|Moti Masjid||Positioned right in the heart of the city in the close proximity with the famous Upper Lake|
|Jama Masjid||Found at the centre of the hustling bustling Chowk Bazaar of the city|
|Taj-ul-Masjid||Located close to the Motia Talab approximately 3.5 kilometers from the Bhopal Junction Railway Station|
|Shaukat Mahal||Parked right in the heart of the city close to the threshold of Bhopal’s Chowk Bazaar|
|Sadar Manzil||Placed right next to the Shaukat Mahal and located quite close to the famous Gohar Mahal|
|Gohar Mahal||Standing on the banks of the Upper Lake along the VIP Road right behind the Shaukat Mahal|
|Purana Qila||Located within the periphery of the Kamla Nehru Park of the city|
|Bharat Bhawan||Located at the Shamla Hills along the J. Swaminathan Marg of Bhopal close to the Upper Lake|
|Upper Lake||Positioned in the west central part of the Bhopal city|
|Lower Lake||Positioned to the east of the Upper Lake and separated by an earthen dam|
|Gufa Mandir||Located at Lalghati close to the Idgah Hill approximately 8 kilometer from the heart of the city along the Lalghati - Narsingh Road|
|Bhojeshwar Temple||Stationed on the right banks of the river Betwa approximately 28 kilometers to the south-east of Bhopal|
|Khatlapura Mandir||Located in the proximity with the District Commandant Office near the Lower Lake|
|Kalighat||Found along the Sultania Road of the city adjoining the Lower Lake|
|Manua Bhan Ki Tekri||Located about seven kilometers from Bhopal on the Bairagarh Road towards Gwalior|
|Lakshminarayan Temple and Museum||Sited atop the Arera Hills to the south of the Lower Lake|
|Government Archaeological Museum||Nestled atop the picturesque Shyamla Hills along the Ban Ganga Marg, opposite the Ravindra Bhavan|
|Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya||Close to the Van Vihar National Park near Shymala Hills|
|Regional Science Center||Located on the Ban Ganga Road atop the Shyamla Hills|
|Van Vihar||Positioned close to the periphery of Upper Lake at the foothills of the Shyamla Hill right in the heart of the Bhopal City|
|Fish Aquarium||Situated facing the Lower Lake in the neighborhood of the Raj Bhavan|
|Bhimbetka||Located about 44 kilometers to the southeast of Bhopal in the Raisen District|
|Sanchi||Stationed about 68 kilometers to the northeast of Bhopal|
The Moti Masjid of Bhopal also reckoned by the sobriquet ‘the Pearl Mosque’ is one of the most prominent mileposts of the Bhopal City that sings the glorious sagas of the triumphant rule of Nawab Begums who remained in power for more than 100 years. Positioned right in the heart of the city in the close proximity with the famous Upper Lake, the Moti Masjid was constructed in the year 1860 under the patronage of Nawab Sikander Jehan Begum, the daughter and successor of Nawab Qudsia Begum of Bhopal. Resembling the Jama Masjid of Delhi in its architectural order and design patterns, the magnificent Pearl Mosque built in red bricks features a dazzling white façade fabricated out of scintillating white marble. Crowned by three globular white cupolas, the Moti Masjid is flanked by two dark red towers on either side. Erected in four stories and adorned with two spherical canopies these towers are embellished with brilliant golden spikes protruding from the top. These lofty minarets bedecking the veneer of the Moti Masjid are also known as ‘the gate to heaven on the earth’. Though lesser in size if judged against the Taj-ul-Masjid and the Jama Masjid of Bhopal, the Pearl Masjid eulogized for its grandiose architectural marvel and tremendous historical magnitude also beckons thousands of tourists and devotees of Islam all round the year.
