Various dynasties held their sway over the territory that constitutes the present day state of Madhya Pradesh. Many places in the state find mention in the ancient scriptures such as Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The city of Ujjain, earlier known as Avanti, made its mark as a major center of power and learning in the sixth century BC. The whole area came under the control of the Maurya Empire (321 to 185 BCE). After the downfall of the Mauryan Empire, the territory was ruled by various dynasties including the Satavahana and the Sakas.
The Gupta dynasty which ruled over the state is considered to be golden period of the Indian history. The medieval period witnessed the emergence of several dynasties including the Paramaras of Malwa and the Chandelas of Bundelkhand. The world heritage site of Khajuraho temples were built by the Chandelas of Bundelkhand.
The territory came under the control of the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire. The present day Madhya Pradesh came into being on 1 November 2000, following its bifurcation to create a new state of Chhattisgarh.