Madhya Pradesh (meaning Central Province) is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal, and the largest city is Indore, with Jabalpur, Gwalior, Ujjain, Satna, Rewa, Betul, Hoshangabad, Balaghat, Sidhi, Sagar and Chhatarpur being the other major cities. Madhya Pradesh is the second largest Indian state by area and the fifth largest state by population with over 72 million residents. 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 official language of the state is Hindi. In addition Marathi is spoken by a substantial number of the population since the state was home to several important Maratha states. The state in fact has the highest concentration of Marathi people outside Maharashtra. Several regional variants are spoken, which are considered by the government to be dialects of Hindi, and by linguists to be distinct but related languages. Among these dialects are Malvi in Malwa, Nimadi in Nimar, Bundeli in Bundelkhand, and Bagheli in Bagelkhand and the southeast, and Rajasthani in the area near to Rajasthan. Each of these languages has dialects of its own. Other languages include Bhilodi (Bhili), Gondi, Korku, Kalto (Nahali), and Nihali (Nahali), all spoken by Adivasis.
According to the census of 2011, 90.9% of the MP residents followed Hinduism, while others are Muslim (6.6%), Jain (0.8%), Buddhists (0.3%), Christians (0.3%), and Sikhs (0.2%).