When in the state of Madhya Pradesh, one should not miss the famous Pandav Caves that are located atop a small hill. Legend has it that the Pandavas from the Mahabharata lived in these caves when they were exiled from Indraprastha. There are 6 caves in total, five named after the Pandava brothers Nakul, Sahdev, Bheem, Arjun and Yudhisthir and the other is called Draupadi. These caves are over 1000 years old and are now protected by the government. The Draupadi cave is by far the cleanest and most airy while the one named after Bheem is the darkest. During the 1st century AD, Buddhist Monks sought shelter here as well.
Though it's a small city making its way towards commercialisation, Nagpur is a delight to discover. It also offers all its visitors a delicious variety of oranges. More importantly, Nagpur is the gateway to many national parks and reserves including Pench National Park and Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. Among places to see in Nagpur, Shree Ganesh Mandir Tekdi, Deeksha Bhoomi and Nagpur Ramtek temple are great options to include in your itinerary. The high quality mandarin oranges grown here are souvenirs to carry back home in case you are here for a day. Though, it's best not to expect too much from the city as a tourist since you might be disappointed.
Considered to be one of the greenest cities in the country, Bhopal, is a place that one cannot afford to leave off their tourist trail. Adorned by many natural and as well as manmade lakes and water bodies, Bhopal is often referred to as the City of Lakes. The city is home to a number institutions and places that are of great national importance. The city houses ISROs Master Control Facility and the famous National Institute of Technical Training and Research (NITTTR), AIIMS and BHEL. The city has a number of attractions that lure many a tourist to tread along its roads. If one does plan a visit to this city, do not forget to pay a visit to the Bhimbetka Rock Caves, the superb artificial Upper Lake, try out the food at the historic Lazeez Hakeem Restaurant and visit the many mosques here. An unfortunate incident in December 1984 propelled Bhopal into the international arena. The case of the Union Carbide India Limited, a plant that manufactured pesticide, saw the leakage of a poisonous mixture of gases, especially methyl isocyanate that lead to the great disaster. Nevertheless, the city is clean now and promises one a great visit.
A rapidly developing city in Madhya Pradesh, Indore is the perfect example of a small town packed with the right kind of holiday experiences. Especially if you are a foodie! The Sarafa Bazaar which is open till the wee hours of morning is a must visit and should not be missed! The market opens only around midnight and this is perhaps what makes it a little more special. The bazaar offers a plethora of street food and it's one of the best foodie experiences you can have in the country. Other than that, you can visit the beautiful Central Museum. The museum houses collections dating back to the pre-historic era and if art and history interest you, do head here. Indore is also at a prime location for tons of tourist spots including Shri Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Patalpani and Maheshwar. If you are in the mood for trekking, you can head to Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary for a bit of adventure. The summer months here are quite harsh, so it's best to go during winter. The people of Indore are warm, welcoming and quite adventurous so if you happen to know an Indori, you will have a chance to explore a different side of the city.
Located on the banks of the river Shipra, Ujjain is a city famous for its many temples and religious centres. The Ram Mandir Ghat of Ujjain is the site for the world renowned Kumbh Mela, which is one of the largest peace gatherings to take place in the country. The calm and cool waters of this ghat are believed to cleanse those who take a dip of their sins. The most famous temple is the Mahakaleshwar Temple, which is one of the 12 jyotirlingas of India. The intricate construction of the temple is an architectural marvel in itself. Considered to be the most important among the eight Bhairavas of Lord Shiva, the Kal Bhairav temple is also situated here. Perhaps the most important educational destination of ancient Ujjain would be the Ved Shala Observatory, where scholars and astronomers would convene and unravel the many mysteries of their disciplines. Relatively simple in architecture, this spot is a must visit. The cuisine is predominantly Indian with Punjabi cuisine and Rajasthani thalis being a favourite amongst a majority of tourists. Popular restaurants here are New Sudama, Shivam Restaurant and Aarti Restaurant. Hotels are very easily available here, and you can easily find one which suits your budget and taste. The aura of the city is sure to engulf you. Visit Ujjain to delve into and experience the sanctity of India.
If you like history, culture and nature, then you will love Jabalpur. Located in Madhya Pradesh, the city has a lot to offer travellers – from temples to forts and nature to wildlife. The most famous tourist spot is the Dhuandhar Falls in Bhedaghat that flows with immense power. The water makes its way through the well-known marble rocks that cast myriad-coloured shadows all across the landscape. For those interested in history, the Chauragarh Fort and Rani Durgavati Memorial and Museum make for an interesting tour. The Dumna Nature Reserve Park is a great place for birdwatching, though the only animals you'll find here are crocodiles. End your tour by offering prayers at the Hanumantal Bada Jain Mandir, which was constructed in the 17th century. Jabalpur has its own airport and frequent flights are available from all major cities of India. Jabalpur also has a railway station that lies on very prominent rail routes.
Home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh is located about 60 minutes from Indore. Visited by tourists from across the world, Omkareshwar is perhaps one of the most popular spots around Indore. The small town is home to two temples, Omkareshwar and Mamleshwar, located opposite each other. It is widely believed that Mamleshwar is actually where the Jyotirlinga is situated, though both temples are architecturally brilliant and have a wonderful energy. You can either take the connecting bridge to the temple from the mainland or enjoy a boat ride till the temple. The rates are nominal and the boat drivers serve as knowledgeable tour guides. Once at the temple, be a little careful. Not only is it very crowded but priests bombard you with requests of donating money to the temple. There is a small market adjacent to the market, though you won't find many things to take back home, there are a few souvenirs you can pick up. Avoid the summer months since it's unbearably hot in the region.