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  • Iconic places to visit in Madhya Pradesh come in the form of palaces and forts displaying an excellent level of craftsmanship, ancient temples that find mention in the holy texts of Hinduism and much more. Madhya Pradesh, located in the central part of India, is an important state from a tourism point of view, and the reason is the variety of iconic places it holds within its bounds. 

    The entire state is dotted with places that are sure to charm visitors with their magic. Whether you are history buff or just an explorer seeking solace in the lap of nature, Madhya Pradesh has on offer what you need.

    Madhya Pradesh is a land with a rich history and thus, there is an abundance of cultural heritage sites here. These heritage sites enjoy fame for the tales associated with them and their brilliant architecture. Some of the best options to confirm this are the majestic Gwalior Fort in Gwalior, the grand Taj-ul-Masajid in Bhopal, and the iconic temple complex in Khajuraho.

    Besides, there are some priceless gems in Madhya Pradesh offering the best of nature as the state is blessed with the serene hill station of Pachmarhi, and of course, its countless waterfalls are there to quench your wanderlust.

    Here is the list of most iconic places in Madhya Pradesh:

  • 01Gwalior Fort

    Gwalior Fort

    Gwalior Fort stands on a rocky hilltop which offers a panoramic view of the Gwalior town. The fort was built in 8th century by Prince Suraj Sen. The Mughal Emperor Babur referred it to as “the pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind.”

    The fort embraces a defensive structure, strategic location and grandiose beauty due to which many rulers were attracted to this fort. Many dynasties like Mughals, the Marathas, and the British ruled this fort and their influence can be seen in many royal structures present here.

    The unique and rich heritage of this fort will surely astonish you. Also, every evening a Sound and Light show is held at the fort which takes you to a musical journey of the glorious past of the fort which you should not miss.

    What makes it Iconic: The rich history and heritage of the fort, the monuments, temples, palaces, inscriptions, and unique archaeological museum make this fort one of the most iconic places to visit in Madhya Pradesh.

    Timings:  8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

    Note:  The Sound and Light show starts at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM for Hindi and English show respectively.

    What to see in Gwalior: Apart from Gwalior Fort, there are other iconic places to visit in Gwalior which you should not miss.

    What to do in Gwalior: Best activities and things to do in Gwalior.

    Looking for places to Stay in Gwalior: Best resorts and places to stay in Gwalior.

  • 02Western Group of Temples, Khajuraho

    Western Group of Temples, Khajuraho

    The Western Group of Temples houses the most significant temples present in Khajuraho. As you walk through the gate you will see the dewy freshly mowed green grass, flowering shrubs, and eye-catching trees framed with towering temples.

    You can also hear the soothing sound of bells coming from the temples. These temples were built almost 1000 years ago with fine-grained pink or pale yellow sandstone and granite. The temples showcase unique architecture and erotic sculptures.

    At this UNESCO World Heritage Site, temples dedicated to Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Surya, and Goddess Kali can be visited. The Sound and Light show is also organized here every evening which showcase the facts and history of the temples.

    What makes it Iconic: Ancient temples that depict some of the finest art in the world.

    Timings: From sunrise to sunset.

    Note: The Sound and Light show starts from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

    There are various other places to visit in Khajuraho which you should not miss. Click to know about them.

    What to do in Khajuraho: Best activities and things to do in Khajuraho.

    Looking for places to stay in Khajuraho? Here is the list of best resorts to stay in Khajuraho.
  • 03Sanchi


    Sanchi is renowned for the Buddhist Stupas it houses. The Stupas of Sanchi were commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great of Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century BCE. Ashoka wanted to preserve and spread the Buddhist philosophy.

    Mahastupa is a hemispherical dome containing relics of the Buddha in the centre You can visit various stupas, monasteries, temples and an Ashokan pillar in Sanchi and get to know more about the rich cultural heritage of India.

    What makes it Iconic: The Great Stupa or Mahastupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest structures present in India. It also enjoys the status of ‘World Heritage Site’ given by UNESCO.

