The city of lakes - Bhopal

28 21 Sep 2023

  • Known as the city of lakes for its natural and artificial lakes
  • The Bhojtal or Bada Talab is the largest man-made lake in india
  • The Taj-Ul-Masajid is one of the largest mosques in India.
  • The Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalay documents the lives of over 450 of India's Adivasi Tribes

The city of lakes - Bhopal

Bhopal, also known as the `the City of Begums` has a significant history. Between 1819 and 1926, it was ruled by the generation of Begums for over 100 years, who gave the city its waterworks, railways, postal system, and municipality. The Begums of Bhopal were great reformists and patrons of education, art, culture, and public works. They also built several great monuments, which still stand as testimonies to the city's celebrated past.

Bhopal is adorned by beautiful lakes and striking landscapes. Towards the north, you'll be welcomed by the old city that encompasses fascinating mosques, narrow alleys, amazing food corners, and buzzing chowks. On the other side of the upper lake is the new Bhopal. Modern, with wide roads, shopping complexes, plush hotels, and restaurants. Both contrasting sides are well-connected and offer something to everyone!


The Lakes

Bhopal, often known as the "City of Lakes," boasts two magnificent lakes, Upper Lake and Lower Lake.

Raja Bhoj constructed the Upper Lake, known as "Bada Talab," in the 11th century. The 36.1 sq km lake is flanked by a lovely garden and Kamla Park. It is the ideal location for water activities. The "Chota Talab" is located east of Upper Lake, and the two urban water bodies combined are referred to as "Bhoj Wetland". The lake's management also provides boat rides on paddle, sail, and motor boats in addition to sightseeing opportunities. One may enjoy the cool breeze and breathtaking views of Bhopal while riding.

Gohar Mahal

Qudsia Begum chose this vantage point along the road that circles the Upper Lake, to build her first-ever castle between 1819 and 1837. It serves as a magnificent historical sentinel, bearing witness to the splendours of Bhopal's renowned royal families. It is a fusion of Hindu and Mughal architectural traditions, covering an area of approximately 4.65 acres. The many portions of this maze-like structure are reached through winding passageways and steep flights of stairs that provide a breathtaking view of the Upper Lake.

One can shop for traditional handicrafts at the government emporium, Mrignayani located here. Gohar Mahal is a protected site and is a venue for frequent craft fairs.

Birla Mandir

The impressive Lakshmi Narayan Temple or Birla Mandir was constructed by Hindustan Charity Trust between 1960 and 1964. It is located on the highest peak of the Arera hills, now known as Lakshminarayana Giri. The ochre and red building feature a sacred yellow flag perched atop the spire and is decorated with holy Hindu symbols. The temple offers panoramic views of both the old and new Bhopal from its campus. It is silhouetted against the clear sky and surrounded by lush, well-kept lawns. Beside the temple, there is a Birla museum which houses some amazing artefacts and antique sculptures.

Van Vihar National Park

The Van Vihar National Park is a zoological park that is bordered by Upper Lake. The park is spread over 445 hectares and is home to several wild animals like tiger, lion, bear, hyena and herbivores like cheetal, sambhar, and blackbuck. The atmosphere of the park is filled with the constant chirping of numerous birds in the park. So far, over 200 species have been listed, including the Common Greenshank, Eurasian Spoonbill, Grey Hornbill, cormorants, etc. The proximity to the lake adds beauty to its landscape.

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya

South of the Upper Lake sprawls the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya a.k.a. the National Museum of Man, the largest anthropological museum in India, and one of the biggest in Asia. On an undulating terrain of over 200 acres, one can see an open-air exhibition of human habitations. Life-size dwelling units of the tribal, coastal and Himalayan villages are built in traditional architectural styles using indigenous raw materials, housing different ethnographic objects.

Tribal Museum

The Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum in Bhopal takes you on an immersive journey through the culture and tells the stories of tribal heritage through full-scale models and colourful art installations and performances. It is one of the best museums in India where one can also witness magnificent traditional music, dance and drama performances hosted by the museum.

