The majority of the inhabitants are Hindi-speaking Hindus, but Urdu and other languages are also spoken. A large aboriginal population (c.5 million), principally Gonds, inhabits the forested regions. There are four major universities and numerous colleges in the state. Madhya Pradesh is governed by a chief minister and cabinet responsible to a bicameral legislature with one elected house and by a governor appointed by the president of India.
Nominally within the Mughal empire, the area was ruled during the 16th and 17th cent. by the Gonds and in the 18th cent. by the Marathas. The British occupied it in 1820. Berar, originally belonging to the domain of the Nizam of Hyderabad, was incorporated in 1903; from then until 1950 the state was called Central Provinces and Berar. In 1956 it greatly increased its area with the addition of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, and Bhopal. That area was decreased significantly in 2000 when Madhya Pradesh's southeastern portion, the subject of separatist movements since the 1920s, became the new state of Chhattisgarh.
Madhya Pradesh (abbreviated as MP) (Hindī: मध्य प्रदेश, IPA , translation: Middle Province), often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh was originally the largest state in India until November 1, 2000 when the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out. It borders the states Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. An area of 119,016 sq mi (308,252 km²).
Legend has it that Lord Rama bequeathed the fort to his brother Laxmana, hence the name Bandhavgarh (Bandhavgarh National Park ) which means brother's fort.The city of Ujjain (also known as Avanti) arose as a major center in the second wave of Indian urbanization in the sixth century BC, and served as the chief city of the kingdom of Malwa or Avanti. Further east, the kingdom of Chedi lie in Bundelkhand. Chandragupta Maurya united northern India c. 320 BCE, establishing the Maurya empire (321 to 185 BCE), which included all of modern-day Madhya Pradesh. King Ashoka's wife was said to come from Vidisha- a town north of today's Bhopal. The Maurya empire went into decline after the death of Asoka, and Central India was contested among the Sakas, Kushanas, and local dynasties during the 3rd to 1st centuries BCE. Ujjain emerged as the predominant commercial center of western India from the first century BCE, located on the trade routes between the Ganges plain and India's Arabian Sea ports. It was also an important Hindu and Buddhist center. The Satavahana dynasty of the northern Deccan and the Saka dynasty of the Western Satraps fought for the control of Madhya Pradesh during the 1st to 3rd centuries CE.
Northern India was conquered by the Gupta empire in the 4th and 5th centuries, which became known as India's "classical age". The Vakataka dynasty were the southern neighbors of the Guptas, ruling the northern Deccan plateau from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. These empires collapsed towards the end of the 5th century.
The British were expanding their Indian dominions from bases in Bengal, Bombay, and Madras, and the three Anglo-Maratha Wars were fought between 1775 and 1818. The Third Anglo-Maratha War left the British supreme in India. Most of Madhya Pradesh, including the large states of Indore, Bhopal, Nagpur, Rewa, and dozens of smaller states, became princely states of British India, and the Mahakoshal region became a British province, the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories. In 1853 the British annexed the state of Nagpur, which included southeastern Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra and most of Chhattisgarh, which were combined with the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories to form the Central Provinces in 1861. The princely states of northern Madhya Pradesh were governed by the Central India Agency.
After the recent discovery in July 2007, of ruby ore in the region it has been overwhelmed by mining companies and individuals seeking work. This has led to a massive surge in population that has subsequently caused a reported 283% increase in crime as well as a massive outbreak of dysentery in several areas of Madhya Pradesh. A recent government report has declared parts of the region as "Overwhelmed by disease... in need of a greater military presence" The government has now taken measures to bring the area under greater control and is "currently enacting proper regulations."
Madhya Pradesh in Hindi can be translated to Central Province, and it is located in the geographic heart of India. The state straddles the Narmada River, which runs east and west between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges; these ranges and the Narmada are the traditional boundary between the north and south of India. The state is bordered on the west by Gujarat, on the northwest by Rajasthan, on the northeast by Uttar Pradesh, on the east by Chhattisgarh, and on the south by Maharashtra.
