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Typical countryside near Mhow

Malwa is a region in western India occupying a plateau of volcanic origin in the western part of Madhya Pradesh state and the south-eastern part of Rajasthan. The region was a separate political unit from the time of the Aryan tribe of Malavas until 1947. Most of the region is drained by the Chambal River and its tributaries; the western part is drained by the Mahi River. Ujjain was the capital in ancient times, and Indore is presently the largest city. The culture of the region has had influences from Gujarati, Rajasthani and Marathi cultures. Malvi is the most commonly used language, especially in rural areas, while Hindi is widely understood in cities. The first significant kingdom in the region was Avanti, an important power in western India by around 500 BCE, when it was annexed by the Maurya Empire. The 5th-century Gupta period was a golden age in the history of Malwa. The region has given the world prominent leaders in the arts and sciences, including the poet Kālidāsa and the polymath king Bhoja. (More...)

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Malé, capital of the Maldives

An aerial photo of Malé, the capital of the Republic of Maldives.

Malé is located on Malé Island in the Kaafu Atoll, but administratively it is not considered part of Kaafu. The island is heavily urbanised, with the city, one of the most densely populated in the world, taking up essentially its entire landmass. The tsunami resulting from the Indian Ocean earthquake in December 2004 flooded two-thirds of the city.

Photo credit: Shahee Ilyas
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