Bhopal (Hindi: भोपाल,Sindhi: ڀوپال, Urdu:بهوبال, pron. [bʱoːpaːl] ( listen)) is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarter of Bhopal District and Bhopal Division. Bhopal is known as the Lake city (or City of Lakes) as its landscape is dotted with a number of natural lakes. Bhopal is also one of the greenest cities of India.
Historically, Bhopal was capital of the Bhopal state.
The city attracted international attention due to the tragic Bhopal disaster, when the Union Carbide plant, which manufactured pesticides, leaked deadly methyl isocyanate gas during the night of 3 December 1984. The plant was operated by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL).
This gas leak caused the worst industrial disaster in history. There was a massive loss of human life - numbering in thousands. Thousands others were rendered sick and have been facing chronic health problems such as psychological and neurological disabilities, blindness etc. Skin, vision and breathing disorders also are common. The rate of birth defects, in children whose parents or even grandparents (i.e. second generation) were exposed, is still very high.
The soil and ground water, near the factory site, has been polluted due to toxic contaminants still leaking from the factory. The Indian government, however, maintains that no such pollution has taken place or that any such toxins are even present at the site.
Since the disaster, Bhopal has been a center of protests and campaigns which have been joined by many people from across the globe.
On 11 April 2005, the Indian Space Research Organisation established a Master Control Facility in Ayodhya Nagar, to control the movements of satellites. It is the second such installation in the country (the first being at Hassan ). Bhopal would be the second city to have an All India Institute of Medical Sciences campus, the first one being in Delhi.
Bhopal is said to have been founded by the Parmar King Bhoj (1000–1055), who had his capital at Dhar. The city was originally known as Bhojpal named after Bhoj and the dam ('pal') that he is said to have constructed to form the lakes surrounding Bhopal. The fortunes of Bhopal rose and fell with that of its reigning dynasty. As the Parmaras declined in power, the city was ransacked several times and finally faded away into obscurity.
An Afghan soldier of the Orakzai tribe called Dost Mohammad Khan (not to be confused with the later Afghan King carrying the same name) laid out the present city at the same site following the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707. He brought with himself the Islamic influence on the culture and architecture of Bhopal, the ruins of which can be found at Islam Nagar. Bhopal, the second largest Muslim state in pre-independence India was ruled by four Begums from 1819 to 1926. Qudisa Begum was the first female ruler of Bhopal City, who was succeeded by her only daughter Sikandari, who in turn was succeeded by her only daughter, Shahjehan. Kaikhusrau Jahan Begum was the last female ruler, and stepped down to her son. The succession of the ‘Begums’ gave the city such innovations as waterworks, railways and a postal system. Several monuments still stand in the city as reminders of this glorious period in its history. A municipality was constituted in 1907.
It was one of the last princely states to sign the 'Instrument of Accession' 1947. Though India achieved Independence in August 1947, the ruler of Bhopal acceded to India only on 1 May 1949. Sindhi refugees from Pakistan were accommodated in West Bhopal Cities, Bairagarh Sub-Area (Sant Hirdaram nagar), a western suburb of Bhopal. According to the States Reorganization Act of 1956, Bhopal state was integrated into the state of Madhya Pradesh, and Bhopal was declared as its capital. The population of the city rose rapidly thereafter.
On December 3, 1984, a Union Carbide Corporation plant in Bhopal leaked 32 tons of toxic methyl isocyanate gas, leading to the Bhopal disaster. The official death toll of this disaster was about 5,000 initially. A more probable figure is that 18,000 died within two weeks, and it is estimated that an additional 8,000 have since died from gas-poisoning-related diseases. The Greenpeace organization cites a total casualty figure of 20,000 as its own conservative estimate. The Bhopal disaster is often cited as the world's worst industrial disaster. December 3 is observed as an annual day of mourning for this disaster, and each year, all of the government offices in Bhopal are closed on this day.
The Union Carbide India, Ltd., (UCIL) plant was established in 1969 in East Bhopal City. 51% of it was owned by Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and 49% by Indian authorities, although UCC was responsible for all techniques and designs. It produced the pesticide carbaryl (trade mark Sevin). Methyl isocyanate (MIC), an intermediate in carbaryl manufacture, was also used, and in 1979 a plant for producing MIC was added to the site.
During the night of December 3, 1984, large amounts of water entered the chemical storage tank E610, which contained about 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate. The resulting reaction generated a major increase in the temperature of liquid inside the tank to over 200°C (400°F). The MIC holding tank then gave off a large volume of mixed toxic gases, forcing the emergency release of pressure. Massive panic resulted as people woke up in a cloud of noxious gasses that burned their lungs. About nine thousand people died immediately from the gasses, and many more were trampled by others who were fleeing.
