Bhopal



About:Known as the City of Lakes, Bhopal is the capital city of Madhya Pradesh and is located in the central part of the Indian Subcontinent. The original name of Bhopal was Bhojpal, after the name of the King Bhoj of Paramara dynasty, who founded and ruled that region for a number of years as well as the dam or "pal" constructed during this period.

However, some people believe that the name was derived from the name of King Bhupal. The modern city of Bhopal was founded by an afghan soldier named Dost Mohammad who left Delhi after the death of Aurangzeb and after several battles, won the place from the queen of Gond. Bhopal remained under Islamic influence after him, especially during the reign of Nizams, before it was conquered by the Marathas in the 18th century. When it came under the British Empire, it was ruled by the Muslim women or begums. That gave the city many things like waterworks, postal system, railways and municipality. As India got its independence in 1947, Bhopal merged with the Indian Union and became a part of Madhya Pradesh as well as, eventually, its capital. During 2002, almost 5.30 crore domestic tourists and around 2.75 lakh international tourists visited the city.

History: Bhopal was founded by the King Bhoja of Paramara dynasty. The city was modernized by an Afghan soldier, Dost Mohammed Khan, a subordinate of the Mughals. In 1724, Nizam ul Malik, another Mughal nobleman invaded the city and with him, Bhopal came under the rule of the Nizams. Within a few years, the Nizams were defeated by the Marathas, who were defeated by the British in the Anglo-Maratha war. As Bhopal became one of the princely states, four female rulers were given the charge and they ruled for around 100 years through successive generations. Later Bhopal was taken over by the Indian government in the year 1949 and with the state reorganization act, the city came under the jurisdiction of Madhya Pradesh.

Geography: The district of Bhopal is landlocked by the Guna district to the north, Vidisha in the northeast, Sehore in the southwest, Raisen in the east, and Rajgarh in the northwest. This beautiful city has mesmerizing landscapes, historical monuments, busy commercial complexes and peaceful residential areas. The city shares the borders with two large but beautiful lakes, which are known as the Upper Lake or Bada Talab (360 square km) and Lower Lake or Chota Talaab (10 square km), respectively. Some of the important hills of the city are Shayamala and Idgah hills that fall in the northern part of Bhopal, while the Arera and Katara hills occupy the central and the southern region respectively.

Demographics: The total area of the city of Bhopal is 697 sq km and the total number of inhabitants roughly equals 30,00,000. The majority of the population is dominated by the Hindus (occupying around 55% of the total), whereas Muslims cover around 40% of the total population. The city also has people from other religions, like Christians and Jains. Since Bhopal is centrally located, people from other communities have also settled here for generations. Hence the city has inhabitants residing in small communities like Punjabis, Gujaratis, Bengalis, Biharis, Marathis, etc.

Climate: The climate of Bhopal is subtropical, with hot and humid summer and a cool but dry winter. The average temperature during the day is around 30 degrees Celsius, whereas in the month of May, it rises to 40 degrees. Humidity always remains high during this time and hence the atmosphere remains sweaty. Monsoons usually start from July and last till September end. The total rainfall of the city doesn't exceed 1200 mm, accompanied by frequent thunderstorms and occasional floods. With the advent of October, temperature start falling and as winter approaches, it goes down till 16 degrees Celsius on average.

Government and Politics: Bhopal has a well organized Vidhan Sabha or the State Legislative Assembly, with 230 members elected from the state. Bharatiya Janata Party has trained supremacy on the city, and the administration is handled by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC). The city is divided into around 66 wards, each of which elects one corporator. The winning party elects a council of members, who are given the responsibility of different departments. The members then select the mayor, who is the leader of city administration. The commissioner of the city is responsible for the administration of the different departments like tax, revenue, finance, accounts, planning, development, health, fire brigade, sanitation, etc.

Education: There are almost 550 government schools run by the state of Madhya Pradesh and four Kendriya Vidyalayas affiliated to the CBSE, ICSE, as well as NIOS, and IDSE boards. There are numerous degree colleges in the city, which are affiliated to the Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidayalaya, just like many other colleges of the state of Madhya Pradesh. One will find up to 217 engineering colleges, 88 MCA colleges, 100 pharmacy colleges, 85 polytechnic institutes and 4 architecture colleges in the city under the same university. Other universities that are well known in the city are Barkatullah University, Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, MP Bhoj Open University, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University and SNGGPG College. The Indian Institute of Foreign Management (IIFM), established by the government, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER ), School of Planning and Architecture (SPA ) are also well known in the city.

Economy: Mandideep, located in the southern part of the city, and the Govindapura area are considered to be the major industrial areas and have more than 1,000 small- and medium-scale companies. HEG or Hindustan Electro Graphite, Lupin laboratories, Eichen tractors, Makson Group of Companies, BHEL or the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited are some of the major companies in the city. Bhopal is well known for medicinal goods, electrical goods, jewellery and chemicals. Other than these, cotton mills, flour mills, cloth weaving mills, paint factories, match industry, sealing wax, sports equipment, etc., also contribute to the economy. Handicrafts industry is well established in the city, where the locals are involved in preparing zardozi work and batua, a purse made of string. Embroidery is also popular among the tourists.

Culture: Festivals like Ganesh Puja and Navratris, Diwali and Dussera as well as Eid and other festivals are celebrated with joy and frolic. Eating paan (betel leaf) is a part of the culture among the Bhopalis. The residents of Bhopal love every form of art-dance, music and painting. Kathak is one of the major categories of dance practiced by people; classical music as well as Bollywood chartbusters are equally accepted by all. The tribal culture of folk music, dance programs and open- air plays from different regions form a major part of the exhibitions here. Food in the city is unique and quite influenced by the Islamic culture. Non-vegetarian dishes like Bhopali Murgh Razala or Bhopali Gosht Korma, Murgh Nizami and Murgh Hara Masala are some of the exclusive preparations. Vegetarian dishes like Paneer Rezala or Paneer Butter Masala are equally prepared and preferred by others.

Language: Hindi is the official language of the city, which is spoken in a special dialect in different parts of the city, known as Bhopali Hindi. During the rule of the Nawabs and Nizams, Persian used to be the court language in the city. Bhopal, being the home of a large Muslim population, has Urdu as one of the second most widely spoken language, especially by the community. Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi and Sindhi are some of the other languages spoken by the communities staying here for generations. English is another important language of the city and is used by the urban population.

Last Updated on : 25/10/2013