Historical sites of Madhya Pradesh include the millennia-old Bhimbetka rock paintings and Gwalior’s lavish Jai Vilas Palace. Among the temple towns, Khajuraho is famous for the erotic carvings and writing across its 10th-century temples. Another historical hotspot near the Agra–Varanasi route is secluded Orchha, where riverside cenotaphs and palaces exude a ‘lost world’ atmosphere. For outdoor enthusiasts there are 1000m peaks, forests and waterfalls at hill station Pachmarhi, and tiger parks. View the cats from an elephant at Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna (site of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book) and Pench. The distinctive craftwork and colourful markets in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region show tribal communities keeping tradition alive. The flowing rivers, the lush green mountains, the dense forests, the beautiful valleys and the vast plains have made it a paradise for travelers.