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Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, is a charming ideal of scenic beauty, old historic city and modern urban planning. Bhopal is the 11th century city Bhojpal, founded by Raja Bhoja, but the present city was established by an Afghan soldier, Dost Mohammed (1707-1740). His descendants build Bhopal into a beautiful city.
The two lakes of Bhopal still rule the city, and are indeed its jewels. Decorated along their shores, stand quite majestically so as to testify the growth of the city. Bhopal today presents a multi-dimensional profile; the old city with its marketplaces, fine old mosques and palaces still bears the prestigious imprint of its former rulers. Among them the projective generations of powerful Begums who ruled Bhopal from 1819 to 1926 stand prominent. Equally impressive is the new city with its succulently laid out parks and gardens, broad townships and active modern edifices. Bhopal is greener and cleaner than most cities in the country.
Few state capitals in India have a history as eventful as Bhopal. The city of Bhopal has presented many changes since it was found by the Afghan soldier Dost Mohammed in the year 1708. The city has been through many dimensions, gentle as well as turbulent, prosperous as well as disastrous.
Bhopal has been a city in which one finds traces of cultures as different as those of Buddhists, Hindus, Moghuls and Afghans, all of which have been blended to perfection, providing Bhopal a creative identity.
Bhopal - The Cradle of Art and Culture
Bhopal is also the store of art and culture in Madhya Pradesh, and the Bharat Bhavan which sits on top the Shamla Hills, is a prime example of that. Designed by Charles Correa, the museum shelters an art gallery, a repertoire company and libraries of poetry, classical and folk music. And since Madhya Pradesh has a large concentration of adivasis (tribal), a visitor at the Tribal vegetation in Bhopal gets a feel of village life in the state.
However, the most interesting facts of the district are the spectacular cave paintings at Bhimbetka, a short distance away from the city of Bhopal. Sculpted in rock, some of the work is more than 30,000 years old, while the more recent ones belong to the medieval period. The cave paintings are valuable, not just for their artistic distinction, but also because they constitute a treasury of information on the pre-historic age.
Bhojpur, which is positioned a few miles away from the city. Bhojpur en bibes a magnificent Shiva Temple, and apparently was also the site of a huge lake that was destroyed by Hoshang Shah, the ruler of Malwa in mid-15th century. 6km north of Bhopal is Ashapuri which has some old Jain temples and about 45 km from the city is the marvellous Chiklod Palace.
Hathaikheda: Hathaikheda is a beautiful place full with river water, trees of mango, date and scenic fields having wheat, soyabean, sugar cane crops. This place become charming especially in the rainy season. One can visit Hathaikheda via Phanda which is off Bhopal-Indore highway. Hathikheda is about 19 km from Bhopal railway station.
Mahavir Tekri: A picturesque temple and a park atop a hill that overlooks the Upper Lake. A wonderful spot for picnic while watching the sunset or the sunrise.
Kerwa dam: This is a scenic dam located just 15 km from bhopal off Kotra Sultanabad. Kerwa dam is an excellent spot to enjoy a nice picnic. The place is best visited in the rains as the water level is low in summers.
Raisen Fort: About 50 km from the city lies Raisen a small town. There stands a huge fort built right into the mountain dating back centuries. Walking around is easier in winter without the sun or the rains. A must-see for anyone visiting Bhopal.
The climate is moderate in Bhopal. The summers are hot and winters cold. But it does not face extreme weather conditions. It rains moderately during rainy season. The weather is pleasant through out the year.
How to get there?
Air: Bhopal has a domestic airport with very basic amenities that connects it to Delhi, Mumbai, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur and many major cities of India.
Rail: Bhopal is a major railway station and a small junction. It is well connected by rail to all parts of the country being on the main North-South line of the country.
Road: Bhopal is well connected with road network.
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