Bhopal, also called the city of lakes, is the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh. The city offers a fascinating combination of natural pictersque beauty, rich history and modernity. The city's rich history always welcome those who are inclined towards finding more about the city, Bhopal, situated on the site of a 11th century city, Bhojapal, was founded by Raja Bhoja. The founder of the existing city was however an Afghan soldier, Dost Mohammed. Dost Mohammed, while fleeing from Delhi in the period when the Mughal empire started to crumble after the death of the Mughal king Aurangazeb, Dost Mohammed encountered the beautiful Gond queen Kamalapati, who sort his aid after the murder of her consort. This charming legend states how the queen in a lotus barge, on moonlit nights, would drift across the lake. However the history of this beautiful city has not always been such a happy one as in 1984 Bhopal was struck with the largest industrial accident of a gas tragedy that killed several thousands of inoccent people of Bhopal.

Bhopal is an important economic, educational and political center of the State and houses various institutions and installations of state as well as some of national importance. Some of them include ISRO's Master Control Facility which is the second installation of its kind in the country (the first being at Hassan, the Indian Institute of Forest Management and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which is expected to get completed soon

Bhopal 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 also known as the Lake City(or City of Lakes) for its various natural as well as artificial lakes . Bhopal is also one of the greenest cities in India.

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 night of 3 December 1984, leading to the worst industrial disaster in history and a loss of thousands of lives. Many more were rendered sick and have been facing chronic health problems such as psychological and neurological disabilities, blindness, skin, vision and breathing disorders and the children, whose parents or even grandparents (i.e. second generation) were exposed to the gas, still suffer of serious birth defects.The soil and ground water, near the factory site, has been contaminated by the toxic wastes and other other chemicals still leaking from the factory. The Indian government, however, maintains that no such pollution has taken place or that any such toxins are even present at the site.Since then, Bhopal has been a center of protests and campaigns which have been joined by millions from across the globe.

Enclosed by a masonry wall, the city stands on the northern bank of a large lake with a bridge separating it from the lower lake. The name of the city is reportedly derived from Raja Bhoj who created the surrounding lakes by building a dam or pal. Hence, the city was originally called Bhojpal. Over a period of time, this was shortened to its present name, Bhopal.

Location info:

Bhopal is located in the North Western parts of the state of Madhya Pradesh in the central region of India. Bhopal is 741 km from Delhi, 789 km from Mumbai, and about 200 kms from Indore.


The climate is moderate in Bhopal. The summers are hot and winters cold. But it does not face extreme weather conditions.It rains moderately during rainy season.The weather is pleasant through out the year. 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 mild, sunny and dry, with average temperatures around 18 °C (64 °F) and little or no rain. The winter peaks in January when temperatures may drop close to freezing on some nights. Total annual rainfall is about 1146 mm (46 inches).

History of Bhopal:

Bhopal is said to have been founded by the Parmar 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. Bhopal is also a surname among the Kumhars i.e. potters [Bho = bhooomi(earth) & pal = bhal (Khoj) meaning search]. Among potters, Bhopals were those who could find appropriate kind of earth. It is said that the first civilization with earthen items made by Kumhars came into existence in Bhopal.

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[14] 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.[15]

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.


Educational Institutions in Bhopal:

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. And there are some schools which are affiliated to National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) board.

Bhopal is home to one of India's premier engineering colleges, the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, established in 1960 and one of the first Regional Engineering Colleges. Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology is also categorized by the Government of India as an Institute of National Importance. There are several other public and private engineering schools (numbering almost 90) located in and around the city. Government of India established an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and a School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in the year 2008.

The city is also home to several management and law institutes. The prominent ones include the Indian Institute of Forest Management, The National Judicial Academy (for training judges and one of its' kind in India) and the National Law Institute University, one of the premier law schools in India.
The Entrance
The Campus
The National Law Institute University, Bhopal

Gandhi Medical College is the city's oldest and most prominent medical college and is associated with Hamidia Hospital. The medical college is affiliated to the Barkatullah University. The hospital and the college played a crucial role in emergency response and care after the December 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

Other institutes of higher learning that offer courses in pure sciences, liberal arts, accounting, communication and other professional training include the Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, the Barkatullah University, the Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University (for distance education) and the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism.

Other city institutes of learning that offer a diploma in education are, The Regional Institute of Education (RIE) of Bhopal, a constituent unit of the National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) and the Digdarshika Institute of Rehabilitation and Research, a non-profit and educational organization serving the health sector.

