Cities to Visit in Madhya Pradesh

Places to Visit in Bhopal


Bhopal tourist attractions are popular for their historical importance and glory. The city of Bhopal serves as the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh . The magnificent city of the Nawabs, Bhopal is a confluence of the rich forms of art, tradition and culture. Though the city of Bhopal is modernizing at an increasing speed, it still has managed to keep its past glory. The city is also associated with places of historical interest to the tourists. The city has got a mixed population following various sects and religion but communal harmony persists to this day. The city was conceived and founded by Raja Bhoja around the 11 th century AD.

Bhopal city is nestled over seven hills along the banks of two beautiful lakes. The old traditional walled city is throbbing especially around the chowk area where most of the tourist attractions of Bhopal are. There are mosques, lakes, art galleries and museums with a great collection that evoke particular interest in Bhopal. Architecture saw a re-interpretation and experimentation with the fusion of occidental and oriental style in some places.

Providing an unique example in the history of India, Bhopal has been ruled successively by four generations of Begums which means that it has been ruled by queens. Under these begums the city developed a lot with improved drainage system, postal system, railways and other necessary infrastructure. The begums had also constructed beautiful monuments that are architecturally rich and are places of tourist interest in Bhopal.

Places to See in Bhopal



Birla Museum

Throughout the length and breadth ?of Madhya Pradesh you will come across innumerable galleries and museums that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the region. Some of the important museums in the state deserve a special mention and one of those is the Birla Museum. Birla Museum is an archaeological gallery that came into being in the year 1971. The museum has a huge variety and collection of artifacts and remnants from the pre-historic period. Here you can catch a glimpse of the artifacts and tools of the Neolithic and Paleolithic Age.

Gohar Mahal Bhopal

Situated behind the famous Shaukat Mahal - Gohar Mahal is located on the edge of the magnificent Upper Lake. The place is one of the must-see spots in Bhopal. The Mahal was built in the memory of Gohar Begum - the first female ruler of Bhopal. The palace was built in 1820 which showcases the marvelous architectural genius of the time, making it a perfect amalgam of Mughal and Hindu architecture. Despite the fact that the Gohar Mahal is not efficiently maintained, the porticos of this palace still reflect its majestic appearance and portray the glorious days of the yore. This historical mansion holds an important significance for the state. Efforts are on to renovate the palace and restore its unique magnificence.

Museum of Mankind Bhopal

Museum of Mankind Bhopal is a tribute to the tribal community of the country. It is one of the few places in the entire world that has huge collections hailing from the pre-historic era. The museum is spread across a vast area of two hundred acres of land on the Shamla hills. The gallery is an open air exhibition of various tribal artifacts and specimens hailing from the tribal villages in India. It is a unique destination that holds a vast library that includes audio and video archives besides innumerable ethnographic specimens. The museum has been renamed as "Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sanghralaya" following an honest effort to restore the ancient tribal culture.

Archaeological Museum in Bhopal

The archaeological museum in Bhopal is considered as a priceless heritage of the state. The place holds an incredible collection of sculptures, paintings and artifacts of India. The museum is situated near the Lower Lake and is kept open for visitors, students and archaeologists who wish to visit and studying the artifacts here kept here.

The artifacts stored in this museum are different from those found in other establishments. The place primarily has the Bagh Cave paintings, carvings and statues that offer an insight into the rich cultural heritage of Madhya Pradesh. The place also houses old religious statues of ancient times from different empires and kingdoms of the country.

Bharat Bhavan - Bhopal

Bharat Bhavan is a multi-art autonomous museum situated in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The place is considered to be a center for visual arts and institute for performing. On witnessing the place, one will find that the landscaping has been superbly done and provides a true visual impression of capaciousness.

The gallery offers interactive activities in visual, performing and vocal arts. The place is considered to be a thriving center for contemporary art and has won several accolades. It is a must see place for any art enthusiast. Moreover, from time to time the gallery holds various art exhibitions to showcase the country's talent. The place is amazingly maintained and all the activities are undertaken by the government.

Sadar Manzil Bhopal

The city of Bhopal is marked with magnificent architectural wonders and Sadar Manzil holds a prominent place. Sadar Manzil is located adjacent to the Royal Enclave that served as a royal courtroom for the ruling head of the city.

The place is constructed with red bricks that give it an attractive appeal. The majestic entrance is entirely carved in wood that leads to a small gate. The first storey has a big terrace balcony whilst the second storey features has four domes, one in each corner. The first floor and the ground floor have a series of spacious rooms. Sadar Manzil attracts ample number of tourists who wish to view the artistic and architectural beauty of the place.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple Bhopal

Constructed on the top of Arera Hills, the Lakshmi Narayan Temple in Bhopal radiates a pious aura. Also known as Birla Mandir, the temple is dedicated to the famous Goddess of wealth - Lakshmi.

Built on a hilly terrain, the temple commands a panoramic sight over the city of Bhopal. Apart from Vishnu and Lakshmi, the temple also enshrines Shiva and Parvati. The tranquil atmosphere offers divine comfort to the visitors. The temple is also a museum where you would find beautiful collections of various sculptures that hail twelve centuries back. The place has a historic charm which makes it a must see feature while visiting Bhopal.

Shaukat Mahal

Shaukat Mahal is the amalgamation of Islamic and Hindu architecture making it a rare combination that you would not find anywhere else. The building is located in the busy Chowk area of Bhopal. The Mahal is a tender melange of the occidental and oriental styles of architecture and art. It is said that the place has been designed and conceived by a Frenchman.

