Highlights of Central India

The central states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh make up the heartland of India. These areas are predominantly rural, with wide expanses of dense forest, broken up by small hill ranges and open plains, dotted with small lakes and watering holes. Wildlife thrives in this region, and large chunks of the area have been partitioned into protected national parks and reserves. Raipur, Jabalpur, and Nagpur are the main gateways to the National Parks, with air connections across the country, and onward road journeys of usually around 3-4 hours into the respective reserves. These states have more to offer than the chance to spot tiger, however, with a smattering a cultural sights within easy reach of the reserves. The imposing hill fort of Gwalior, the magnificent Hindu and Jain temples of Khajuraho and the picturesque palaces and temples of Orchha are just a few of the highlights of this fascinating part of India.

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Bengal Tiger, Bandhavgarh National Park
Arguably the premier national park for India's most famous fauna, this relatively small reserve has spottings on a similar scale to Ranthambore, and sees substantially fewer visitors.
Taj Ul Masajid mosque, Bhopal
Known as the ‘City of Lakes’ due to its natural and man-made lakes, the city has a long history and impressive collection of historical sites.
Gwalior Fort, India
Gwalior has an elaborate history dating back to the 8th century with the resplendent Gwalior Fort remaining an important seat of power to the present day.
Rivulet at dawn, Kanha National Park
Kanha was the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling's 'the Jungle Book': a strikingly beautiful area of forest and grassland, criss-crossed by rivers and streams, home to an array of flora and fauna.
Ghats, Maheshwar
Once the capital of India’s celebrated female ruler Ahilya Bai Holkar, Maheshwar is home to the Ahilya Fort one of the most dramatic and unique settings in India.
Founded by Raja Rudra Pratap in the 16th century, Orchha is a town frozen in time and is one of the contenders for most photogenic towns in India.
Leopard, Pench National Park
Earning its name from the Pench river that flow through the park, this reserve is home to 39 species of mammal such as tiger, leopard, wild dogs, and striped hyena.
Landscape, Satpura
Satpura is considered as one of India’s best kept secrets, and the only park in central India which allows people to explore Tiger country on foot.
Predator and prey, Tadoba National Park
Tadoba derives its name from the local tribal God "Taru" who, according to legend, met his end fighting a tiger. Given its name it is unsuprising that Tadoba has one of the highest tiger densities in India.
Khajuraho temples, Khajuraho
Khajuraho’s magnificent 1000-year old Hindu & Jain temples, in addition to the peaceful Panna National Park, make this area of northern Madhya Pradesh a fine twin-destination.