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Madhya Pradesh - Bhopal, The Capital
The city of Bhopal, built by the emperor Bhoj of Parmar dynasty (1010- 1053), is spread around the Lakes.
The largest mosque of Asia is located in Bhopal. Located at an elevation of 523 meters, Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, still remains unobserved to a large extent. Two lakes, amidst the city, increase the splendor of the city. Both of these lakes act as natural borders of the city. A number of shops, congested localities, innumerable palaces and slender roads are there around the smaller lake. Plenty of industries and array of homes are built across the northern territory of the smaller lake as well.
The newly shaped city had been built, atop the Shyamala hill, on the banks of the large Lake which is situated at the western side of the city of Bhopal. The new city looks marvelous as it is hidden in the shades of the soaring trees. Towering edifices and smooth streets prove that this part of the city is well developed and well designed. More than 10 lakhs city dwellers live their lives on the lands of Bhopal.
Watching the spectacle around the large lake both in morning and evening is a tantalizing experience for the tourists and inhabitants. The view of the city from the banks of the Lake is mind blowing. Engrossed with the captivating surrounds, plenty of devotees don’t miss on the opportunity to enjoy a boat ride along with the family members on the surface of the beguiling Lake. The garlands of lights on the towering buildings of the city look amazing. Watch the reflection of these lights on the water surface of the Lake at night.
The unprecedented Bharat Bhavan in the Shyamala Marg, on the astonishing Lake banks, is an evidence of excellent fine arts. Built and inaugurated in 1982, the edifice, showcases a pleasing ornamentation, thanks to the adroit artist, Charles Correa. The astonishing Art Gallery- Rupankar, praiseworthy library of poems, riveting auditorium, wonderful workshop of fine arts, the folk art and tribal museum are there in the Bharat Bhavan. A number of other entertaining spots are scattered in Bharat Bhavan as well. This is said to be one of the popular center of folk arts in India. Don’t forget to savor the taste of the foods of the adjoining restaurant, called Swad.
The bungalow of the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh is located at the opposite side of the Bharat Bhavan. The road alongside the dam would take you to the bungalow. Tourists who like to capture snaps of the beautiful nature around have to climb up the neighboring Shyamala hill. The hilltop would offer you a pleasing and agreeable bird’s eye view of the spectacular city of Bhopal.
At the top of the adjoining hill of the large Lake, the Safari Park or the zoo, covering rambling 445 km of lands, is a treat to the travelers.
Plenty of archeological collections and sculptures are on display in the Birla museum, at the southern side of the nearby small Lake, atop the Arera hill.
The holy Lakshmi Narayan temple is a coveted spot for the temple lovers and spiritual throng. Even though the temple is not very big but it is pulling crowds for its attractiveness. The Shiva and Vishnu idols demonstrate an entrancing commingling of the art forms and architectures of Harappa, Maurya and Gupta dynasties. Devotees are not allowed to get the blessings of the deity on Wednesdays. The magnetic charm of the great lake, the parliament and the old city can be enjoyed from the holy premise of the temple.
Covering huge area of 40 hectors, the nearby tribal museum, on the prolonged banks of the beautiful large Lake, at the southern side of the Shyamala hill, showcases countless items which display the edifying and time-honored lifestyles of the tribal communities. You would miss the splendor of the museum if you visit the museum on Mondays.
Holiday makers, who would like to see the archeological collections of the ancient eras, must visit the wonderful State museum, located at the opposite side of the Rabindra Bhavan.
A number of pictures of Mahatma Gandhi and his memorials are aptly maintained in the Gandhi museum. The Ballabh Bhavan, about 10 km away from the city, at the end way of the city, is the secretariat of the State Government.
To look after her dignity and defend herself from the people belonging to other religions, Kamala Devi had sacrificed her life in the small Lake. To recall that miserable story a commemorative namely Kamala Park was formed on the banks of the beautiful small Lake. The memorial pays tribute to her.
The Aish Bagh and Noor Bagh are the other sought after tourists’ destinations.
The magnificence of the great lake and lower lake is impressive. The great Lake, covering straggling 6 km of lands, is truly a delightful destination. The sight around is even more gratifying in darkness. A lot of wandering birds fly in from faraway places to Bhopal and enjoy the nature around the lakes. A viaduct separated both the lakes. Enjoy boating on the water surface of the Lakes.
The Dargah of Moulabhi Shah Ali Shah has been built in the middle of the great Lake as a commemorative of Moulabhi Shah Ali Shah.
Nature lovers would have a lovely time in the safari park which is close on every Tuesdays. Engrossed tourists can watch the sight of the strolling Herbivorous and Carnivorous species, such as, tigers, leopards, lions, crocodiles, shambars and many more denizens on the astonishing manor of the park spending 15 rupees per head. Jetty, about 1 km away from the gateway of the Safari Park, is the place where from boats start along with tourists. This would be a pleasing trip for all the nature lovers. You would be able to watch plenty of aquatic animals sitting on the yacht.
A lot of colorful and enigmatic fishes can be watched in the fishing aquarium, on the banks of the lower Lake. Tourists would be able to watch the finery of the aquarium between 3 p.m. to 7 p. except on Mondays.
