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. Bhopal is the 14th largest city in India and 231st largest city in the World.
A Y-class city, Bhopal houses various institutions and installations of national importance. Some of these include MANIT (established in 1960), ISRO's Master Control Facility, AIIMS Bhopal (Established in 2012), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) AMPRI, IISER, SPA, IIFM, BHEL, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA Bhopal), IHM Bhopal, NITTTR, National Law Institute University and NLIU, Gandhi Medical College, Government Engineering College(now known as University Institute of Technology adjacent to Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya).
The city attracted international attention in December 1984 after the Bhopal disaster, when a Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide manufacturing plant leaked a mixture of deadly gases, leading to one of the worst industrial disasters in the world's history. The Bhopal disaster continues to be a part of the socio-political debate and a logistical challenge for the people of Bhopal.
According to folklore, Bhopal is said to have been founded by the king Bhoja of the Paramara dynasty (AD 1000–1055), who ruled from his capital at Dhar. This theory states that Bhopal was originally known as Bhojpal after the king and the dam ("pal") constructed by him.
No available archaeological evidence, inscriptions or historical texts support the claim about an earlier settlement founded by Bhoja at the same place, although a temple complex constructed by him exists at Bhojpur, which is located 28 km from Bhopal. An alternative theory says that the name of the city was coined from the name of another king called Bhupala (or Bhupal). (During the British Raj, the railway tickets printed in the city and the signboards on the railway station mentioned the name of the city as "Bhupal" in Hindi and "Bhoopal" in English.)
In the early 17 th century,In the early 18th century, Bhopal was a small village in the local Gond kingdom. The modern Bhopal city was established by Dost Mohammad Khan (1672–1728), an Afghan soldier in the Mughal army. After the death of the emperor Aurangzeb, Khan started providing mercenary services to several local chieftains in the politically unstable Malwa region.
In 1709, he took on the lease of Berasia estate, and later annexed several territories in the region to establish the Bhopal State. Khan received the territory of Bhopal from the Gond queen Rani Kamlapati in lieu of payment for mercenary services, and usurped her kingdom after her death.
Bhopal has an average elevation of 500m metres (1401 ft). Bhopal is located in the central part of India, and is just north of the upper limit of the Vindhya mountain ranges. Located on the Malwa plateau, it is higher than the north Indian plains and the land rises towards the Vindhya Range to the south. The city has uneven elevation and has small hills within its boundaries. The major hills in Bhopal are Idgah hills and Shyamala hills in the northern region, katara hills in south region and Spring valley is a very famous colony in katara hills and Arera hills in the central region.
Places of interest
Lower Lake - The lake was created in 1794 to beautify the city. The smaller lake is spread over an area 7.99 square kilometer.
Bhimbetka Caves are about 35 kilometers from Bhopal city. They have evidence of dwellings of pre-historic man during the Paleolithic era. Rock paintings in the caves are specimens of pre-historic settlements in India. There are about 600 caves, but only 12 are open for visitors. The caves are located in the midst of sal and teak forests. They were discovered by Wakankar in 1957. UNESCO declared Bhimbetka Caves as a World Heritage Site in 2003.
Bhopali dishes and food in Bhopal are comparatively mild, less spicy and unique in taste. Local and individual variations of various popular snacks and foods can be found selling around the city . Bhopali food has a large variety of non-vegetarian dishes, including Bhopali Murgh Rezala, Paneer Rezala, Bhopali Gosht Korma, Murgh Hara Masala Rice and Murgh Nizami.
Bhopal has got very significant value in the field of sports and personality development of youth through various sports games. Apart from cricket, hockey and football are significantly in the city. Directorate Sports and Youth Welfare is established by state government of Madhya Pradesh entitled for the development in the field of sports and youth welfare located in Bhopal.