Madhya Pradesh, because of its central location in India, has remained a crucible of historical currents from North, South, East and West. Moments of velour and glory impressed in stone. Love, passion, feasting, divinity arrested in the sensitive chisels of master-craftsmen. Long before the written word, the magic of Madhya Pradesh was inscribed in colors that have defined time in their permanence. It occupies perhaps the oldest part of the subcontinent.
During the 1857 uprising, rebellions happened in the northern parts of the state, led by leaders like Tatya Tope. However, these were crushed by the British and the princes loyal to them. The state witnessed a number of anti-British activities and protests during the Indian independence movement. Several notable leaders such as Chandra Shekhar Azad, B. R. Ambedkar, Shankar Dayal Sharma and Atal Bihari Vajpayee were born in what is now Madhya Pradesh.
After the independence of India, Madhya Pradesh was created in 1950 from the former British Central Provinces and Berar and the princely states of Makrai and Chhattisgarh, with Nagpur as the capital of the state. The new states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, and Bhopal were formed out of the Central India Agency. In 1956, the states of Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, and Bhopal were merged into Madhya Pradesh, and the Marathi-speaking southern region Vidarbha, which included Nagpur, was ceded to Bombay state. Bhopal became the new capital of the state. In November 2000, as part of the Madhya Pradesh Reorganization Act, the southeastern portion of the state split off to form the new state of Chhattisgarh.