Theories for how the water entered the chemical storage tank differ. At the time, workers at the plant were cleaning out some chemical pipes with water, and some authorities claim that because of bad maintenance and leaking valves, it was possible for the water to leak into the tank E610. The Union Carbide Corp. maintains that this was not possible, and that the disaster was an act of sabotage by a "disgruntled worker" who introduced water directly into the tank. Much speculation arose in the aftermath, since the government of India and the Union Carbide Corp. did not release the results of their own investigations. A recently published highly researched book, entitled "The Black Box of Bhopal", which has also appended several original documents not scrutinized before, presents a more complete picture about the events on the morning of 3 December 1984, the various investigations and the litigation that followed. It discredits the unproven allegations of the government sponsored CSIR Report of 1985.
The deciding factors that contributed to the disaster included:
Bhopal has an average elevation of 499 metres (1637 ft). Bhopal is located in the central part of India, and is just north of the upper limit of the Vindhya mountain ranges. Located on the Malwa plateau, it is higher than the north Indian plains and the land rises towards the Vindhya Range to the south. The city has uneven elevation and has small hills within its boundaries. The major hills in Bhopal comprise of Idgah hills and Shyamala hills in the northern region and Arera hills in the central region.
The municipality covers 298 square kilometres. It has two very beautiful big lakes, collectively known as the Bhoj Wetland . These lakes are the Upper Lake (built by King Bhoj) and the Lower Lake. Locally these are known as the Bada Talab and Chota Talab respectively. The catchment area of the Upper Lake is 361 km² while that of the Lower Lake is 9.6 km². The Upper Lake drains into the Kolar River. The Van Vihar National Park is a national park situated beside the Upper Lake.
The national park also has a museum in its premises. Kheoni Wild Life Sanctuary is situated 125 km from Bhopal.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Bhopal has a humid subtropical climate, with mild, dry winters, a hot summer and a humid monsoon season. Summers start in late March and go on till mid-June, the average temperature being around 30 °C (86 °F), with the peak of summer in May, when the highs regularly exceed 40 °C (104 °F). The monsoon starts in late June and ends in late September. These months see about 40 inches (1020 mm) of precipitation, frequent thunderstorms and flooding. The average temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F) and the humidity is quite high. Temperatures rise again up to late October when winter starts, which lasts up to early March. Winters in Bhopal are mild, sunny and dry, with average temperatures around 18 °C (64 °F) and little or no rain. The winter peaks in January when temperatures may drop close to freezing on some nights. Total annual rainfall is about 1146 mm (46 inches).
The city is divided into six major areas and about 75 suburbs.The major areas include Old City and the New City. The major industries in the old city are electrical goods, cotton, chemicals and jewelry. Other industries include cotton and flour milling, cloth weaving and painting, as well as making matches, sealing wax, and sporting equipment. The residents of Bhopal also engage in large retail businesses. Handicraft is a major product of the old city. There is a huge demand for its very famous zardozi work, which is a kind of embroidery done on bridal dresses, sherwanis, and purses. Another famous handicraft of Bhopal is 'Batua', a small string purse, usually used with Indian traditional dresses. There are a large number of garages in the older city which specialise in automobile conversion. These garages produce custom-modified and tuned cars, SUVs and motorbikes.
Being a state capital, the New City has a majority of residents working for the State and Central Government Departments. There are two major office complexes on Arera Hills named Satpura and Vindhyachal, which house a number of State Government offices and projects. Adjacent to them is the State Secretariat, Vallabh Bhavan. In their vicinity are other State and Central Government offices which include major national banks and insurance companies. Bhopal's major commercial area is M.P Nagar, Bhopal which accommodates many business houses. There are a number of hardware as well as software vendors in this part of the city. Other businesses include daily newsletter offices and press, hotels and restaurants, coaching and tuition centers and entertainment.
Bhopal has a cantonment in the old city as well as military presence near Bairagarh and the airport. The cantonment houses one of the Services Selection board centers that recruits troops and officers for the armed forces.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, the largest engineering and manufacturing enterprise in India, has a unit in Bhopal. It occupies a large area on the eastern side of the city and maintains a suburb named after it. A majority of the residents of the suburb are employed by the unit. Mandideep is an industrial suburb of Bhopal. It is located to the South of Bhopal on the Bhopal-Itarsi highway and houses a number of plants belonging to some of the reputed companies of India like Procter & Gamble, Fujitsu, Eicher, L&T, HEG,crompton greaves Ltd.having many of its branches like the traction motor plant, the transformer plant etc. and VA Tech Hydro. A North Western suburb of Bhopal called Bairagarh, which was earlier a camp for Sindhi refugees from Pakistan, has developed into market for textiles.
