Madhya Pradesh

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Map of Madhya Pradesh (Source: India-WRIS)



Madhya Pradesh has been part and parcel of the main current of Indian history and culture from ancient times. The Ramayana mentioned that Ram along with his wife Sita and brother Laxmana, passed through several districts of the present Madhya Pradesh on his journey to the south India from Ayodhya. Samrat Ashoka of Maurya dynasty ruled over Ujjain. The association with Ashoka conferred many benefits on the region and the entire complex of Sanchi, near Bhopal, owes its existence to that. The great poet Kalidasa lived somewhere in Ujjain region in Gupta period. The Muslims came into Central India in the beginning of the 11th century. One dynasty followed another and some local Rajas and chieftains ruled several areas of the state after 13th century. Central India was also part of the Mughal empire. In the 17th century Marathas established their power over here. But later the small states started coming into existence. These small states became the cause of perpetuation of British power in the country. The Devi Ahilyabai of Indore, Gaud Maharani Kamala Devi, Queen Durgawati and Mahdji Scindia of Gwalior among the more notable rulers of this region. Madhya Pradesh was one of the most divided states of India when freedom dawned. First some of the princely states amalgamated under Sardar Patel's policy of integration of the states of India. Then the territory was known as Central Province. Finally, in 1956, when a major reorganisation of India took place, Madhya Pradesh, as we know it now, was born with the merger of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, Vindhya Pradesh, the Central Province and Berar.


Madhya Pradesh,as its name implies, the state is located in the heart of the country. The state is surrounded by five states. It is bounded by Rajasthan on the northwest, by Uttar Pradesh on the north, by Chhattisgarh on the east, Maharashtra on the south and Gujarat on the west. Physio-graphically this state is divided into three regions. i) Middle Highland - the area between the Narmada-Sone valley and Arravali mountain range is known as middle high land. The height of this land to the west is approx 800 meter, which descends to the about 600 meter to the east. This region is further divided into five sub-regions- Vindhyan Scrap land (Sone and ken are main river), the Malwa plateau has an average altitude of 1600 ft, Bundelkhand Plateau, Madhya Bharat Plateau and Narmada-Sone Valley. ii) the Satpura range iii) Eastern range - It is also called as Baghelkhand. Madhya Pradesh has a unique character in the sense that it has no sea and no connection with the Himalayas and yet it has some hills and mountains and has some big rivers. Some of the Satpura peaks are as high as 3,500 ft. and the average height is no less than 2,000 ft. Narmada is the main river of the state. The other main rivers are Chambal, Tapi, Mahi,Betwa, Sindh,Ken,Dhasan,Wainganga and Sone. About 1.7 million hectares of land in this state is under forest. The climate is extreme in the north, temperate and breezy in the plateau and generally hot and humid in the eastern and southern plains.


Madhya Pradesh situated in the central part of India is the second largest state and occupies pivotal position in the country. It is land-locked state with Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the North, Gujarat and Rajasthan in West, Maharashtra in the South and recently carved out Chattisgarh in the East. The state is divided into 9 divisions (Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Chambal, Rewa, Sagar, Bhopal, Hoshangabad and Jabalpur). Madhya Pradesh is the seventh most populous state in the country. Bhopal is the state capital.


The state has a tropical climate. The lowest temperature during the cooler months of December and January is 10°C, and in the summer months of May and June the temperature reaches 29°C. Most parts of the state in summer are hot and humid. State of Madhya Pradesh receives most of the rainfall from southwest monsoon, in the months of June to October. Average rainfall varies from 600 to 1600 mm in different parts of state with state average as 917 mm. High rainfalls in the range of 1500 mm and above occurs in Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori districts. Majority of state comes in the rainfall range of 1000 mm to 1500 mm. Low average rainfall below 750 mm occurs in Barwani, Gwalior, Morena, Bhind and Datia districts.

Water Resources

Madhya Pradesh state is rich in water resources. Three rivers viz, Narmada, Tapi, Mahi and major tributaries of Ganga basin like Chambal, Sindh, Betwa, Ken. Tons and Son have their origin in Madhya Pradesh. The northern part of the state is drained by the rivers Chambal, Betwa, Ken and their tributaries, which flow northerly through Bundelkhand region and ultimately join river Yamuna. The Son river flows East–North-East. The Narmada river flowing in a westerly course is a major river between Satpura and Vindhayan ranges draining to Arabian sea. Tapi is also westerly flowing river debouching its water in Arabian sea. Wainganga, and Wardha are tributaries of Godavari river draining in southern eastern part of the state.

