Bhopal is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Bhopal District and Bhopal Division. The city was the capital of the former Bhopal State. Bhopal is known as the City of Lakes for its various natural as well as artificial lakes and is also one of the greenest cities in India.
A B-1 class city, Bhopal houses various institutions and installations of national importance. Some of these include ISRO's Master Control Facility, the CSIR, AIIMS Bhopal, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) AMPRI, MANIT, IISER, SPA, IIFM, BHEL and NLIU. The city attracted international attention after the Bhopal disaster, when a Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide manufacturing plant leaked a mixture of deadly gases including methyl isocyanate on the intervening night of 2 / 3 December 1984, leading to the worst industrial disaster in the history of industrialization and a loss of thousands of lives. Since then, Bhopal has been a center of protests and campaigns which have been joined by people from across the globe.
Temples and mosques:
Lakshmi Narayan Temple situated to the south of the Lower Lake, is a temple devoted to Vishnu and his mythological consort Laxmi constructed by Birla, called Birla Mandir. Manua Bhan Ki Tekri an annual fair is held on Kartik Purnima at (Mahavir Giri), a Jain pilgrimage center located around seven kilometres away from Bhopal.
Bhopal has many mosques including Taj-ul-Masajid (one of the largest mosques in Asia), Dhai Seedi ki Masjid (one of the smallest mosques in Asia), Jama Masjid (built by Qudsia Begum in 1837). A three-day Iztima-Muslim dhaarmik sammelan or Muslim religious assembly (religious congregation) used to be held in the precincts of the Taj-ul-Masjid annually. It draws scores at Muslim pilgrims from all parts of India. It has now been shifted outside the city limits. Moti Masjid (built by Sikander Begum in 1860).
Some of the major historical buildings in Bhopal include Shaukat Mahal (a mixture of Indo-Islamic and European styles of architecture), Gohar Mahal (built by Qudsia Begum, fusion of Hindu and Mughal architecture), Sadar Manzil (used by the Begums for public audience, now used as the head office of the Municipal Corporation) and Purana Qila (part of the 300-year-old fort of Queen Kamalapati, situated in Kamla Park, which separates Upper Lake from Lower lake).
Places of interest:
- Upper Lake : The largest artificial lake in Asia.
- Shahpura lake
- Sair Sapata :suspension bridge at bhadbhada road
- Kalika Mandir, Kalighat, Lower Lake (Bhopal)
- Van Vihar National Park : A zoological park with the status of a national park, it is situated south of the Upper Lake.
- New Market: A shopping and commercial zone in the city housing a number of eateries, restaurants, cloth shops and showrooms, bakeries, mobile stores etc.
- Taj-ul-Masajid : It is one of the largest mosque in Asia and is also used as a madrasah
- Aquarium Building
- Manav sanghralay
- Regional Science Centre, Bhopal, primarily aimed at students
- Kerwa Dam : It is a scenic dam located in the outskirts of Bhopal.
- 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.