One can read the history of the Central India in its monuments. Seemingly here, more than anywhere else in India, every epoch was accompanied
by an outburst of architectural magnificence well-nigh unequaled in all of human history. A Central India tour offers great opportunity to visit
great heritage - from the prehistoric site of Bhimbetka to ancient Hindu and Buddhist monuments at Khajuraho, Orchha, and Sanchi. Most travelers
head straight for Sanchi, famed for its ancient Buddhist stupas (funeral mounds) aixl artistically carved gateways. Murals in the rock-cut caves
at Bagh are the best specimens of early Indian painting after those of Ajanta. The Sultans of Mandu were great builders and you can admire in
this curiously situated ghost city, some of the finest specimens of Pathan (Afghan) architecture. Bhopal, Ujjain and Indore have a few
outstanding Hindu, Muslim and Jain monuments. One of the best scenic spots in India, the Bheda Ghat (famous for marble rocks), brilliantly
shining white cliffs, border the Narmada River near Jabalpur. Sevagram, the "village of service", not far from Nagpur, symbolizes the
Gandhian way of life and has grown into a hallowed place of pilgrimage.
Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha National Park are famous tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh. Religious towns of Maheshwar, Omkareshwar
and Amarkantak attract a large cache of Hindu pilgrims.
The records in stone go back to the great Ashoka who ruled over the Maurya Empire and laid the foundation of the great stupa at
Sanchi. His empire collapsed shortly after his death and the Shungas took over, followed by the resplendent Guptas whose reign
(300--500) is appropriately known as the Golden Age. The repeated invasions of the Huns triumphed over the splendor of the Guptas’
Empire, but the Huns in turn were defeated by the famous Hindu emperor Harshavardhan, who put 60,000 war elephants and 100,000 horses
on the battlefields to achieve his conquest. Every five years, Harshavardhan distributed to the poor all the riches he had accumulated
and during one of these years of generosity he was reduced to begging a cloak for himself. He showed similar generosity at Kumbh Mela
held in Prayagraj (Allahabad). In 10th century emerged the Parmara dynasty and their great and learned king Bhoja. The succeeding
Chandelas are now remembered for their temples of Khajuraho. The first Muslim invasions in the 11th century ushered in a
four-hundred-year period of constant skirmishes between Muslims and Hindus — the latter reasserting themselves every time
the Delhi Sultanate showed weakness. Often the stake of the battle was the fabled city of Mandu. Though the fanatical Mughal
ruler Aurangzeb (1658-1707), managed to extend the territorial boundary, but at such tremendous financial cost that the
structure collapsed after his death. The Marathas, who had started life as peasants, skilled in guerrilla warfare,
reigned over Malwa until the advent of the British at the close of the 18th century.