Madhya Pradesh comprises several linguistically and culturally distinct regions, including:
Madhya Pradesh represents great river basins and the watershed of a number of rivers. Catchments of many rivers of India lie in Madhya Pradesh. The Narmada (originating from Amarkantak) and Tapti (originating from Multai of Betul District) rivers and their basins divide the state in two, with the northern part draining largely into the Ganga basin and the southern part into the Godavari and Mahanadi systems. The Vindhyas form the southern boundary of the Ganga basin, with the western part of the Ganga basin draining into the Yamuna and the eastern part directly into the Ganga itself. All the rivers, which drain into the Ganga, flow from south to north, with the Chambal, Sipra, Kali Sind, Parbati, Kuno, Sind, Betwa, Dhasan and Ken rivers being the main tributaries of the Yamuna. The land drained by these rivers is agriculturally rich, with the natural vegetation largely consisting of grass and dry deciduous forest types, largely thorny. The eastern part of the Ganga basin consists of the Son, the Tons and the Rihand Rivers, with the Son being the major tributary. This is also the junction point of the Satpura and the Vindhya ranges, with the Maikal and Kaimur Hills being the fulcrum. The forests here are much richer than the thorn forests of the northwestern part of Madhya Pradesh. The Son is of great significance in that it is the largest tributary going into the Ganga on the south bank and arising out of the hills of Madhya Pradesh rather than from the Himalayas. This river and its tributaries contribute the bulk of the monsoon flow into Ganga, because the north bank tributaries are all snow fed.
The major tributary of the Ganga, the Son, arises in one of the most important watersheds in India, the Maikal hills around Amarkantak. Three of the great rivers of India, Narmada, Mahanadi and Son, are given birth to by these hills. This is also one of the few ranges in the State having a north south configuration. The Mahanadi itself, together with its tributaries such as Hasdeo, Mand and Kharun flows southeast into Orissa and converts that State into a green rice bowl. The upper Mahanadi catchment contains some of the finest forests in the State, ranging from mixed deciduous to teak, bamboo and Sal. Just as the Mahanadi flows east from the Maikal hills and the Son flows north, the mighty Narmada charts a westerly course from these very hills. The Narmada flows through a rift valley, with the Vindhyas marching along its northern bank and the Satpuras along the southern. Its tributaries include the Banjar, the Tawa, the Machna, the Denwa and the Sonbhardra rivers. Taken in combination with its parallel sister river, the Tapti, which also flows through a rift valley, the Narmada - Tapti systems carry and enormous volume of water and provide drainage for almost a quarter of the land area of Madhya Pradesh.
The Satpuras, in the Gawilgarh and Mahadeo Hills, also contain a watershed, which is south facing. The Indrawati, the Wainganga, the Wardha, the Pench, the Kanhan and Penganga rivers, discharge an enormous volume of water into the Godavari system. The Godavari is the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh, but the water which feeds it is a gift of the Central India watershed. Some of the finest sub-tropical, semi moist forests in India are to be found in the Godavari basin, mainly in the valley of the Indrawati. There are very few virgin forests left in the country, but very fine examples of these are to be found in Bastar area along the Indrawati and in the Kanger valley in Chhattisgarh.
The importance of Central India watershed was first noted by Captain Forsyth and remarked upon in his book, "The Highlands of Central India", first published in 1889. This is what he has to state in the introductory chapter to his book, "Yet in the very center of India there exists a considerable region to which the term highlands — is strictly applicable; and in which are enormous peaks and ranges, for which the term mountain would, in any other country, be used. Several of the great rivers of India have their first source in this elevated region. And pour their water into the sea on either side of the peninsula – to the north the Son commingling with the Ganges, to the east the Mahanadi, flowing independently to the Bay of Bengal, to the south some of the principal feeders of the Godavari, and to the west the Narmada and the Tapti taking parallel courses to the Arabian Sea.
There are many important multi-state irrigation projects in development, including Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects.
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Madhya Pradesh's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $32 billion in current prices. After partition, the new Madhya Pradesh state produces about 70% of the output of the old Madhya Pradesh state - the rest is produced by Chattisgarh.
The dominant political parties in the state are the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Indian National Congress. Unlike many of its neighbours, Madhya Pradesh has largely a two-party system with small or regional parties not having had much success in recent elections.
In the November 2003 state elections, the BJP won an absolute majority of 173 seats, defeating the governing Congress who won just 38 seats. Other parties in the state legislature include the Samajwadi Party with 7 seats.
In the 2004 Indian General Election the BJP swept the state by winning 25 of the 29 seats, while the Congress won the remaining four.
