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Bhopal

Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh combines scenic beauty, historicity and modern urban planning. It is situated on the site of an 11th century city, Bhojapal, founded by Raja Bhoja.

Bhopal today presents a multi-faceted profile; the old city with its teeming market places and fine old mosques and palaces still bear the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers; among them the succession of powerful Begums who ruled Bhopal from 1819 to 1926. Equally impressive is the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern edifices and Museums and Art Centers.

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (A Post Colonial Museum)
It is situated in a prehistoric site and may be the only museum in the world strewn with numerous prehistoric painted rock shelters. The museum display has been curated directly by the folk and tribal communities, camping at site, to create a miniature presentation of Indian folk ways through display of ecospecific habitations & subsistance practices in the tribal, coastal, desert, and Himalayan habitats.The library, audio-visual archive, computerised documentation and the collection of ethnographic specimens in the Museum, though modest in size are among the best in the world.

Bharat Bhawan
One of the most unique national institutes in India, Bharat Bhawan is a centre for the performing and visual arts. Designed by renowned architect, Charles Correa, the contours of Bharat Bhawan merge in exquisite harmony with the landscape creating a visual impact of spacious and natural elegance. The centre houses a museum of the arts, an art gallery, a workshop for fine arts, a repertory theater, indoor and outdoor auditoria, a rehearsal room and libraries of Indian poetry, classical and folk music. Open from 2 pm to 8 pm everyday except Mondays.

Jama Masjid
Gold spikes crown the minarets of this beautiful mosque built in 1837 by Kudsia Begum.

Moti Masjid 
Architecturally akin to Delhi's Jama Masjid, this imposing mosque was built by Sikander Jehan, daughter of Kudsia Begum, in 1860.

Shaukat Mahal and Sadar Manzil 
Situated at the entrance to the Chowk area in the heart of the walled city, Shaukat Mahal is an architectural curiosity. Its mixture of styles in Occidental idioms sets it apart from the predominantly Islamic architecture of the area. It was designed by a Frenchman, said to be a descendent of an offshoot of the Bourbon Kings of France. Post Renaissance and Gothic styles are combined to charming effect here. Nearby is the elegant once-opulent Sadar Manzil, Hall of Public Audience, of the former rulers of Bhopal.

Gohar Mahal

Situated behind Shaukat Mahal on the banks of the Upper Lake is Gohar Mahal, which is an architectural gem dating back to the times of Kudsia Begum, also known as Gohar Begum, who built this sprawling palace in 1820. The Mahal is a magnificent expression of the fusion of Hindu and Mughal architecture.

Islamnagar

11 km away on the Bhopal- Berasia road, Islamnagar was the palace of Bhopal's Afghan rulers and was built by Dost Mohammed Khan. Formal gardens surround the palace and the pavilion. The latter a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic decorative art, has columns lavishly embellished with floral motifs. Other monuments to see are the Hamam of the Chaman Mahal and the double-storied Rani Mahal.

Raisen
45 km from Bhopal is the ancient fort of Raisen on the Bhopal-Sagar road. The fort was built in the early 6th century. It is situated on a high hill and once had 84 lakes and ponds, of which only 15 remain. The fort was under the famous Hindu king Rai Puran Mal before it was seized by Sher Shah and brought under Afghan control.

Delawadi
62 km from Bhopal. Situated in a lovely forest glade, Delawadi is a picturesque picnic spot, rich in scenic splendor and natural beauty.

Ginnorgarh
The historical fort standing on an isolated hill about 1,127 metres long and 266 metres broad is situated 3 km away from Delawadi. Buses ply the route, but from Delawadi to the fort one has to travel on foot. The fort was once a stronghold of Gonds, but fell to Mohammad of the Bhopal State.Taj-ul-Masajid
The Taj-ul-Masajid is one of the largest mosques in Asia, built by Nawab Shahjehan Begum around a courtyard with a large tank in the centre and with an imposing double storeyed gate-way with 4 recessed archways and 9 imposing cusped multifoiled openings in the main prayer hall. The Quibla wall in the prayer hall is carved with 11 recessed arches, while the mimber is made of black basalt.The structure is enlivened by the limpid expanse of water in the tank outside the northern wall. The monumentality of this structure was much greater originally when it faced the towering bastions of the Fatehgarh Fort. A three-day Ijtima congregation held here annually draws people from all over the country.

Government Archaeological Museum
A fine collection of sculptures are on display here from various parts of Madhya Pradesh. Highlights of the collection are: paintings of various schools, copies of paintings from the Bagh caves near Mandu and the statues of Alakshmi and the Buddha. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Laxmi Narayan Temple and Museum
This beautiful temple on the Arera Hills has a Museum attached to it which houses a collection of sculptures from Raisen, Sehore, Mandsaur and Shahdol districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The museum is open from 9am to 5pm everyday except Mondays.

Regional Science Centre
Basically a science museum, located on the picturesque Shamala Hills, Regional Science Centre houses about 300 participatory exhibits distributed equally in 'Invention' & 'Fun Science' galleries, and a 'taramandal' (Planetarium).
The museum remains open from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm on all days except Mondays.

Chowk
In the heart of the city, the Chowk is lined with old mosques, havelis, reminders of a bygone era. The shops in its narrow alleys are treasure troves of traditional Bhopali crafts : silver jewellery, exquisitely fashioned beadwork, embroidered and sequined velvet fashioned purses and cushions.

Upper and Lower Lakes
The Upper Lake is divided from the Lower Lake by an overbridge. M. P. Tourism's Boat Club on the Upper Lake provides facilities for exciting trips by sail, paddle and motor boats.

Aquarium
Facing the Lower Lake, the fish-shaped aquarium houses a number of fascinating species of fish in all shapes and sizes.

 Regular flights connect Bhopal with Delhi, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Indore and Mumbai.
   
 Bhopal is on the Delhi-Chennai main line. Major trains going from Mumbai to Delhi via Itarsi and Jhansi also go through Bhopal.
   
Regular bus services connect Bhopal with Indore(186 km), Mandu(285 km), Ujjain(188 km), Khajuraho(383 km), Pachmarhi(195 km), Gwalior(423 km), Sanchi(46 km), Jabalpur(295 km) and Shivpuri(311 km).