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भोपाल, بھوپال
Capital city
Clockwise from top: VIP Road, Airport Entrance, Aishbagh Stadium, DB City Mall, Taj-ul-Masajid, Raja Bhoj Airport, Platinum Plaza
Clockwise from top: VIP Road, Airport Entrance, Aishbagh Stadium, DB City Mall, Taj-ul-Masajid, Raja Bhoj Airport, Platinum Plaza
Nickname(s): city of lakes
Bhopal is located in Madhya Pradesh
Location of Bhopal in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh
Bhopal is located in Bhopal
Bhopal city
Coordinates: 23°15′N 77°25′E / 23.250°N 77.417°E / 23.250; 77.417
Country India
State Madhya Pradesh
District Bhopal
 • Body Bhopal Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Krishna Gaur (BJP)
 • Municipal Commissioner Rajnish Shrivastava
 • Collector Nishant Warwade
 • Capital city 837.24 km2 (323.26 sq mi)
Elevation 527 m (1,729 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Capital city 3,454,678
 • Rank 16th
 • Density 2,575/km2 (6,670/sq mi)
 • Metro 2,795,648
Demonym Bhopali
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Pincode 462001 to 462xxx
Telephone 0755
Vehicle registration MP-01 to MP-04

Bhopal (/bˈpɑːl/; Hindustani pronunciation: [bʱoːpaːl] ( )) is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Bhopal district and Bhopal division. The city was the capital of the former Bhopal State. Bhopal is known as the City of Lakes[2] for its various natural as well as artificial lakes and is also one of the greenest cities in India.[3] Bhopal is the 16th largest city in India and 134th[4] largest city in the world. It is basically divided into two parts - old Bhopal and new Bhopal.

A Y-class city,[5] Bhopal houses various institutions and installations of national importance. Some of these include ISRO's Master Control Facility,[6] AIIMS Bhopal (Established in 2012),[7] National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) AMPRI, MANIT, IISER, SPA, IIFM, BHEL, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA Bhopal) and NLIU, Gandhi Medical College.

The city attracted international attention after the Bhopal disaster, when a Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide manufacturing plant leaked a mixture of deadly gases including methyl isocyanate on the intervening night of 2 / 3 December 1984, leading to one of the worst industrial disasters in the world's history with over 16,000 estimated deaths caused by the disaster.

Since then, Bhopal has been a center of protests and campaigns which have been joined by people from across the globe.


Located at 28 km from Bhopal, the Bhojeshwar Temple at Bhojpur was built by the king Bhoja about a millennium ago.

According to folklore, Bhopal is said to have been founded by the king Bhoja of the Paramara dynasty (AD 1000–1055), who ruled from his capital at Dhar. This theory states that Bhopal was originally known as Bhojpal after the king and the dam ("pal") constructed by him. No available archaeological evidence, inscriptions or historical texts support the claim about an earlier settlement founded by Bhoja at the same place, although a temple complex constructed by him exists at Bhojpur, which is located 28 km from Bhopal. An alternative theory says that the name of the city was coined from the name of another king called Bhupala (or Bhupal).[8][9] (During the British Raj, the railway tickets printed in the city and the signboards on the railway station mentioned the name of the city as "Bhupal" in Hindustani and "Bhoopal" in English.)

In the early 18th century, Bhopal was a small village in the local Gond kingdom. The modern Bhopal city was established by Dost Mohammad Khan (1672–1728), an Afghan soldier in the Mughal army.[10] After the death of the emperor Aurangzeb, Khan started providing mercenary services to several local chieftains in the politically unstable Malwa region. In 1709, he took on the lease of Berasia estate, and later annexed several territories in the region to establish the Bhopal State.[11] Khan received the territory of Bhopal from the Gond queen Rani Kamlapati in lieu of payment for mercenary services, and usurped her kingdom after her death.[12]

Hamidullah Khan, last nawab of Bhopal

During the early 1720s, Dost Mohammad Khan transformed the village of Bhopal into a fortified city, and acquired the title of Nawab.[13] Khan's support to the Sayyid Brothers earned him the enmity of the rival Mughal nobleman Nizam-ul-Mulk, who invaded Bhopal in March 1724, forcing Khan to cede much of his territory.[14] Dost Mohammad Khan and his Pathan associates brought the Islamic influence on the culture and architecture of Bhopal, the ruins of which can be found at Islamnagar near Bhopal. After Khan's death in 1728, the Bhopal state remained under the influence of the Nizam.

