The capital of Madhya Pradesh, the beautiful city of Bhopal is soaked in opulent history and a fascinating past. A definite heaven for historians, architects, art lovers, archaeologists, and well, of course, the travelers, this city has something for everyone. Flecked with religious shrines, amazing museums, monuments and various historical sites, Bhopal recites a number of tales of the former times. Topping the list of tourist destinations in Central India, this city not only endows its visitors with historical and archaeological extravagance but there are various recreational activities that one can indulge into. Read on and explore Bhopal just the right way:
What to Discover
- Like many cities of India, Bhopal is categorized into two areas that showcase their individual characteristics. The North of Bhopal is dotted with heritage and historical sites while the South of Bhopal is all lush and extravagant. It has luxurious houses, malls, and good hotels. If you are looking for cheap hotels in Bhopal, check out the variety of luxury, mid-luxury and budget options here.
- In the 19th century, Bhopal was ruled by a string of powerful Begums. The old city still sees their influence in every corner virtually. There was a number of monuments built during their reign and one of the most stunning examples of their artistic influence can be experienced through Taj-ul-Masajid which is known as the largest mosque in Asia. This is a must-visit place.
- Visiting Bhopal is incomplete without a visit to its lakes. One of its landscape’s prominent feature, the lakes of Bhopal are quite popular and significant. One of the oldest and most spectacular lakes of Bhopal, and conceivably India, is the BadaTalab. It is believed that this lake was created when Raja Bhoj built the original pala. Bordered by the well-planned waterfront, this lake invites you to just sit, relax and enjoy the pristine vista of blue water and green hills around.
- For diving deep into Madhya Pradesh’s heritage and history, a visit to the State Museum of Bhopal is a must. One of India’s best and beautifully designed museums, the State Museum is located in Shamla Hills. You will be fascinated with its massive collection of paintings, musical instruments, coins and other artifacts that tell tales about its history. Sharing its vicinity, the Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum is also a must-visit. It preserves the culture of indigenous tribes of the state.
What to Gobble up
Bhopal will never disappoint a foodie! That said, we might want to thank the famous food street, Chatori gully in Bhopal that exhibits an array of scrumptious street food. Because Bhopal has a Nawabi influence, you will be delighted with its non-vegetarian cuisine especially the famous BhopaliGosht Korma, Paya Soup, and KadhaiGosht. Not keeping vegetarians at bay, non-meat eaters can indulge in Bhopalichaat, poha and Suleimani chai. Visit Manohar Dairy to try their famous chaat and cholebhature. Another must visit a place is the legendary Raju Tea Stall.
What to Shop
Zardozi items are a must buy when in Bhopal. This is basically an exquisite style of embroidery which became famous during the reign of the Begums. Pick up some amazing Zardozi work at Chowk and Ibrahimpura in the old city.
What to see around Bhopal
- From the famous Sanchi Stupas to the beautiful Bhimbetka Caves and peaceful Pachmarhi, there are various places to explore around Bhopal. Located at a distance of 46 km from Bhopal, Bhimbetka (sitting place of Bhima) is popular for its cave paintings that are 30,000 years old. This place is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- Further, you can visit Sanchi (50 km away) and indulge in the spirit of heritage with its stupas constructed at the demand of Emperor Ashoka to protect the Buddhist philosophy. The most famous stupa here is the Mahastupa. Besides these stupas, you can also explore various temples and monasteries in the vicinity.
- Pachmarhi is a hill station located at an altitude of 1100m and is popularly called ‘Satpuraki Rani’ as it is sited amongst the Satpura range. You can also experience the one of India’s highest waterfall here- RajatPrapat that flows down to 351 feet.
How to Reach
Bhopal is quite accessible from major parts of India. The city has an airport (Raja Bhoj Airport) that serves flights from all main cities. It is also well linked through railways with two stations namely, Bhopal Railway Station situated in Old Bhopal and Habibganj Railway Station located in New Bhopal.