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Bhopal is one of the top tourist destinations in India. There are various reasons for it including the cleanliness of the city, the beautiful architecture found by the Mughals, the serene atmosphere of the lakes, and many more. Bhopal may be considered as a city housing two cities divided by the Lake. Thus, it is also well known as the city of Lakes. You’ll find many tourist places near Bhopal as an addition to your Bhopal tour as well.
The culture and heritage of this city are very diverse. From being a Hindu dominated city to the famous Sanchi Stupas of Buddhism and now a Muslim dominated city, the place has housed all the religions equally. Many mosques, museums, and ancient caves are all the reasons for you to tour the city. The great Stupas at Sanchi will be one of the best things on the tour. The Bhopal tour of the city will make you understand why the city is known as the heart of India.
Location: Madhya Pradesh
Nearest Airport: Bhopal
How to reach: by air/road/train
Famous for: Lakes and Mosques
Best time to visit: October to March
WHAT TO SEE
National Museum of Mankind
Shaukat Mahal And Sadar Manzil
The city of Bhopal has a very vivid history. It used to be a city formerly dominated by the Hindus. But in the Mauryan period, the place was widely affected by Buddhism, mainly due to emperor Ashoka. He was the reason for the construction of the world-famousgreat Stupas at Sanchi. The MahaStupa is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
After the Mauryan Dynasty, the Mughals were the next to rule the city for a very long time. The city has seen female rulers in power as well. Many mosques and other pieces of architecture were built during the Mughals’ reign of which many can be found intact to this day.
Just as the history of this city, the culture has changed dramatically with time. Now, Bhopal is a Muslim majority city and this is also reflected in the culture. The people of the city are very friendly, while you will find hundreds of tourists in the city every day. The city has progressed a lot and thus you may not find many people hanging around in their traditional attire, but you may find some exceptions if you are lucky on yourBhopal tour.
Places of Interest:
Taj-Ul-Masjid:- Taj-Ul-Masjid also known as ‘the Crowns of Mosques’, was built by the third female ruler of the city, Shah Jahan Begum. She wanted this mosque to be the largest in the world. The mosque has a pink facade above which there are a couple of minarets. These minarets are 18 storeyed and have marble domes. The sheer beauty of the mosque is the reason you must take a visit there while on theBhopal tour.
Shaukat Mahal and Sadar Manzil:- The marvelous Shaukat Mahal is home to Sadar Manzil, which is a huge hall located on the premises of the Mahal. The hall is red and is surrounded by lush green gardens. The Shaukat Mahal was built by a Frenchman, who used the combination of European and Indian architecture to build this beautiful piece.
Gohar Mahal:- The Gohar Mahal is a palace built by the first female ruler of the city, Gohar Begum. The architecture of this palace is a beautiful blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Built on the banks of Upper Lake, it is one of the most beautiful places around the city.
Tribal Museum:- Also known as the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), the Tribal Museum is the only museum in the whole world to have actual size tribal habitats in the museum from various states of the country. It was formerly known as the National Museum of Mankind but then the name was changed to IGRMS. Thus, if you want to learn about the culture of the tribal people of India, this is the right place to be.
Sanchi:- The town of Sanchi is famous around the world for its Stupas. Thesegreat stupas at Sanchiwere constructed on the orders of Emperor Ashoka to preserve the culture and heritage of Buddhism. The MahaStupa is also included as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A visit to this place will show you all the beauty and craftsmanship from the Mauryan period.
Bhimbetka caves:- The Bhimbetka caves are an archaeological treasure dating back to at least 30,000 years. These caves are situated in the middle of the dense Bhimbetka forest and they have a total of 243 cave shelters. One of the important points to notice about these caves is its striking resemblance to the carvings found in the Kalahari desert and cave paintings in France.
Satpura National Park:- If you are a safari person then this will be one of the nearest locations that you may want to wander around. The Satpura National park provides three kinds of Safaris, Elephant Safari, Jeep Safari, and boat safari. It houses a great number of wild animals including the Indian Bisons and the Giant Squirrel as the main attraction.
Where to stay:
Being such a beautiful and bustling tourist destination, many hotels have been established in the region for your comfort. A few of the best hotels to stay are theJehan Numa Palace,Jehan Numa Retreat, andthe Noor-us-Sabah.