In 1737 Marathas defeated the Mughals in the Battle of Bhopal and started collecting tributes from local chieftains. The city remained under Maratha suzerainty until the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818, when Bhopal became a British princely state. Between 1819 and 1926, it was ruled by four women, Begums, – unique in the royalty of those days - under British suzerainty, Qudsia Begum was the first woman ruler, who was succeeded by her only daughter Sikandar Begum, who in turn was succeeded by her only daughter, Shahjehan Begum. Sultan Jahan Begum was the last woman ruler, who after 25 years of rule, abdicated in favour of her son, Hamidullah Khan. The rule of Begums gave the city its waterworks, railways, a postal system and a municipality constituted in 1907.[15]

Bhopal State was the second-largest Muslim-ruled princely state, the first being Hyderabad. After the independence of India in 1947, the last Nawab expressed his wish to retain Bhopal as a separate unit. Agitations against the Nawab broke out in December 1948, leading to the arrest of prominent leaders including Shankar Dayal Sharma. Later, the political detainees were released, and the Nawab signed the agreement for Bhopal's merger with the Union of India on 30 April 1949.[16]

The Bhopal state was taken over by the Union Government of India on 1 June 1949. Hindu Sindhi refugees from Pakistan were accommodated in Bairagarh, a western suburb of Bhopal (now renamed to Sant Hirdaram Nagar). According to the States Reorganization Act of 1956, the 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.

Bhopal disaster[edit]

Deteriorating portion of the MIC plant, decades after the gas leak. Source of ongoing contamination.

On 3 December 1984, a Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal leaked around 32 tons of toxic gases, including methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas which led to the worst industrial disaster to date. The official death toll was initially recorded around 5,000. Many figures suggest that 18,000 died within two weeks, and it is estimated that around 8,000 have died since then of gas-poisoning-related diseases.[17] The Greenpeace organization cites a total casualty figure of 20,000 as its own estimate. Many more were rendered sick and have been facing chronic health problems such as psychological and neurological disabilities, blindness, skin, vision and breathing disorders[18] and the newborn children still suffer from serious birth defects, even after generations.[19][20] The soil and ground water near the factory site has been contaminated by the toxic wastes and other chemicals still leaking out from the factory.[20][21][22] The Indian government, however, maintains that no such pollution has taken place or that any such toxins are even present at the site.[23] The Bhopal disaster is often cited as the world's worst industrial disaster.[17][24][25] 3 December is annually observed as the official day of mourning, and every year, all government offices in Bhopal remain closed on this day.

The Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) plant was established in 1969 in the Eastern part of the City. Fifty-one per cent of it was owned by Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and 49% by Indian authorities. The design of the Methyl isocyanate (MIC) plant, following government regulations, was "Indianized" by UCIL engineers to maximise the use of indigenous materials and products. Mumbai-based Humphreys and Glasgow Consultants Pvt. Ltd., were the main consultants, Larsen & Toubro fabricated the MIC storage tanks, and Taylor of India Ltd. provided the instrumentation.[26] The plant produced carbaryl pesticide (trade mark Sevin). MIC, an intermediate in carbaryl manufacture, was used, and in 1979 a plant for producing MIC was added to the site.[17]

On the night of 3 December 1984, large amounts of water entered the chemical storage tank E610, which contained about 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate. The resulting reaction increased the temperature of the liquid inside the tank to 200 °C (400 °F). As a result, a large volume of mixed toxic gases leaked from the MIC containing tank, forcing the emergency release of pressure. Consequently there was massive panic among common people as they woke up in a cloud of noxious gases that burned their lungs. It is estimated that as many as nine thousand people died immediately, and more were trampled under others who were fleeing.[17]

The memorial for Bhopal Gas Disaster, situated near the site of Union Carbide Factory. The slogans on the wall read "Hang Anderson" in Hindi and "Bhopal Disaster 1984 to ? The suffering continues So does the struggle [....]"

