Central India  >  Madhya Pradesh  >  Bhopal

Madhya Pradesh is the largest state in India in terms of area, and Bhopal, which is situated around two artificial lakes, is its state capital. Despite its crowded commercial centre, Bhopal is an attractive place to visit.

Enclosed by a masonry wall, the city stands on the northern bank of a large lake with a bridge separating it from the lower lake. The name of the city is reportedly derived from Raja Bhoj who created the surrounding lakes by building a dam or pal. Hence, the city was originally called Bhojpal. Over a period of time, this was shortened to its present name, Bhopal.

Bhopal is known for its laidback charm and is a part of the Malwa Plateau in the north-western part of Madhya Pradesh. The stately aura all around endows this town with a distinguishing appeal that never fails to impress even the most discriminating tourists. About Bhopal it is said that it is the city of lakes and it is quite true as it is dotted by numerous exquisite lakes. Make sure that you have enough time in hand since there are many things to watch in Bhopal.

History of Bhopal

The history of Bhopal could be traced date back to the 11th century A.D., when the renowned King Bhoj built it. People are of the belief that the name Bhopal is a distortion of the founder's name. Nonetheless, the region soon came under Mughal rule and was a part of that kingdom till the death of the Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707 A.D.

There was an Afghan soldier Dost Mohammad, who founded the city in A.D. 1723. He assisted Rani Kalmapathi in combating the attacks of the Rajput Thakurs and thus it was ruled by the Begums of the royal family for a period of 100 years. The administrative aspects of the state were taken care of quite capably by the begums and they generally used to lead austere lives.

Among all the rulers of Bhopal, most able rulers of the state was Nawab Sultan Jahan and consequently her son Nawab Hamidullah also took keen interest in the political affairs of the state and it was under his rule that this sleepy town was transformed into a developing city.

The Bhopal Gas Tragedy

The Bhopal Gas Tragedy of course, a write up of Bhopal cannot be complete without a reference to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy which occurred on the 3rd of December, 1984, and is considered to be one of the worst industrial disasters ever.

The toxic gas, methyl isocyanate, leaked out from the multi-national Union Carbide’s insecticide plant on the outskirts of the city, leaving more than 5,000 people dead and over 100,000 suffering life-long illnesses, according to a conservative estimate. Union Carbide agreed to pay 470 million dollars in compensation in an out-of-court settlement to the victims, but for its critics, this was chicken feed.

How to reach Bhopal

Bhopal Airport, also known as Raja Bhoj Airport, is 15 km away from the heart of the city. Taxi Cab will charge about Rs 150, one way. Bhopal airport is connected to Mumbai, Indore, Gwalior and Delhi. International flights to Gulf cities like Sharjah and Dubai are operated from Bhopal.
Bhopal Railway Station is a major railhead in Mumbai – Delhi broad gauge. It has connection trains to all major cities in India. Daily Shatabdi expresses shuttle between Bhopal and Delhi.
Lots of bus facilities, public and private, are available in Bhopal. All cities in the state are connected to Bhopal by bus services. Overnight deluxe buses from Delhi, Gwalior and Jabalpur are available to Bhopal. Deluxe buses charge Rs. 3-4 per km.

Distance from Bhopal to major cities
Cities Distance in KM
Bhopal to Agra : 541
Bhopal to Delhi : 744
Bhopal to Ganganagar : 1041
Bhopal to Guwahati : 1855
Bhopal to Jaipur : 584
Bhopal to Jammu : 1327
Bhopal to Jodhpur : 743
Bhopal to Kanpur : 601
Bhopal to Pune : 802

Best time to visit Bhopal
October to March

Climate of Bhopal
Min Max
Summers 43 °C 24 °C
Winters 8°C 12 °C

STD Code of Bhopal
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