Bhopal is also home to the Bhaskar Group which is a Rs. 2500 crore (Rs. 25 billion) business conglomerate with strong presence in newspapers, television, entertainment, printing, textiles, fast moving consumer goods, oils, solvents and internet services. Its head office is located in Maharana Pratap Nagar. Manjul Publishing House, located in the old city, is a major publishing house made famous by the translation of the Harry Potter series of novels into Hindi.
The Madhya Pradesh State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd. is going to develop a software and hardware technology park in Bhopal. Multinational companies like Genpact, Fujitsu and Taurus Microsystems are expected to open their centers in the Technology Park.
There are more than 550 state government sponsored schools and affiliated to the Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education (MPBSE) located within the city limits. In addition, there are four Kendriya Vidyalayas in the city affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The city is also served by numerous other private schools affiliated to either CBSE or MPBSE.
Bhopal is home to one of India's premier engineering colleges, the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, established in 1960 and one of the first Regional Engineering Colleges. Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology is also categorized by the Government of India as an Institute of National Importance. There are several other public and private engineering schools (numbering almost 70) located in and around the city. Government of India established an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and a School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in the year 2008.
The city is also home to several management and law institutes. The prominent ones include the Indian Institute of Forest Management, The National Judicial Academy (for training judges and one of its' kind in India) and the National Law Institute University, one of the premier law schools in India.
Gandhi Medical College is the city's oldest and most prominent medical college and is associated with Hamidia Hospital. The medical college is affiliated to the Barkatullah University. The hospital and the college played a crucial role in emergency response and care after the December 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
Other institutes of higher learning that offer courses in pure sciences, liberal arts, accounting, communication and other professional training include the Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, the Barkatullah University, the Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University (for distance education) and the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism.
Other city institutes of learning that offer a diploma in education are, The Regional Institute of Education (RIE) of Bhopal, a constituent unit of the National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) and the Digdarshika Institute of Rehabilitation and Research, a non-profit and educational organization serving the health sector.
Bhopal is also famous for its engineering colleges, which are 63 in number.
Bhopal is the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. It houses the State Legislative Assembly, or the Vidhan Sabha, which seats 230 members of Legislative Assembly. The twelfth (and current) Vidhan Sabha was elected in May, 2008. Currently, the party in the majority in Vidhan Sabha is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is led by Shivraj Singh Chauhan. Bhopal district elects seven seats to the Assembly.
The administration of Bhopal city is handled by Bhopal Municipal Corporation, also known as BMC. The total area under BMC is 285 km². The city is divided into 66 wards. Each ward elects a corporator. The winning party elects a council of members, who are responsible for various departments. The council members chose the Mayor among themselves. At present, there are ten members in the council. The Commissioner of Bhopal is the highest officer of Municipal Corporate Office, which is responsible for the departments of public works, revenue and tax, water supply, planning and development, fire brigade, health and sanitation, finance and accounts etc. The Commissioner of Bhopal currently is Manish Singh.
About 5 years back ,Bhopal's roads were considered below standards of a state capital. Bhopal was called the "Pothole Capital" of M.P. as even the primary transport systems i.e. roads, weren't good. Today Bhopal Roads are considered best in the entire state of Madhya Pradesh, all roads in and around Bhopal are four lane, six lane and eight lane. Bhopal has for a long time been a railroad and highway transportation hub. Bhopal has its own lower level, which disabled people friendly city bus services (BCLL) which is always under GPS navigation, for faster and comfortable journey. Metro taxi and auto-rickshaws are another major means of transport. In some routes in the older city and the new city as well, the new Tata Magics are running successfully which have replaced the old bigger diesel rickshaws — known as "bhat".
Bhopal is also implementing a "Bus Rapid Transit System", projected to become functional in the year 2009.
Apart from the long distance services, there are many services to nearby places within the state. The bus services are operated from 9 major bus stands in the city:
National Highway 12 passes through Bhopal which connects it to Jabalpur in the East and Jaipur in the West. National Highway 86 connects Bhopal to Sagar in the East to Indore in the West. There are number of daily buses to Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khajuraho, Sanchi, Pachmarhi, Vidisha, and as well to Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Kota, Nagpur, Jaipur, Agra, and Allahabad. An interstate bus terminus is near the Habibganj station. There are also a number of Metro Buses running in the city.