Irrigation Development

Development of Irrigation in Madhya Bharat started long back by construction of water storage tanks in 1st century AD by Chandel kings in Khajuraho (Chhatarpur). Later on, tanks had also been constructed by Kalchuri dynasty in Bilaspur district during 1120-35 AD.

Recent development in irrigation in Twentieth century started in district Durg, now in Chhatisgarh state, when Tandula canal system was completed on 26th march’ 1921 first time in the British era. At the same time, Wainganga canal system in Balaghat district was also started and completed in June’1923. The year-1927 was the milestone in the history of irrigation development in the State as Mahanadi canal system in Raipur and Pagara dam in Gwalior were commissioned. Irrigation tanks, namely Kharang and Maniyari in Bilaspur district, Bori in Balaghat district and Bohribund in Jabalpur were constructed in 1931 and 1927 respectively. During the years 1929-34, in the erstwhile Gwalior state, Sank-Asan Project, Kaketo dam, Aoda dam, Harsi dam and Tigara dam were also constructed. These projects created an irrigation potential of 1.70 lakh acres in the State.

Before the Independence, the irrigation works were executed keeping in view the security aspects only. C.P. Irrigation Committee (1927-29) imposed a complete ban on new irrigation activities until the scheme already completed proved remunerative. This has, however, not promoted the irrigation activities unless a new era of development started in the year 1951-52.

The State is not short of water resources. The estimated annual runoff from all the basins in the state (after the formation of new Madhya Pradesh) is about 81,719 hm3. It is estimated that about 49,743 hm3 can be harnessed for irrigation purpose in Madhya Pradesh. The Plan wise irrigation potential created and utilised is given under.

MP Potential.jpg

Hydro Power Development

The major Hydro Power Stations in Madhya Pradesh are listed below

1. Bansagar Tons HE project

2. Indirasagar HE project (NHDC)

3. Omkareshwar HE project (NHDC)

4. Madikheda HE project

5. Bargi HE project

6. Pench HE Project (Joint venture of MP & Maharashtra)

7. Rajghat HE project (Joint venture of MP & UP)

8. Maheshwar HE project (Under Construction)- Under Private sector

9. Tawa HE Project (Under private sector)

10. Birsinghpur HE project

Inter-State Agreements

Narmada Basin

1. Agreement Dated 22nd July, 1972 between Governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on Narmada Development. view

2. Agreement Dated 12th July, 1974 between the Governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan about the Narmada water dispute. view

3. Agreement Dated 8th March, 1975 between the Governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan on development of Narmada waters. view

4. Agreement Dated 5th April, 1978 between the Governments of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh about the medium schemes in Narmada Basin. view

5. Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal Award View

Ganga Basin

1. Agreements Dated 29th April, 1965 between the Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh regarding the following Projects. i)Execution of Bhander Canal (Matatilla Dam) ii) Allocation of Waters from the Rangwan Dam iii) Allocation of waters from the Jamni Dam.view

2. Agreements Dated 18th October, 1965 between the Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh regarding Bhander Canal project. view

3. Agreements Dated 1st August, 1972 between the Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh regarding some Irrigation projects in Bundelkhand. view

4. Agreements Dated 16th September,1973 among the Governments of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh regarding Bansagar project. view

5. Summary record of decision taken at the interstate meeting held on 8th December, 1973 between the officials of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh regarding supplies to Bhander Canal- Rabi Season of 1973-74. view

6. Agreements Dated 9th December,1973 between the Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh regarding Rajghat Project. view

7. Summary record of decision taken at the interstate meeting held on 13th January 1977 between the chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh regarding the following projects: (i) Rajghat (ii)Paisuni (iii) ken Canal (iv) kanhar (v) Urmil, (vi) Bansagar, and (vii) Bhander Canal view

8. Agreements Dated 20th February , 1982 on sharing of kanhar waters reached between the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. view

Tapi Basin

1. Agreement Dated 8th march 1964 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh regarding interstate irrigation and Hydel projects. view