Shaukat Mahal depicts more of Islamic style in its architecture. In addition, the post Renaissance, gothic and medieval styles have blended harmoniously to make this place unique. The building is constructed with intricate floral patterns on the walls that showcase the true beautiful architectural work.

Lower Lake Bhopal

The Lower Lake of Bhopal locally known as "Chhota Talab" is located in the tranquil surroundings of the magnificent hills. The lake is separated from the Upper Lake by an over-bridge. The lake gives an aesthetic feel for which it has always topped the list of sightseeing places in Bhopal. The lake also provides an opportunity for adventure water sports such as sailing, motor boating, rowing etc.

The lake has been preserved by MP tourism department since it is a beautiful remnant of the Mughal Empire. You can enjoy water sports here and also plan a get-together with the family. The place is a favourite spot for kids' entertainment. The place can be easily reached by local transportation.

Upper Lake Bhopal

The Upper Lake of Bhopal is a huge water reservoir that lies in the Western part of the city. The lake is considered to be the biggest lake in Madhya Pradesh. Seeing this "Bada Talaab" one goes absolutely speechless. The lake is the major man-made drinking source for the residents of the city.

This beautiful water reservoir is said to have existed since the 11th century. It is has a huge earthen embankment built across the Kolans River. The lake is visited not only for sight-seeing but also for customary beliefs as locals think its waters have the power to heal skin ailments. Apart from this, it is a favourite place among adventure lovers as it offers various sports activities such as paddling, rowing, and motorboats to indulge themselves.

Van Vihar National Park

Adjacent to Upper Lake, Van Vihar National Park is an important sight-seeing spot of Bhopal. Developed and maintained by the zoological department, the park is spread roughly across 4.43 sq km of area. It came into existence in the year 1983. This national park is a strictly protected and vigilantly monitored zone. The national park has dense vegetation which is a suitable habitat for many species of animals and birds.

Van Vihar National Park has over 300 species of animals, reptiles and birds. The major attraction of this national park is the white tiger. People from all over the world visit this place to see this exotic animal. The park features a beautiful landscape amidst the incredible world of animals and birds.

Taj-ul-Masjid Bhopal

Constructed in the 19th century, this Islamic mosque is situated in Bhopal. The Taj-ul-Masjid stands tall with pink bricks and elegant architecture making it one of the most significant sight-seeing spots in the city.

The construction of this mosque was done under the instructions of Begum Shah Jehan. With the passing of time, the mosque's glory began to wane.The mosque has now been restored by the government and it attracts large number of Islamic pilgrims from all around the country. With a big water tank in the center, the mosque has a huge courtyard that can accommodate innumerable devotees during their prayers. The halls and pillars are heavily decorated, which are in fact the real marvels of the mosque.

Moti Masjid Bhopal

Moti Masjid is a beautiful mosque of Bhopal city visited by hundreds and thousands of Muslims every year from all corners of the country. The mosque is an important landmark of Bhopal and a magnificent shrine built by the ruler Sikander Begum in the year 1860.

Sikander Begum was considered a liberated woman of that time. She has built many important buildings and monuments during her reign and the Moti Masjid was one of them. This mosque went on to become a huge pilgrimage place for the Muslims and till date they visit it for offering their ?prayers. The place is easy to access through the local transportation in the city.

Sanchi Stupa Bhopal

This place doesn't need any introduction and is perhaps a well-known and must-see monument not only in India but also across the globe. Sanchi Stupa has a great historical connection with King Ashoka as well as Gautam Buddha. The place is said to be one of the oldest stone structures of India and it edifies Buddhist remnants.

It is one of the most visited Buddhist sites besides the Ashoka Pillar. The scenic landscaping and awesomely erected Buddhist landmarks at the place makes this site worth visiting. In the huge spherical domes, you will be able to witness Buddha's remnants. The place is simply irresistible and portrays the ancient history of Buddhism in the country.

Jama Masjid in Bhopal

Jama Masjid bears an exquisite architecture, built in the era of Qudisiya Begum. It is an impressive mosque, now well-preserved by the government. The place is frequently visited by a huge number of Muslims every year. The best part about this monument is its two big towers that can be easily seen from a distance.

Jama Masjid portrays a classic and rich example of Islamic culture. The mosque has got a small pond in the center and its altar has marble flooring. The white columns, alabasters, and arches of the mosque portray a beautiful sight. Irrespective of being a small shrine, it is a noticeable place in Bhopal.

Bhimbetka Caves

Bhimbetka Caves are among the most fabled destinations in the country. The caves happened to be the dwellings of pre-historic man during the Paleolithic era. The paintings in the caves exhibit the development of the human race with time. This site bears immense historic significance owing to the rarest specimens of pre-historic paintings ever discovered in India. The unique specialty lies in the fact that most of these paintings are still in a condition good enough to be studied.

There are about six hundred caves framed with exquisite pre-historic paintings. Presently out of the 600 caves only 12 are open for visitors. The caves are located in the midst of sal and teak forests. They were first discovered by V S Wakankar in the year 1957. The caves are the testimonials of our history and the creations of our ancestors now attract onlookers from all over the country. The sheer historical and cultural relevance of the caves coupled with the genuine archaeological importance of the site earned Bhimbetka Caves the acclaimed World Heritage Site recognition by UNESCO in 2003.

Last Updated on : 18/09/2013