The capital of Madhya Pradesh and one of the greenest cities of India, Bhopal is a sprawling city that welcomes tourists with the right blend of history, culture, tradition on one side and modernization, urbanism and posh living on the other. Split by two lakes, Bhopal is itself a twin city within a single one with strikingly contrasting cityscapes and living both.
Bhopal is classified as rustic and classy, divided to the north and the south. While the northern Bhopal exhibits the old city, the modern city is spread towards the southern part mainly. The north Bhopal is a fascinating region of mosques, winding lanes, crowded crossings and local markets, and exotic bungalows (havelis). The south Bhopal is relatively new and modern with wide and planned roads, plush shopping complexes, and beautiful lakes and Arera and Shamla Hills that overlook the old city beyond.
Bhopal has a rich cultural and traditional backdrop that is wonderfully evident in the Hindu-Muslim art styles seen throughout the city. The most prominent platform to showcase the city?s major components is the Bharat Bhavan where several cultural events like tribal dances, folk songs and other programs are hosted.
Apart from its cuisine and geographically balanced twin cities, Bhopal has something very unique to boast about to the rest of the country. It is not everyday and everywhere that you get to ?see? the imaginary line the Tropic of Cancer coming straight out of your geography book. On the way to Saanchi Monastery, you need to cross the famous imaginary line highlighted with a cemented board and marked with two white parallel lines on the road.
Bhopal was originally called ?Bhoj-pal? as named after Raja Bhoj, the founder of the city. Bhopal is one of the important parts of the Bhoj kingdom along with Ujjaini, which is quite nearby. The present day Bhopal was built by Parmara King Bhojpal who is said to have built several lakes in and around the city. Bhopal was later improved upon by Dost Mohammed Khan who ruled after the reign on Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707. Much later in the 19th century, the city came under the rule of Muslim women like Mamola Bai succeeded by Qudsia Begum and later her daughter Sikander to name a few. These ladies led the city to great prosperity.