MP Government is conducting a survey for starting Metro Train.
Bhopal has five other railway stations within the city, namely :
Bhopal Express : Shaan - E - Bhopal, with its headquarter at Habibganj station, is also the first train in India to obtain an ISO 9001:2000 certificate.
Bhopal Shatabdi is the longest Shatabdi in India. It was the first Shatabdi introduced in India.
The Raja Bhoj Airport is located near the satellite suburb Bairagarh and has flights to most major cities in India. There are three routes ways to reach the airport: (1) Via Bairagarh, (2) Via Panchvati, (3) Via Mahavir Tekri(also known as Manuabhaan Ki Tekri).
According to the 2001 census the total Bhopal population is about 1,458,416. The population consists of 56% Hindus and 38% Muslims, with the rest of the population including Christians, Sikhs, Jains, and, Buddhists. The Old City of Bhopal is a predominantly Muslim area with large population that claims Pashtun descent, but New Bhopal is a demographically cosmopolitan area.
The chief languages are Urdu (Hindustani) and English, but there are a substantial number of Marathi, Sindhi, Marwari speakers as well. In the princely state of Bhopal, Persian was the court language until nineteenth century. The common street Urdu spoken in Bhopal is termed as Bhopali and is the subject of comedy in Bollywood movies. An example of the language is used by actor Jagdeep in the film Sholay.
Shairis and poetry recitals are popular in Bhopal. Bhopal is famous for its culture of parda and zarda. Parda is a curtain, which was used to veil the women of the house from outsiders, zarda is a kind of tobacco product which is quite famous with Bhopalis. The official language of Bhopal City is Hindi, and Hindi-Urdu with a peculiar Bhopali accent is spoken in western and eastern parts of the city.
Bhopal has an extensive culture of paan eating. Paan (Beetle leaf) is a preparation with a betel leaf topped with variety of seasonings, the most common being chuna, kattha and supari(nut). Bhopalites treat paan preparation as a science and an art, which is perfected among the streets of Bhopal, a tradition passed down generations. The paans in Bhopal are wide in variety and innovations
Diwali is celebrated with equal pomp and glory as Eid. Gifts and sweets are exchanged and donation are made to the poor. Diwali is celebrated by worshiping the wealth goddess Lakshmi. Later that night, firecrackers are burst in the open by young and old. Eid is special to the city as all the Hindus take time out to visit their Muslim friends and greet them and get treated with delicacies, the specialty of the day being sweet sewaiya. Bhopali culture is such that both Hindus and Muslims visit each other on their respective festivals to greet and exchange sweets. During Ganesh puja and Durga Puja (Navratras), idols of Ganesh and Durga are established in jhankis throughout the city. People throng to offer prayers to their deities. At the end of Navratras, on the day of Vijayadashami (or Dussehra), huge effigies of Ravan are burnt in different parts of the city. Some of them are organized by the local administration and stand as tall as 60 feet (18 m).
Bharat Bhavan is the main cultural centre of the city and of the most important cultural centers of India. It has an art gallery, an open-air amphitheatre facing the Upper Lake, two other theatres and a tribal museum. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (National Museum of Humans) showcases the various hutments that tribals of across India use for shelter. Popular holiday spots near Bhopal include :
Those into archeology can venture about forty kilometres from Bhopal to Bhimbetka, which has one of the largest collections of pre-historic paintings and rocks, some of which date back more than 10,000 years.Shiva temple in Bhojpur holds great religious value and is famous for a massive Shivalingam. Anglers can head about 10 kilometres from the city to Hathaikheda, which is a popular fishing zone. Or, you can travel fifty kilometres to the city of Sanchi, a site famous for Buddhist monuments and temples dating back several centuries.
Bhopal has many mosques including Taj-ul-Masajid (one of the largest mosques in Asia), Dhai Seedi ki Masjid (one of the smallest mosques in Asia), Jama Masjid (built by Qudsia Begum in 1837) and Moti Masjid (built by Sikander Begum in 1860). Some of the major historical buildings in Bhopal include Shaukat Mahal (a mixture of Indo-Islamic and European styles of architecture).
Gohar Mahal (built by Qudsia Begum, fusion of Hindu and Mughal architecture), Sadar Manzil (used by the Begums for public audience, now used as the head office of the Municipal Corporation) and Purana Kila (part of the 300-year-old fort of Queen Kamalapati, situated in the Kamala Nehru Park). Lakshmi Narayan Temple (or Birla Mandir), situated to the south of Lower Lake, is a temple devoted to Vishnu and his mythological consort Laxmi. An annual fare is held on Kartik Purnima at Manua Bhan Ki Tekri (Mahavir Giri), a Jain pilgrimage center located around seven kilometres away from Bhopal.