    Timings: From Sunrise to Sunset.

  • 04Orchha Fort

    Orchha Fort

    The medieval city of Orchha has many monuments that will make your visit to this place memorable for a lifetime. Orchha Fort Complex comprises of three major palaces -

    Raj Mahal: Raj Mahal or King’s Palace is where the king and queen used to reside. The exterior of the palace is rather simple but the interior is grandeur and has impressive architecture. You will find vibrant murals with religious and social themes of gods, mythical animals and people. Traces of mirrors in the ceilings can be seen in the upper floor. A part of the palace was transformed to a temple named Raja Rama Temple dedicated to Lord Rama. Rama is worshipped as a king here which makes this a unique place to visit.

    Sheesh Mahal: Sheesh Mahal was built for the royal accommodation of Raja Udait Singh, and has now been developed into a heritage hotel. It is a perfect amalgam of royal ambience and modern amenities. A stay experience here will certainly make you feel the royalty of this place.

    Jahangir Mahal: Jahangir Mahal is a citadel built by Vir Singh Deo. It was built as a symbol of demonstrative reception of Jahangir who came to visit Orchha for one night only. It is a perfect blend of Mughal architecture with Rajput architecture. The Mahal faces the Betwa River and is a site to behold.

    What makes it Iconic: Its unique blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture.

    Timings: From sunrise to sunsets.

    Other then Orchha Fort, there are other very scenic places to visit in Orchha which you should not miss.

    What to do in Orchha: Best activities and things to do in Orchha.

    Looking for places to Stay in Orchha: We have compiled a list of best resorts to stay in Orchha. Click to know more.

  • 05Patalpani Waterfall

    Patalpani Waterfall

    Patalpani waterfall is a picturesque 300 feet high waterfall surrounded by thriving forest, imposing hills and pleasing landscape. The water plunges on to the rocks and comes tumbling down from the heightened cliff.

    The soothing sound of the gushing water will help you relax. The pit at the bottom of the waterfall is varnish clear. The legend has it that the pit goes as deep as the underworld (Patal) and that is why the name, Patalpani.

    A visit to this iconic waterfall will leave you spellbound and is a must. 

    What makes it Iconic: The scenic beauty of the waterfall makes it a perfect spot for nature photography and to enjoy a picnic.

    Timings: Open 24 hours.

    There are various other scenic waterfalls in Indore apart from Patalpani waterfall. Follow the link to know more.

  • 06Pachmarhi


    Pachmarhi, also popularly known as ‘Satputra Ki Rani’ is positioned magnificently amidst Satpura Range. It is believed that the Pandavas came here during their exile. They built panch (five) marhi (caves) here, hence the name.

    From scenic waterfalls, ancient caves, a temple to trekking trails, Pachmarhi has a lot to offer. Popular places to visit in Pachmarhi are Rajat Prapat waterfall, Bee Falls, Dhupgarh, Chauragarh and Handi Khoh. 

    What makes it Iconic: Prominent religious sites, especially for Shiva devotees, ancient caves with 30,000 years old paintings and the picturesque beauty of this place make it one of the most iconic places to visit in Madhya Pradesh.

    Timings: Open 24 hours.

    What to do in Pachmarhi: Best activities and things to do in Pachmarhi.

    Looking for places to stay in Pachmarhi? Here is the list of best resorts to stay in Pachmarhi.
  • 07Upper Lake

    Upper Lake

    Upper Lake, also known as Bhojtal was built by Paramara Raja Bhoj. The legend says that he built it to cure his skin disease. This charming lake is the hub of water activities and you can enjoy plethoras of water sports like boat cruise, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating and motor boating here.

    Within the surrounding of the lake, a lush green garden called Kamla Park is also located which enhances the beauty of the lake. It also has a dargah of a maulvi named as Shah Ali Shah.

    What makes it Iconic: It is the oldest manmade lake in India built in the 11th century.