Theories for how the water entered the chemical storage tank differ. At that time, workers at the plant were cleaning out nearby 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.[17] 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. [27]

Factors that may have contributed to the disaster included:[17]

  • The chemical plant's poorly chosen location—located near a densely populated west city area, instead of the other side of Bhopal City where the company had been offered land.
  • Using hazardous ingredient chemicals (methyl isocyanate) instead of less dangerous ones
  • Storing these chemicals in large tanks instead of several smaller storage tanks.
  • Possible corrosion of the metals in the pipelines
  • Poor maintenance at the chemical plant
  • Failure of several safety systems, which were not in operation at the time.
  • Deficient staffing policies, such as in the number of employees hired and their training for working with dangerous chemicals.
  • Negligence on the part of the Union Carbide India, Ltd., and the Governments of India and the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal and Hamidia Hospital played a crucial role in the emergency response and care after the Bhopal disaster. A Regional Institute of Opthalmology (RIO) was also established after the disaster for the patients suffering from eye problems because of MIC. A National Institute for Research in Environment Health(NIREH) is also established that focus research on MIC affected population of Bhopal.


A leopard in Van Vihar, Bhopal

Bhopal has an average elevation of 500m metres (1401 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 are Idgah hills and Shyamala hills in the northern region, katara hills in south region and Arera hills in the central region.

According to current master plan, the municipality covers 697 square kilometres It has two very beautiful big lakes, collectively known as the Bhoj Wetland. These lakes are the Upper Lake (now renamed to Bhojtal) and the Lower Lake. Locally these are known as the Bada Talab and Chota Talab respectively. The catchment area of the Upper Lake is 360 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 besides the Upper Lake.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Bhopal has a humid subtropical climate, with cool, 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 cool, sunny and comfortable, with average daily temperatures around 16 °C (61°F) and little or no rain. The winter peaks in January when temperatures may drop close to freezing on some nights. Lowest temperature ever recorded was 0.3C. Total annual rainfall is about 1146 mm (46 inches).

Climate data for Bhopal
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 24.4
Average low °C (°F) 9.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 12.9
Source: IMD


The Govindpura industrial area has 1044 small- and medium-scale industries involved in various kinds of production activities.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, the largest engineering and manufacturing enterprise in India, has a unit in Bhopal. It occupies a large area in the Eastern Part of the city and maintains a suburb named after it. A majority of the residents of the BHEL Suburb are employed by the unit.

The major industries in the old city are electrical goods, medicinal, 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.[28] The residents of Bhopal also engage in large retail businesses. Handicrafts, like zardozi and batua (a small string purse, usually used with Indian traditional dresses) are some of the products of the Old City.[29] In addition, there are also a large number of garages in the Old City which specialise in automobile conversion. These garages produce custom-modified and tuned cars, SUVs and motorbikes.

Bhopal is also home to the DB Corp, informally called the Bhaskar Group (after its major publication Dainik Bhaskar), a Rs. 1700 crore (Rs. 17 billion) business conglomerate with strong presence in media. 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.[30]

Mandideep is an industrial suburb of Bhopal. It is located to the South of the city on the NH 12. Mandideep's total exports are worth some 2,300 crore rupees ($500m; £300m) per year, making it the largest industrial area in Madhya Pradesh. The town is home to Hindustan Electo Graphite (HEG), owning the largest graphite electrode plant in the world and is the largest industrial company in the entire state. Hindustan Electro Graphite (HEG) and Lupin Laboratories ltd. are the dominant companies in the suburb, each exports worth around 900 crore rupees.[31] Apart from that, Mandideep also houses the manufacturing plant of Makson group of company, Eicher Tractors for the oldest tractor manufacturers in India.


National Law Institute University
IIFM arc

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. Some schools are also affiliated to National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and ICSE Board, Institution Of Secondary Distance Education (ISDE) or Private Non-Governmental Board of School Education.

Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal is among the oldest medical college in Madhya Pradesh and was established in 1955. This college is associated with Hamidia Hospital, Sultania Zenana hospital, Kamla Nehru Hospital and has a Regional Institute of Opthalmology and a National Institute for Research in Environment Health and the first of its kind Medico-Legal Institute in India.

National Law Institute University founded in 1997 is a premier law university in the city and has been ranked as the 3rd best law school in India by Outlook and India Today.The National Judicial Academy (NJA)is also situated here.

Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, established in 1998, is a multi-campus affiliating university located in Bhopal. It has campuses and affiliated colleges in Bhopal and other major cities of Madhya Pradesh. 217 engineering colleges, 95 pharmacy colleges, 88 MCA colleges, 4 architecture colleges and 85 polytechnic institutions are affiliated to it. UIT RGPV, an engineering institution established in 1986 as the Government Engineering College was granted autonomous status in 2010. Other universities include the, the Barkatullah University, the Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University (for distance education) and the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication and SNGGPG college.

Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), established in 1960, is the premier institute for technology in the city and has been categorized by the Government of India as an Institute of National Importance. There are several other public and private engineering schools (numbering almost 200) located in and around the city.

The Indian Institute of Forest Management founded in 1982 is an autonomous institution, established by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India with financial assistance from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and course assistance from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. It is considered as one of top sectorial MBA college in India.

The National Institute of Technical Teachers' Training and Research (NITTTR), established by Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India in 1966 as TTTI, is also located in Bhopal. It offers M. Tech., Ph.D.,MBA and Training courses. Other Central Government-run institutes in the city include Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and School of Planning and Architecture (SPA, established 2008).[32]

Government and politics[edit]

Vidhan Bhawan, which houses the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.

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 thirteenth (and current) Vidhan Sabha was elected in May 2013.[33] As of April 2012, 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.


Local transport[edit]

Bhopal has been a railroad and highway transportation hub for a long time. Bhopal has its own city bus service- Bhopal City Link Limited, which operates high capacity Tata Starbus and Tata Marcopolo, which are under GPS navigation and smaller Metro Buses. In addition, around 600 mini-buses are run by private operators. Metro or Radio Taxis and auto-rickshaws are another major means of transport. In some parts in the old as well as new city, the new Tata Magic Vans are running successfully and have replaced the older and bigger diesel rickshaws — known as "Bhat" in year 2010.

Bhopal has India's longest Bus Rapid Transit System, which became functional from the year 2013.[34]

A metro rail project is under implementation for the city.[35]


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 Dewas in the West. State Highway 17 connects the city with Indore. Apart from the long distance services, there are many services to nearby places within the state. There are number of daily buses to Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khajuraho, Sanchi, Pachmarhi, Vidisha and Berasia in Madhya Pradesh. There are also daily buses to Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Kota, Nagpur, Jaipur, Shirdi, Pune, Akola, Amravati, Jalgaon, Vadodara, Surat and Nashik. An interstate bus terminus is located near the Habibganj station.[36] Another terminus called the Kushabhau Thakre Inter State Bus Terminal was inaugurated in 2011.[37]


Habibganj railway station

Bhopal lies in the West Central Railway Zone. Considering both North-South and East-West train routes, it is one of the best connected city in India. It houses the Divisional Railway Managers (DRM) head office under Central railways. Following are the railway stations in Bhopal:

  • Bhopal Junction Railway Station[38] is the largest and most important railway station in the city. Being on the main North-South line, it is connected by rail to all parts of the country except North-Eastern states. More than 150 daily trains have stoppages in Bhopal.[38]
  • Habibganj Railway Station[38] is a major and the most developed station of Bhopal. It holds the distinction of being the first ISO 9000:2001 certified railway station in India.
  • Misrod Railway Station[38] is located in the Misrod suburb of the city.
  • Mandideep Railway Station[38] is located in the industrial town of Mandideep.
  • Sukhsewanagar
  • Bairagarh[38] is located in the north-western Bairagarh suburb.


The Raja Bhoj International Airport is located near the satellite suburb Bairagarh.[39][40]

There are three routes ways to reach the airport: (1) Via Bairagarh, (2) Via Panchvati, (3) Via Gandhi nagar road (N.H 12). From within the city, VIP road, a four lane road connects with the airport. Bhopal Airport is the international airport or Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and lies 15 km to the north of the city. International flights began operations in 2010 although no schedule services currently run internationally.

Domestic services operate to Delhi (Indian, Jet Airways and JetLite), Ahmedabad and Mumbai (Jet Airways).


According to the 2011 census the population of the Bhopal city is 1,795,648. The total effective literacy rate was 85.24%.[1] The chief languages are Urdu Hindustani and English. In the princely state of Bhopal, Persian was the court language until nineteenth century. The common street dialect spoken in Bhopal, especially in older regions of the city 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 and Arshad Warsi in the film Ishqiya.

Religion in Bhopal
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Includes Sikhs (1%), Buddhists (<0.5%).


