It was the fourth day of our stay in Bhopal. We wanted to cover as many places as we could in a very short span of time. So each and every day was filled with newer challenges, new discoveries and lots of traveling. However we never felt tired or gave up as our feet carried us to every beautiful place in Bhopal. The state Madhya Pradesh is a true wonder in itself and the state capital Bhopal is just like an exemplary of the immense natural resources, monuments and historic remains from the past. The Taj-ul-Masajid is one such architecture which initiated development during the reign of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar but came to an end in the year 1985
The history of the construction of the mosque is quite interesting. As Nawab Shah Jahan Begum could not finish the work completely during Bahadur Shah Zafar’s reign, it was taken over by her daughter Sultan Jahan Begum. However the final touch-ups and last work was completed much later. The masajid has three bellied domes and attractive pillar made of marbles surrounding it completely. The courtyard of the mosque is also very large which contains a large tank in the midst.
The exact forms of architecture from the Mughal era are truly depicted in the patterns and style of work done on the masajid. There is a large prayer hall that could accommodate a thousand people at a time. Theceilings are also well designed and different forms of designs are made on the ceiling so as to make them more attractive. Petal designs of different flowers and colorful drawings increase the beauty of the ceiling which makes every visitor fall in love with the skilled artists who performed the masterpieces of arts.
The Taj-ul-masajid is known to be one of the most talked about Muslim ladmark spots in Bhopal. People from all over the country and even from abroad come to Bhopal just to catch a glimpse of the ancestral masajid. The mosque was built for the purpose of commemoration. But nowadays it is one of the top visiting places of Bhopal. The peaceful environment is quite becharming and makes everone fall in love with it.
We arrived in Bhopal on a Sunday morning, or more precisely in the wee hours of a Sunday. As soon as we arrived at the railway station, getting an accommodation was the biggest challenge. We were new to Bhopal and everything seemed to be totally unknown to us. We enquired at the Railway station and booked a prepaid taxi which took us straight to Hotel Kamal Regency. As all five of us were in a budget trip and all of us wanted to go for an accommodation which could provide us the best comfort in the city at the lowest price, we arrived at the perfect place. Our hunt for finding the best budget hotel in Bhopal came to an end as soon as we arrived there.
Hotel Kama Regency is at a distance of 8 kilometers from the railway station. We chose this hotel for our stay owing to another important reason as well. Most of the lookout places in the Bhopal city are connected by roadways from the hotel, that is a visitor can hire an taxi or go to the bus stand to get a bus very conveniently. The major lookout places such as Sanchi, Bhimbetka caves, Birla Mandir, TT Nagar Stadium, Satdhara, Bharat Bhavan, Darul Uloom Tajul Masjid, Van Vihar Zoological Park, Moti Masjid etc. are all connected by bus which can be boarded from the hotel’s vicinity.
The hotel consists of 27 well designed and highly furnished room which are tucked up across 3 floors. The different types of rooms available are Deluxe, air conditioned Deluxe, air conditioned Executive, Family Suite and VIP Suite. We chose the deluxe rooms for our stay for obvious reasons. Moreover, as were traveling in the month of February, the weather was quite cool and therefore air-conditioned wasn’t that much necessary.
Hotel Kamal Regency also offers rejuvenating treatments to its guests with a range of facilities like spa, beauty salon, game parlors, coffee shop and multi-cuisine restaurant. I always love to pamper myself and indulge into the deep care and nourishing of massage and body spa. Therefore the spa maintained within the hotel came much to my rescue. I was happy that it was affordable and I could enjoy the treatments thoroughly.
Sanchi Stupa From Eastern Gate, Madhya Pradesh: If you’re a history loving person or anyone who loves exquisite architecture, visit to the Sanchi Stupa is a must. On my recent trip to MP, I was destined to explore this ancient relic, and I must say it is as eye pleasing and awe-inspiring as ever. I have clicked tons of pics inside out; here is one of the many I loved the most.
Shopping and whiling away time by roaming inside shopping malls and looking for the latest brand of items is my favorite pastime. I never forget to carry an extra baggage for my shopping purpose which I keep empty when I start the journey. Most of the clothes I wear are from different states and I love the confluence I make out of different clothing available from different Indian states. As this time I was in Bhopal, I kept a good amount of time in hands so that I could roam around and shop till my heart’s content. The DB City Mall in Bhopal is a plush and well maintained hi-fi shopping area which has huge collection different products.