    Timings: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

    Click here to know more about other water sports in Bhopal.

  • 08Taj-Ul-Masjid


    Taj-Ul-Masjid means “Crown among Mosques” and the glorious architecture and setup of the mosque signify the same. The construction of the masjid was started by Bhopal’s third female ruler Shah Jahan Begum in the 19th century and was later completed in 1985.

    The mosque sits marvellously by the lake named the Motia Talab. The masjid stands tall with its pink facade and is crowned with two enormous white domed minarets.

    The masjid has a striking main hall with gorgeous pillars, a courtyard with a tank in between, smooth marble flooring and three gigantic spherical domes. The architecture of the mosque is top notch.

    What makes it Iconic: It is the largest mosque in India and the second largest mosque present in Asia.

    Timings: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

    Looking for places to visit in Bhopal? We have compiled a list of best tourist places in Bhopal. Click to know more.

    What to do in Bhopal: Best activities and things to do in Bhopal.

    Looking for places to Stay in Bhopal: Best resorts and places to stay in Bhopal.

  • 09Sirpur Lake

    Sirpur Lake

    Sirpur Lake is a heritage lake with gorgeous landscape, vibrant fauna and flora. It is a paradise for birding as it is home to more than 150 species of resident and migratory birds.

    The lake and its surrounding is a protected area spread over 800 acres. The visit to this lake will surely make you feel closer to nature.

    What makes it Iconic:  It is one of the biggest natural habitats for birds in India.

    Timings: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • 10Bhojpur Temple

    Bhojpur Temple

    Bhojpur or Bhojeshwar Temple, popularly known as the Somnath of the East, is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was founded by Raja Bhoj (1010-53) of Parmar dynasty. It stands on the banks of River Betwa and is located atop a hill. The legend has it that the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata built this temple during their exile.

    Some say that Kunti (mother of Pandava brothers) left Karan here on the bank of River Betwa. The construction of this temple was left incomplete for some unknown reasons. The exquisite temple has four enormous pillars which support the incomplete roof of the spectrum.

    The temple’s façade, pillars and dome are adorned by numerous stone sculptures. Get drenched in the colours of spirituality while at this temple and enjoy its unique architecture.

    What makes it Iconic: The temple houses the largest and tallest Shiva Linga with its Yoni Patta rising to a height of 22 feet. It is crafted out of a single rock which is astonishing. This temple is surely one of the most iconic places to visit in Madhya Pradesh.

    Timings: Open all days from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM except Monday.



Kandariya Mahadeva Temple

Decidedly the grandest Hindu temple among the Khajuraho Group of Temples, the origin of Kandariya Mahadev Temple traces back to 1050 BC. The temple was built as a tribute to the Hindu Lord Shiva and houses a magnificent Shiva Linga crafted with pure marble. 

Adorned with intricate carvings and great sculptures, countless statues and spires grace the temples interiors, the most remarkable of which is the main spire that replicates Mount Kailash in miniature!

Timings: The temple is open from 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM.

Entry Fee: The entry fee is INR 10 per person.

Location: Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Distance from Khajuraho Bus Stand: The temples sits nearly 1 km away from Khajuraho Bus Stand.

Discover the best of things to do and activities in Khajuraho


Lakshmana Temple

One of the oldest structures amongst the temple groups of Khajuraho, Lakshmana Temple was built by the Chandela kings. The divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva graces the entrance of the temple, though the temple is really dedicated to the Hindu Lord Vishnu, and harbours a portrayal of Vaikuntha-Vishnu as its sanctum. 

The exceptional architecture is enhanced by over 600 deities whose images are aesthetically showcased on the exteriors of the temple.

Timings: The temple is open 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM every day.

Entry Fee: The entry fees is INR 10 per head.

Location: Lakshmana Temple, Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Distance from Khajuraho Bus Stand: The temple is located at a distance of 900 m from Khajuraho Bus Stand.

