Bhopal is a city in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It's one of India’s greenest cities.
Bhopal is a beautiful city with attractions including ecological, historical, religious as well as gastronomical! Here are some of the must-visit places in Bhopal-
- Bada Talaab or Upper Lake (The oldest man-made lake in India)
- Van Vihar National Park (A wildlife and bird sanctuary; popular tourist destination that’s loved by nature lovers as well as adventure enthusiasts)
- Lower Lake
- Kanha Fun City (An amusement park)
- Sanchi Stupa - One of the most popular Buddhist monuments in India, dating back to around 3rd century BCE, built during the reign of emperor Ashoka.
- Moti Masjid - A pure white marble mosque built in the year 1862 (name translates to “Pearl Mosque”)
- Udayagiri Caves - A set of twenty caves dating back to the early 5th century CE; having some ancient icon drawings and carvings inside them.
- Shaukat Mahal - An ancient palace belonging to Sikander Begum, who ruled the area; a grand manifestation of ancient Islamic architecture with Asian and Western architectural art influences.
- Boirla Mandir - A popular Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and her consort Lord Narayana (Vishnu).
- Bhimbetka Caves – Ancient caves that house some prehistoric cave paintings and huge rock shelters; a UNESCO world heritage site, they’re known to be around 30,000 years old.
- Lakshmi Narayan Temple – another temple dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and Lord Narayana (Vishnu).
- Gohar Mahal – A historic fort/palace
- Raisen Fort – An ancient fort, set atop a hill.
- Birla Museum - A museum inside the famous Birla Mandir (temple) complex in the city.
- Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum
- Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya - Also known as National Museum of mankind) – this showcases the evolution of mankind through artefacts, paintings and other artistic visuals.
Bhopal is a shoppers’ paradise, with markets selling local special clothes like delicate Zardozi sarees, exquisite Mulberry silk, Tushar Silk sarees, and other handlooms and crafted souvenirs.
Here is a list of the best shopping spots in the city to look for these and shop to your heart’s content –
- Bittan Market
- Habibganj Market
- Chowk bazaar
- Mrignayani Emporium
- New Market
- Sarafa Bazaar
- Aura Mall
- DB City Mall
- Capital Mall
For travel within the city of Bhopal, the city has various modes of transportation such as auto rickshaws, buses, taxis, and 2-wheelers.
A local rapid transit system called Bhoj Metro is also under construction to serve the city; it consists of 2 corridors covering a distance of 27.87 kilometres. Around 5 lines are planned as of now, covering about 28 places within Bhopal, which will be connected through these lines, and served by the Bhoj metro.
Bhopal is a great place for foodies. The city has a lovely street food scene as well as interesting local delicacies, such as -
- Poha Jalebi (Flattened rice dish with vegetables and peanuts, along with “Jalebi” a deep fried spiral sweet dipped in saffron flavored sugar syrup)
- MawaBaati (Prepared with dough of mawa (milk solids), milk powder, refined flour and some arrowroot powder, in rose flavored sugar syrup)
- Dahi Bade (Deep fried lentil balls dipped in curd and some spices)
- Aloo Tikki chaat (A street food with potato patties in a chickpea curry gravy loaded with chutneys and spices).
- Kachori - a spicy deep-fried snack, stuffed with spicy cooked lentils or onions and peas.
…and much more!
Some of the best restaurants and eateries to dine at and try out local and other delicacies are as follows –
- Sagar Gaire
- Bay Leaf
- Under the Mango Tree
- Rail Coach Restaurant
- Bapu ki Kutia
- La Kuchina (Italian)
- Under the Jamun Tree
- Oh!!Jayka (known for its sumptuous Chicken Biryani)
- SoniKachoriwala- For Kachoris
Some of the best hotels in Bhopal for a comfortable stay include the following:
- Courtyard by Marriott Bhopal
- JehanNuma Palace Hotel Bhopal
- The Fern Residency Bhopal
- MPT Palash Residency Bhopal
- Hotel Kanha’s Palm Springs
- Amrit Hotel
- Kwality’s Motel Shiraz
- The Bhopal Grande
- Fairyland Clark’s Inn
Bhopal also has some good bars and pubs having good food, drinks and ambience, for people to out or entertain themselves during late hours. These include -
- Black Mamba
- 10 Downing Street Bhopal
- Wild Ginger
- Pitcher’s Café Bar
- Atmosphere – Premium Lifestyle Café
- Remix Lounge
Bhopal city STD Code – 0755 (to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered)
- Police - 100
- Fire - 101
- Accident helpline (Medical emergencies) - 108
- Child helpline - 1098
- Women helpline - 1090