Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The city was the capital of the former Bhopal state. Bhopal is also known as the Lake City for its various natural as well as artificial lakes and is one of the greenest cities in India.

Bhopal is said to have been founded by the Parmar king Bhoja (1000–1055), who had his capital at Dhar. It is said that the city was originally known as Bhojpal named after Bhoj and the dam ('pal') that is said to have been constructed by him to form the lakes surrounding the city. However, this is a myth. The National Archives of India have documents and evidence that Bhopal was originally Bhupal; named after Raja Bhupal Singh, who ruled the malwa region in the 15th century.

An Afghan soldier of the Orakzai tribe called Dost Mohammad Khan laid out the present city at the same site following the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707. He brought with himself the Islamic influence on the culture and architecture of Bhopal, the ruins of which can be found at Islam Nagar. Bhopal was the second largest Muslim state in pre-independence India. Between 1819 and 1926, it was ruled by four women – Begums – unique in the royalty of those days. Qudsia Begum was the first woman ruler, who was succeeded by her only daughter Sikandar Begum, who in turn was succeeded by her only daughter, Shahjehan Begum. Sultan Jahan Begum was the last women ruler, who after 25 years of rule, abdicated in favour of her son, Hamidullah Khan. The succession of ‘Begums’ gave the city such innovations as waterworks, railways and a postal system. Several monuments still stand in the city as reminders of this glorious period in its history. A municipality was constituted in 1907.

It was one of the last princely states to sign the 'Instrument of Accession' 1947. Though India achieved Independence in August 1947, the ruler of Bhopal acceded to India only on 1 May 1949. Sindhi refugees from Pakistan were accommodated in West Bhopal Cities, Bairagarh Sub-Area (Sant Hirdaram nagar), a western suburb of Bhopal. Bhopal state was integrated into the state of Madhya Pradesh, and Bhopal was declared as its capital
Places to See:

Upper Lake: The largest artificial lake in Asia.

Lake View: A stretch of road on the shore of the great or Upper Lake.

Van Vihar National Park: A zoological park with the status of a national park, it is situated south of the Upper Lake.

Taj-ul-Masajid: It is one of the largest mosque in Asia and is also used as a madrasah.

Bharat Bhawan

Lal Parade Ground: The independence day and republic day parade are held in this ground. It is also the venue of large gatherings.

Museum of Natural History

Manuabhan ki tekri: A Jain temple, situated on a hill cliff, this place is popular for the scenic views it offers of the city below.

Birla Temple

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