The Jama Masjid of Bhopal to be found at the centre of the hustling bustling Chowk Bazaar of the city is a splendid paradigm of the extravagant Bhopal State flourishing under the erstwhile ‘Begum Rule’ and also the august example of the architectural dexterity achieved by the artisans of yesteryears. Built under the benefaction of Qudsia Begum in the year 1837, the Jama Masjid, though not as grandiloquent as the Taj-ul-Masjid is predominantly distinguished for its two gigantic minarets clearly perceptible even from a significant distance. This well conserved memento from the pages of history still withholding its original charisma is particularly acclaimed as a classic example of Islamic architecture bloomed in India under the Nawabi Dominion. Coroneted by three spherical cupolas, this mosque is principally reckoned for its astounding interior layout depicting conventional Islamic architectonics. Festooned with a sequence of arches supported by flamboyant white columns fabricated out of alabaster, the Jama Masjid essentially boasts of its impressive internal sanctum entirely chiseled out of marble. An extensive restoration of the Jama Masjid was undertaken after the Independence of India when a tiny stunning pond was added to the premises of the mosque. Enjoying the status of great religious and historical importance, the Jama Masjid receives hordes of devotees and tourists every single day.
The Taj-ul-Masjid of Bhopal located close to the Motia Talab approximately 3.5 kilometers from the Bhopal Junction Railway Station is the biggest and the grandest Masjid of the city without visiting which a trip to Bhopal can never be fulfilled. True to its literal meaning viz. ‘the Crown of Mosques’, this mosque was constructed over several years under the support and contribution from various rulers and noblemen of the Bhopal State. The construction of the Taj-ul-Masjid commenced in 19th century AD under the ascendancy of Sultan Shah Jehan Begum; the wife of Nawab Hameeduddeen Khan and the 3rd Begum Ruler of Bhopal. However, the edifice was yet unfinished at the time of her death and was abandoned afterwards until 1971 AD. The Taj-ul-Masjid of Bhopal finally reached completion very recently in the year 1985. Allama Mohammad Imran Khan Nadwi Azhari of Bhopal significantly contributed in its construction while the eastern gate of the Masjid was ostentatiously refurbished by Emir of Kuwait.
Built in archetypal Islamic architectural style and resembling the Jama Masjid of Delhi and the Badshahi Mosque of Lahore in its structural designs, the Taj-ul-Masjid adorned with eloquent pink frontage is majestically surmounted by three enormous bulbous domes. Covering the total area of 23,312 sq. feet, the Taj-ul-Masjid is sided by two lofty 18 storey octagonal minarets measuring 206 feet in their height and crowned with pretty marble cupolas. The main prayer hall of the Masjid is embellished with ornately carved pillars, fine screens of trellis work, ceilings ornamented with elaborate petal design and shiny marble flooring. A large water tank forms the center of the courtyard where the devotees wash hands and legs before performing the Namaz. The mosque is decked out with a two storied gateway with four cornered archways and nine acute openings in the central prayer hall.
The Taj-ul-Masjid of Bhopal is reckoned far and wide for its ‘Aalmi Tablighi Ijtima’ celebrated for three days every year. This mosque also runs an Islamic Madrasah School within its premises.
The Shaukat Mahal parked right in the heart of the city close to the threshold of Bhopal’s Chowk Bazaar is a staggering and spectacular edifice that once functioned as the royal residence of the Nawab of Bhopal. Constructed during the tenure of Nawab Sikander Begum, this specimen of ancient Nawabi architecture reveals a fine amalgamation of Indo-Islamic and European orders of structural design. Believed to be designed by certain descendant of the great Bourbon Dynasty of France, this hodgepodge of oriental & occidental and gothic & post-Renaissance artistic approaches utterly diverges from other exemplars of the Islamic architecture existing in Bhopal. Fabricated out of refined white alabaster, the roof of the Shaukat Mahal Palace is burnished with a succession of complex triangular-shaped arches whereas the outer walls are dressed up in exquisite floral patterns. The Shaukat Mahal Palace of Bhopal is neighbored by a brick-red colored building known as ‘Sadar Manzil’ which earlier served as the ‘Hall of Public Audience’.
