Madhya Pradesh is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and the largest city is Indore.. Nicknamed the “heart of India” due to its geographical location in India, Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state in the country by area. With over 75 million inhabitants, it is the sixth largest state in India by population. It borders the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the west, and Rajasthan to the northwest.
The area covered by the present-day Madhya Pradesh includes the area of the ancient Avanti mahajanapada, whose capital Ujjain (also known as Avanti) 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, including the Mauryans, Gupta, Empire, Harshavardhana, then Rajput kings of Paramara, Chandelas, Bundela, Tomaras, subsequently by the Mughals and later by the Marathas.
Madhya Pradesh is home to a large tribal population, who have been largely cut off from the mainstream development. This makes Madhya Pradesh one of the least developed states in India.