Bhopal – The Capital City of Madhya Pradesh. Situated by the side of Malwa Plateau in the northeastern part of state, Bhopal is the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. Bhopal was founded by King Bhoja in the 11th century. The city was thus named ‘Bhoj-pal’ and later came to be known as Bhopal. The city is clearly demarcated into two section, the old city with its grand mosques, packed market streets, still reverberates the charm and elegance of
Mughal era whereas the new city that is a perfectly planned city, complete with all modern amenities.
An Afghan soldier named Dost Mohammad founded the present Bhopal city. The city became the second biggest Muslim dominated city in India. It also became a great ally to the British troops against the Mughals. Bhopal is not only rich in history, but nature has been equally generous. Beauty of this charming state is further added on by the two man made lakes that dazzle in center of the city.
The city is extremely hot during the peak summertime but winters are surprisingly pleasant. You can visit the state any time of the year but, November to March are the best months to explore this true wonderland. If you are in Bhopal, you just cannot leave the city without visiting the many markets that adorn this land. The state run emporiums offer locally made textiles that are exquisitely embroidered shawls and sarees. From Bhopal, you can go on a day trip to Bhimbetka caves that are just 46 km away from here.
Bhopal is a city full of heritage buildings that are rich in history and elegance. They are here from the time of Mughals. Many of them are grand mosques and palatial houses that have stood the test of time and the effects of Imperialism. The markets set up on narrow streets of old Bhopal have also become a huge attraction for the tourist because of their variety ranging from traditional showpieces to the trendiest items. You will also find some of the best-known museums of India here.
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (Museum)
Situated on Shamla Hills, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya is one of its kind museum in India which was established in the year 1974. It is an anthropological museum that houses a large collection of Tribal and folk arts from all over India. Covering an area of 200 acres, this is the only museum in the world that showcases a collection of painted prehistoric rock shelters.You can visit the museum any day of the year except for Mondays and government holidays. The timing for summers is 11 AM to 7 PM, whereas in winters, the museum opens from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Built by a Frenchman, this is an unparalleled example of Islamic architecture. It has a strong touch of Post-renaissance and Gothic styles that make it stand apart from all nearby structures. It is situated right in the heart of the city making it easily accessible. When you are visiting this marvelous piece of architecture, do not forget to visit Sadar Manzil which is the Hall of Public Audience of former rulers of Bhopal.
The name ‘Taj-ul-Masjid’ means ‘The Crown of Mosques’. And it surely lives up to the name, as this is one of the biggest mosques in Asia and the largest in India. Built by Nawab Shahjehan Begum, Taj-ul-Masjid has an attractive and imposing structure. This pink mosque is built around a large courtyard with a huge tank in the center. The main attractions of the mosque are the 18 floor high
octagonal minars that tower over the nearby structures and the marble domes that as radiant as gold in sun. Get ready to get spellbound the moment you enter the prayer hall. The hall has many massive pillars, marble flooring and the Quibla wall that has 11 recessed arches. This landmark of Bhopal city truly deserves recognition through out the world.
Bharat Bhawan is one of the most interesting museums in India. It showcases all forms of arts that are there in India. The structure of this museum is designed by world famous architect Charles Correa The premises has many complex that have various things on display. The museum of fine arts is one of its kind in India showing traditional, modern and tribal forms of art under one roof. The museum is called Roopankar.
Similarly museum that has more than 7000 books on Indian poetry in 14 languages is called ‘Vagarth’, Library of Classical and Folk music is called Anhad. Also visit the elegantly build indoor and outdoor auditoriums. Bharat Bhawan is open to public from 2 PM to 8PM. The Bhawan is closed on all government holidays and on Monday.
How to Get Reach
Raja Bhoj Airport is one of the major airports in Madhya Pardesh. It is around 13 km from new market area in TT Nagar. The airport receive regular Indian Airlines and Jet Airways flights from all major cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Hire a taxi or an auto rickhaws from the airport to your hotel. Some hotels provide complimentary transfer facility as well.
Bhopal is one of the most important railheads in central India. All-important Buy Trains have a stop here.
Bhopal is well connected to all the areas of Madhya Pradesh with good network of roads. There are regular state transport buses to and from the city. Bhopal and Indore are connected with shared taxi service.