Bhopal has a large number of engineering colleges too.


There are many popular and spoken languages in Bhopal, the capital city of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. But Hindi is the most important and the official language of the state. So this language enjoys a special status in the capital city as well.

Since people from varied backgrounds stay in this Indian city so languages of different regions of India are commonly used here. Urdu, Gujarati, Marathi and Sindhi are among the other widely spoken languages of Bhopal.

There are various popular dialects of Hindi spoken by the people of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The people of Bhopal are no exceptions in this regard. There are many people in the city of Bhopal who speak in the Malwi, Bundelkhandi and the Chattisgarhi dialect.


The city of Bhopal is not too well endowed with monuments, but it still has a unique character of its own. It presents a happy mix of Hindu and Islamic cultures and delicately balances both North Indian and South Indian influences as well.
Located on a gradient, the city has an amphitheatre-like quality, with a fair sprinkling of landscaped gardens and lakes. Sitting on the fringe of the Malwa Plateau, which comprises half-broken plains and forests in equal measure, the city is surrounded by the Shamla and the Idgah Hills. These hills offer the best view of Bhopal at twilight. As you near the city, huge minarets of mosques appear on the horizon, silently informing the visitor that Bhopal has arrived. Bhopal is also known as the city of lakes, and when the waters of the lake reflect the twinkling lights of the city at night, it is a sight to behold.

The two lakes that surround this beautiful city have been and will be two major life lines of the city as these lakes provide for several people and is a major tourist attraction of Bhopal. Bhopal city is divided into two parts one being the newer more modern part that has modern edifices, well laid out city plan, with parks and gardens and the other that still cherishes the imprints that were left on it by the rulers of the past.

Bhopal, as we know it today, was founded by the Afghan adventurer, Dost Mohammad Khan who ruled over the city from 1708-40 a.d. He fled Delhi after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, died in 1707. Later, Dost Mohammad met and fell for Queen Kamalapati, and ultimately extended his sway over the entire region. Bhopal survived a fearsome Maratha onslaught in the late 18th century, and finally signed a treaty with the British in 1818, to secure peace.

Bhopal is a city that is unique in the sense that powerful Begums ruled over it for over a century (1818-1926). In fact, John Lord who chronicled princely India labeled Shah Jahan Begum as the “First Lady of India.”

Modern Bhopal presents a dual personality, a mixture of the old and the new. In the heart of the old city lies the Chowk, lined with old mosques and havelis (mansions) which are reminders of a bygone era. The most prominent of these mosques are the Taj-ul-Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the country, the Jama Masjid and the Moti Masjid. The architecture of the city is an amalgam of both Islamic and Hindu styles, with the odd European-style monument thrown in as well. The Shaukat Mahal combines both Gothic and post-Renaissance styles to produce a charming effect. In sharp contrast to this is the new city with its well-laid out verdant parks and gardens, broad avenues and modern offices. In short, Bhopal has the ability to accommodate change, and yet remain the same.

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).

How to reach Bhopal?

Nearest Railway Station:

Bhopal is on the Delhi-Madras main line Major trains going from Mumbai to Delhi via Itarsi and Jhansi also pass through Bhopal.Bhopal is very well connected by rail and is a major hub and exchange railway station for the Central and Western Railway networks. Bhopal has two main railway stations - Bhopal Railway Station in old Bhopal or Habibgunj Railway Station in New Bhopal. Shatabdi express running between Delhi and Bhopal provides an excellent and convenient means to get here. Apart from this, regular multiple trains connect Bhopal to all the major metros in India.

Nearest Airport:

Regular flights connect Bhopal with New Delhi, Gwalior,Indore,and Mumbai. Indian Airlines runs regular air service linking Bhopal with New Delhi and Mumbai. Jet Airways and Air Deccan also have daily flights to Bhopal.

Road Transport:

Regular bus service connect Bhopal with Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur.Bhopal is also well connected to the major metros in India through many national highways.

Tourist Attraction of Bhopal:

Bhopal is a city rich in heritage and history. Its an amalgam of the old and the new, the rich and the poor, the wide roads of New Bhopal and the narrow "gullies" of Old Bhopal and a mix of planned development on one side with urban sprawl on the other.

There are various old mosques in Bhopal that will give you a glimpse into the Mughal architecture, some of it from before the British raj and the people of Bhopal, particularly the mix of the Muslim and the Hindu population will also give you a glimpse of what makes India tick with so many different religions, different cultures living together.