Places of interest[edit]


Taj-ul-Masajid is one of the largest mosques in Asia.The mosque is also used as a madrasah (Islamic school) during the day time."Taj-ul-Masajid" literally means "The Crown of Mosques". The construction of the mosque was initiated during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar by Nawab Shah Jahan Begum (1844- 1860 and 1868-1901) of Bhopal.The mosque has a pink facade topped by two 18-storey high octagonal minarets with marble domes. The mosque also has three huge bulbous domes, an impressive main hallway with attractive pillars and marble flooring resembling Mughal architecture the likes of Jama Masjid in Delhi and the huge Badshahi Mosque of Lahore. It has a courtyard with a large tank in the centre. It has a double-storeyed gateway with four recessed archways and nine cusped multifold openings in the main prayer hall. The Quibla wall in the prayer hall is carved with eleven recessed arches and has fine screens of trellis work. The massive pillars in the hall hold 27 ceilings through squinted arches of which 16 ceilings are decorated with ornate petaled designs.

Jama Masjid was built by Qudisiya Begum in 1837,It has still retained its old charisma that leaves quite an impact on its visitors..its two huge minarets can be sighted from a great distance.The mosque also has three bulbous cupolas, but the main feature of the Jama Masjid is its interior – a splendid example of Islamic architecture.

The mosque contains a series of alabaster-white columned arches that present a very pretty sight, and the inner sanctum of the mosque is built out of marble. The Jama Masjid complex also contains a small pond, and was extensively renovated after Independence. A visit to this lovely tourist site offers complete peace and harmony.

Moti Masjid
The Moti Masjid (Hindi: मोती मस्जिद, Urdu: موتی مسجد, translation: Pearl Mosque) is a large white marble mosque or the Mosque of Pearls is situated in the heart of Bhopal. It is considered an important landmark in the history of Muslim women in India.

The Moti Masjid was an important landmark of Bhopal, and was built in 1860 by Sikandar Jehan Begum, Qudisiya Begum?s daughter. Sikandar Begum was fairly unconventional compared to Muslim women of her time ? she usually dressed like a man and went out riding without a veil, often with a dagger tucked under her belt. Bhopal came to be known as the domain of the relatively liberated, even progressive women, and it was Sikandar Begum who set the trend. The Begum was an enthusiastic reformer, open to modern ideas. She abolished slavery and built roads, bridges and beautiful monuments like the Moti Masjid. One of the most important mosques in Bhopal, the Moti Masjid, has a very modern appearance and is very well preserved, just like most others in Bhopal. The mosque has a marble-white facade with two small cupolas atop it, and it has two huge black minarets on either side of it.

Shaukat Mahal And Sadar Manzil,Situated at the entrance to the chowk area in the heart of the walled city, Shaukat Mahal is an architectural curiosity. Its mixture of styles in occidental idioms sets it apart from the predominantly Islamic architecture of the area. It was designed by a Frenchman, said to be a descendant of an offshoot of the Bourbon kings of France. Post-renaissance and Gothic styles are combined to charming effect here. Nearby is the elegant, once-opulent Sadar Manzil, Hall of Public Audience of the former rulers of Bhopal.The Shaukat Mahal is flanked by the Sadar Manzil which served as a Hall of Public Audience during the princely period.

This brick-red building has an ostentatious appearance, and the gardens that surround the palace makes the Manzil look as pretty as a postcard.

Lower Lake, BhopalThe lake was built by creating in 1794 to beautify the city. The history of this lake is about two hundred years old. This was built by Chote Khan, A minister in the kingdom of Nabab Hayat Mohd. Khan in the year 1794. Before construction of this lake, there were many wells, which were used to draw water for agricultural and other purposes. But after the construction of the tank all wells merged in this lake. The smaller lake is spread over an area 7.99 square kilometer. A Century and half ago the tank was maximum 11.7 meters and minimum 6.16 meters deep.
Bhojtal Bhojtal, (Hindi: भोजताल), formerly known as Upper Lake[1] is a large lake which lies on the Western side of the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal. It is a major source of drinking water for the residents of the city, serving around 40% of the residents with nearly 30 million imperial gallons (140,000 m3) of water per day.[2] Bada talaab, along with the nearby Chhota Talaab, meaning small lake in Hindi, constitute Bhoj Wetland, which is now a Ramsar site.According to the local folklore, Bhojtal is said to have been built by the Parmara Raja Bhoj during his tenure as a king of Malwa (1005–1055). He is also said to have established the city of Bhopal (also named after him, then as Bhojpal) to secure the eastern frontier of his kingdom. There is a legend why they built the lake. Once king Bhoj suffered from skin disease and all Vaidyas (Doctor in English) failed to cure him. Then, one day a saint told the king to build a tank to combine 365 tributaries and then have a bath in it to wipe out the skin disease. Bhoj called upon his engineers to build up a huge tank. They spotted a place near river Betwa, which was 32 km away from Bhopal. It was found that it has only 359 tributaries. A Gond Commander Kalia fulfilled this shortage. He then gave the address of an invisible river. After merging the tributaries of this river the number 365 was completed.[4]