Sadar Manzil, an arresting brick-red structure enclosed by a marvelously landscaped garden is an ancient royal mansion of Bhopal that functioned as the ‘Hall of Public Audience’ i.e. a directorial courtroom during the supremacy of the Nawab Begums in the Bhopal State. Placed right next to the Shaukat Mahal and located quite close to the famous Gohar Mahal as well, the Sadar Manzil has witnessed many a court trials, official sessions and royal verdict & judgments of the Nawab Begums during its lifetime. The entrance of the Sadar Manzil is guarded by a colossal wooden door which escorts its visitors into a smaller two storied main gate. The first floor of the main gate is bequeathed with a grand terrace balcony whereas the second floor is enriched with four towering domes in four corners. Both the ground and the first floors encompass a sequence of rooms whilst the second floor consists of a single chamber whose terrace was often used for night surveillance. The main gate leads one to a spacious courtyard decorated with a resplendent central fountain and a symmetrically laid out garden. A large dais is placed overlooking the garden where the sovereign of the Bhopal state used to be seated and listened to the public appeals. Each side of the podium is flanked by series of windows from where royal women could observe the court proceedings. A coiling staircase built along the royal stage directs to the quarters on the first floor which were accessible only to the Nawab and his / her family members. The Sadar Manzil; an erstwhile hall of public audience now accommodates the head office of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation
The Gohar Mahal of Bhopal haughtily standing on the banks of the Upper Lake along the VIP Road right behind the Shaukat Mahal is an archaic architectural configuration that was constructed in the year 1820 during the domination of Qudsia Begum; the first female ruler of the state of Bhopal. Christened after the nickname of its patron Qudsia Begum who was also known by the moniker ‘Gohar Begum’, the Gohar Mahal demonstrates an excellent synthesis of Hindu and Mughal fashions of architectonics. Though not maintained as it should be, the Gohar Mahal of Bhopal still reserves its past glory and grandeur to a great extent. The arcades of the manor explicitly disclose the architectural and artistic ingenuity accomplished by the masons of the bygone eras. Presently the Gohar Mahal of Bhopal is undergoing a grand scale renovation. These days, the Gohar Mahal frequently hosts various cultural and promotional exhibitions. Several Bollywood movies like ‘Rajneeti’ and ‘Aarakshan’ feature different portions of Gohar Mahal as their setting. No entry fee is charged for paying a visit to this testifier of the magniloquent Nawabi rule in Bhopal.
The Purana Qila of Bhopal located within the periphery of the Kamla Nehru Park of the city is an obsolete monarchical chateau that forms a division of a 300 years old fort established under the command and sponsorship of a Gond queen ‘Maharani Kamalapati’. The Purana Qila separates the two most prominent lakes of this ‘Lake City’ the Upper Lake and the Lower Lake from each other.
Bharat Bhawan located at the Shamla Hills along the J. Swaminathan Marg of Bhopal close to the Upper Lake is an unparalleled multi arts complex of India that apart from establishing a reciprocal proximity amongst verbal, visual as well as performing arts also aims at providing room for contemporary thoughts, expressions, quest and innovation. This thriving center of theatre, music, performing and other contemporary arts and other cultural activities presents numerous nationally renowned artists with a platform where they can showcase their art and talent. Established under the patronage of the Government of Madhya Pradesh and presently administered by an autonomous trust, this institute was inaugurated in the year 1982 by the hands of Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi; the then Prime Minister of India. Designed by an Indian architect Charles Correa, the Bharat Bhawan features a chain of terraced gardens landscaped in a descending manner.
The visitors enter the edifice at its highest level and then walk the promenade all the way down to the Upper Lake. Distinct parts of this theater complex are connected to one another through a number of meandering passageways. Different sections of the Bharat Bhawan include Roopankar (museum of fine arts), Rangmandal (a repertory), Nirala Srijanpeethand (art gallery) Vagarth (a centre of Indian poetry), Chhavi (a Center of Classical Cinema), Anhad (a library of classical and folk music), Antrang (an indoor theatre), Bahirang (an outdoor theatre) and an Ashram. For past twenty seven years the Bharat Bhawan of Bhopal has organized hundreds of performances and programs viz. music concerts, film shows, plays, readings, exhibitions, multi-art festivals, seminars, workshops, and so on. The Bharat Bhawan can be visited from Tuesday through Sunday between 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm from February to October and between 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm from November to January. An entry fee of rupees 10 is charged here.
