Known as the City of Lakes, Bhopal is the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh & is situated on the site where the ancient town of Bhojapal once stood. Founded by Raja Bhoj, the city has many natural and artificial lakes and it is one of the greenest cities in the country. The landscape of Bhopal is dominated by the lakes. Among the most famous tourist places in Madhya Pradesh, the city is blessed with forests, beautiful hills and amazing landscapes all around. Bhopal has retained its old world charm despite industrialization with the old part of the city full of narrow alleyways and crammed markets while the new part of the city is better planned and is full of parks & gardens.
It is a multi art centre without parallel in India housing a museum of the arts, an art gallery, a workshop for fine arts, a repertory theatre, indoor and outdoor auditoria, rehearsal room, and libraries of Indian poetry, classical and folk music.
Taj ul Masjid
Said to be the largest mosque in the country, the building of this towering edifice was begun by Shah Jehan Begum (1868-1901) but was completed after her death. It a huge pink mosque with two massive white-domed minarets and three white domes over the main building. A three-day Ijtima congregation held here annually draws people from all over the country.
Van Vihar was declared as National Park on 26th January 1983. It covers an areas of 445.21 ha. Once a barren area, it has now been transformed in to an oasis of greenery. This is a unique zoo of the country, as the animals are kept here in near natural conditions. Country to the popular belief, animals are not captured from the forests for bringing them here. Most of the animals kept here are either orphaned animals brought here from all parts of Madhya Pradesh or those which have been exchanged with other zoos.
The Lakshmi Narayana Temple
The Lakshmi Narayana Temple on the Arera Hills commands a panoramic view of Bhopal, and is also known as the Birla Temple because the Birlas, one of leading industrial families of India, have built it. The temple is built in honour of Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, and her divine consort, Vishnu, the Preserver of the Universe, who is also known as Narayana. Apart from idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Narayana, the temple also has a resplendent idol of a reclining Shiva with his wife, Parvati. The collection dates back to the 12th century era of the Paramaras when art and culture flourished in the state.
Situated in the banks of the magnificient Upper Lake, Gohar Mahal is one of the beautiful palaces in Bhopal. It is built by Gohar begum, who was the first woman ruler of Bhopal. Constructed in the year 1820, Gohar Mahal is an architectural marvel, which presents a perfect blend of Hindu and Mughal Architecture. Though the Palace has not been maintained properly, its arcades maintain the majestic look and the past glory. A splendid mansion of great historical importance, Gohar Mahal is in the path of renovation which will restore the original grandeur.