Madhya Pradesh is famous for holy places, check out ancient temples in Madhya Pradesh.


Matangeshwar Temple

Established by Chandra Dev of the Chandela dynasty in the ninth century, the temple was built as a shrine of Lord Shiva, housing an eight feet tall Shiva Lingam crafted with yellow limestone. The morning aarti is a delightful experience.

Unlike its neighbouring temples, the pillars are quite plain, while the roof is beautifully blanketed with figures. It is truly one of the best places to visit in Khajuraho.

Timings: The temple allows visitors in from 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM every day.

Location: Matangeshwar Temple, Rajnagar Road, Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Distance from Khajuraho Bus Stand: The temple is built at a distance of 900 m from Khajuraho Bus Stand.

Experience the rich heritage of forts in Madhya Pradesh for time travelling into ancient India.


Adinath Temple

Forming a part of the famous Jain Group of Temples, the aesthetically appealing Adinath Temple was built in the 11th century. It was designed as a memorial to the famous Jain Saint Adinath.

A long-standing reflection of the Indo-Aryan architectural style, the temple is embellished with gorgeous ancient sculptures and images of Yakshis. Though partly in ruins now, the feeling of awe that one feels here is gripping.

Timings: The temple is open to visitors every day from 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM.

Entry Fee: The temple charges no entry fees to visitors.

Location: Adinath Temple,  Eastern Group of Temples, Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Distance from Khajuraho Bus Stand: The temple is located at a distance of 1.5 km from Khajuraho Bus Stand.

Here are some of the best historical places in Madhya Pradesh known for its ancient heritage.


Javari Temple

Forming part of the Eastern Group of Temples, Javari Temple is distinguished for its remarkable architecture and fine interior carvings. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple walls exhibit exquisite images of various men and women in different postures.

The beauty and splendour of the temples never fail to leave you spellbound, making it one of the most inspiring Khajuraho tourist places.

Timings: The temple is open to visitors from 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM every day.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for visitors.

Location: Javari Temple, Eastern Group of Temples, Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

Distance from Khajuraho Bus Stand: The temple is seated at a distance of about 1.3 km from Khajuraho Bus Stand.

Iconic sites in Madhya Pradesh got serene views for sightseeing with family and friends. Must do in your travel checklist.


Jahaz Mahal

Built under the reign of Mandu Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Khilji who had a vast harem of about 15000 women. In order to accommodate the ladies in a proper building, this monumental palace was constructed. Jahaz Mahal is located in the Mandu Fort near Munj Talab along Gada Shah Mahal and Hindola Mahal.

This double-storeyed palace is encircled by twin ponds that give an impression to the spectators that it is a floating structure. If you are visiting Mandu fort, this can be one of the places to visit in Madhya Pradesh that will intrigue you with its phenomenal architecture.

Location: Jahaz Mahal Internal Rd, Sulibardi, Madhya Pradesh 454010

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM on all days of the week.

Entry Fee: INR 5 per Indian adult.

Suggested time required: 1 to 2 hours.

Distance from Mandu Bus Stand: Approximately 1 KM.


Bee Falls

Imagine volumes of water plummeting from a height in the lap of a scenic jungle. Bee Falls is one of the popular places to visit in Pachmarhi and the moment you trek down the hundreds of steps and arrive at the fall, you can't help but admire it in awe. You will find small vendors sending snacks and tea around the fall.

Not only that you can eat and admire the beauty but you can also take a leap into the natural freshwater pool for a dip.

Height: 35 meters.

Location: Bee Fall Road, Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh 461881, India

Entry fee: INR 15 per Indian adult.

Best Season to Visit: Throughout the year, go in the monsoon for enjoying a large volume and in summers for bathing in the pool.

Distance from the Pachmarhi Bus Stand: Around 3 KM.

When temperatures soar, jump in a pool and beat the heat, Water Parks in Bhopal offer you an escape from the heat in the most fun way.


