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Bhopal :: City Information

Bhopal :: City Information

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About Bhopal

History of Bhopal

The history of Bhopal dates back to the 11th century AD, when it was built by the legendary King Bhoja. The region witnessed a power struggle between local rulers and the Mughals, with the latter taking over. The decline of the Mughal Empire with the death of Aurangzeb (AD 1707) led to political turmoil in this region. The small princely state of Bhopal and the present-day city was founded by an Afghan soldier Dost Mohammad in 1723. It was the second largest Muslim state during the rise of British power in India. It aligned itself with the British, in their fight against the Marathas, in 1817. At the time of India's independence in 1947, Bhopal remained a separate state, until 1949, when it acceded to India.

Places to Visit at Bhopal

Laxmi Narayan Temple


Also known as the Birla Mandir, the Laxmi Narayan Temple is situated to the south of the Lower Lake on the Arera Hills. Near the Temple is located a museum that houses a collection of sculptures from the districts at Raisen, Sehore, Mandsaur, and Shahdol in of Madhya Pradesh. The stone sculptures here are mainly of Shiva, Vishnu, and their respective consorts and incarnations.

Moti Masjid


Built by Qudsia Begum's daughter Sikander Jahan Begum in 1860 A.D., the Moti Masjid is similar in style to Delhi's Jama Masjid. The mosque is smaller in size than the Jama Masjid, and has two dark red minarets crowned by golden spikes.

Taj-ul Masjid

Description: Taj-ul Masjid

The Taj-ul Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India. The construction of this mosque was started by Shah Jahan Begum during her reign (1868 A.D. to 1901 A.D.), but it was never completed in her lifetime. It was only with the intervention of the Government of India in 1971 that the construction of the mosque was completed. Today, this huge pink mosque with two massive white-domed minarets is used as a madarsa (religious school). A three-day annual Ijtima congregation held here draws scores of people from all over the country.

Shaukat Mahal


In the heart of the walled city in Bhopal, at the entrance to the Chowk area, lies the Shaukat Mahal. The building evokes archaeological interest as it is built in an European style, thereby setting it apart from the predominantly Islamic architecture of the area.

Upper and Lower Lakes

Description: Upper and Lower Lakes

Covering an area of about 6 square kilometers, the Upper Lake is separated from the Lower Lake by an overbridge. You can hire motorboats for exciting trips on the Upper Lake. Adjacent to the Lake is the zoo called Van Vihar, where you can have a look at the tigers, leopards, lions, and bears, among other animals. Near the Lower Lake, you can visit an aquarium. This fish-shaped aquarium houses a number of fascinating species of fish.

How to Get to Bhopal

By air:


Bhopal airport is 12 km from the Old City.

By rail:


Bhopal is an important railway station as it is on the main Delhi-Madras route. The station is near Hamidia Road.

By road:


Bhopal is connected to Delhi, Rajasthan and other cities of Madhya Pradesh by an excellent bus service.