The entire mall is spread over 125,000 square meters of land and is the largest mall in Bhopal city and ranks in number fifth position India. The mall offers a variety of options to buy including fresh fashioned trendy garments. Fun Cinemas, Hyper City, Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons are the well known brands which also offered us discounts. The numbers of food joints set up across a particular floor serve different kinds of foods. The self-service tag and people making standing brunches closely resemble the foreign culture. I and my friends tried the food and enjoyed sipping hot coffee and chocolate milk shakes from the juice junction.
There is a Fun Cinema center on the top floor of the mall which is a multiplex theatre that offers options for music, food, cinema and theatre. In total there are 6 audis inside the multiplex where six movies run at a time in Hindi, English and regional languages. Most of the crowd is gathered in the top floor because of the multiplex. People and mainly the students are seen in flocks holding hands together and roaming freely in the top floor of the mall.
The D.B. City mall also has salon, first aid service, baby care, public address system, 24*7 security, banquet services, ATM, lost and found service, and basement for car parking. You can enjoy a good time with friends even if you don’t feel like buying anything. However I bought a number of jackets, shrugs, ladies tops and bellies.
We decided to spend the second half of the second day in Bhopal in an auspicious environment. Therefore we planned to go to the Lkshmi Narayan temple which is more commonly known as Birla Mandir in Bhopal. The Lakshmi Narayan tempe is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. The Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Maa Lakshmi is the mother of all virtues. It is said that worshipping Goddess Lakshmi vanishes all the fear and brings good fortune. I was enthralled to visit this place as places having some cultural importance have always attracted me. Lakshmi Narayan temples are also found in Delhi, Kolkata and few other places, however; the temple I visited here at Bhopal had a different charm altogether. Apart from Lord Vishnu and Maa Lakshmi, I could also find images of Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman, Shri Krishna and Goddess Durga.
The ambience of the temple is very soothing and filled with tranquility. The worries and tautness seem to get washed away within few seconds within the temple compound. The temple’s architecture resembles Nagara style art and culture. The skilled artisans have painted masterpieces on the wall of temple in which each piece is different from the other. The entire temple is built with Kota stone brought especially from Makrana. The east-facing temple has a rich collection of thick lush green plantation all around the compound. One would also notice gurgling waterfall and artificial landscapes painted in lively manner in the temple vicinity. The temple is uniquely designed and marks a rich form of architecture in the midst of the city.
The temple gathers much crowd during Hindu festive seasons and festivals like Janmastami, Shiva Ratri and Dusshera. In these festivals, the Gods and Goddesses are adorned with pure colorful flowers and the entire environment becomes pious and sanctimonious. I and friends had been in the evening hours just to feel the beauty of the marvelous architecture and enjoy some quality time in solitude. The evening bells of the temple are so alarming that it brings good spirit and thought in every human listening to it. My trip to Birla temple in Bhopal was very satisfying. I enjoyed the beauty of he place to the core of my heart.
Gohar Mahal,Bhopal : After having checked out all possible lakes and other attractions in the city, I happened to stumble upon this marvellous ancient structure called Gohar Mahal. Its built is dated back to centuries ago, though; Gohar Mahal Bhopal outshines other iconic sites as well. It was a bit overcrowded but I managed to get a few snaps of the exteriors, here’s one.
We woke early in the morning and I started to make plans for the day. We were in the third day of our trip to Bhopal. The different features and diversities of Bhopal have always surprised me. I was already impressed with the variety of natural resources found in Bhopal and the immense variety of flora and fauna. The natural lookout places of Bhopal are also one of the most beautiful places of the country. That morning after lot of discussion we unanimously concluded at Upper Lake.
Bhopal is known to be the city of lakes and numbers of lakes are found flowing through the city making the local areas rather a cool place for the denizens and visitors. The Upper Lake is also known as the ‘Bada Talab’ in their local language which means Greater Lake. The entire area covered by this serene lake is about 31 kilometers and it resembles more like a sea than just a lake. The places besides the Upper Lake are well known for holding small gatherings, picnics, cruises, riding on paddle boats and motor boats. People from all parts of Madhya Pradesh visit this place to spend some quality time with friends and family. Not only people from the same state, but also from outside it come near the Upper Lake and enjoy a very good weather along with the setting sun in the evening hours.
We stayed in the Upper Lake till evening and late into the evening as well. The best time to be at this place is considered to be in the evening. We went on boat rides in which we tried to paddle the boats ourselves. As the sun set, the crowd was even growing and we could catch a glimpse of the setting sun which spread luminous red images all over the sky. The lighting done at the night time is also splendid with all sorts of lights and wonderful background to make you fall in love with it. While you want to visit the Upper Lake in Bhopal, a handful time of good 3 to 4 hours is necessary, as there are different places nearby worth visiting.