Dhuandhar Falls

The incredible sight of smoke coming out of a gushing waterfalls makes Dhuandhar Falls one of the best Jabalpur tourist places and attracts a huge rush of tourists to come to witness this extraordinary spectacle of nature. The word ‘Dhuandhar’ literally translates to ‘smoke + flow’ which can be interpreted as a ‘smoky cascade’.

Created by Narmada River, these 30 feet tall falls are located in Bhedaghat of Jabalpur district. The roaring sounds of the waterfalls are powerfully soothing. These waterfalls add grace to the scenic beauty of Bhedaghat and make it a must visit place in Madhya Pradesh for nature lovers and photographers.

Cable car service is also available at Bhedaghat which can be availed to witness the beauty of these spectacular waterfalls from a different perspective.

Timings: 6 AM to 8 PM

Location: Bhedaghat, Jabalpur

Distance from Jabalpur Bus Stand: 27 km

If you wish to explore the state beyond what it is generally known for, add some waterfalls in Madhya Pradesh to your bucket list.


Panna National Park

Founded in the year 1981, Panna Reserve is the fifth Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh and the twenty-second in India. Home to several species of wildlife like Jackal, Nilgai, Chinkara, Sambar, and Wild Boar, Panna National Park is an absolutely perfect respite for trekkers and nature lovers.

Another treat in the form of the beautiful cascading Pandav Falls awaits you in the park!

Timings: The park is open from 06:00 AM to 05:00 PM every day.

Entry Fee: The entry fee is INR 15 per head.

Location: Panna National Park, NH 75, Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh.

Distance from Khajuraho Bus Stand: Located at a distance of nearly 92 km from Khajuraho Bus Stand.

Where to Stay in Panna National Park: Best resorts & places to stay in Panna National Park.


Hathi Mahal

The massive disappropriate dome and the thick pillars give an impression of a standing Elephant to the spectators. Originally built as a pleasure resort, Hathi Mahal today looks like an abandoned landmark in Madhya Pradesh where traces of decorative tile-work and the planned external architectural nuances still leave an impressive mark on the minds of the visitors. 

The masonry moldings, the humongous dome. The octagonal high base and the three arched-opening on all sides look as if it was planned like a Baradari. Places like this are hard to miss and this is among such places to visit in Mandu.

Location: Elephant Palace, Mandav, Madhya Pradesh, India

Timings: 24 hours. Best to go between sunrise to sunset hours.

Entry Fee: Free of cost.

Suggested time required: An hour and a half.

Distance from Mandu Bus Stand: Around 2 KM.


Raneh Falls

Forming a 30 feet deep canyon with pure, beautiful crystalline granite adorned with a multitude of colours, Raneh Falls is undoubtedly one of the most dumbfounding Khajuraho Tourist Places! Mother nature has endowed it generously, luring travellers and nature lovers into its enchanting realms every year. 

The area is replete with an array of small and large waterfalls at nearly every turn. Its lush green forested surroundings give it a truly surreal feel and captivate the mind, body and soul of all who wander there.

Timings: The falls is open for visitors from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM.

Entry Fee: The entry fee per person is INR 15.

Location: Raneh falls, Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh.

Distance from Khajuraho Bus Stand: The waterfall is located at a distance of around 21 km from Khajuraho Bus Stand.

If you are a nature lover, there are various other beautiful waterfalls of Madhya Pradesh which you should not miss. Click to know about them.


Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat

Bhedaghat is a prominent spot for tourists and picnic-goers in Madhya Pradesh owing to the natural wonders it holds and the exciting activities it offers. Bhedaghat proudly houses a gorge of 100 feet high rocks, letting Narmada River flow through them, as one of the most wonderful gifts of nature Madhya Pradesh is blessed with.

The river water has carved a 3 km long gorge out of these rocks which is a sight to behold. In order to witness the glory of this gorge up-close, you can either row boats through it or take a cable car ride to go across it. The site welcomes huge rush of tourists all round the year, but the popularity of this site is at its best during monsoon.