The Upper Lake of Bhopal also reckoned as the ‘Bada Talab’ and recently rechristened after the name of the King Bhoja as ‘Bhojtal’ is honored to be the largest artificial lake of the entire Asia continent. Positioned in the west central part of the Bhopal city and flanked by the Van Vihar National Park to its south, the Upper Lake acts as the major source of drinking water for the inhabitants of the Bhopal City. As per the prevailing folklore, the Upper Lake was built during the tenure of the great Parmar ruler and the founder of Bhopal; Raja Bhoja. It is supposed that King Bhoja undertook to building this enormous water reservoir in order to secure the eastern boundary of his Malwa Empire from the enemy assaults. Another local myth denotes that the Upper Lake is fed by 365 tributaries and the water of this lake cured the skin disease of Raja Bhoja. The Upper Lake was formed by building as earthen dam across the Kolans River. The Bhojtal Lake of Bhopal is spread over an extensive surface area of 31 sq. km. while the catchments area of this lake measures about 361 sq. km. Moreover, the lake measures about 32 kilometers in its length and about 5 kilometers in its width. A titanic figurine of Raja Bhoja is also installed atop a pilaster on one of the corners of the Upper Lake. The Upper Lake of Bhopal forms the Bhoja Wetland (Ramsar Site) along with the nearby Lower Lake. The Bhoja Wetland supports numerous rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. Some of the avifauna spotted here includes white stork, sarus cranes, black necked stork, spoonbill, bar headed goose, etc.
The Lower Lake of Bhopal, also known as the ‘Chhota Talab’ is the second of the two highly renowned water reservoirs of the Bhopal City, the first being the Upper Lake. Positioned to the east of the Upper Lake and separated by an earthen dam, the Lower Lake forms the Bhoja Wetland (Ramsar Site) along with the Upper Lake. Constructed in the year 1794, this lake was patronized by a minister of Nawab Hayat Muhammad Khan Bahadur named Chhote Khan. The Upper Lake and the Lower Lake are constructed in a terraced manner and the lowest level of the Upper Lake happens to be just below the highest level of the Lower Lake. The Lower Lake is connected to the Upper Lake through a bridge named ‘Pul Pukhta’. The Lower Lake has been refereed to in literature as ‘Pukhta-Pul Talao’ after this Pul Pukhta Lower Lake Bridge. The Lower Lake doesn’t receive any fresh water supply but it is fed only by the seepage water from the Upper Lake and drainage from different 28 sewage-filled nallahs. Attributable to this reason, the Lower Lake faces grave pollution problems. The Lower Lake drains into a rivulet named Patra which eventually empties into the Halali River; a tributary of the Betwa River. The surface area of the Lower Lake measures 1.29 sq. km. whereas its catchments area is estimated to be 9.6 sq. km. The water of the Lower Lake is eutrophic therefore it is not appropriate for drinking purposes.
The Gufa Mandir of Bhopal located at Lalghati close to the Idgah Hill approximately 8 kilometer from the heart of the city along the Lalghati - Narsingh Road is a celebrated Cave Temple of the state where various Hindu deities are enshrined in the sanctum shaped by scores of naturally formed caves. Established by ‘Sant Narayan Dasji Maharaj’ in the year 1949, the Gufa Mandir of Bhopal enshrines the idols of Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga, Lord Ram along with Sitaji & Lakshmana and Lord Hanuman. The forest enclosing the temple houses a Sanskrit Maha Vidhyalaya. The Gufa Mandir extremely revered amongst the followers of the Hindu faith is thronged by hundreds of devotees and tourists all round the year.
The Bhojeshwar Temple stationed on the right banks of the river Betwa approximately 28 kilometers to the south-east of Bhopal is an ancient Shiva temple dating back to the period of Raja Bhoja’s tenure. The term ‘Bhojeshwar’ literally means ‘the Lord of Bhoja’. Popularly known by the laurel ‘the Somnath of East’, the Bhojeshwar Temple of Bhojpur is believed to be constructed about a thousand years ago under the benefaction of the legendary Parmar King and the founder of Bhopal and Bhojpur; ‘Raja Bhoja’. The construction initiated in 11th century AD but it never attained completion. The still existing earthen ramp which was used to build the dome of the temple and the incomplete roof testifies this deduction.
The Bhojeshwar Temple of Bhojpur has earned worldwide fame for its colossal Shiva-Lingam which happens to be the largest Shiva-Lingam existing in India. Installed upon a soaring 21.5 feet high square platform, this Shiva Lingam, boasting of its dumb founding height of 7.5 feet measures 17.8 feet in its total circumference. The rectangular shaped Bhojeshwar Temple is raised atop a 106 feet long, 77 feet wide and 17 feet high platform. The yet unfinished dome of the temple is supported by four ornately carved pillars and twelve 40 feet tall pilasters. The entrance of the temple is guarded by two images of Ganga and Yamuna rivers. A stencil of the temple’s plan was found engraved upon a rock surface few yards away from the Bhojeshwar Temple.
