Central India is a loosely defined region of India consisting of the states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Indore, the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh is the largest city in the region. Other major cities include Bhopal and Raipur. The states share many linguistic and cultural characteristics with the Northern Region including the predominance of Hindi. The states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have been grouped along with the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand as the Northern Zonal Council for cooperation.
|States and territories|
|Most populous cities (2011)|
|• Total||443,443 km2 (171,214 sq mi)|
|• Density||230/km2 (590/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
The Bhimbetka caves show evidence of paleolithic settlements in present-day Madhya Pradesh. Stone age tools have also been discovered at various places along the Narmada river valley. Chalcolithic sites have been discovered at a number of places including Eran, Kayatha, Maheshwar, Nagda, and Navdatoli. Rock shelters with cave paintings, the earliest of which can be dated to 30,000 BCE, have also been discovered at a number of places. The settlements of humans in present-day Madhya Pradesh developed primarily in the valleys of rivers such as Narmada, Chambal, and Betwa. During the early Vedic period, the Vindhya mountains formed the southern boundary of the Indo-Aryan territory.
The Holkars, a powerful family of the Maratha Empire were based out of Indore. The territory that now comprises Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were ruled by numerous princes who entered into Subsidiary alliance with the British. After independence, the states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, and Bhopal were merged into Madhya Pradesh in 1956. In 2000, the new state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh.
- Pocock, R. I. (1939). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. – Volume 1. London: Taylor and Francis Ltd. pp. 212–222.
- Nowell, K., Jackson, P. (1996). Wild Cats: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan (PDF). Gland, Switzerland: IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group. pp. 17–21. ISBN 2-8317-0045-0.
- D. K. Harshey & Kailash Chandra (2001). Mammals of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Zoos´ Print Journal 16(12): 659-668 online
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