Timings: 7 AM to 7 PM; 8 PM to Midnight only on Full moon Nights

Location: Bhedaghat, Jabalpur

Distance from Jabalpur Bus Stand: 27 km

If you want to see something that is way beyond usual, there is a range of natural wonders for you to explore in Madhya Pradesh.


Rani Roopmati's Pavilion

This vintage place bestows you with an unparalleled view of the river Narmada. The Pavilion has a backstory of a medieval romance that started between King Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. Earlier this hilltop structure was used as an army ground to keep a watch around and guard the kingdom. 

The pavilion has two watchtowers and beautiful courtyards as well, making it one of Mandu tourist places which are mandatory parts of every itinerary. It is said that Rani Roopmati was an accomplished classical singer and the pavilion was made acoustically so it served her better. It is one of the most exceptional places you should visit in Madhya Pradesh.

Location: Mandu, Mandav, Dhar, Madhya Pradesh 454010

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM on all days of the week.

Entry Fee: INR 5 per Indian and SAARC countries adults.

Suggested time required: Over 2 hours.

Distance from Mandu Bus Stand: Around 5.5 KM.


Satpura National Park

Spread over the Satpura Hills, this national park covers a large part of the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh. Satpura is a Sanskrit word for saying “seven-hills,” which was named after the series of hills in the highlands of central India.  As a part of the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve, it covers an area of 524 sq. km.

On your safari ride in Satpura National Park, you will come across deep gorges, untrodden forests, wriggling rivulets accommodating a wide array of animals such as Water Buffaloes, Leopards, Elephants, Barasingha, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Honey Buzzard, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Paradise Fly-catcher, and the endemic  Rhesus monkeys.

Timing: 7 AM to 6:30 PM on all days of the week.

Entry Fee: Permit can be availed by paying INR 1250 and Gypsy can be availed at INR 2100.

Location: Satpura National Park, Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, 461001, India.

Suggested time required: around 6 hours or half a day, if going on a safari.

Distance from Pachmarhi Bus Stand: Approximately 210 KM.

if you wish to take a closer look at the vivid wildlife, and adventure sites of the city, there can be no better way than staying at jungle resorts near Bhopal.


Mahadeo Hills

The basin of Narmada is separated from Wardha and Wainganga rivers on the North by Mahadeo Hills. The hills follow a general trail of East to Northeast where the north slope is gentle but the southern is steep and drops abruptly.

The plateaus of the hills and the slopes were formed during the Carboniferous period, millions of years ago. Mahadeo peak is one of the three highest points in Pachmarhi where you can visit the holy shrine of Lord Shiva in the cave temple Gupt Mahadev. Apart from Gupt Mahadev, this temple houses another sanctum dedicated to Lord Shiva which is Bade Mahadev. Both of these temples are revered and largely worshipped. The pristine clear view of nature and the greenery will calm your senses.

Timing: 24 hours.

Entry Fee: Free of cost.

Location: Satpura Range, Pachmarhi, India

Suggested time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Distance from Pachmarhi Bus Stand: Around 10 KM.

An adventurer or a nature lover or just someone who is looking for an escape, treks near Bhopal serve everyone great.


Lord Shiva Statue at Kachnar City

Attracting local devotees and tourists alike in huge numbers, this 76 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva is a sight that will leave you spellbound. This huge idol of Lord Shiva, situated in the ancient city of Kachnar, is considered as one of the most popular religious sites in Madhya Pradesh.

The statue has been built over a cavern that houses replicas of 12 Shivalingams from the major Shiva Temples in the country. The site holds a calming blend of serenity and spirituality in its air, so a visit to this site is sure to soothe you inside out. This is, indeed, a great site to visit with family.

Cave Timings: 5 PM to 8 PM

Location: Vijay Nagar, Kachnar City

Distance from Jabalpur Bus Stand: 11 km

Madhya Pradesh temples are a must go for every traveller, you feel rejuvenated in the company of God.

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