Compact, yet full of game; Bandhavgarh is essentially known for its small, but thriving national park, which is home to tigers, langurs, chinkaras, chitals, sambars and the Indian bison. The terrain is rocky with swamps and thickly-forested small, swampy meadows, locally known as bohera. Scattered throughout the park and particularly around the fort, are numerous caves containingshrines, with ancient Sanskrit inscriptions. The park is best explored, on the back of an elephant. During the winter months,migratory birds, including the steppe eagle and a variety of wildfowl, head for the salubrious clime of this park. Some deadly reptiles canbe found here too - namely cobras, kraits, pythons and a variety of lizards. With the highest density of tiger population, Bandhavgarh isalso populated with the Indian Bison, Sambar, Barking deer and Nilgai.
Surrounded by attractive open plateau country, immediately to the north of the Vindhyas, Gwalior is set in one of the states driest regions. This majestic hill fort, which was formerly the key, to control the Central Provinces, dominates a ridge, overlooking the town spread out below. Here the Jai Vilas Palace, bears testimony to the idiosyncratic tastes of the Scindia Maharajas. Much of the town, which sees few tourists, is very busy, noisy and crowded.
Close on the heels of the Taj and the piousness of Varanasi; the enigma
of Khajuraho, unfolds with the tinkling of temple bells and the graceful
movement, of myriad forms, poised in dance and movement, with the beauty
of the timeless sculptures. Once used to guard the city gates, Khajuraho,
alludes to the imagery of the tall date palms. While the gates have ceased
to exist, the willowy date palms, continue to grace this temple town. The
temples are afabulous example of Indo-Aryan architecture, an elegant combination
of intricacy and simplicity. Now a quaint cluster of commerce, set against
the backdrop of the magnificent temples, the city comes alive every year,
during its Annual Dance Festival, when the maestros of classical dance,
perform against the dramatic temple backdrop.
Pench Tiger Reserve, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hills is named after Pench river which flows from north to south through the Pench National Park. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh.
Recently in 1992, Pench has been included under the umbrella of "Project Tiger" as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve.
A total of 758 Sq. kms of this Southern Indian tropical moist deciduous forest has its extent mingling with the tropical dry deciduous teak. The area is crisscrossed by a number of streams and 'nallahs' most of which are seasonal. Though the Pench River dries up in April end, a number of water pools locally known as 'dohs' are found which serve as water holes for the wild animals. However, the water sources are not suitably distributed, hence large area is left unutilized by the wild animals. The Pench Reservoir atthe center of the park is the only major water source during the pinch period.
As a prey concentration is high along the Pench River, tiger usually inhabits this belt. Leopard though generally operates in the peripheral areas but are occasionally seen in the deep forest also. Jungle cats are commonly seen. Leopard cats, small Indian civets and palm civets are common but seen rarely.
Cheetal, Sambar, nilgai are commonly seen grazing on the open sites on roadsides and banks of river & reservoir. Jackals can be seen in search of food anywhere in the Park. Packs up to 15 of wild dog can be seen near Chhedia, Jamtara, Bodanala and Pyorthadi areas of the Reserve. Herds of gaur can be spotted near streams and bamboo patches commonly in summer months. Sloth beer occupy hilly, rocky out crops and favour mahul bel infested forest. Chnkara is present in very small numbers and is found in open areas around Turia, Telia and Dudhgaon villages.
Langoors are very common whereas the Rhesus monkeys may be seen occasionally on the fringes. Pench boasts of, more than 210 species of birds that include several migratory ones also. Commonly seen are Peafowl, Red jungle fowl, Crow pheasant, Crimson breasted barbet, Redvented bulbul, Racket tailed drongo, Magpie robin and lesser whistling teal.
A very holy city for the Hindus, and a site for the triennial Kumbh Mela, Ujjain gets its sanctity, from a mythological tale, about the churning of the oceans, by the gods and demons, in search of the nectar of Immortality. When the coveted vessel of nectar was finally found, there followed a mad scramble across the skies, with the demons pursuing the gods, in an attempt to take the nectar from them. Four drops were spilt,and they fell at Haridwar, Nasik, Ujjain and Prayag. As a result, Ujjain is one of the sites of the Kumbh Mela, which takes place here ,every 12 years. Apart from mythological legends, Ujjain represents an interesting blend of an age-old legacy and the modern day lifestyle,with a long and distinguished history, governed by the likes of Vikramaditya, and Ashoka, who wrote his soul stirring poetry here.