The first thing you notice in Bhopal is the amalgamation of contrasts that runs through the city. The capital of Madhya Pradesh is beauty personified. On one side, you will find the Old City that is highlighted by marvelous mosques and vibrant markets. On the other side, you will find the bleak and sobering landscape of Union Carbide, where one of the worst gas tragedies took place many years back. To the south, nestled in Shamla Hills and Arera Colony, the setting completely changes with modern buildings, big shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants.
It is this stark combination of the city that has made Bhopal into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh.
To explore the multifaceted city is an experience in itself. However, there are a few things/places that you need to do when in the city of lakes. Read through to find a detailed guide on the top 7 sights and activities to do in Bhopal as included in most MP tourism packages.
Boating in Upper Lake
The Upper Lake in Bhopal is the oldest man-made lake in India. Also known as the Bhojtal, the lake was built by Parmara Raja Bhoj, the King of Malwa (1005- 1055). The lake serves as the main source of potable water for the residents of the city. You can go boating on the lake to experience the enchanting charm of the lake. The quaint mosque in the middle and the nearby Kamla Park only enhance the beauty.
Cycling in Van Vihar National Park
Situated right in the center of the city, Van Vihar National Park is located on the Shamala Hillock and is spread across a staggering area of 445 hectares. The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The herbivores roam around here freely without any enclosures barring them. The carnivores are enclosed in areas with trenches and walls to prevent poaching. You can take a tour of the park on a bicycle whilst enjoying the best of nature and wildlife.
Picnic in Sair Sapata
An entertainment complex that is located over an area of 24.56 acres, Sair Sapata overlooks the Upper Lake and offers a range of attractions for kids and families. A musical fountain, suspension bridge, and toy train are popular attractions in the park. The numerous food kiosks in the center of the park are the ideal place to indulge in mouth-watering meals.
A Night Stroll by Taj-ul-Masjid
Taj-ul-Masjid has its own history and significance. Also known as the “The Crown of Mosques”, this gorgeous structure was built by the third female ruler of Bhopal, Shah Jahan Begum. The largest mosque in India, it showcases a pink facade with two 18-story octagonal minarets that have marble domes. The double storey gateway leads to the main prayer hall and has marble floors throughout. Visiting the mosque by night will surely give you chills (the good ones!). The magnificent structure light up is the ideal vision for the eyes and pictures for the Instagram.
National Museum of Mankind
This is the only museum in the world that uses actual tribal habitats in real-life sizes as exhibits to showcase the tribal cultures in various Indian states. The National Museum of Mankind is divided into three categories namely, the open-air exhibition, temporary exhibition and indoor galleries. The main building has 16 levels with exhibition halls, libraries, and auditoriums. The architectural marvel of this building in itself is mesmerizing. Covered with sandstones from Dholpur, the floors are made of authentic Kota stone. Not only does this place offer a great insight into the tribal lifestyles in India, but is a great place to visit and awe at the setting.
Eat at Za-aiqa
There are many eateries in Bhopal, but unquestionably, Za-aiqa is brilliant. Located in the upscale heritage hotel Noor-Us-Sabah Palace, the restaurant serves delicious Mughlai and Peshwari cuisine. The picturesque setting which includes the view of the lake, guests get a live view of the kitchen through the glass panels. The biriyani here is one of a kind. Prepare for a sumptuous meal when coming to this top-notch restaurant.
Ropeway Ride at Jain Temple
Manua bhan ki Tekri or otherwise known as the Jain Temple is a secluded sacred site in Bhopal sits atop a hill. Though accessible by a car, to get a stunning view of the city, you should (and must) take the ropeway ride to the top. Once you reach the top, you not only get a glorious view of Bhopal, but you can sit back and soak in the Jain architecture as well.
So, are you ready to experience Bhopal? Pack your bags, book one of the affordable MP tourism packages and explore the city like never before.