Some of the old mosques that are worth visiting are Taj-ul-Masajid (largest mosque in the country), Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid and Idgah.

Its a must to visit the Old city market (chowk bazaar) and walk around the narrow lanes to see how the old city functions and also to get some great bargains on the special arts of Bhopal like the bead work and the hand embroidery that Bhopal is known for.

On the modern side, the Government of Madhya Pradesh has made significant efforts to make Bhopal an important seat for the arts. Bharat Bhawan [5] is an example of this and it is a center for performing arts with many nationally renowned artists showcasing their art through this institute. The institute boasts of art galleries, an outdoor theater, and a library rich with history of Indian poetry and arts.

Another impressive museum worth visiting is the "Museum of Man" again created by the government of Madhya Pradesh to showcase how the tribals of the state live in their natural form, what they cultivate, what kind of tools they make and utilize in their daily lives etc. It has been created sprawled on a small hill and gives breath taking views of the city.


Finally, no mention of what to see in Bhopal can be completed without talking about the two lakes that are the center of attraction for Bhopal.

Upper Lake : Upper Lake (Bada Talaab) is a beautiful water body created during the time of King Bhoj. The story goes that the water of Upper Lake cured Raja Bhoj of a skin disease which otherwise remained untreated. Today, you can rent boats, indulge in other water sports related activities and enjoy the splendor of this lake.

Lower Lake : The Lower Lake (chota talaab) on the other hand was created during the Mughal empire. This lake is separated from the Upper Lake by an over-bridge.

Along the Upper Lake and surrounding hills, the Forest department of Madhya Pradesh has created the biggest animal conservation area in the middle of a city. You can catch tigers, leopards, bears, different types of water animals, birds, deers etc. as you drive around "Van Vihar"

Bharat Bhavan is a world famous museum.

Manav Sangralay is a museum of urban tribal culture.

Science Centeris a museum of science loacated at shyamla hills. It is a great attraction having science projects.

Van Vihar is a wildlife santuary.

Bhimbetka is a World Heritage site and has some of the oldest cave paintings of the world. Situated about 40 km from Bhopal, you can go there by bus. Make sure the driver knows where you are going and he will let you off in what first looks like the middle of nowhere. However, clear signs will now guide you through a 3 km walk uphill to the cave paintings. To get back, just wait for a bus at the road and waive. Taxi from Bhopal is of course a more comfortable option. A guide at the cave paintings (strongly recommended) can be Rs 150.

The impressing Bhojeshwar temple (Shiva temple, Bhojpur) began construction in the 11th century but was never completed. It boasts the largest Shiva-linga in India. If you have a car, it can be reached on the way back from Bhimbetka to Bhopal, though it might take another 20-30 minutes.

Takeri - A most beautiful place is known as "Takeri". It is near Lal Ghati. Here is a Temple on the hill. To reach temple by the rope way or by the road or stairs. You can see a beautiful view of Bhopal from Takeri.

Hotels/Lodge/Accommodation in Bhopal:

* Jehan Numa Palace , 157, Shamla Hill, Bhopal - 462013, Madhya Pradesh, India, Tel :+91-755-2661100, 4235100 E-mail :

* Noor us Sabah Hotel ,V.I.P. Road, Koh-e-Fiza, Bhopal - 462001, Madhya Pradesh, India, Tel: +91 755 4223333 Fax: +91 755 4227777

* Lake View Ashoka, Shiamla Hills Opp. TV Tower Premises Bhopal - 462013 Madhya Pradesh, India, Tel : 2660090-99, 2540452, 2541075, 235151 Fax : 91-0755-2660096, 91-0755-2660097 E-mail :

Hotel Savera Inn Lalwani Compound Hamidia Road-462001 Phone: 07554083366

Amer Palace 209, Zone-1, Maharana Pratap Nagar, Bhopal- 462011, Phone: 0755-272110 (8 lines), 557127/557128

The Residency 08, Zone -1, Maharana Pratap Nagar, Bhopal - 462011, India Phone: 0755-5566001-06, 270001, 270002

Nisarga 211 , Zone 1 , Maharana Pratap Nagar, Bhopal - 462 016, India Phone: 0755-272701/02/03/04/05

* Hotel Arch Manor, 243 A, Zone 1 MP Nagar (DB Mall Chowraha, NH), 91755 2577771-4,