Madhya Pradesh, in its present form, cameinto existence on November 1,2000 following its bifurcation to create a new state of Chhattisgarh.The undivided Madhya Pradesh was founded on November 1, 1956.Madhya Pradesh, because of its central location in India, has remained a crucible of historical currents from North, South, East and West. Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Iron Age Cultures have flourished in the state along Narmada Valley and other river valleys. Rich archaeological wealth has been unearthed in various parts of the state throwing light on its history. Khajuraho in Chhatarpur district is renowned the world over for its unique temples. Built by Chandela rulers from 950-1050 A.D., in a truly inspired burst of creativity these temples are a unique gift to the world. Orchha in Tikamgarh district is a medieval legacy in stone built by Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries. This land is hallowed by the memories of the great warrior Chhatrasal who illumined the pages of history by his heroic deeds.Madhya Pradesh has a number of important pilgrimage centres. While Ujjain and Omkareshwar have special significance due to Shrines having two of the twelve jyotirlingas, Maheshwar, Mandleshwar, Amarkantak, Hoshangabad are also important in their own rights.
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 has a subtropical climate. Like most of north India, it has a hot dry summer(April–June) followed by monsoon rains (July–September) and a cool and relatively dry winter. The average rainfall is about 1,370 mm (53.9 in). It decreases from east to west. The south-eastern districts have the heaviest rainfall, some places receiving as much as 2,150 mm (84.6 in), while the western and north-western districts receive 1,000 mm (39.4 in) or less.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the State’s economy and 74.73 per cent of the people are rural. As much as 49 per cent of the land area is cultivable.
Flora and fauna
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 (118,975 sq mi) which constitutes 9.38% of the land area of the country. The forest area of the state is 95,221 km2 (36,765 sq mi) constituting 31% of the geographical area of the state and 12.44% of the forest area of the country.
Central, eastern and southern parts of the state are rich, whereas northern and western parts are deficient in forest. Variability in climatic and edaphic conditions brings about significant difference in the forest types of the state. There are four important forest types viz. Tropical Moist, Tropical Dry, Tropical Thorn , Subtropical broadleaved Hill forests. The forest area can also be classified based on the composition of forest and terrain of the area. Based on composition, there are three important forest formations namely teak, sal and miscellaneous forests.
Madhya Pradesh is home to 9 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, Balaghat, Bori Natural Reserve, Ken Gharial, Ghatigaon, Kuno Palpur, Narwar, Chambal, Kukdeshwar, Narsinghgarh, Nora Dehi, Pachmarhi, Panpatha, Shikarganj, Patalkot and Tamia.