The Udaygiri Caves, located near the town of Vidisha, are cut into the side at a sandstone hill, date back from A.D. 320 to 606. An inscription in one of these caves states that it was carved out during the reign of Chandragupta II (A.D. 382-401). A three-day Iztima-Muslim dhaarmik sammelan or Muslim religious assembly (religious congregation) used to be held in the precincts of the Taj-ul-Masjid annually. It draws scores at Muslim pilgrims from all parts of India. It has now been shifted outside the city limits. Every year in January/February, the villages of the Manav Sangrahalaya hosts the potters' workshops, folk music and dance, and open-air plays. It showcases the tribals of the region who demonstrate their skills in painting, weaving, and the fashioning of bell metal into works of art.
Cricket is popular in Bhopal. Although it does not have any stadium of international level, cricket at various levels is played at the Baba Ali stadium and the Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd. Sports Complex; the latter has even hosted a few matches at the national level. Construction of a Khelgaon is being carried out which will have facilities for hosting international cricket, football and tennis as well as other indoor games. At local level, cricket is played at Old Campion ground. Other tennis ball matches also take place in various parts of the city. The youngest captain of the Indian cricket team, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, was born and brought up in Bhopal. The Tatya Tope Stadium, located in the heart of the city, was a cricket stadium and held matches at local and state level. But it has lately been converted into a multi-purpose stadium, with facilities for athletics, footbal, tennis, squash, table tennis, volleball, basketball, skating, martial arts and a gymnasium.
Bhopal is also known for its hockey lovers. The Aishbagh stadium is synonymous for hockey players. Many players reach different grounds for practice. The city has produced many national and international players for Indian hockey team. The more famous one being Aslam Sher Khan, who represented India in several international games and was a part of the World Cup winning team in 1975. He later joined politics and went on to become a Member of Parliament. He also served the national hockey by being a part of the national selection committee. His father, Ahmed Sher Khan, represented India at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 along with Major Dhyan Chand.
Another popular sport of Bhopalites is bodybuilding. In the old city, there are a number of gyms where youngsters workout everyday to make their body muscular. Slowly, this trend has caught up even in the new city where more modern equipments are being employed to help their members get into better shape. Body builders from the local gyms participate at national level and have tasted success at the state level. Apart from this, at school and college level, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, football and swimming are also popular sports. Every summer, Sports Authority of India holds camps which provide coaching to students of various ages games and sports of their choices.
Another famous son of Bhopal is (Late) J P Narayanan. A graduate Mechanical Engineer from Maulana Azad College of Technology, Narayanan had to his credit broadcasting running commentaries in English for 100 One-Day Internationals and 44 Test matches in his career as a cricket commentator for All India Radio (AIR). The third One-Day International match between India and Pakistan played at Keenan Stadium, Jamshedpur on April 9, 2005 was his last assignment as a cricket commentator. An employee of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, the BHEL sports complex was renamed to JP Narayanan Sports Complex, in an effort to honor his contribution to cricket in Bhopal and nationally as well.
Bhopal is also coming up as a center of adventure sports. Trekking camps are being organised by Youth Hostels and other private clubs and their destinations are Budhni Ghat, Narsingarh, Ratapani Sanctuary, Delawadi, Bhimbetka, Manuabhan Ki Tekri etc. The government has also established India's first National Sailing Club at the Boat Club, in the Upper Lake. This club offers various water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, rafting, water skiing, para-sailing etc. Since its inception, it has hosted Canoeing and Kayaking Championships at national as well as international levels.
A few of the places of interest in Bhopal include
Bhopal has its own industrial area with the name "Govindpura". It has so many small and medium scale industries involve in various type of production. In near future bhopal might have an IT Park consisting of India's major IT companies branches such as TCS (TATA Consultancy Services).
Bhopal (Hindi: Bhopaal) is the capital of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is a good mix of the old and the new with a lot of old portions of Bhopal reminiscent of the Mughal influence and the new showcasing the planned development of a modern Indian city. Bhopal is the seat of the Madhya Pradesh Government and is a beautiful mid-sized city in the heart of India. It is said that Bhopal was originally called "Bhoj-pal" after Raja Bhoj, who is attributed with founding the city. It was an important part of the "Bhoj" kingdom with Ujjaini (a city close to Bhopal) being the seat of the kingdom.
