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 urbanization in the sixth century BCE. Subsequently, the region was ruled by the major dynasties of India, including the Mauryans, the Mughals and the Marathas. By the early 18th century, the region was divided into several small kingdoms which were captured by the British and incorporated into Central Provinces and Berar and the Central India Agency. After India's independence, Madhya Pradesh state was created with Nagpur as its capital: this state included the southern parts of the present-day Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. In 1956, this state was reorganized and its parts were combined with the states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh and Bhopal to form the new Madhya Pradesh state with Bhopal as its capital. This state was the largest state of India by area until 2000. In 2000, the Chhattisgarh region was split to create a new state, and Rajasthan became the largest state of India.
Mandu or Mandavgad is a ruined city in the present-day Mandav area of the Dhar district. It is located in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh, India at 35 km from the Dhar city. In the 11th century, Mandu was the sub division of the Tarangagadh or Taranga[disambiguation needed] kingdom . This fortress town on a rocky outcrop about 100 km (62 mi) from Indore is celebrated for its fine architecture.
The earliest reference to Mandu is available in the Sanskrit inscription of 555 AD, which tells that Mandu was a fortified city even in 6th century BC. It gained prominence in 10th and 11th century under the Parmars (who called it Mandavgarh), from whom the control was snatched by Khiljis in 1305. Mandav or Mandu's was earlier known by the name of "Shadiabad" meaning the city of happiness (Anand Nagari), the name was given by then ruler Allauddin Khilji. Mandu city is situated at an elevation of 633 metres (2079 feet) and extends for 13 km (8.1 mi) along the crest of the Vindhya Range, overlooking the plateau of Malwa to the north and the valley of the Narmada River to the south. These acted as natural defences and Mandu was originally the fort-capital of Rajput Parmara rulers of Malwa. Towards the end of the 11th century, it came under the sway of the Taranga kingdom.