Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Bhopal is located in the central part of India, and is just north of the upper limit of the Vindhya mountain ranges. Located on t he 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.
Bhopal District is bounded by the districts of Guna to the north, Vidisha to the northeast, Raisen to the east and southeast, Sehore to the southwest and west, and Rajgarh to the northwest. The city of Bhopal lies in the southern part of the district, and the majority of the population resides within Bhopal municipality. The town of Berasia lies in the northern part of the district.
Bhopal city nestles in a hilly terrain, which slopes towards north and southeast. Hillocks of different altitudes are situated along the southwest and northwest portion of the city, these hillocks from a continuousbelt from Singarcholi up to Vindhyachal range. The height of Singarcholi nearLalghati is 625 M., which is maximum in this area. The general ground level ishowever, nearly 460 M. along the southeastern and northeastern portion ofthe city. The remarkable topography of thecity provides enchanting and panoramic views of the city and of natural scenic beauty. There are immense possibilities for landscaping and water front Development for recreation
Forest - Total Geogoraphical Area of Bhopal district is 2772 Sq. Km of which Dense Forest is 41 Sq. Km, Open Forest 192 Sq. Km. Total Forest Area is 233 Sq. Km Extending over 8.41 % of the total geographical area.
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. 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. 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.
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. Apart from that, Mandideep also houses the manufacturing plant of Makson group of company, Eicher Tractors for the oldest tractor manufacturers in India.
How to reach Bhopal (Transport System in Bhopal)
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.
A metro rail project is under implementation for 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 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. Another terminus called the Kushabhau Thakre Inter State Bus Terminal was inaugurated in 2011.
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 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.
Habibganj Railway Station 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 is located in the Misrod suburb of the city.
Mandideep Railway Station is located in the industrial town of Mandideep.
Sukhsewanagar Railway Station
Bairagarh Railway Station is located in the north-western Bairagarh suburb.
Bhopal Airport -
The Raja Bhoj International Airport is located near the satellite suburb Bairagarh.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 15km 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).
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Taj-ul-MasajidThis is the largest mosque in the country. The building of this mosque was begun by Shah Jehan Begum (1868-1901) but was incomplete on her death and was completed only after 1971. The most impressive features of the mosque are its main hall with inter-arched roof, broad facade, spacious courtyard, and smooth marble flooring.
Jama Masjid is located at the centre of chowk bazar, a busy business centre of Bhopal.This was built in 1837 by Kudsia Begum. This Masjid was completed in 24 years. To built this masjid , an amount of Rs. 60.5 lakhs was spent. This beautiful mosque has gold spikes in the minarets of this beautiful mosque.
Moti Masjid is architecturally akin to Jama Masjid in Delhi.Moti Maszid It was built in 1860 by the Sikandar Jehan Begum daughter of Kudsia Begum (Sikandar Jehan).
Shahjahan Begum got it built on about five acres of land . This area is known as idgah hills. Muslim devotees offer their prayers on ID and other occasions.
Shaukat Mahal & Sadar Manzil -
Sadar ManzilShaukat Mahal is situated at the entrance to the Chowk area in the heart of the city. It was designed by a Frenchman, said to be descendant of the Bourbon kings of France. Shaukat Mahal is an architectural marvel and a cynosure of all eyes. Sadar Manzil is the , Hall of public audience of the former rulers of Bhopal.
Bharat Bhawan -
Bharat Bhawan is one of the most unique national institutes in India. This is a centre for the performing and visual arts. Bharat Bhawan is designed by the renowned architect Charles Currier. There are a museum of the arts, an art gallery, a workshop for fine arts, a reparatory theatre, indoor and outdoor auditoria, rehersal room, and libraries of Indian poetry, classical and folk music.
Manav Sangrahalaya (Museum of Man kind) -
An open-air exhibition of tribal house types located on Shamla Hills. The exhibition highlights the architectural features and has elaborately displayed interiors. The surroundings have been reconstructed to match some of the interesting environmental features of tribal villages. The habitat is open every day except on Mondays and national holidays from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm.