The Khatlapura Mandir of Bhopal located in the proximity with the District Commandant Office near the Lower Lake is a Hindu holy temple dedicated to Lord Ram. Estimated to be built nearly 150 years ago, this Ram temple apart from its presiding deity also enshrines other Hindu Gods and Goddesses including Lord Lakshmana, Devi Sita, Lord Shiva seated upon His Nandi, Goddess Durga, Lord Ganesha, Sai Baba, and so on. The Khatlapura Mandir is particularly acclaimed for its annual Dol-Gyaras Fair when the temple receives thousands of devotees and tourists from far and wide.
The Kalighat of Bhopal to be found along the Sultania Road of the city adjoining the Lower Lake is a Hindu place of worship where a temple dedicated to the Goddess Dakshin Kali; a fierce manifestation of Goddess Durga is placed. Founded by Shri Shiv Narayan Singh Bagwar in the year 1968, this Kali Temple has become known as the ‘Kalika Shakti Peeth’ amongst the devotees. It is believed that if you pay homage at the feet of Goddess Kali in the Kalighat Temple, all your troubles are removed by the grace of the Goddess and all your wishes are fulfilled. Not only the Hindus but also the devotees from other faiths and communities alight at Kalighat to seek the blessing of the Goddess Dakshin Kali.
Manua Bhan Ki Tekri
The Manua Bhan Ki Tekri (the hill of Manua Bhan) located about seven kilometers from Bhopal on the Bairagarh Road towards Gwalior is a Jain pilgrimage destination that is greatly venerated amongst the Jain population of Madhya Pradesh for its elevated religious magnitude. A temple placed atop the Manua Bhan Ki Tekri enshrines an idol of Shri Man Bhadarji in its sanctum along with the blessed ‘Paduka’ (footwear) of three Jain saints namely; Maharaj Shri Vijay Suriji, Acharya Manutung and Shri Jindutta Sureshwarji. The ‘Simha Gate’ (lion gate) of this temple bears a primordial manuscript engraved upon a stone surface. However, as the script in which it is written is yet to be decoded, no one knows the meaning of this ancient edict. The Manua Bhan Ki Tekri is believed to be a primeval ‘Sadhana Sthali’ where the sovereigns from the Oswal Dynasty used to worship. A grand fair is held at the Manua Bhan Ki Tekri every year on the auspicious occasion of Kartik Purnima when the temple receives jillions of devotees and tourists from all over the state. Also reckoned by the nickname ‘Mahavir Giri’, the Manua Bhan Ki Tekri of Bhopal apart from its immense religious value is also popular for the mesmerizing scenic vistas perceived from here. Ropeway connectivity is also made available for the visitors to reach the top of the Manua Bhan Ki Tekri.
Lakshminarayan Temple and Museum
The Lakshminarayan Temple of Bhopal sited atop the Arera Hills to the south of the Lower Lake is a greatly sought after Hindu tabernacle of the city where Lord Vishnu along with His consort Goddess Lakshmi is enshrined. Apart from the presiding deity, the Lakshminarayan Temple also worships Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati who are consecrated in a separate shrine within this temple premises. Established by the eminent industrial family of the Birlas, the Lakshminarayan Temple of Bhopal, also recognized as the ‘Birla Mandir’ presents a sandy-yellowish façade adorned with a towering yellow turret and small red colored square shaped domes. Bounded by verdant sprawling lawns and marked by wonderful archways, the Birla Mandir of Bhopal is especially distinguished for its sequence of marble panels where the fundamental doctrines of the Bhagavad-Gita are illustrated. Above and beyond the religious visitors, the Lakshminarayan Temple regularly receives hundreds of tourists who expressly arrive here to sight the 360º view of the gorgeous Bhopal City.