On the second day of my stay in Bhopal, I and friends decided to indulge ourselves in the arms of the mother earth. I was zestful and looking forward to visiting the Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal which is acknowledged to be one of the most promising places to be visited by tourists in the city. Madhya Pradesh is a state well known for its rich culture of flora and fauna, and Bhopal being the capital of the largest state of India complements it. The Van Vihar National Park is located in the heart of the Bhopal city and therefore connected from every side in the roadways. We traveled to the nearest bus stand in Van Vihar and then took a taxi which drove us to the National park.
The entire site is spread over an area of 445 hectares of land. The huge park consists of lush green vegetation of beautiful flora. The place is an abode for varieties of animals and resembles to the atmosphere of a zoo. The national park conserves several endangered species of birds and animals. All of them are protected in their natural habitat. Being and ardent lover of wildlife, I always wanted to visit such kinds of places. My travel diary is flooded experiences of wildlife and what I feel about it, and therefore I was quite enthusiastic in discovering the lifestyle of animals conserved in Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal. Several endangered species as well as chital, sambar, wild boar, giraffes, black buck; sloth bear, lion, red horned bull, leopard, cheetah etc are kept in a friendly environment here.
We went around seeing the entire park. I was captivated to view so many animals together roaming freely in their natural environment. There are two varieties of animals that are found in the park, namely, carnivores and herbivores. The herbivores are plant and grass eating animals and therefore they are harmless and roam freely. However for the carnivores’ species, there are separate protective cells. Safari rides are also provided within the national park. All five of us went around the wildlife safari in a jeep in the park and I captured some very good stills of these lovely creatures through my lenses.
Bhojpur Mandir Bhopal : Bhojpur Mandir is one of the most popular attractions of MP. There were a few nearby devotees and hence I had a great opportunity to explore the temple. It has interesting facts attributed to it. Firstly, the temple is more than 1000 years old and secondly, the temple houses a huge Shiva Lingam, which is approximately 18 feet tall.
It was a Sunday morning as we reached Bhopal. We booked our hotel in the city and unpacked our bags. After a power nap, all five of us got up and had our breakfast in the nearby restaurant. That day was planned for visiting the much hyped Bhimbetka Caves in Bhopal which is well known for being a tourist place. We learnt that the caves remain closed on Mondays; therefore we planned the trip on Sunday itself. We took a bus from the nearest bus stand and reached near the Bhimbetka Caves.
The old and traditional rock-cut shelter reminded me of the ancient history of India which I had learnt during my school days. This archaeological site represents some of the earliest traces of mankind. More than 100,000 years ago, the shelters were occupied by the early human. The Bhimbetka is a place where an indifferent combination of archaeological resource intermixed with culture and early traces of life are found. Being a lover for nature and a truly artistic person, I went ahead to study the designs and patterns made on the surface of the caves which were unique and different from one another.
There are 700 caves in Bhimbetka on a total count, but only 15 of them remains open for public. I couldn’t figure out the actual reason behind it, but nonetheless I was enthusiastic and zestfully waited to go around all the caves and learn more about the culture of ancient India. Apart from the rock-cut caves, one can also find several paintings drawn on the walls of the caves. Few of the paintings are vibrant with hues of red, green and yellow. Some caves also depict paintings of fauna found in that time, mostly dogs, lizards, antelopes, lions, wild boars, elephants and antelopes. Some of the paintings depict the antiquity of India as few of them are as old as 12,000 years. The entire site is spread over 10 kilometers of area which is 3 kilometers wide.
The Bhimbetka Caves are also a place for the ornithologists where one can get to study the lifestyle and habit of different species of migratory birds. The birds found here are quite unique and one may not find them elsewhere. I clicked some classy pictures of the colorful tinted birds and I was very much glad that I visited Bhimbetka.
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A big hello to everyone here... I am 'the' Geeta Sharma, a young, vibrant, and fun-loving girl from Agra. As a kid, tall buildings always inspired me and now as I type, I myself have attained a master’s degree in Architecture and am working on several projects in and around my city. Whenever I feel taxed of my job, I find a way out in the nature, my second habitat for obvious reasons! Meditation, camping, and photography are activities for which Mother Nature inspires me! On my way back, I also make it a point to get my mind and body relaxed at nearby spa centres. That is about me and you will find much more in detail with regular blogs and updates from me. So stay tuned and sit tight for new experiences every day!