Bhopal is very well connected by rail and is a major hub and exchange railway station for the Central and Western Railway networks. Bhopal has two main railway stations - Bhopal Railway Station in old Bhopal or Habibgunj Railway Station in New Bhopal. Shatabdi express running between Delhi and Bhopal provides an excellent and convenient means to get here. Apart from this, regular multiple trains connect Bhopal to all the major metros in India. Book your tickets on Indian Railways website
Bhopal is also well connected to the major metros in India through many national highways.
Bhopal has a decent public transportation system comprising of buses, mini-buses, three wheeled autos and the odd looking tempos that are a major pollution concern for this growing city. It is also fairly easy to book a cab/ taxi for a full day to get in and around the city for reasonable rates. Usually, any hotel you choose to stay in will help you get transportation according to your needs. If its your first time visitng Bhopal, the safest thing to do is book a cab rather than try the colorful public transportation system in Bhopal.
Recently, a private firm has plied a number of full-sized buses called Star-bus in the city streets for public usage which are quite safe and fun to travel in. These have started to gain popularity and are increasing in number.
You can easily visit Bhopal through Car. There are many Car Rental Companies available which Provide first class facility.
Bhopal is a city rich in heritage and history. Its an amalgam of the old and the new, the rich and the poor, the wide roads of New Bhopal and the narrow "gullies" of Old Bhopal and a mix of planned development on one side with urban sprawl on the other.
There are various old mosques in Bhopal that will give you a glimpse into the Mughal architecture, some of it from before the British raj and the people of Bhopal, particularly the mix of the Muslim and the Hindu population will also give you a glimpse of what makes India tick with so many different religions, different cultures living together.
Some of the old mosques that are worth visiting are Taj-ul-Masajid (largest mosque in the country), Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid and Idgah.
Its a must to visit the Old city market (chowk bazaar) and walk around the narrow lanes to see how the old city functions and also to get some great bargains on the special arts of Bhopal like the bead work and the hand embroidery that Bhopal is known for.
On the modern side, the Government of Madhya Pradesh has made significant efforts to make Bhopal an important seat for the arts. Bharat Bhawan (http://www.mp.nic.in/culture/bhawan.htm) is an example of this and it is a center for performing arts with many nationally renowned artists showcasing their art through this institute. The institute boasts of art galleries, an outdoor theater, and a library rich with history of Indian poetry and arts.
Another impressive museum worth visiting is the "Museum of Man" again created by the government of Madhya Pradesh to showcase how the tribals of the state live in their natural form, what they cultivate, what kind of tools they make and utilize in their daily lives etc. It has been created sprawled on a small hill and gives breath taking views of the city.
Finally, no mention of what to see in Bhopal can be completed without talking about the two lakes that are the center of attraction for Bhopal.
Upper Lake : Upper Lake (Bada Talaab) is a beautiful water body created during the time of King Bhoj. The story goes that the water of Upper Lake cured Raja Bhoj of a skin disease which otherwise remained untreated. Today, you can rent boats, indulge in other water sports related activities and enjoy the splendor of this lake.
Lower Lake : The Lower Lake (chota talaab) on the other hand was created during the Mughal empire. This lake is separated from the Upper Lake by an over-bridge.
Along the Upper Lake and surrounding hills, the Forest department of Madhya Pradesh has created the biggest animal conservation area in the middle of a city. You can catch tigers, leopards, bears, different types of water animals, birds, deers etc. as you drive around "Van Vihar"
Bharat Bhavan is a world famous museum.
Manav Sangralay is a museum of urban tribal culture.
Science Centeris a museum of science loacated at shyamla hills. It is a great attraction having science projects.
Van Vihar is a wildlife santuary.Atishay monty 09:28, 5 November 2009 (EST)Atishay Jain.
Bhimbetka is a World Heritage site and has some of the oldest cave paintings of the world. Situated about 40 km from Bhopal, you can go there by bus. Make sure the driver knows where you are going and he will let you off in what first looks like the middle of nowhere. However, clear signs will now guide you through a 3 km walk uphill to the cave paintings. To get back, just wait for a bus at the road and waive. Taxi from Bhopal is of course a more comfortable option. A guide at the cave paintings (strongly recommended) can be Rs 150.
The impressing Bhojeshwar temple (Shiva temple, Bhojpur) began construction in the 11th century but was never completed. It boasts the largest Shiva-linga in India. If you have a car, it can be reached on the way back from Bhimbetka to Bhopal, though it might take another 20-30 minutes.
