Bhopal Madhya Pradesh
Popular As :
Capital City of Madhya Pradesh
Regional Museum of Natural History, Museum
of Man, Bharat Bhavan, State Archaeological Museum, Birla Mandir Museum,
Taj-ul-Masjid, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid, Van Vihar Zooligical Park etc.
Best Time To Visit :
October to March
Bhopal, a city in central India is the capital of the state of Madhya
Pradesh. Situated around two artificial lakes amidst picturesque settings,
Bhopal is also known as 'City of Lakes'. Historically the city of Bhopal
derives its name from its legendary 11th century founder Raja Bhoj. He is
believed to have created the lakes around which the city of Bhopal is built.
However, the present city was founded by the Afghan chief Dost Mohammed
Khan, who had been in charge of Bhopal during Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's
The second largest city in Madhya Pradesh after Indore, Bhopal presents an
excellent combination of old and new. The old city with its fine old
mosques, crowded market places and palaces intermingle with the new city
with broad avenues, huge office buildings and beautifully laid out parks and
gardens. The 19th century mosques that bear witness to Bhopal's enduring
Muslim legacy are the main attractions of the city. Besides, the packed
bazaars of the walled old city are worth a visit where you will find a
variety of traditional handicrafts and other interesting items. Bhopal is
also home to a number of archaeological museums which houses ancient
sculptures, paintings and several other exhibits.
Hence, visit the enchanting city of Bhopal, where a number of interesting
old and new attractions are waiting for you. If you are interested in
Buddhism, Bhopal also makes a gateway to the 3rd century Buddhist centre of
How to Reach Bhopal
By Air :
The Raja Bhoj Airport Bhopal is about 13 km from
downtown, near the satellite town of Bairagarh. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways
and several other airlines operate a number of flights from Bhopal to Delhi,
Mumbai, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur and many major cities of India. Tourist
taxis and auto-rickshaws are available at the airport for transfer to the
By Train :
Bhopal is a major railway station and well
connected by rail to all parts of the country. A number of express and
superfast trains ply to Bhopal from various important destinations of the
country. From the railway station taxis and auto-rickshaws are available for
the different locations of the city.
By Bus :
National Highway 12 and 86 pass
through Bhopal and connects the city with Jabalpur, Jaipur, Sagar, Indore
and many other places of Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring states. Regular
government and private bus services connect Bhopal with major centres in the
region. Distances of some important destinations from Bhopal - Sanchi (46),
Vidisha (65 km), Indore (186 km), Ujjain (188 km), Pachmarhi (195 km),
Jabalpur (295 km), Khajuraho (383 km) and Gwalior (423 km).
Local Transport :
Mini buses and auto-rickshaws are the
local modes of transport in Bhopal.
Places Where You Can Stay
Bhopal is dotted with a number of good hotels which offer world class
services to guests. There are a lot of hotels along Hamidia road on which
the tourist office is situated. Some of the famous hotels of the city which
offer pleasant stay to guests include :
Heritage Hotels :
Welcomheritage Noor-Us-Sabah Palace,
Jehan Numa Palace and Imperial Sabre.
Standard Hotels :
Lake View Ashok, The Residency, Amer
Palace, Surendra Vilas, Hotel Palash, Rama International, Ramson's
International, Hotel Ranjit, Red Sea Plaza, Hotel Richa, Hotel Sangam, Hotel
Shalimar Deluxe, Shimla Palace and Hotel Surya.
Tourist Attractions in Bhopal
Regional Museum of Natural History :
The newly constructed
Regional Museum of Natural History is situated southeast of New Market. You
will see models of dinosaurs and colourful murals in the museum. The museum
also has attractive and well-written displays on biodiversity and ecosystems
and on the geological history of the earth. There are also temporary
exhibitions, a discovery centre inside the museum. Every day at 4 pm a film
show is also organized at the museum. Regional Museum of Natural History is
open daily from 10am to 5pm, closed on Mondays.
The Museum of Man :
Popularly known as the Rashtriya Manav
Sangrahalaya, the museum is an enlightened attempt to provide genuine
insight into ways of life of tribals. You will see original tools, cooking
utensils, baskets and musical instruments used by the tribal people. The
Museum of Man is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 11am to 6.30pm (March-August)
and 10am to 5.30pm (September-February).