Taj-ul- Masjid

Literally meaning the 'crown of mosques', Taj-ul-Masajid is one of the most prominent tourist attractions of Bhopal. Touching the skyline, the massive proportions of the Taj-ul-Masajid leave one awestruck. This imposing three-storey, pink sandstone structure, measures 160 m from east to west.

Fascinated by the Jama Masjid in Delhi, Shah Jahan Begum wanted a replica to be built in Bhopal. However, the structure of Taj-ul-Masajid was found to be much larger in comparison to Shah Jahan's Jama Masjid.

Kerwa Dam

This is one of the most serene dams of Bhopal. The natural landscape is breathtaking and attracts innumerable visitors and locals who come here for an outing with family and friends for casual hangouts and picnics. MPT Kerwa Resort is a comfortable accommodation in Bhopal situated close to Kerwa Dam where you plan a leisurely stay.


There are many excursions from Bhopal, which you can plan while exploring the City of lakes.

Bhojpur Temple: The majestic Bhojpur temple is just 29 km from Bhopal. The temple is about 1000 years old and dates to the reign of Raja Bhoj, the legendary Parmar monarch of Dhar. Even today, during the Shivaratri celebrations, this temple draws a sizable number of devotees of Lord Shiva.

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters: On the highway leading to Hoshangabad, the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka are situated about 45 km to the southeast of Bhopal. The site is 10 km long and around 3 km wide.

Sanchi Stupa: Sanchi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated 49 km from Bhopal, known for its stupas, pillars and stunning gateways.

Jagdishpur: The forgotten capital of Bhopal, Jagdishpur is just 15 km from the city of lakes. Famous for its rich legacy, one can explore Chaman Mahal, Rani Mahal and Gond Mahal during their trip to Jagdishpur.

Beejasan Mata Temple, Salkanpur: Vindhyavasni Beejasan devi temple, dedicated to the goddess Durga, is one of the major spiritual tourist destinations situated in the Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh. It is located around 70 km from Bhopal by road and the nearest railway station is Hoshangabad.


One can explore this city throughout the year, but the best time to visit Bhopal is between August to February. Bhopal being located on a hilly area, is enriched with scenic views that emerge during the monsoon and winter season. During this time, the streams and lakes of Bhopal are brimming with fresh water and the lush greenery flourish through the entire city.


By Air: Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal is situated at a distance of 15 km from the city centre. Bhopal is well-connected to other major airports in the country.

By Rail: Bhopal Junction (Station Code: BPL), located near Hamidia Road is the main railway station of Bhopal. The newly inaugurated Rani Kamlapati Railway station is also one of the major stations of the city. Bhopal is on one of the two main Delhi to Mumbai railway lines and also on the main line to the southern state capitals of Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Thiruvananthapuram.

By Road: There are extensive bus services (private and state) to cities within the region and interstate. The major Bus stand of Bhopal, ISBT is located just 3.5 km from Rani Kamlapati Railway station.

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Food Court at DB Mall

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Best Places to visit

Sair Sapata

Gauhar Mahal

Moti Masjid

Sadar Manzil


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View All Places Of Interest



MPT Palash Residency, Bhopal

Price: INR 3590 - 5990 Phone: (0755) 2553006 / 2553066 / 2553076 / 3259000

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MPT Lake View Residency, Bhopal

Price: INR 3590 - 8799 Rs. Phone: (0755) 2660090-93

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Restaurants And Bars

Nearby destinations

Sacred Sanchi (48 KM)

The town of Sanchi is synonymous with Buddhist Stupas - hemispherical structures typically containing relics of the Buddha or his followers. The Stupas of Sanchi were constructed on the orders of



Amazing Bhimbetka (45 KM)

Cave paintings dating back to approximately 30,000 years. Rock shelters that were home to humans, millennia ago. And a rich flora and fauna surrounding these, indeed, make Bhimbetka a gift to us



Travel tools

Best Season To Visit

Best Season To Visit

The best time to visit Bhopal is from July to March.