A complete tourism guide of Bhopal, offers info on Bhopal tourism in India. Bhopal is bountiful with numerous attractions that attracts thousands of tourist every year. Bhopal tourism houses the medley of temples, Palaces, mosques and lot of tourist places in and around Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh tourism guide will take you on a journey to discover the regal flavor of Bhopal in India.

Attractions In Madhya Pradesh
India - Madhya Pradesh - Bhopal Tourism

Bhopal Tourism

Population : 1,278,030
Altitude : 523m

¤ Bhopal -- The State Capital of Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh is the largest state in India in terms of area, and Bhopal, which is situated around two artificial lakes, is its state capital. Despite its crowded commercial centre, Bhopal is an attractive place to visit.
Enclosed by a masonry wall, the city stands on the northern bank of a large lake with a bridge separating it from the lower lake. The name of the city is reportedly derived from Raja Bhoj who created the surrounding lakes by building a dam or pal. Hence, the city was originally called Bhojpal. Over a period of time, this was shortened to its present name, Bhopal.

Jain Temple, Bhopal
¤ A Unique Blend of Hindu and Islamic Culture

The city of Bhopal is not too well endowed with monuments, but it still has a unique character of its own. It presents a happy mix of Hindu and Islamic cultures and delicately balances both North Indian and South Indian influences as well.
Located on a gradient, the city has an amphitheatre-like quality, with a fair sprinkling of landscaped gardens and lakes. Sitting on the fringe of the Malwa Plateau, which comprises half-broken plains and forests in equal measure, the city is surrounded by the Shamla and the Idgah Hills. These hills offer the best view of Bhopal at twilight. As you near the city, huge minarets of mosques appear on the horizon, silently informing the visitor that Bhopal has arrived. Bhopal is also known as the city of lakes, and when the waters of the lake reflect the twinkling lights of the city at night, it is a sight to behold.

¤ The Begums of Bhopal

Bhopal, as we know it today, was founded by the Afghan adventurer, Dost Mohammad Khan who ruled over the city from 1708-40 a.d. He fled Delhi after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, died in 1707. Later, Dost Mohammad met and fell for Queen Kamalapati, and ultimately extended his sway over the entire region. Bhopal survived a fearsome Maratha onslaught in the late 18th century, and finally signed a treaty with the British in 1818, to secure peace.

Bhopal is a city that is unique in the sense that powerful Begums ruled over it for over a century (1818-1926). In fact, John Lord who chronicled princely India labeled Shah Jahan Begum as the “First Lady of India.”

¤ Modern Bhopal

Modern Bhopal presents a dual personality, a mixture of the old and the new. In the heart of the old city lies the Chowk, lined with old mosques and havelis (mansions) which are reminders of a bygone era. The most prominent of these mosques are the Taj-ul-Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the country, the Jama Masjid and the Moti Masjid. The architecture of the city is an amalgam of both Islamic and Hindu styles, with the odd European-style monument thrown in as well. The Shaukat Mahal combines both Gothic and post-Renaissance styles to produce a charming effect. In sharp contrast to this is the new city with its well-laid out verdant parks and gardens, broad avenues and modern offices. In short, Bhopal has the ability to accommodate change, and yet remain the same.

Taj Ul Massid Bhopal
¤ Main Attractions

Bhopal - The Cradle of Art and Culture
Bhopal is also the house of art and culture in Madhya Pradesh, and the Bharat Bhavan which sits atop the Shamla Hills, is a prime example of that. Designed by Charles Correa, the museum houses an art gallery, a repertoire company and libraries of poetry, classical and folk music. and since Madhya Pradesh has a large concentration of adivasis (tribals), a visitor at the Tribal Habitat in Bhopal gets a feel of village life in the state.

However, the most interesting facets of the district are the spectacular cave paintings at Bhimbetka, a short distance away from the city of Bhopal. Etched in rock, some of the work is more than 30,000 years old, while the more recent ones belong to the medieval period. The cave paintings are valuable, not just for their artistic merit but also because they constitute a treasure trove of information on the pre-historic age.

Other Tourist Attractions
Bhojpur that is just a few miles away from the city. Bhojpur houses a magnificent Shiva Temple, and apparently was also the site of a huge lake that was destroyed by Hoshang Shah, the ruler of Malwa in mid-15th century. 6km north of Bhopal is Ashapuri which has some old Jain temples. and about 45km from the city is the marvellous Chiklod Palace

Culture & Cuisine
Although Bhopal is not considered to be as culturally evolved as Gwalior, the city is bursting at the seams with history, and walking down its narrow alleys is like sitting in a time machine and going back into the past.
The city’s shops are famous for traditional Bhopali crafts; you will find exquisite silver jewellery, beautifully-fashioned beadwork, sequined and embroidered velvet purses and cushions. The city is a great place to visit for non-vegetarians, thanks to long years of Islamic rule.
The chief delicacies are the spicy achar gost (pickled lamb), the sumptuous keemas (minced meat), the delectable rogan josh (mutton dish) and a variety of pulaos (aromatic rice) – enough to make even the most fastidious eater lick his lips. However, the culinary delight that the city is most famous for is the Bhopali Paan (betel leaf) which both men and women chew with relish.

The Bhopal Gas Tragedy
of course, a write up of Bhopal cannot be complete without a reference to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy which occurred on the 3rd of December, 1984, and is considered to be one of the worst industrial disasters ever.

The toxic gas, methyl isocyanate, leaked out from the multi-national Union Carbide’s insecticide plant on the outskirts of the city, leaving more than 5,000 people dead and over 100,000 suffering life-long illnesses, according to a conservative estimate. Union Carbide agreed to pay 470 million dollars in compensation in an out-of-court settlement to the victims, but for its critics, this was chicken feed.

Major Circuits

Delhi>>Taj Mahal>>Khajuraho>>Kanaha National Park>>Gwalior>>Bhopal>>Indore>>Mandu
Delhi >>Agra >>Kanaha National Park>> Gwalior >>Khajuraho>>Ujjain >>Bhopal>> Sanchi
Delhi >> Taj Mahal >> Jaipur >> Khajuraho >>Kanaha National Park>>Gwalior >>Bhopal

Major Tour Packages To Madhya Pradesh

India Heritage Tour
Rock Heritage
Tigers & Rhinos in North India
Adventure Tour in India with Taj Mahal

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