visit to Pachmarhi only for this picturesque church, with a classic mix of colonial and gothic look. But the pictures have me even more interested in the look thanks to that red sandstone that adds a whole new element to it.

7. The Temples of Khajuraho

Photo of Khajuraho, Chhatarpur by Yashodhara Roy

I don't have any qualifications to really talk about the history of this place, but every article or blog that I read somehow inspires me as a storyteller to get myself here. This might be a destination not just for those who are architects, but for those who are artists and writers. It's the kind of place that somehow hints at a new story in every corner.

This Nat Geo article is the perfect deep dive for those who want to read the full background.

How many of these destinations have you been to? Leave suggestions for me in the comment below!

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