For a historical list of previous chief ministers see List of Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh
Districts: Anuppur, Alirajpur, Ashoknagar, Balaghat, Barwani, Betul, Bhind, Bhopal, Burhanpur, Chhatarpur, Chhindwara, Damoh, Datia, Dewas, Dhar, Dindori, Guna, Gwalior, Harda, Hoshangabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jhabua, Katni, Khandwa, Khargone, Mandla, Mandsaur, Morena, Narsinghpur, Neemuch, Panna, Raisen, Rajgarh, Ratlam, Rewa, Sagar, Satna, Sehore, Seoni, Shahdol, Shajapur, Sheopur, Shivpuri, Sidhi, Singrauli, Tikamgarh, Ujjain, Umaria, Vidisha.
Madhya Pradesh, being surrounded by land, has both Land and Air transport facilities. Buses and trains cover most of Madhya Pradesh. Recently State Government has withdrawn the State Road Transport called Rajya Parivahan Nigam.Air Transport is at Indore , Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Khajuraoo .
In addition to standard Hindi, several regional variants are spoken, which are considered by some to be dialects of Hindi, and by others to be distinct but related languages. Among these languages are Malvi in Malwa, Nimadi in Nimar, Bundeli in Bundelkhand, and Bagheli and Avadhi in Bagelkhand and the southeast. Each of these languages or dialects has dialects of its own. Other languages include Bhilodi (Bhili), Gondi, Korku, and Kalto (Nahali), all spoken by tribal groups. Due to rule of Marathas, Marathi is spoken by a substantial number of people.
Madhya Pradesh is endowed with rich and diverse forest resources. Lying between lat. 21°04'N and long. 74°02' and 82°49' E, it is a reservoir of biodiversity. The geographical area of the state is 308,144 km² which constitutes 9.38% of the land area of the country. The forest area of the state is 95,221 km² constituting 31% of the geographical area of the state and 12.44% of the forest area of the country. Legally this area has been classified into "Reserved Forest, Protected Forest and Unclassified Forest", which constitute 61.7%, 37.4% and 0.9% of the forest area respectively. Per capita forest area is 2,400 m² as against the national average of 700 m²
Madhya Pradesh is home to several National Parks, including Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park, Satpura National Park, Sanjay National Park, Madhav National Park, Van Vihar National Park, Mandla Plant Fossils National Park, Panna National Park, and Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh.
There are also a number of natural preserves, including Amarkantak, Bagh Caves, Bhedaghat, Bori Natural Reserve, Ken Gharial, Ghatigaon, Kuno Palpur, Narwar, Chambal, Kukdeshwar, Narsinghgarh, Nora Dehi, Pachmarhi, Panpatha, Shikarganj, Patalkot and Tamia.
The population of Tribals in Madhya Pradesh is 122.33 lakh constituting 20.27% of the total population of Madhya Pradesh (603.85 Lakh), according to the 2001 census. There were 46 recognized Scheduled Tribes and three of them have been identified as "Special Primitive Tribal Groups" in the State.
The main tribal groups in Madhya Pradesh are Gond, Bhil, Baiga, Korku, Bhariya, Halba, Kaul, Mariya, and Sahariya. Dhar, Jhabua and Mandla districts have more than 50 percent tribal population. In Khargone,Chhindwara, Seoni, Sidhi and Shahdol districts 30 to 50 percent population is of tribes. Maximum population is that of Gond tribes.
various local news paper are published from various cities.
In English, Hindustan Times Bhopal edition leads all other papers. Central Chronicle, Pioneer and Free Press have editions from Bhopal. Bhopal is a centre of Urdu journalism also and Nadeem, the oldest newspaper of the state, is published from here. Urdu Action and Haq-o-Insaf are also published. Farz, a Sindhi daily is published from Bhopal is the only Sindhi newspaper in State.
Cosco Cricket is one of the famous sport in Madhya Pradesh (most famous in sagar Division/District).
Apart from Cosco Cricket, People in Madhya Pradesh also like Football, Basket-Ball, Volley-Ball, Cycling, Swimming, Tracking, Badminton, Table-Tennis.
Below is the list of some traditional games:
1. Gulli Danda. 2. Pittu. 3. Gadha Paddh. Various awards in M.P are 1.Vikram Award 2.Vishwamitra Award 3.Eklavya Award