The Birla Mandir, positioned at the highest geographical point in the whole of Bhopal District offers the most compelling panoramas of the adjoining landscape. The divine Lakshminarayan Temple basking in the aura of its old world air & its serene peaceful character and endowed with the alluring sylvan greenery that adds to the charisma of the surroundings proffers an absolutely soothing and comforting ambience to its visitors. Aside from its vast religious magnitude what beckons masses of tourists to the Birla Temple is its archaeological museum where a rich collection of sculptures dating back to the period between 7th and 13th century AD is displayed. Additionally, the archaic tools and equipments used by the Paleolithic and Neolithic man, ancient coins, Terracotta objects dating back to 2nd century BC to 6th century AD, numerous prehistoric manuscripts and other antiquated articles amaze the visitors to no limit. What is more, the museum also houses a replica of the Bhimbetka Rock Shelter decorated with its old murals.
Government Archaeological Museum
The Government Archaeological Museum of Bhopal also reckoned as the ‘State Museum’ or the ‘Bhopal Museum’ is a profound treasure repository of Madhya Pradesh where the rare epitomes of state’s comprehensive historical and cultural heritage are exhibited in various classified galleries. Nestled atop the picturesque Shyamla Hills along the Ban Ganga Marg, opposite the Ravindra Bhavan, the Government Archaeological Museum of Bhopal founded in the year 1964 flaunts an assortment of antiquities like sculptures, paintings, handicrafts, artifacts, coins, terracotta, etc. in its in its seventeen galleries. Some of the most worth mentioning galleries of this museum include Painting Gallery (paintings of various schools and the replicas of Bagh Cave Paintings), Musical Instruments Gallery, Fossils Gallery (pre-historic fossils), Royal Art Gallery (artifacts from the personal collection of the Nawabs of Bhopal), Tribal Handicrafts, etc. The State Museum of Bhopal is predominantly applauded for its Jain sculptures dating back to 12th century AD, statues of Goddess Lakshmi, the massive statue of Lord Buddha, paintings of the Hindu Holy Trinity; Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, the facsimiles of Khajuraho sculptures, and so on. This treasure house can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. An entry fee of rupees 100 is charged here.
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya
The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), also known as the ‘Museum of Man’ is a self-governing association of Ministry of Culture, Government of India that is committed to the authentic representation of the biography of human race and mankind’s evolution in time and space. This innovative menagerie is chiefly categorized into three groups viz. open-air exhibitions, indoor galleries and periodical or temporary exhibitions. The open-air exhibitions display the village life lead by the rural people in different parts of the country and the contemporary tribal art and cultures through the full-scale lodgings of typical Indian tribal villages built here. Some of the important illustrations of village life demonstrated here include Coastal Village, Desert Village, Himalayan Village, Pre-historic Painted Rock Shelters, Mythological Trail and Traditional Technology Park, and so on.
The most notable fact about these manifestations is that they are built by the tribal artisans and experts of the concerned provinces and community groups personally. The museum comprises of two indoor galleries i.e. Veethi-Sankul and Bhopal Gallery. The main building of this Manav Sangrahalaya accommodates several exhibition halls, indoor and outdoor auditoriums, a reference library and other sundry conveniences in its 16 leveled edifice. Around 7000 sq. meters of the total area is used for hosting temporary exhibitions. Every year in the months of January and February the museum organizes pottery workshops, open-air plays, folk music and dance performances, tribal painting, weaving, bell metal art exhibitions and the like. This pioneering museum of Bhopal covering the sprawling area of 200 acres can be visited Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm between September and February and from 11:00 am to 6:30 pm between March and August. An entry fee of 10 INR is charged here.
Regional Science Center
The Regional Science Center of Bhopal also referred to by its initials as ‘RSCB’ is a children’s science museum that mainly aims at spreading general awareness about science and technology among the people and popularizing and promoting scientific approach towards life specifically amongst the school children. Located on the Ban Ganga Road atop the Shyamla Hills, this Science Center managed and maintained by the National Council of Science Museums was launched to public on 12th January 1995 by the hands of Late Shankar Dayal Sharma; the then President of India. The expansive 5 acres land of RSCB encompasses more than 266 interactive exhibits, a 3-acre Science Park with 60 exhibits, a small Dinosaur Park, a zoo, a 200-seater auditorium, a 25-seater conference hall, a small portable planetarium, etc.
Some of the most interesting and worth mentioning exhibits of the Regional Science Center include pulley demonstrations, solar-powered devices, windmill, head on a platter, infinite well, virtual piano, paint your painting in different ways, moving skeleton of a bicyclist, and so on. 3D Film Shows, Taramandal Shows, sky observation programs, contests for students, special lectures by scientists and professors, exhibitions, workshops, awareness programs, drama festivals, training program for teachers, and other events are organized by the Regional Science Center of Bhopal. The RSCB also owns a Mobile Science Exhibition Bus that goes around the remote villages and small townships of Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh and through its science-related films, educational lectures, sky observation programs and anti-superstition demonstrations endeavors to create scientific consciousness amongst villagers.