2. Agreement Dated 16th May, 1969 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh regarding inter-state Irrigation and and Also regarding constitution of inter-state control board for Joint Irrigation and Hydel Project. view

3 Agreement Dated 12th January, 1986 for sharing of Tapi water between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. view

Godavari Basin

1. Summary record of decision taken at the inter-state conference held on 27th July and 28th July, 1951 among the states of Bombay, madras, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh and Mysore regarding the utilization of Krishna and Godavari waters. view

2. Agreement Dated 8th march, 1964 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh regarding certain inter-state irrigation and hydel projects view

3. Agreement Dated 16th May, 1969 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh regarding certain Inter-state irrigation and Hydel Projects: Pench & bagh and also regarding the constitution of interstate control board for joint irrigation and hydel projects. view

4. Agreement Dated 31st January,1975 between the Governments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh regarding the swarn Project and other agreements between the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra regarding the following Projects: Bhawanthadi, Bhapalpatnam Project I and II, Kalisarar Project, Nugur II Hydro-Electric Project,Kotri Nibra Hydro- Electric Project and Bandia Hydel Electric Project. view

5. Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal view


  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Mines & Minerals


Agriculture is the main source of income of the state. About 80 per cent people's main occupation is agriculture. Nearly 44 per cent of the available land is used for cultivation as the state has many forest areas and the hills are generally not fit for cultivation. Major crops of this state are paddy, wheat, pulses, mustard, soyabean, sugarcane, jowar and cotton. This contributes one fifth of the country's pulses production. The Malwa plateau is rich in black soil, which supports cotton cultivation.


Major industry of this state are paper, newsprint, cement, steel, aluminium etc. This state entered into the era of high-tech industries such as petro-chemicals, telecommunications, automobiles, electronics . Recently a large number of automobile industries have been established in Pithampur near Indore. An air cargo complex, Indo-German tool room and Inland container depot are being established in Pithampur. Madhya Pradesh produces optical fibre for telecommunication needs. Major public sector industries are Bhilai Steel Plant, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited at Bhopal, Bharat Aluminium Company at Korba, Security Paper Mill at Hoshangabad, Bank Note Press at Dewas, Newsprint factory at Nepanagar and Alkaloid factory at Neemuch. Besides, the textile mills, handlooms and powerlooms contribute a notable share in cloth production

Mines & Minerals

Madhya Pradesh is the leading state in the country in mineral production. Major minerals are iron ore (Durg, Bastar, and Gwalior), coal (north Chattisgarh basin, East Chattishgarh basin, Satpura and Vindhya), bauxite (Amarkantak in Bilaspur, Kanti Tehsil in Jabalpur etc), manganese-ore (Balaghat and Chhindwara, Jabalpur, Jhabua and Bilaspur), rock phosphate, dolomite, copper-ore, lime-stone and marble. It is the only state in India, where diamond (Panna region) and tin are produced. As many as 27 types of minerals have found here.


  • Transport



Madhya Pradesh railway routes connects northern part of the country with the southern parts. Bhopal, Bilaspur, Bina, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur, Katni, Ratlam and Ujjain are the important railway junction of the state. The divisional railway headquarters are at Bhopal, Ratlam, Jabalpur and Bilaspur.


There are airports at Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Raipur, and Khajuraho. These airports are connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and Nagpur via regular air services.


Madhya Pradesh has a large number of temples, monuments, mosques, sculptures and icons. Major tourist places are Pachmarhi (hill station) in the Hoshangabad district, glittering splendour of Marble rocks and roaring sound of Dhundhar Fall at Bhedaghat on Narmada river, Kanha National Park (famous for Tiger & Barasingha) and Bandhavgarh National Park with its forts. Besides these Chanderi, Jabalpur, Raisen, Orchha, Sanchi, Vidisha, Udaygiri, Bhimbetka, Bhopal and Indore are famous for ancient monuments. Major pilgrim center's are Maheshwar, Omkareshwar, Ujjain, Chitrakoot, Amarkantak, Orchha, Bhojpur and Udaipur. There are world famous temples at Khajuraho. Famous archaeological treasures are at Satna, Sanchi, Vidisha, Gwalior, Indore, Mandsaur, Ujjain, Rajgarh, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Rewa etc. For details go to MP Tourism

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