Shaukat Mahal or palace was a well planned monument that depicts a wonderful blending of Greek and Latin architectures along with Gothic fine arts. The congested territory surrounded by a fortification houses the primeval Sadar Manzil or the Darbar hall of the ancient emperors of Bhopal. Government has set up offices in both of these charismatic palaces.
Gohar Mahal, constructed by Kudsia Begum in 1820, located on the banks of great Lake, at the back end of the Shaukat Mahal, represents beguiling forms of architecture (Hindu and Mogli) together. A number of charming and gratifying orchards are dotted around the city of Bhopal.
Taj Ul Masjid, the largest mosque of Asia, is located at the rear side of the fort in the old city. The captivating palace, designed with pink color, was started construction during the time of Shah Jahan Begum. The construction of the entire mosque, however, was ended after her death. A water body and a fountain in the proximity increase the splendor of the mosque. 4 bow-shaped vaults, 9 crests, 27 pillars, 18 storied octagonal minaret and 3 domes of marbles make the prayer hall a pleasing attraction for the hordes of holiday makers. The spectacular Jafri architectures on the beautiful walls of the prayer hall are worthy of mention.
The three days long conference, namely ljtima, pulls crowds from faraway places every year. Climb up the stairways of Taj Ul Masjid to watch the grandeur around. The crown of all mosques, the Taj-Ul-Masjid, was completed and had got its final shape in 1971. The mosque premise is accessible only to Muslims on Fridays and on every festive season. A Madrasa is there in the rooms of the mosque now.
The Dhai Sidhi Ki Masjid, built way back in 1716, is the oldest mosque of Bhopal and is the smallest mosque of the world. The mosque houses the Medical College of Bhopal now.
The Juma mosque, constructed by Kudsia Begum 1st in 1837, has lost its old shine and magnificence as plenty of shops and homes have been constructed around the mosque. It is said that the mosque had been constructed on the ruins of Sabha Mandala Temple, erected by the Hindu queen in 1184. The architectures of the Juma mosque still recall the excellent touch of the ancient cultures and traditions. The beautifully decorated white colored mosque has a peak wrapped in precious Gold.
Walk around the Juma mosque. The Elephant Mahal or palace is there in the close hinterland. The palace was erected on 12 feet tall pillars which have shapes of elephant legs. The edifice of council in the palace houses a dome, atop the palace and 12 arches.
The shrine of Darya Khan is located at the northern side of the elephant palace. The displayed fine arts on the shrine would enthrall spiritual people.
The Moti Mosque, erected by Sikandar Jahan Begun 2nd in 1860, located at the eastern side of the traffic point, resembles the structure of the appealing Juma mosque of Delhi. The small mosque has two red colored minarets and its peak is adorned with a golden dome.
It’s quite obvious that Bhopal is a rich city. Innumerable historical monuments are scattered around the city of Bhopal. But, the city is known to all for a bad reason. The gas released at the Union Carbide India Limited Pesticide plant during 1984 had killed thousands of city dwellers. More than 3 lakhs inhabitants were affected directly by the released gas. To recall the sad story, a memorial had been built in front of the Union Carbide.
The palace of the emperor Dost Mohammad in Islam Nagar, about 11 km away from Bhopal, is attracting huge number of visitors as well. The palace depicts a magical commingling of Hindu and Islamic architectures. Hammam and the two storied Rani Mahal are the other enticements of the palace. These integral parts of the palace, however, remain close always. If you can catch the watchmen then you can request them to open the lock to go inside the Rani Mahal and Hammam.
Raisen, located at a distance of 45 km from Bhopal, on the Bhopal- Raisen road, can be accessed by bus. The place is popularly known in the propinquity for the ruins of the astonishing fort, erected long back in 1200, atop the hill, right beside the bus stand of Raisen. Climb up the hill to witness the ancient cultures, prominently visible on the walls of the fort of Raisen. The Raisen Fort houses a temple, three adjoining palaces, war shooter, 15 water bodies and 40 wells.
If you are willing to watch the grandeur and flair of the Raisen palace for some more time then you can stay overnight at CH or PWD RH.
Sanchi is not far away from Bhopal and can easily be accessed by road.
Bhimbetka: It is a UNESCO world heritage site, that had pre historic cave drawings, and should feature in your travel itenery. Click here for details on Bhimbetka
How to reach: Bhopal is well connected to various Indian cities, such as, Kolkata, Jabalpur, Chennai, Mumbai, Allahabad, Delhi, Nagpur, Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Agra cant, Ernakulum, Bangalore, and Hyderabad by railway networks. A number of nearby destinations are accessible from Bhopal by bus as well. Hiring a car to visit Bhopal and its neighboring destinations would be the best option though. Check our transport links below.
Where to stay: Hotel Rama International, Hotel Ranjit, Hotel Crown, Hotel Gulshan, Hotel Manjeet, Hotel Shrimaya, Hotel Ramsons, Hotel Richa, Hotel Banjara and Hotel Shivalik Gold.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.