About Madhya Pradesh

After Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state of India with an area of 3,08,245 sq kms constituting 9.38% of the geographical area of the country. Physiographically, Madhya Pradesh can be fairly categorized into four regions :

  • The low lying areas in the north & north west of Gwalior
  • Malwa Plateau
  • Satpura ranges
  • Vindhya ranges

Chambal, Betwa, Sone and Narmada are the four important rivers and forms the lifeline of the state. The average annual rainfall varies from 800 mm to about 1800 mm. The annual temperature ranges from 22.5 to 25° C. The total population of the state is 72.60 million ( cencus 2011 ) which constitute 6% of the country’s population. Out of this, rural population is 72.37% and urban population is 27.63%.

Natural resources abounds the state of Madhya Pradesh. Resources like fuels, minerals, agriculture and biodiversity enrich this state which encourages great profits in return and also leads to economic development. It is also the sole diamond producing state in the country. Diamond production in the state stood at 35,078 carats during April 2017-February 2018.

The population density of Madhya Pradesh is 236 persons per sq km.

Madhya Pradesh is an intensive part of the peninsular plateau of India, lying in the north central part and is bounded by 2 plains and 2 valleys along with a plateau on all the four sides. These are the the plains of Ganga – Yamuna in the north, the Arawali in the west, the Chattisgarh plain in the east and the Tapti valley and the plateau of Maharashtra in the south.

Narmada Sone Valley defines the terrain of Madhya Pradesh. Running through the state from east to west,it is a narrow and long valley covering almost the entire state. The districts named Shahdol and Sidhi are located in this valley. In addition to this, the lower part of this valley is called the Narmada valley that is covered with alluvial soil and has an average elevation of 300 m above MSL. Some of the districts that are located here are Hoshangabad, Jabalpur, Mandla, Raisen, Khandwa and Barwani. If asked which valley is narrower, the Sone valley is narrower than Narmada valley and also the alluvial deposit is also comparatively poor. Thus agricultural activities predominate Narmada valley more than Sone valley that in return increases the importance. The Central Highlands lie to the northern part of this valley, the Satpura-Maikal ranges in the south and the eastern plateau to the south-east. There is a formation of triangle due to the way in which the Central Highlands are spread between the Narmada-Sone valley and the Aravali ranges to the west. There are four uplands that are comprises the central highland region. These are:

  1. The Rewa-Panna plateau also known as the Vindhyan plateau, lies to the north-eastern side of the central highlands. Ken, Sonar, Barna and Tons constitute the the main rivers flowing in the area with Rewa, Panna, Satna, Damoh and Sagar forming the main districts in this region.
  2. The Bundelkhand plateau is the other upland that is located to the north-west of the Rewa-Panna plateau. The districts that form the northern part of this region are Datia, Chhatarpur, Panna, Tikamgarh and parts of Guna and Shivpuri. The Vindhyan escarp lands or Rewa-Panna plateau surrounds this region in the north-east. The average height of the region is 350-450 m above MSL and general slope is towards north. Betwa, Dhasan and Jamner are the main rivers flowing in the area which ultimately unites in the Yamuna.
  3. The third upland is Central India lieing to the west of Bundelkhand plateau. In thsi region, the famous towns of Shivpuri, Morena and Gwalior districts are located. The average elevation of this plateau is 450 m on highlands and 150-450 m above MSL in valleys. The main rivers flowing in this area are Chambal, Kali Sindh and Parvati.
  4. Almost the whole of western Madhya Pradesh is covered by Malwa plateau, forming the fourth upland. The rivers Chambal and Narmada bounds this plateu in the north and south, respectively. The average elevation ranges between 300-500 m above MSL. The main districts of this region are Shajapur, Dewas, Indore, Ujjain, Dhar, Ratlam and parts of Sehore and Jhabua. The popular town of Bhopal is situated on the eastern side of the Malwa plateau. Malwa plateua has Shipra, Parvati, Kali Sindh, Gambhir and Chambal as its main rivers flow through it. In addition, this plateau also forms the water divide between the Ganga and the Narmada basin. Due to the action of weathering of basalts, the soil in the area is black cotton which is considered to be fertile for growing crops.

Apart from these four, there other highlands like the Satpura-Maikal and the eastern plateau regions. Both of these ranges lie to the south and the to the north- east of the Narmada-Sone valley, respectively. Districts like Chhindwara, Betul, Seoni, Balaghat, Mandla and parts of Khandwa and Khargone are nestled in the Satpura-Maikal ranges. With an average height of of 300 m, one can see several high peaks in these ranges. Dhoopgarh that rises to 1360 m above msl, is the highest peak of the state and is located in these ranges.

Interestingly, the Satpuras ( forming the eastern part), is broader than the Maikal ranges which is the western part that extends in a way to form a semi-circle. The Maikal ranges give birth to the Amarkantak plateau, which originates out of both Narmada and Sone rivers. Johila, Macherwa, Denwa and Choti Tawa are the other rivers in the area that meets in the Narmada.
The Baghelkhand Plateau that lies between Maikal ranges and Chhattisgarh, is found in the eastern plateau region. This plateau has an elevation of 1033 m above MSL.