Madhya Pradesh (Central Province) is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal, and the largest city is Indore, with Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ujjain and Sagar being the other major cities. Nicknamed the "Heart of India" due to its geographical location, Madhya Pradesh is the second largest Indian state by area and the fifth largest state by population with over 75 million residents.
The area covered by the present-day Madhya Pradesh includes the area of the ancient Avanti Mahajanapada, whose capital Ujjain arose as a major city during the second wave of Indian urbanisation in the sixth century BCE
The Narmada is the longest river in Madhya Pradesh. It flows westward through a rift valley, with the Vindhya ranges sprawling along its northern bank and the Satpura range of mountains along the southern. Its tributaries include the Banjar, the Tawa, the Machna, the Shakkar, the Denwa and the Sonbhadra rivers. The Tapti River runs parallel to Narmada, and also flows through a rift valley. The Narmada–Tapti systems carry an enormous volume of water and provide drainage for almost a quarter of the land area of Madhya Pradesh. The Narmada river is considered very sacred and is worshipped throughout the region. It is the main source of water and acts as a lifeline to the state.
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