Known as the City of Lakes, Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh. Founded by Raja Bhoj, the city has many natural and artificial lakes and it is one of the greenest cities in the country. Bhopal has retained its old world charm despite industrialization, with the old part of the city being full of narrow alleyways and crammed markets, while the new part of the city is better planned and is full of parks and gardens. The city has been a place where Hindus and Muslims have coexisted harmoniously over the years and it is reflected in the cuisine too. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are available here, but Bhopal’s spicy meat delicacies, especially the curries and kebabs, are a result of the Mughal influence. The vegetarian cuisine is mostly mildly spicy and has a distinct taste to it. The main cultural center of Bhopal is the Bharat Bhavan which has an art gallery, amphitheater, two other theaters and a tribal museum. Van Vihar National Park, which stands proudly right in the middle of the city, has many species of animals living in their natural habitat. The city was also the site of India’s worst industrial disaster. The Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984 claimed 2,259 lives and left several thousand permanently or partially disabled.
How to reach Bhopal
Air: Bhopal airport, about 13 km northwest of the city centre, is well connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Indore, Raipur, Chandigarh and Jabalpur. Taxis are available from the airport to reach the city centre.
TRAIN: Bhopal is on the Delhi-Chennai main line. Major trains going from Mumbai to Delhi via Itarsi and Jhansi also go through Bhopal. Local buses and auto-rickshaws are available to reach the city centre.
By Road: Regular state run and private bus services connect Bhopal with Indore, Mandu, Ujjain, Khajuraho, Pachmarhi, Gwalior, Sanchi, Jabalpur and Shivpuri.