Bhopal travel guide



see also

Bharat Bhavan

Bharat Bhavan is a multi-arts complex without parallel in Bhopal, India housing a museum of the arts, an art gallery, a workshop for fine arts, a repertory theater, indoor and outdoor auditoria, rehearsal room, and libraries of Indian poetry, classical and folk musicproviding interactive proximity to the verbal, the visual and the performing arts. It is a place for contemporary articulation, exploration, reflection and innovation. Located near the picturesque bada talaab of Bhopal, Bharat Bhavan is a centre for innovative creativity, pursuit of classics and tradition and wide participation in a new cultural upsurge. It is an independent trust created by the Legislature of the State of Madhya Pradesh[1]. The architect of Bharat Bhavan, Charles Correa[2], says:

This art centre is located on a particularly beautiful site - a gently sloping plateau overlooking the Upper Lake and the historic city of Bhopal across the water[1]

Bharat Bhavan consists of the following units:

* Roopankar (Museum of fine arts) - Roopankar has been established with a view to set up a historic collection of urban, folk and tribal art and is the only museum of arts in India housing both contemporary urban and folk and tribal art. The museum has contemporary urban, folk and art of aboriginals, a ceramic workshop, litho workshop and facilities for stone craft and metal casting.
* Rangmandal (A repertory) - Rangmandal is a professional repertory to create a sustained theatre movement that becomes a way of life rather than spasmodic activity. Numerous plays and stage shows are held here. Rangmandal has at its disposal an indoor theatre called Antrang and an outdoor theatre called Bahirang. It also has a rich library and play museum.
* Vagarth (A centre of Indian poetry) - Vagarth has a library of more than 7,000 books of poetry in 14 Indian languages and recordings and video-cassettes of major poets. This centre provides an excellent platform to the writers for interaction through lecture, recitation, translation and publication.
* Anhad (A library of classical and folk music) - Anhad work of documenting both classical and folk music and organises musical concerts.
* Ashram - A residence for guest artists

Bhoj Wetland

The Bhoj Wetland consists of two lakes located in the city of Bhopal, the capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The two lakes are the Upper Lake and the Lower Lake, which lie to the west of the city center. The Upper Lake has an area of 31 km², and drains a catchment or watershed of 361 km². The watershed of the Upper Lake is mostly rural, with some urbanized areas around its eastern end. The lower lake has an area of 1.29 km². Its catchment is 9.6 km² and is mostly urbanized; the Lower Lake also receives subsurface seepage from the Upper Lake.

The Upper Lake was created by King Bhoj (1005-1055), ruler of Malwa. He established Bhopal (also named after him) to secure the eastern frontier of his kingdom. The lake was created by constructing an earthen dam across the Kolans River. The Kolans was formerly a tributary of the Halali River; with the creation of the Upper Lake and a diversion channel, the upper reach of the Kolans River and the Upper Lake now drain into the Kaliasote River. Bhadbhada dam was constructed in 1965 at the southeast corner of the Upper Lake; it now controls the outflow to the Kaliasote river.

The Lower Lake was created in 1794 by Nawab Chhote Khan, Minister of Nawab Hayath Mohammad Khan, to beautify the city. It is also contained behind an earthen dam, and drains into the Halali River via the lower reach of the Kolans River, presently known as the Patra Drain. Both the Kaliasote and Halali Rivers are tributaries of the Betwa River.

The lakes are home to a diverse flora and fauna, including many waterbirds. They have been designated a wetland of international importance under the international Ramsar Convention.


culture and places to visit

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 Bhopali is spoken in West and East Bhopal 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[24]

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 :

* Bhojpur (famous for a Shiva temple and Jain shrines)
* Sanchi (notable for ancient Buddhist Stupas built by Ashoka),
* Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (a World Heritage Site of
archaeological interest).
* Islamnagar was the palace of Bhopal's Afghan rulers and was built
by Dost Mohammed Khan. Formal gardens surround the palace and the
* Delawadi is situated in a lovely forest glade, Delawadi is a
picturesque picnic spot, rich in scenic splendor and natural beauty.

Those into archeology can venture about forty kilometers 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 kilometers from the
city to Hathaikheda, which is a popular fishing zone. Or, you can travel
fifty kilometers 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[25]),
Dhai Seedi ki Masjid (one of the smallest mosques in Asia[26]), 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.






bhopal 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.


Bhopal is said to have been founded by the Parmara 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[8] 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



get there and around


The Bhopal City is very well connected via Railway, Road and Air
Transport Services. BHOPAL has for a long time been a Rail and Road
Transportation Hub. To stay in BHOPAL, there are a lot of hotels near
the railway station and main bus station & all over the city, Bhopal has
its own low floor, disabled people friendly city bus services (BCLL)
which is always under GPS navigation, for faster and comfortable journey
one can have Radio Taxi. Within Bhopal, city buses — known as "mini
buses" from their size — are the most common means of transport. Some
are larger and charge nominally more than their smaller counterparts.
Autorickshaws are another major means of transport. They are
particularly known for their ornate make-up and blaring sound systems.
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', the shortened name for vikram.

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:

* ISBT Terminal
* Naadra Bus Stand, Old City
* Jawahar Chowk Stand
* Halalpura Bus Stand
* Bharat Talkies Stand
* Jnyaneshwari Bus Stand, South
* Piplani Bus Stand, East
* Ayodhya Nagari BusStand
* ISBT Bus Stand, Kasturba Nagar

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, Allahabad etc. An interstate bus terminus is near the
Habibganj station.[22] There are also a number of Metro Buses running in
the city.


* Bhopal Junction Railway Station is a major railway station and
junction. It is connected by rail to all parts of the country being on
the main North-South line of the country. A list of all major trains
passing through Bhopal can be found here. More than 150 daily trains are
stopped here. It is also close to the main East-West junction, Itarsi.
Bhopal has Five other railway stations within the city, namely :

* Habibganj Railway Station is the other major station of Bhopal
which boasts of being the first ISO 9000:2001 certified railway station
in India. Habibganj is also a World Class Railway Station
* Misrod
* Mandideep
* Sukhsewanagar
* Bairagarh
* Nishatpura

Bhopal Express : Shaan - E - Bhopal, with its headquarter at Habibganj
station, is also the first train in India to obtain an ISO 9001:2000


Bhopal has a domestic airport with good amenities that connects it
directly to Delhi, Mumbai, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ahmedabad, Raipur,
Hyderabad and many major cities of India. The Raja Bhoj Airport is
located near the satellite suburb Bairagarh. There are two main ways to
reach the airport: (1) Via Bairagarh, (2) Via Ranchyati, the Heart of