Despite occupying the centre of our country, Madhya Pradesh has never quite been at the centre of our attention. The snowy peaks of the north, the diversity of the south, the vast nothingness of the west and the virginity of the northeast all tempt us with their charms and we criminally ignore the natural, cultural and historical places in Madhya Pradesh. To those who want to venture into this beautiful state, I present the Golden Triangle of Madhya Pradesh. This triangle covers the whole spectrum – medieval ruins, impenetrable forts, tiger reserves, cultural gems, colourful canyons, tribal villages, roaring waterfalls and more.
Top three historical places in Madhya Pradesh
My friend said, “Khajuraho Group of Monuments should be one of the seven wonders of the world instead of Taj Mahal.” Need I say more? I will still try. Khajuraho is 5,000 years of Hindu mythology immortalized in stone. The walls and ceilings of the temples depict countless legends, myths and stories of Hinduism. Don’t make the mistake of visiting the Khajuraho Group of Monuments without a guide. You can get in touch with our guide Sachin (+91-9753954343) who did a splendid job explaining the minute details of different sculptures.
Places to visit near Khajuraho
Khajuraho is one of the ideal weekend¬†trips from Delhi and even elsewhere if you fly in the early morning. On the first day, you can cover the Khajuraho Group of Monuments and spend the second-day visiting spectacular places near Khajuraho. Go in search of the royal Bengal tiger in¬ Panna National Park; spot¬ gharials¬ (fish-eating crocodiles) in¬ Ken Gharial Sanctuary; be awed by the multicoloured canyons at¬ Raneh Falls¬†and click Insta-worthy photos of the¬ Pandav Falls.
Best time to visit Khajuraho
Best time to visit Khajuraho is after monsoon from September to March when the temperature ranges from 10 to 30 Celsius. However, if you want to avoid crowds, see some pristine greenery and don’t mind a fair drizzle then the monsoon months of July and August are also good.
How to reach Khajuraho
By air:¬†Khajuraho Airport is well-connected to major Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Allahabad and Bhopal.
By train:¬†There is one daily Delhi to Khajuraho train which leaves the Hazrat Nizamuddin Station at 20:10 and reaches Khajuraho Train Station at 06:35 next morning. Some of the other trains that stop at Khajuraho Train Station are Bundelkhand Express, Mahakaushal Express and Udaipur-Khajuraho Express. Khajuraho Train Station is about 3km from the city. You can call () for an autorickshaw pick-up.
By road:¬†There is one direct bus from Delhi to Khajuraho. For other major cities, you will first have to go to Jhansi.
Where to stay in Khajuraho
Karma Guest House¬†(‚āĻ500 double) is a family run homestay which is 10 minutes walk from Khajuraho Western Group of Temples. The host family is very friendly and generous. They will prepare you fresh homecooked food based on your choice. Ask them to prepare some wild green vegetable sabzis that are only found in this part of Madhya Pradesh.
Brightly painted houses, cobblestone streets, multistorey temples, an unconquered fortress and a tranquil river give Orchha a charm that is hard to escape. It is one of the underrated historical places in Madhya Pradesh. At the¬ Chaturbhuj Temple, hear the unbelievable story about how the Queen of Orchha brought Lord Ram to Orchha; walk through the architectural marvel that is the¬ Orchha Fort¬†which was never conquered despite repeated attempts by the Mughals; cross the bridge and admire the multistorey¬ Chhatris¬†on the banks of Betway and pay homage to Goddess Laxmi at the marvellously built¬ Laxminarayan Temple.
Best time to visit Orchha
Best time to visit Orchha is after monsoon from September to March when the temperature ranges from 10 to 30 Celsius. However, if you want to see some pristine greenery then you can visit Orchha in the monsoon months of July and August as well.
How to reach Orchha
By air:¬†Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia Air Terminal in Gwalior, 108km away is the nearest airport. From there, you can hire a private taxi to reach Orchha.
By train:¬†Jhansi Junction, 14km away, is the nearest train station with regular connections to major Indian cities.
By road:¬†Jhansi, 14km away is the nearest bus depot with regular buses to major cities of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Jhansi to Orchha
There are two options to go from Jhansi to Orchha. Either you can hire a private taxi or an entire autorickshaw which will cost you around Rs. 200-250 one-way. But, the cheaper Jhansi to Orchha option will require you to first take a shared auto¬†(Rs. 10 per person) from the Jhansi Railway Station to the Jhansi Bus Station followed by another shared auto (Rs. 20 per person) from the Jhansi Bus Station to Orchha. Jhansi to Orchha shared autos depart as soon as they are full therefore try to get into one which looks full.
Where to stay in Orchha
Temple View Guest House¬†(‚āĻ350 double) is an excellent value-for-money hotel in Orchha. It is 5 minutes walk to all the attractions and the rooms are neat and clean.
The Bateshwar Temple Complex in Chambal Valley was virtually off-limits to the outside world for years due to the presence of dacoits in the surrounding rugged mountains and deciduous forests. Temples of Bateshwar, poetic stanzas of sandstone, were constructed between 8th to 10th century. The backdrop of grey hills and green forests adds a touch of surreality to the temple complex. The temples, dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu, have intricate carvings and elaborate¬ shikharas. The carvings depict stories from Hindu mythology. Different temples are under different conditions, yet most of them have withstood the trials of time. It makes you wonder what this place would have looked like during its heyday.
Best time to visit Bateshwar
Best time to visit Bateshwar Temple is after monsoon from September to March when the temperature ranges from 10 to 30 Celsius.
How to reach Bateshwar
By air:¬†Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia Air Terminal in Gwalior (30km) is the nearest airport. There is one direct flight from Delhi to Gwalior every day.
By train:¬†Nurabad (14km) is the nearest railway station from Bateshwar Temple. But, it is hard to find transportation to take you to the temple from the station. It is better to head to Gwalior Railway Station (35km) and hire a private taxi to the temple.
By road:¬†Bateshwar Temple is 353km (6 hours) from Delhi on the Taj Express Highway. It makes for an ideal weekend road trip from Kanpur (260km), Jaipur (324km) and Lucknow (332km) as well.
Where to stay near Bateshwar
Gwalior, 35km away, is the best place to stay.¬ Hotel Anand Palace¬†(‚āĻ800 double)