The lake was created by constructing an earthen dam across the Kolans River. An eleven gate dam called the Bhadbhada dam was constructed at Bhadbhada in 1965 at the southeast corner of the Lake, and now controls the outflow to the river Kaliasote. The lake was known as the Upper Lake or Bada Talab ("Big Pond") until March 2011 it was renamed to Bhojtaal in honour of the Great King Raja Bhoj who built it.[5] A huge statue of Raja Bhoj was also installed on a pillar on one corner of the lake

GOHAR MAHAL,Situated behind Shaukat Mahal on the banks of the Upper Lake is Gohar Mahal, which is an architectural gem dating back to the times of Kudsia Begum, also known as Gohar Begum, who built this sprawling palace in 1820. The Mahal is a magnificent expression of the fusion of Hindu and Mughal architecture.Built by Qudisiya Begum (who was also known as Gohar Begum) in 1820, the Mahal is a wonderful expression of the fusion of Hindu and Mughal architecture.

Qudisiya Begum was the first woman ruler of Bhopal who ascended the throne of the erstwhile princely state in 1819, after her husband died in an accident (see History). From then on, political power rested with the Begums of Bhopal. The Begums were liberal and modern in their outlook, and Qudisiya Begum was the probably India’s first woman’s-libber.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple situated to the south of the Lower Lake, is a temple devoted to Vishnu and his consort Laxmi constructed by Birla, called Birla Mandir.

Islamnagar: 11 km away on the Bhopal- Berasia road, Islamnagar was the palace of Bhopal's Afghan rulers and was built by Dost Mohammed Khan. Formal gardens surround the palace and the pavilion. The latter a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic decorative art, has columns lavishly embellished with floral motifs. Other monuments to see are the Hamam of the Chaman Mahal and the double-storied Rani Mahal.
Kerwa: 17 km from Bhopal. A dam and a beautiful picnic spot.
Raisen: 45 km from Bhopal is the ancient fort of Raisen on the Bhopal-Sagar road. The fort was built in the early 6th century. It is situated on a high hill and once had 84 lakes and ponds, of which only 15 remain. The fort was under the famous Hindu king Rai Puran Mal before it was seized by Sher Shah and brought under Afghan control.
Bud Wale Mahadev: Bud Wale Mahadev or Bad Wale Mahadev is a historic temple located in the heart of city Bhopal. It is located in Old Kabadkhana adjacent to Peergate. In this temple the shivling is emerged on a 'Bud Tree' (Banyan Tree) that is why it is called Bud Wale Mahadev. Every year on the occasion of Mahashivratri a huge procession is arranged in which is called as 'Shiv Baarat'. In this procession Lord Shiva is re-married to Maa Parvati at Peergate.
Delawadi: 62 km from Bhopal. Situated in a lovely forest glade, Delawadi is a picturesque picnic spot, rich in scenic splendor and natural beauty.
Ginnorgarh: The historical fort standing on an isolated hill about 1,127 metres long and 266 metres broad is situated 3 km away from Delawadi. Buses ply the route, but from Delawadi to the fort one has to travel on foot. The fort was once a stronghold of Gonds, but fell to Mohammad of the Bhopal State.
Gufa MandirThe famous temple is located near Lalghati. It is said that Late Baba Narayandas founded it in the year 1949. In the large campus of mandir, beautiful idols of Lord Shiva ,Ram – Laxman, Sitaji,Goddes Durga and Hanuman are built. People and devotees from different places come for darshan everyday. A sanskrit college is also located in the campus.
Khatlapura MandirShri Ram temple is situated near lower lake and district Commandant office. It was built 150 years ago. Beautiful idols of Lord Ram , Laxman, Sitaji,Goddes Durga , Sitla Mata, Lord Ganesh, Saibaba, Lord Shankar sitting on Nandia attract lot of devotees and visitors. A fare is held every year on Dol-Gyaras.
Regional Science Center this is a science museum located on the picturesque Shyamala Hills. This centre houses about 300 science exhibits in ‘Invention’ and ‘Fun Science’ galleries. ‘Taramandal’ and Planetarium at the centre helps the students and enthusiasts study the astral and mysterious world of stars, galaxies and the universe. Stargazing sessions are organized at the planetarium for those who want to have a real close view of these luminous bodies.
Fish AquariumIt is situated near Raj-Bhavan and old assembly hall. It came into existence on 31st May,1977. Covering one hectare area fish house is built in fish like structure. It attracts visitors a lot. Fish house is a double storey structure. Upper portion has forty glass aquariums, where various species of living and colorful fishes can be seen. In the Fish house you can see Golden Shark,paradise blue,Rosy Barb,King Kobra,Golden plata,Golden Gormi, Tiger Barb,Black Moor and King Zebra.