The RSCB is open for public visiting on all days of the year except for Holi and Diwali from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm. Student groups are charged 5 INR here while others are charged 10 INR as the entry fee.
The Van Vihar National Park positioned close to the periphery of Upper Lake at the foothills of the Shyamla Hill right in the heart of the Bhopal City is an enclosed wildlife conservation area managed under the administration of the Forest Department of the state of Madhya Pradesh. This national park developed and run as a modern zoological park was officially inaugurated in the year 1983. Sprawling over an extensive area of 4.45 sq km, the Van Vihar National Park of Bhopal shelters both captive and herbivore animals in their protected natural habitat. A unique feature of this safe haven is that all the animals housed here are either orphaned and brought here or exchanged from other zoos and no animal is purposely captured from the jungle. In the Van Vihar National Park all the carnivorous animals such as tiger, lion, panther, hyena, bear, gharial, crocodiles, python, snakes, etc. are harbored within restricted coliseums while the herbivores like sambhar, cheetal, blackbuck, blue bull, etc are permitted to wander around freely. The park is also inhabited by large number of local and migratory birds, butterflies and insects.
The Fish Aquarium of Bhopal situated facing the Lower Lake in the neighborhood of the Raj Bhavan and the Old Assembly Hall is a fish shaped ‘Machhali Ghar’ where over 66 varieties of ornamental and fresh water fish are exhibited in its 40 glass aquariums. Opened to public on 31st May 1977, this double-storey Fish Aquarium is spread over the total area of one hectare. The upper floor of the aquarium houses different species of colorful ornamental fish including Rosy Barb, Tiger Barb, Paradise Blue, Paradise Golden, Black Moor, Golden Gormi, King Kobra, King Zebra, Shark, and so on. The lower section of the aquarium displays diverse species of fresh water fish brought from ponds, lakes and rivers such as Rohu, Mirgal, Katla, Sawal, Collet, Padin, Ticto, Pencil-Fira, Bam Fish, etc in its 26 big water tanks. The Machhali Ghar can be visited between 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm from April to September and between 12:00 noon and 7:00 pm from October to March.
Bhimbetka, located about 44 kilometers to the southeast of Bhopal in the Raisen District is an archaeological World Heritage Site that has acquired international recognition for its ‘Bhimbetka Rock Shelters’; the earliest evidences of human existence traced in the Indian terra firma. Preserving world’s oldest stone walls and floors the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters are believed to be an unbroken succession of the Stone Age cultures. It is estimated that at least some of these rock shelters were occupied by the hominids more than 100,000 years ago. Some of the rock paintings found here are believed to be dating back to the Paleolithic Age (30,000 years back). The term ‘Bhimbetka’ is said to have coined from the name of one of the five Pandava brothers; Bhim, wherein Bhimbetka means ‘the seat of Bhim’. The rock paintings of Bhimbetka mainly portray the lives of prehistoric human beings dwelling in the caves. These paintings categorized into different sections according to their time span ranging from the Upper Paleolithic to Medieval generally depict the scenes of childbirth, religious rites, drinking, communal dancing, decoration of bodies, hunting, honey collection, animal fighting, horse and elephant riders, disguises and masking, burials and other household scenes.
Sanchi, stationed about 68 kilometers to the northeast of Bhopal is a small village of Raisen District that has earned immense prominence on the worldwide frontage for its primordial Buddhist monuments dating back to the epoch between 3rd century BC and 12th century AD. The most prominent attraction of this Buddhist pilgrim destination is the ‘Great Stupa of Sanchi’ where the relics of Lord Buddha are believed to be buried. Honored to be the oldest stone structure of India, the construction of the Stupa of Sanchi was originally patronized by the great Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BC. The semi-circular brick structure of this Stupa crowned by the Buddhist symbol of Chatra is festooned with four elaborately carved ornamental gateways and a railing encompassing the whole edifice. Listed amongst the World Heritage Sites, the Sanchi Stupa can be visited from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.