Madhya Pradesh (MP) state is situated in central India and is a part of the peninsular platue of India. The state is bordered in the northeast by Uttar Pradesh, to its southeast lies Chhattisgarh, to its south lies Maharashtra, to its West lies Gujarat and to its northwest lies Rajasthan. The Narmada Sone valley defines its topography.
The state retains landmarks from different eras of Indian history. Sites such as Bhimbetka, Adamgarh, Pachmarhi, Raisen, Jaora etc. stand witness to the prehistoric period. Dynastic history dates back to Ashoka, the Kushans, and then the Satvahanas. Post independence, a large number of princely states were reorganised to form the present day Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh is positioned in the heart of India and spans an area of 308,000 km²It is the second largest state in India. Bhopal is the capital city, but Indore is the largest city. It has a population of over 7 crores as per 2011 census, ranking it sixth among Indian states in terms of population.
The area covered by the present-day Madhya Pradesh includes the area of the ancient Avanti Mahajanapada, whose capital Ujjain (also known as Avantika) arose as a major city during the second wave of Indian urbanisation in the sixth century BCE. Subsequently, the region was ruled by the major dynasties of India. By the early 18th century, the region was divided into several small kingdoms which were captured by the British and incorporated into Central Provinces and Berar and the Central India Agency. After India's independence, Madhya Pradesh state was created with Nagpur as its capital: this state included the southern parts of the present-day Madhya Pradesh and northeastern portion of today's Maharashtra. In 1956, this state was reorganised and its parts were combined with the states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh and Bhopal to form the new Madhya Pradesh state, the Marathi-speaking Vidarbha region was removed and merged with the then Bombay State. This state was the largest in India by area until 2000, when its southeastern Chhattisgarh region was made as a separate state.