In the lower section are 26 big aquariums. Here is kept collection of fishes brought from state and national lakes,rivers and ponds,Among these can be seen Rohu, Katla, Mirgal, Sawal, Padin, Collet, Ticto, Pencil-Fira and Bam fish. Fish hose is open for visitors from 1 April to 30th Sept from 1.00 PM to 8 PM and from 1 October to 31 March from 12.00 PM to 7 PM.

Van ViharIt is the center of attraction for local as well as foreign tourists which is located on a hill near to upper lake in natural surroundings. Wide spread lake water,turning roads,sweet murmurs of birds on the trees,cold waves, peaceful atmosphere and the natural beauty of van vihar give a lot of self enjoyment. Van Vihar is spread over an area of 445 hectares. There are many wild animals like Tiger,Leopard,Panther are a treat to watch.
Sanchi Stupa BhopalThis place doesn't need any introduction and is perhaps a well-known and must-see monument not only in India but also across the globe. Sanchi Stupa has a great historical connection with King Ashoka as well as Gautam Buddha. The place is said to be one of the oldest stone structures of India and it edifies Buddhist remnants.

It is one of the most visited Buddhist sites besides the Ashoka Pillar. The scenic landscaping and awesomely erected Buddhist landmarks at the place makes this site worth visiting. In the huge spherical domes, you will be able to witness Buddha's remnants. The place is simply irresistible and portrays the ancient history of Buddhism in the country.its only 48 km from bhopal.

Bhimbetka CavesBhimbetka Caves are among the most fabled destinations in the country. The caves happened to be the dwellings of pre-historic man during the Paleolithic era. The paintings in the caves exhibit the development of the human race with time. This site bears immense historic significance owing to the rarest specimens of pre-historic paintings ever discovered in India. The unique specialty lies in the fact that most of these paintings are still in a condition good enough to be studied.

There are about six hundred caves framed with exquisite pre-historic paintings. Presently out of the 600 caves only 12 are open for visitors. The caves are located in the midst of sal and teak forests. They were first discovered by V S Wakankar in the year 1957. The caves are the testimonials of our history and the creations of our ancestors now attract onlookers from all over the country. The sheer historical and cultural relevance of the caves coupled with the genuine archaeological importance of the site earned Bhimbetka Caves the acclaimed World Heritage Site recognition by UNESCO in 2003. site is 35 km away from bhopal.


Sadar Manzil is a historic moument built by rulers of Bhopal riasat.

Bhopal has an extensive culture of paan eating. Paan (betel 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.[41]

Bhopali dishes and food in Bhopal are comparatively mild, less spicy and unique in taste. Local and individual variations of various popular snacks and foods can be found selling around the city . Bhopali food has a large variety of non-vegetarian dishes, including Bhopali Murgh Rezala, Paneer Rezala, Bhopali Gosht Korma, Murgh Hara Masala Rice, Murgh Nizami etc.[42]

Diwali and Eid are both celebrated with equal pomp and glory. Gifts and sweets are exchanged and donation are made to the poor. Diwali is celebrated by worshiping the wealth goddess Lakshmi. 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 Bhawan, a big center for theatre, music, arts and other cultural activities.

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.