Takeri - A most beautiful place is known as "Takeri". It is near Lal Ghati. Here is a Temple on the hill. To reach temple by the rope way or by the road or stairs. You can see a beautiful view of Bhopal from Takeri.
Bhopal is a fairly quiet city when it comes to things like night life, clubs, bars etc. Most of the restaurants close around 11 PM but a majority of good hotels in Bhopal will have a bar that is open atleast till mid-night. There are also a couple of clubs in hotels like Amer Palace and The Residency in the Maharana Pratap Nagar area where you can see the young of Bhopal dance the night away.
No visit to this city is complete without buying some bead work or embroidered purses, bags, shawls, tunics etc. Also, you can get very good quality fabric (silk, satin, cashmere, pashmina) etc. from the various emporiums run and operated by the governments of the different states of India in this capital city. One visit to Bhopal will give you an exposure into the various kinds of fabric and material, arts and crafts that come from different parts of the country.
To buy arts and crafts specifically originating in Madhya Pradesh as well as fabrics/ sarees/ shawls from Madhya Pradesh, visit the MP Government state emporium Mrignayani (http://www.mrignayani.com/default.asp)
To buy some authentic north indian fabric and shawls head towards Lakherapura in the old city. The Chowk are is also famous for the traditional glittering ladies purses.
Also visit to New Market is worth a try
Bhopal, like any other north Indian city offers a rich Indian cuisine to explore. People enjoy eating the sweet - sour and spicy "chaat" in Bhopal. Due to the Mughal influence, Bhopal also offers delicacies like Kebabs, Goat Biryani, Chicken Tikka, Jalebi, Ras Malai etc. The best chicken Biryani can be tasted at Jameel Hotel in old Bhopal .
Hotel Jehanuma Palace in Bhopal has a very good restaurant that serves awesome North Indian delicacies. Hotel Noor us Sabah also has a couple of good restaurants to choose from. As in any mid-sized Indian city, the safest bets for good food and a variety of cuisines are in restaurants that are part of 3-4 star hotels.
Apart from North Indian and Mughlai cuisine, you can also savor Indo-Chinese, Continental and American cuisine in the various restaurants of Bhopal.
If you have a mixed taste, GENERATIONEXT restaurant is a good option for you. An eclectic mix of cuisine is served, that suits your taste ( & pocket too!). There are many other good eating spots in New Market, MP Nagar and Hoshangabad Road area.
Filfora,Koh-e-fiza in Bhopal has a very good place for Mughlai delicacies.Kadai ghost may be best to eat here and biryani's of both made with chicken and mutton are awesome.
For tourists from foreign countries, its recommended that they stick to Mineral Water. If you want to be adventurous, try the sugarcane juice from the street side vendors. If you are lucky, you will not get an upset stomach and will be able to enjoy the rich sweetness of sugarcane.
Alcoholic drinks: Only use hotel bars for this as there are very few pubs in the city and the local bars are not a place to hangout. Only good place other that Hotels is the Tavern Pub at Board office roundabout in M P Nagar.
Bhopal has some good budget as well as three to fours star hotels to choose from if you want to spend a few nights in the city. A couple of hotels in the old Bhopal area are considered Grand Heritage hotels as they have been converted from palaces and residences of the Mughal era to modern hotels. Jehan Numa Palace Hotel and Noor us Sabah hotel fall under this category and staying here will transform you into an era where you will be able to imagine how the Mughal aristocracy lived a life of pure luxury. The customer service at both these hotels is exemplary and you will enjoy your stay here.
Towards the New Bhopal area, Hotel Lake View run by the Ashoka group is a decent place to stay in. Also, hotels in the commercial hub of Bhopal, Maharana Pratap Nagar, like Amer Palace, The Residency, Nisarga etc. serve more business travelers to Bhopal but are certainly good places to consider.
Jehan Numa Palace 157, Shamla Hill, Bhopal - 462013, Madhya Pradesh, India, Tel :+91-755-2661100, 4235100 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Noor us Sabah Hotel V.I.P. Road, Koh-e-Fiza, Bhopal - 462001, Madhya Pradesh, India, Tel: +91 755 4223333 Fax: +91 755 4227777 email@example.com
Lake View Ashoka Shiamla Hills Opp. TV Tower Premises Bhopal - 462013 Madhya Pradesh, India, Tel : 2660090-99, 2540452, 2541075, 235151 Fax : 91-0755-2660096, 91-0755-2660097 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotel Savera Inn Lalwani Compound Hamidia Road-462001 Phone: 07554083366
Amer Palace 209, Zone-1, Maharana Pratap Nagar, Bhopal- 462011, Phone: 0755-272110 (8 lines), 557127/557128
The Residency 08, Zone -1, Maharana Pratap Nagar, Bhopal - 462011, India Phone: 0755-5566001-06, 270001, 270002
Nisarga 211 , Zone 1 , Maharana Pratap Nagar, Bhopal - 462 016, India Phone: 0755-272701/02/03/04/05
Bhopal makes an excellent starting point if you want to travel to some unexploited but breathtakingly beautiful places in Madhya Pradesh.
