Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh, a large state in central India, retains landmarks from eras throughout Indian history. Begun in the 10th century, its Hindu and Jain temples at Khajuraho are renowned for their carvings of erotic scenes, most prominently Kandariya Mahadeva, a temple with more than 800 sculptures. The eastern Bandhavgarh and Kanha national parks, noted Bengal tiger sanctuaries, offer guided safaris.

The small Betwa River town of Orchha is home to numerous medieval buildings such as the 17th-century Mughal citadel Jahangir Mahal and the fortified palace Raja Mahal. State capital Bhopal is a gateway to Sanchi, an ancient Buddhist complex centered on the Great Stupa reliquary, dating to the 3rd-century B.C. Southwest of industrial Indore is Mandu, a former Mughal walled city featuring well-preserved ruins, including massive gates, several palaces, a monumental tomb and the Jami Masjid Mosque. Important Hindu pilgrimage sites include island shrine Omkareshwar and the holy city of Ujjain.