Upper Lake -
One thousand years ago ,Bhopal lake was built by late parmar king Bhoj known as Upper lake. There is a saying that once king Bhoj suffered from skin disease. Boat Club View of Upper LakeAll vaidya's failed to cure him. One day a saint told king Bhoj to Sunset view at Upperlake : Photo Source - Ramsar Convention Bureau (www.samsar.org)build a tank to combine 365 tributaries and than have a bath in it to wipe out the skin disease. As per saints version, king Bhoj called upon his engineers to build up a huge tank. They spotted a place near river Betwa, which was 32 K.M. away from Bhopal. When this was measured , it was found that it has only 359 tributaries . A Gond Commander Kalia fulfilled this shortage. He than gave the address of an invisible river. After merging the tributaries of this river the number 365 was completed. The Upper lake is divided from the Lower by an over bridge and is six sq. km. in area. There are facilities for exciting trips by sail, paddle, and motor-boats.
Lower Lake -
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.
Van Vihar -
It 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.
Fish Aquarium -
It 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 1st April to 30th Sept from 1.00 PM to 8 PM and from 1st October to 31st March from 12.00 PM to 7 PM.
Regional Science Centre -
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.
Birla Mandir -
Bidlamandir of BhopalBirla Mandir is situated at the highest point of Bhopal, atop area Hills. Birla Mandir not only provides a spiritual experience but also a panoramic view of the breath taking picturesque city of Bhopal. It is a place where one can have an overview of the entire Bhopal city. The temple has a museum attached to it where there is a rich collection of sculptures from Raisen, Sehore, Mandsaur, and Shahdol districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Gufa Mandir -
The 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 Mandir -
Shri 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.
Capital's Park -
Chinar ParkPark's beauty attract tourists. In Bhopal, Main parks are Kamla park,Vardhman park, Kilol park, Karishma Park, Yadgare Shahjahani park, Neelum park, Naunihal park, Ekant park, Chinar park and Nandan park. During evening these parks are visited by by citizen's of the localities.
BHEL Township -
The sprawling industrial town of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) spread over 19.56 sq. kilometer and having a population of about 1.5 lack, has a quaint charm of its own. This modern township has been maintained with excellent amenities for residential quarters,shopping centres, hospitals, schools, colleges, parks, clubs etc.
If you wish to travel further into history - the pre historic era – take time off to make an excursion to Bhimbetka an archaeological treasure house. BhimbethikaHemmed in by the northern fringe of the vindhya ranges, Bhimbethika : PaintingsBhimbetka lies 46 Kms. South of Bhopal. The rocky terrain of dense forest and craggy cliffs has over 600 shelters belonging to the Neolithic age. They had a vivid, panoramic detail, painting in over 500 caves depicting the lives of pre-historic cave dwellers. This invaluable chronicle on the history of man, should not be missed. You can enjoy the paintings depicting everyday events of our ancestors like scenes of hunting, dancing, horse and elephant riding, household scenes, honey collection, animal fighting scenes etc.
Front View of Bhojpur Shiv LingThe magnificent temple of Bhojpur , which has earned the nomenclature of the Somnath of the East is known as the Bhojeshwar temple. Dating back to the period of Raja Bhoj, The legendary Parmar king of Dhar , the temple is about 1000 years old. This temple to this date attracts devotees of Lord Shiva in huge numbers during the Shivaratri festivities. Just half – an – Bhojpur Templehour drive from Bhopal, this sanctum has the biggest Shiva Linga carved out of a single stone, rising to an awe-inspiring height of 7.5 feet with a circumference of 17.8 feet. Set upon a massive platform of 21.5 feet, the architectural harmony of lingam and platform creates a superb synthesis of solidity and lightness. Although the temple was never completed , it still remains one of the best examples of temple architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries.
Islam Nagar -
Islam Nagar11km away on Bhopal-Berasia Road has synthesis of Hindu and Islamic decorative art developed by Afghan ruler Dost Mohammed Khan.
It is situated 22 kilometer away from Bhopal. This place was discovered 70 years ago by a jain Muni.Hundred of idols of Jain tearthankars can be seen there.
Manua Bhan Ki Tekri -
Near seven kilometer away from Bhopal on Gwalior road on the top of a hill is situated Manua Bhan Ki Tekri, the Jain temple, a pilgrimage and faith of jain devotees. On the tekri the Jain saint Maharaj Shri Vijay Suriji, Shri Jindutta Sureshwarji and Acharya Manutung's footwears are kept and also a idol of Shri Man Bhadarji has been installed. On the Simha Gate of the temple is an old manuscript carved on the stone, the language in which it has been written is still to be deciphered. It is also said to be the Sadhana Sthali of Oswal Dynasty. A big fare is also held every year here on Kartik Purnima.