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3.6 /5 74 votes


Best Time: Jul-Mar Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Nearest Airport: Bhopal Check Flights

"City of lakes"

Bhopal Tourism

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 Lake lies the intriguing old town with rustic mosques, bustling bazaars, serpentine alleys and exquisite havelis. To the 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.

The magnificent city was ruled by the Begums of the Nawabs for over a century. From Bhojpal (former name) to Bhopal, the city speaks volumes of its origins and existence. 

Bhopal is highly ornamented with the majestic mosques which showcase classic Mughal architecture such as 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 took a toll on multiple lives.

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Culture of Bhopal

Bhopal is known for its culture and tradition. The city has a mixture of Hindu-Muslim art styles which brings a special feel to the city. Hindi, Urdu and English languages are spoken and understood throughout the place. The food in Bhopal is delicious, not very spicy and hence is liked by many. The Bhopali Gosht Korma is a must-try here. The city is also home to Bharat Bhavan, which celebrates and hosts cultural events like tribal dances, folk songs and other programs. When it comes to music, three predominant types be traced here. They are Tribal, Countryside and Bhakti Cult which are adapted from the surrounding areas of Bhopal. This place is a true haven for art, culture and tradition.

History of Bhopal

Known as Bhojpal in the 11th century, the present-day Bhopal was built by on this land by Parmara King Bhojpal. He was said to have built many lakes that surround the city today. Bhopal is the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh. 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.

Bhopal Gas Tragedy

The Bhopal Gas Tragedy is known as the world’s worst industrial disaster. A pesticide plant owned by Union Carbide accidentally exposed 42 tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas to almost 500,000 people. People woke up with a burning sensation in their lungs, and some people died instantly after being exposed to the gas. The immediate deaths caused by the gas was 2,259 and more 8000 deaths were reported a week after the incident took place. An additional 8000 people later died due to complications with gas.

Restaurants and Local Food in Bhopal

Bhopal fosters a cuisine where much of culture, styles and elements blend to give the visitors a rich and delicious platter to relish. Bhopal has a Muslim influence over many of its sphere and food too, is not left untouched by this influence. Hence, Bhopal houses some of the richest and elaborate delicacies like Biryani, Kebabs, Chicken Tikka, Korma, Rogan Josh and lots more. Other than these Mughlai flavours, the sweet, sour and spicy chaat of this city is very famous and so is the traditional Dal Bafla. Also, do not miss the popular items like Lassi, Sugarcane Juice and Bhopali Paan (Betel leaf).

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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 - Reach Bhopal in the morning. Freshen up and head towards the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. Alternatively, you can also head towards the Upper Lake. Post this, you can visit the magnificent Taj-Ul-Masjid along with along with Jama Masjid. If you are interested in artefacts and antique collections, the museum is your place to go. Later in the evening, you can shop at the local bazaars.
Day 2 - Visit the Van Vihar National Park early in the morning. You can catch glimpses of a variety of animals in their natural habitat. Do not forget to carry necessities like a torch, scarves/caps, water bottles, etc. Later, you can head towards the Shaukat Mahal and the Birla Mahal. Spend your evening at the banks of the Lower Lake and the adjacent royal gardens.
Day 3 - Located around 45 km from the city of Bhopal, the Bhimbetka caves are a must-visit for people who find solace in the ruins of history. The caves house one of the oldest paintings in the world. The nearby Shiva temple is the largest in India.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Beautiful destination. Mesmerising lakes and palaces.

What's Not So Great?

Gets slightly overcrowded in the peak season.

For Whom?

Ideal for family vacations, couples, and weekend getaways for people living in and around Madhya Pradesh.

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How To Reach Bhopal

Bhopal being the capital city of Madhya Pradesh has it's own airport and a railway station which connects it to all major cities of the country. It also has very efficient bus and cab services which can be particularly helpful while travelling to places near Bhopal.

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Bhopal Reviews

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Rutvi Saxena 1 year ago
When visiting Bhopal, do not miss dropping by the Museum of Mankind. The museum houses various open and indoor galleries, which have life-size replicas of tribal residence and communities. The materials they use have been transported all the way there and provides for a completely immersive perspective into tribal lives. The little souvenirs sold at affordable rates-handmade earrings, moulded stick figures, paintings-all of them will add a unique touch to your home. If the weather is pleasant, a trip to Van Vihar will give you a glimpse of some of the most colourful birds in India, in addition to the leopards and lions. The traffic isn't too bad, and if you're on a long trip, a visit to Bhimbetka Caves and Sanchi Stupa are an absolute must! They're some of the most fascinating monuments the country has to offer (Paleolithic carvings and Buddhist sculpture), and if you really start missing your Metropolitan hometown, find recourse in DB Mall; the youth of Bhopal throngs there, but it makes for some good old shopping experience.
Aashimi Bhatia 1 year ago
- Do not miss out on visiting the upper lake, the most major tourist attraction of Bhopal and try to avoid the local pubs in the city.
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