Parol: Himalayan Village gate reconstruted as entrance gate at IGRMS, Bhopal

Bhopal Ijtema, an annual world preachers congregation, is held at Ghasipura 11 km from Bhopal. Jamaats from all over the world gatherhere for 3 days, to learn about Islamic way of life and to talk about peace and humanity. Around a Million people gather on the final day prayer.[43]

The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), an autonomous organization of Govt. of India, Ministry of Culture is dedicated to the depiction of story of mankind in time and space. The Sangrahalaya is involved in generating a new museum movement in India, with open, freewheeling, flexible plan, to demonstrate the simultaneous validity of human cultures and the plurality of alternatives for human articulation. The innovative aspects of the Organisation are its open air and indoor exhibitions, built with active involvement of traditional artisans and experts drawn from different community groups, and the Education, Outreach and Salvage activities for revitalisatin of vanishing but valuable cultural traditions. The headquarters of the IGRMS is located in Bhopal (M.P.) while a regional centre is functioning from Heritage building Wellington House, Mysore (Karnataka). It showcases the tribal culture of various regions and various examples of tribal art and architecture. Every year in January/February, it hosts potters' workshops, folk music and dance events and open-air plays. Tribals also demonstrate their skills in painting, weaving, and the fashioning of bell metal into works of art.

Popular holiday spots around Bhopal include Delawadi, a picturesque picnic spot and Islamnagar which was the palace of Bhopal's Afghan rulers. Located at around 40 km from Bhopal is Bhimbetka, a World Heritage Site which has one of the largest collections of prehistoric paintings and rocks, some of which date back more than 10,000 years. The Bhojeshwar or Shiva temple in Bhojpur holds great religious importance and is famous for a massive Shivalingam, which is the largest in India. Anglers can head about 10 kilometres from the city to Hathaikheda, which is a popular fishing zone. Sanchi, a site famous for Buddhist monuments and temples dating back several centuries is located at 50 km from the city.


Electronic media[edit]

Presently the city has 5 Private Radio stations in Bhopal apart from Vividh Bharti viz. BIG FM 92.7, 94.3 My FM Jiyo Dil Se, Radio Mirchi 98.3, Red FM 93.5 and 90.4 MHz Radio Popcorn.

AIR Bhopal (Akashvani Bhopal) transmits on Medium Wave 1593 kHz via a 10 kW transmitter. It also simulcasts in Shortwave via a 50 kW transmitter at the following times and frequencies:

  • 4810 kHz: 0025-0215 UTC
  • 7430 kHz: 0225-0447 (Sun 0531/0631) UTC
  • 7430 kHz: 0630/0700-0931 (Sun 0700-1031) UTC
  • 4810 kHz: 1130-1742 UTC

Government-run FM channels:

  • 103.5 MHz AIR Vividh Bharati (6 kW power)
  • 105.0 MHz Gyan Vani (10 kW power)

Private & Commercial FM channels:

  • 92.7 MHz Big 92.7 FM
  • 93.5 MHz Red FM (Bajaate Raho)
  • 94.3 MHz My FM
  • 98.3 MHz Radio Mirchi
  • 90.4 MHz Low Power (50W) Community Radio of RKDF Institute of Science & Technology, Hoshangabad Road, Bhopal.

Bhopal has its own Radio and Television stations (All India Radio and Doordarshan respectively). Local Television networks include Digi Networks and BTV(Bhaskar TV). Besides, three regional satellite channels operate from Bhopal, namely ETV Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Sahara Madhya Pradesh and Sadhana News.

Print media[edit]

Various Hindi and English newspapers are published from Bhopal. The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Pioneer (Indian newspaper), Youth Engine, The Hitavada, etc. are the main English dailies and weekly published from the city while Dainik Bhaskar, Raj Express, nazare hind, Nava Bharat, Nai Dunia, Dainik Jagran, Patrika, News Track Network, BPN Times, Peoples Samachar,rastra ka hawhan etc. are the main Hindi dailies published from here.

See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

  • Sinha, Indra (2007). Animal's People. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-7878-9. 
  • Lapierre, Dominique (2002). Five Past Midnight in Bhopal. Warner Books. ISBN 0-7432-2035-8. 
  • Khan, Shaharyar. Begums of Bhopal, A Dynasty of Women Rulers in Raj India. ISBN 1-86064-528-3. 
  • Singh, J.P. (1998). City Planning in India: A Study of Land Use of Bhopal. Mittal Publications, India. ISBN 81-7099-705-4. 
  • Howgh, William (2006). A Brief History Of The Bhopal Principality In Central India. Hesperides Press. ISBN 1-4067-1225-6. 
  • Mittal, Kamal (1990). History of Bhopal State: Development of Constitution, Administration and National Awakening, 1901–1949. South Asia Books. ISBN 99903-0-915-9. 
  • D'Silva, Themistocles (2006). The Black Box of Bhopal. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 1-4120-8412-1. 

External links[edit]