Sanchi is a buddhist pilgrim destination which offers excellent views into the Buddhist religion. The first of the "stupas" here were built around 3rd century BC by King Ashok, a follower of Buddhism. Sanchi is about 45 kilometers from Bhopal and can be easily traveled to by road.
Khajuraho with its umpteen temples and display of the Kamasutra through the figures/ statues on the temples is about 383 kilometers from Bhopal.
Pachmarhi, a quaint little army settlement, known as the Hill Station of Madhya Pradesh is about 210 kilometers from Bhopal.
From Bhopal, you can also connect to Jabalpur which is about 160 Kilometers from the Kanha National Park. This national park is spread over 1940 sq kilometers and offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the majestic tiger in all its mystique and natural glory. Project Tiger that was started in the 70's with support from the Government of India has managed to bring the tiger on an assured course of recovery from the brink of extinction. Kanha National Park is one of the important parks in India that has been part of Project Tiger and has successfully worked at increasing the tiger population of India and at reducing the crimes against tigers. Kanha also offers unexploited views into flora and fauna of the Indian forest.
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BHOPAL, a native state of India, in the central India agency. Its area is 6902 sq. m., and its population in 1901 was 665,961, showing a decrease of 30 70 in the decade. This seems to be in part due to a difference in numeration, but the state suffered heavily from famine in 1896-1897 and 1899-1900. Bhopal is the principal Mussulman state in central India, ranking next to Hyderabad among the Mahommedan states of India. The surface of the country is uneven, being traversed by the Vindhya ranges, a peak of which near Raysen is upwards of 2500 ft. above sea-level. The general inclination of the country is towards the north, in which direction most of the streams of the state flow, while others, passing through the Vindhya ranges, flow to the Nerbudda.
Bhopal state was founded in 1723 by Dost Mahommed Khan, an Afghan adventurer. In 1778, when General Thomas Goddard made his bold march across India, the state of Bhopal was the only Indian power that showed itself friendly; and in 1809 when another British expedition under General Close appeared in the same parts, the nawab of Bhopal petitioned earnestly but in vain to be received under British protection. But in 1817, at the outbreak of the Pindari War, a treaty of dependence was concluded between the chief and the British government. Since then Bhopal has been steadily loyal to the British government, and during the Mutiny it rendered good services. The throne has descended in the female line since 1844, when Sikandar Begum became ruler. Succeeding begums have taken a great interest in the work of governing the state, which they carried on with marked success. The sultan Jahan Begum, succeeded on the death of her mother, Shah Jahan Begum, in June 1901, being the only female ruler in India.
The estimated revenue of the state is £250,000, and the state pays a subsidy of £13,000 for the Bhopal battalion. Besides the Bhopal battalion, a regiment of imperial service cavalry is maintained, under the name of the Victoria Lancers. There is a branch railway from Itarsi to Bhopal city, continued to Jhansi. The British currency has been introduced, and in 1897-1898, Rs. 71,00,000 of Bhopali coins were converted. The residence of the political agent and the headquarters of the Bhopal battalion are at Sehore, 20 m. west of Bhopal city. The city of Bhopal, a railway station, had a population in 1901 of 76,561. The palace, with its rock fortress, is called Fatehgarh. An excellent water-supply has been provided from two large artificial lakes. There are two hospitals. There is an export trade in opium.
Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh, India and the second largest city of the state after Indore. Bhopal city also called as the city of Lakes. Bhopal is also headquarter of Bhopal District. The name of the city was Bhojpal which dedicate the King of Bhoj, But after few years it was changed to Bhopal.Bhopal has an average elevation of 499 metres (1637 ft). Bhopal is located in the central part of India.
= In 1984 a poisoned gas was leaked from a Private Chemical factory at night when a worker was cleaning out a clogged pipe with water about 400 feet of a Tank which containing 42 tons of MIC. The gas was methyl isocyanate. During this incident over 20000 people got died and many people were seek. The animals was also died in this tragedy. This incident is currently known as world's worrst industrial disaster.