The City of Lakes
|State||: Madhya Pradesh|
|Type of Tourism||: City Tourism|
|Area||: 697.24 sq km|
|Population||: 1,795,648 (As Per Indian Census- 2011)|
|Altitude||: 427 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: October to March|
|Clothing recommended||: Light cotton in summer, light woolen in winter|
|Languages spoken||: Hindi, Urdu, English|
|Telephone Code||: India (0755), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 462001|
|What to buy||: Maheshwari, Chanderi and Tussar Silk Saris, Zari Work, Hand Block Printing, Tie & Dye Fabrics, Batik Work, Hand Embroidered Appliqué Skirts, Silk, Khadi and Cotton Garments, Stoles, Jute Handicrafts such as Hanging Lamps, Flower Vases, Baskets, Hammocks, Swings, Table Mats, Footwear, Purses, Shoulder Bags, Stuffed Leather Toys, Glass Bangles, Gold and Silver Jewellery, Tribal Paintings, other Local Carvings & Crafts, etc.|
|Food Specialties||: Indian Chaat, Dabeli, Jalebi, Ras Malai, Paya Soup, Bafla Dal, Paneer Rezala, Spicy Achar Gost, Bhopali Murgh Rezala, Kebabs, Chicken Biryani, Goat Biryani, Murgh Hara Masala Rice, Chicken Tikka, Rogan Josh, Murgh Nizami, Keemas, Bhopali Gosht Korma, Sulfi, Sugarcane Juice, Buttermilk, Bhopali Paan, etc.|
|Local Transportation||:Auto Rickshaws, City Buses, Taxi|
The glorious land of four gallant Begums and a vital pivot of the erstwhile Bhoj Empire, Bhopal presently commissions as the administrative capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the legislative command center of the Bhopal District and Division. Nestled on the gentle slopes of the Malwa Plateau to the north of the Vindhya Mountain Ranges and naturally bequeathed with verdurous sylvan woods, magnificent hills and vivid landscapes Bhopal portrays an exquisite amalgamation of scenic splendor, historical heritage and contemporary urban setup. Gorgeously sprawling along numerous natural as well as manmade lakes, this ‘Lake City’ of central India is deemed amongst the greenest metropolises of the country. Earlier reckoned by the laurel ‘Bhojpal’, the Bhopal city derives its appellation from the name of its founder ‘Raja Bhoja’, a heroic 10th century monarch from the legendary Parmar Dynasty. A home to several institutions and organizations of national importance, the modern Bhopal delineates a versatile profile characterized with an outstanding blend of classicism and surrealism.
The old Bhopal City stands out with its thriving market places, ostentatious palaces, antediluvian havelis, ancient mosques and an immaculate aristocratic demeanor whereas the new Bhopal City equally galvanizes its visitors with its enchantingly cultivated gardens, expansive avenues and impressive newfangled edifices. Flourishing as one of the most sought after tourist destinations of the state, the disposition of Bhopal represents a unique potpourri of Hindu, Islamic and European architecture & ethnicity and an exclusive salmagundi of North Indian & South Indian traditions. Bhopal; the casket of art and culture is greatly applauded for its famous cave paintings and its blossoming folk and tribal arts and crafts. The city came into limelight on the worldwide frontage when thousands of innocent people died of toxic gas poisoning in the fatal Bhopal Disaster of 1984.
History of Bhopal
As per the prevailing conviction Bhopal owes its genesis to a Parmar King ‘Raja Bhoja’ who founded this city in 10th century AD. Formerly known as ‘Bhojpal’ this civic was collectively christened after the King Bhoj and a dam i.e. ‘Pal’ constructed under his patronage. A different theory suggests that the epithet ‘Bhopal’ was coined from the moniker of a king named ‘Bhupala’ or ‘Bhupal’. In early 18th century Bhopal existed as a small township of a local realm called ‘Gond’. The au courant ‘Bhopal City’ was constituted as the ‘Bhopal State’ by an Afghan soldier in the Mughal army named ‘Dost Mohammad Khan’, subsequent to the demise of Aurangzeb. He fortified the entire Bhopal City and started governing it under the designation of ‘Nawab’. In 1724 AD Bhopal was invaded by a Mughal nobleman ‘Nizam-ul-Mulk’ who took over completely following the death of Dost Mohammad Khan in the year 1728. The Marathas whitewashed the Mughals in the historical ‘Battle of Bhopal’ of 1737.
The British Colony was introduced to the Bhopal State in the year 1818. Later on, for over a century (1819 - 1926) the state of Bhopal was commanded by four Begums namely Qudsia Begum, Nawab Sikandar Begum, Begum Sultan Shah Jehan and Begum Kaikhusrau Jahan. The rule of these Nawab Begums marked the heyday of Bhopal when the city with its newly instituted waterworks, railway lines, postal system, and so on underwent an all round development. The Bhopal Municipality was constituted in the year 1907. During the pre-independence years Bhopal burgeoned as the largest Muslim state of India second only to Hyderabad. After the independence Bhopal continued to be a self-governing entity till March 1948, but finally on April 30, 1949 it merged with the Indian Union. The Government of India assumed the control of Bhopal from 1st June 1949. Bhopal was annexed to the state of Madhya Pradesh and declared its capital in 1956 according to the ‘States Reorganization Act’.