Coordinates: 23°10′N 77°13′E / 23.17°N 77.21°E / 23.17; 77.21
Madhya Pradesh (abbreviated as MP) (Hindī: मध्य प्रदेश, pronounced (help·info), translation: Middle Province), often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh was originally the largest state in India until November 1, 2000 when the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out. It borders the states Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The state has an area of 308,252 km2 (119,017 sq mi). The largest city and the commercial capital of the state is Indore.
Legend has it that Lord Rama bequeathed the fort to his brother Laxmana, hence the name Bandhavgarh (Bandhavgarh National Park) which means brother's fort. The Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India; its Stone Age rock paintings are approximately 9,000 years old.