Bharat Bhavan :
Bharat Bhavan was inaugurated in 1982 as
part of a national bid to promote visual and performing arts. The building
has a large and elegantly displayed collection of modern Indian painting.
Bharat Bhavan also has one gallery full of sculpture and another devoted
exclusively to adivasi art. Plays, music and dance programmes are also
organized at Bharat Bhavan frequently. Bharat Bhavan is open daily from 2pm
- 8pm (February-October) and 1pm - 7pm (November-January), closes on
The State Archaeological Museum :
Archaeological Museum or Rajkiya Sangrahalaya is situated near Raj Bhavan,
just south of Lower Lake. The museum has a good collection of ancient
sculpture, bronzes and Mughal miniatures. Other noteworthy exhibits of the
museum include the second-century BC yakshis (female fertility figures), the
black granite statue of standing Buddha and the fifth-century statue of
Karttikeya, the Hindu god of war. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm daily,
Birla Mandir Museum :
Birla Mandir Museum is another
important museum in Bhopal. The museum has a collection of some of the
finest stone sculpture in Madhya Pradesh. The museum lies in a detached
house adjacent to Birla Mandir which stands high on the hill overlooking
Lower Lake. The exhibition is divided into Vishnu and Shiva sections which
contain some interesting representations of the god's diverse
reincarnations. Also see the replicas of 3500 years old Harappan artefacts
encased under the stairs. Birla Mandir Museum is open daily from 2pm to 6pm,
closed on Mondays.
Taj-ul-Masjid is one of the largest
mosques in India. Commenced by Shah Jahan Begum, the mosque was never
completed. Taj-ul-Masjid is a huge pink mosque having two white-domed
minarets and three white domes overs the main building.
Other Mosques :
Besides Taj-ul-Masjid, Jama Masjid and
Moti Masjid are other noted mosques of Bhopal. Jama Masjid was constructed
by Qudsia Begum in 1837. The mosque has very squat, short minarets and
surrounded by markets. Moti Masjid was built by Qudsia Begum's daughter,
Sikander Jahan Begum in 1860. The mosque has two dark red minarets crowned
by golden spikes.
Van Vihar Zoological Park :
Van Vihar Zooligical Park is
one of the major attractions of the Bhopal city. Sprawling over an area of
five square kilometer the park houses the regal white tiger, Indian tigers,
Himalayan bears, leopards, sambar deer, long nosed gharial, tortoises and a
variety of other animal species. In addition to animal species, the park is
home to bird species like white egrets, herons, cormorants and ducks. You
can have a longer and more peaceful look at the avian species by taking a
boat from the jetty. Van Vihar Zoological Park is open daily from 7am to
11am and 2pm to 5.30pm.
Tourist Attractions Around Bhopal
Situated only 6km away from Bhopal, Neori has an
11th century Shiva Temple. Neori is also a popular picnic spot close to
Islampur is located at a distance of 11 km from
Bhopal. Here you will see a hilltop palace and garden built by Dost Mohammed
Khan on the Berasia road.
Bhojpur lies at a distance of 28 km from Bhopal.
Raja Bhoj built a big dam here which created the largest lake in Asia.
Hoshang Shah, the ruler of Mandu, destroyed the lake. There is a massive,
but never completed 11th century Shiva temple overlooking the lake.
Located 40 km away from Bhopal, Bhimbetka is
the place where one of the earliest traces of man in India was found.
Neolithic caves, cave paintings have been discovered in this village.
Situated at a distance of 46 km from Bhopal,
Sanchi abounds in Buddhist architecture dating from 3rd century BC and 12th
century AD. Buddhist Stupas at Sanchi can be seen in a round trip from
Bhopal, or you make it an ideal base to visits to more stupas at Satdhara
and other nearby places.
Shopping in Bhopal
Shopping in Bhopal is a delightful experience and tourists should now miss
the shopping on their trip to the city. Main shopping area in Bhopal is the
Chowk, located in the heart of the old city. Here the shops deal in
traditional handicrafts, gold and silver jewellery, fashioned bead work,
embroidered velvet purses. New Market is another famous shopping centre of
Bhopal where you can buy clothes, shoes and several other items. Bhopal has
a number of Government owned shops selling regional handicrafts. Visit the
Mrignayani Emporium and MP Handicrafts Emporium to buy the traditional
handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh.