Bhopal, two starkly contrasting cityscapes combined by beautiful lakes is a sprawling city with the right blend of culture, heritage & modern life. Bhopal is well known as the City of Lakes & natural beauty. Established around 11th century AD by King Bhoja as Bhojapal, the city is the current capital of India’s heartland state Madhya Pradesh. Modern city was initiated by Dost Muhammad Khan between the years 1672-1782, a Pashtun soldier in Mughal army. Bhopal was later ruled as a princely state by Begams under British suzerainty.
Northern fringe of the city is nestled with old city, a captivating area of mosques, labyrinthine lanes, chowks, streaming crowd, exotic mansions and crowded bazaars.
South of the two lakes is the new Bhopal. Modern, with wide avenues, exclusive shopping complexes, and luxurious hotels and restaurants nestled comfortably in the Arera and Shamla Hills, which overlook the lakes and the old city beyond. The central area is known as New Market.
Attractions in Bhopal are Taj-Ul-Masjid, Gauhar Mahal, Moti Masjid, Bhojtal, The Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalay, Lakshminarayan Temple & Sadar Manzil.
The most impressive monument of Bhopal, the Darul Uloom Tajul Masajid is one of the biggest mosques in India. It is a striking pinkish red sandstone building with a trio of white bulbous domes over a long facade flanked by colossal marble domed minarets on both sides. Enter the mosque through a double-storey gateway with archways. The entrance courtyard holds a bathing tank. The main hallway, floored in marble, has fine trellised screens and eleven recessed arches along the Quibla wall. The hall is noted for its massive pillars that hold up the ceiling, which has some ornate petaled designs. The construction began during the reign of Shah Jehan Begum (who ruled Bhopal princely state from 1868 to 1901) and who embarked on a building spree that resulted in not just mosques and palaces but also far-sighted infrastructural initiatives like a postal system, new schools, dams, lakes, and a railway service between Hoshangabad and Bhopal. The majesty of the mosque building is called the Mother of Mosques.
Upper Lake is also referred as “Bhojtal” and is magnificent lake of 11th century known as one of the oldest man-made lake in India. It’s a massive bund constructed across Kolans River. People believe there that King Bhoj cured his skin disease with water from this lake. Overall this place too is a must visit for every tourist as the water is clean and have many sport activities around there too.
The Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya
The Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya on the Shamla Hills in Bhopal is the National Museum of Mankind. It has been renamed as the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya and is a significant tourist place in Bhopal. This museum is engaged in recollecting the past rather than collection. The Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya is built on a pre historic ground in Madhya Pradesh, which is strewn with a number of painted shelters carve din the rocks. This anthropological institution is curated and built by the tribal folk in a way to display the way of living of the ancient tribal’s. Villages have been reconstructed, entire fishing villages replicated towards the lake etc. This is a post colonial museum of communities, a repertoire of tribal and folk arts. There is a well stocked library, audio-visual archives, computerize documentations and a wide collection of ethnographic specimens, which are among the best collections worldwide.