Buddhist Tourism in Madhya Pradesh

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Buddhist Tourism in Madhya PradeshMadhya Pradesh, a state occupying the central part of India is often adoringly referred to as ‘Hindustan ka dil’ as it lies in the heart of the country. It is the largest of all states in the country rimmed by the states of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan in the different directions. The state of Madhya Pradesh covers a huge area of about 308, 144 sq km. Bhopal is the capital city and Indore is the largest city in the state. There are plenty of awesome surprises in store for all those setting out for a tour of Madhya Pradesh. The state thrives on all the things that a tourist may find fascinating. Cultural heritage, scenic beauty, rapid modern progress all combine together to impart the state with a character quite unique to itself. Buddhist Tourism intrigued by this strange amalgamation make a beeline to the state in order to explore it thoroughly. Now let’s talk about Buddhism Tourism in Madhya Pradesh.

Buddhism in Madhya Pradesh

The history of Madhya Pradesh dates back to the Mauryan times, more precisely, to the times of Emperor Asoka. Asoka is one of the most famous rulers of Indian history who decided to opt for the paths of righteousness by renouncing the paths of violence. This transformation in him was brought about by the deep impact that the principles of Buddhism had on his mind. He made Buddhism and propagation of Buddhism the sole goal of his life. At the inception of his career asking Ashoka had functioned as viceroy of Mauryan empire’s western province and was posted at Ujjain; the then ‘Ujjaini’. After Buddhism had taken a center stage in his life, he took the initiative of setting up many Stupas all through his kingdom. In other words, during the ruling period of Ashoka, Buddhism flourished like anything in Madhya Pradesh but post his death and decline of Mauryan Empire, the status of Buddhism as a religion too declined to some extent. Today Hindus make a major part of Madhya Pradesh’s population and those belonging to the religion of Buddhism constitute a minority only. However, the past legacies prove as a reminiscence of the era when Buddhism had been at the pinnacle of success and popularity as a religion in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Important Buddhist Monuments Places in Madhya Pradesh

Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh is an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination dotted with a vast array of Buddhist architecture such as Chaityas, Temples, Stupas, and Monasteries. Interestingly enough, Sanchi had never been visited by Lord Buddha during his lifetime. The monuments in Sanchi belong to an era dating between 3rd century BC and 12th century AD. Among the various Buddhist monuments doting Sanchi, Stupas 1, 2, 3, Four Gateways, Temple 18, Ashokan Pillar are the most renowned ones. Apart from Buddhist monuments, there are Viharas as well as a museum at Sanchi. At Sanchi, whatever representation of the lord is found, comes in the form of symbols and not figures. This had been a tradition observed in the earlier Hinayana Buddhism sect. They actually regarded Buddha a man from the human world and not God.

Bharhut Stupa

Bharhut is famed enough as a Buddhist destination in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Bharhut falls within Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district. The stupa of Bharhut is a famed one. It dates back to 3rd century BC and was set up by Emperor Ashoka. This stupa too uses symbols such as Bodhi tree, wheel of dharma, empty seat, and footprints to portray Buddha.



Khajuraho is a must-visit destination in case you are embarking on a tour of Madhya Pradesh. The Khajuraho temples may be grouped as temples of East, temples of West, temples of South. The temple walls feature striking erotic carvings. The time period between 950 AD and 1050 AD saw the emergence of Khajuraho temples under the initiative of Chandela rulers. The 10 day spanned dance festival; in the Khajuraho dance festival held in March pulls a huge crowd of tourists from far and wide each year.


Though Bhopal, the capital city, cannot boast much of historic monuments and architectural splendor yet it has a culture quite unique to itself. The culture of Bhopal shows a curious fusion of the Islamic and Hindu cultures. At Bhopal, you could set out on a sightseeing of the old Bhopal city and explore its many mosques. Van Vihar national park, Bharat Bhavan complex are the two other places to visit.


Gwalior had been a very important place in terms of Indian history. Many dynasties have ruled over the place from time to time such as the ladies, Huns, Tomaras, Marathas, and Mughals etc. The Gwalior fort is the prime tourist attraction of Gwalior. Shivpuri, Orchha, Chanderi are the other worth visiting places around Gwalior.

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park is the two famed wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh which you shouldn’t miss. Kanha is that same wildlife sanctuary that Rudyard Kipling had used as an inspiration for his famed Jungle Book. Kanha is famous for its ‘big cat’ population. Bandhavgarh fauna includes various types of Chinkara, Wild boar, tiger etc.


The three seasons that the state experiences are summer [March-May], winter [October-February] and Monsoons [July-September]. The ideal time for Madhya Pradesh tour is between months October and March.

How to Reach

You could reach Buddhist Tourism in Madhya Pradesh by the following three ways-
By Air: – By Air, you can reach Madhya Pradesh easily. Numerous airports dot the state, the major ones being the airports of Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, and Khajuraho. Flights taking off from these airports connect the state to all other major cities of our country.
By Rail: – Trains to Bhopal railway station are frequent and regular. Thus, you may take a train to Bhopal railway station in order to embark on a tour of Madhya Pradesh. The other stations that can be reached by train in order to set out on a tour of Madhya Pradesh are Jabalpur, Jhansi, Ujjain, and Indore.
By Road: – An intricate network of both state highways and national highways characterize the state. These roads connect the various cities of Madhya Pradesh to one another. Buses are available from and to Bhopal, Indore, Khajuraho, Sanchi etc.