The capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal is famous for the pair of artificial lakes (Upper Lake and Lower Lake) that split the city. Towards the north of the lakes lie the intriguing old town with rustic mosques, bustling bazaars, serpentine alleys and exquisite havelis. To its south is the new town with swanky infrastructure, shopping complexes and wide roads. It is this contrast that makes Bhopal an exquisite blend of the old and the new, the past and the present, the rustic and the classy.
Bhopal is replete with majestic mosques which showcase classic Mughal architecture exemplified by the Taj-Ul-Masjid (one of the largest in India, built by the third female ruler Bhopal had, Shah Jahan Begum), and Moti Masjid. The city will catch your attention through its breathtakingly beautiful havelis and museums as well as Nawabi food that is an absolute delight for foodies. Tragically, Bhopal is also a reminiscence of a world's worst industrial disaster in the chemical plant of Union Carbide that was responsible for at least 8000 deaths from the explosion alone.
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Known as Bhojpal in the 11th century, Bhopal was ruled by Parmara King Bhojpal. He was said to have built many lakes that surround the city today. This city was improved upon by Dost Mohammed Khan, who established rule upon this city after the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707. Bhopal is known for its culture, arts and architecture which was polished upon during the reign of the Begums.
In the 19th century, Bhopal came to be ruled by Muslim women which led the city to great prosperity. Mamola Bai, they first Begum, looked after the administration of the city after her husband's death. She was then succeeded by Qudsia Begum who took over after her husband was assassinated. Her daughter, Sikander ruled the kingdom after her. During this reign of the Begums, there was peace in the kingdom which gave rise to a mixed culture in Bhopal where people observing different religious existed in harmony. Arts, culture, education and architecture flourished which made Bhopal into the beautiful city that it is today.
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