Best Places To Visit Near Bhopal | All You Need to know !

26-Dec-2022

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Places to visit near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Located on the eastern confines of the picturesque Malwa plateau, Bhopal is a perfect amalgamation of local vibes, vibrant culture, scenic landscapes and delicious food. But when travelling to the city of lakes, the cherry on the cake is the nearby getaways that make Bhopal a must-visit destination in the Heart of Incredible India. In this article, we will be sharing some of the best excursions to experience from Bhopal.


Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi

Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Sanchi is a monumental record of the rise and fall, and resurgence of Buddhism in India. Perched on a hill-top and located just 48 km from Bhopal, the site of Sanchi comprises a group of Buddhist monuments (monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries) all in different states of conservation most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. It is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence and was a major Buddhist centre in India until the 12th century A.D.

 

The foundation of the great religious establishment at Sanchi was probably laid by the great Maurya Emperor Ashoka when he built a Stupa and erected a monolithic pillar there. According to some historians, the reason for Ashoka selecting this particular spot may be due to the fact that the hilltop served as an ideal place for a monastery. Its serene setting and seclusion ensured an atmosphere suitable for meditation. Combined with its proximity to the rich and populous city of Vidisha, Sanchi fulfilled all the conditions required for an ideal Buddhist monastic life. 

 

Bhojpur

Founded by the legendary Parmar king of Dhar, Raja Bhoj, Bhojpur is just 28 km from Bhopal and is prominent for its magnificent Shiva temple and Cyclopean dam. 


It is said that the Bhojeshwar temple built by Raja Bhoj was never completed, yet its amazing architecture has earned it the title 'Somnath of the East'. The Shivling in the Temple is about 7.5 feet high with a circumference of 17.8 feet. Set upon a massive 21.5 feet platform, and composed of three superimposed limestone blocks, the architectural harmony of the Shivling and the platform creates a superb synthesis of solidity and lightness. An iron stairway leads up to the sanctum, allowing worshippers to easily perform the rituals. 


Bhimbetka

Spread over seven hills in the Vindhya ranges, with the Betwa river in the North and the Narmada in the south, Bhimbetka is 50 km from Bhopal. The rock shelters of Bhimbetka have the largest collection of prehistoric art in India and was designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2003. 


The paintings in the caves depict the lives of the prehistoric cave dwellers, making the Bhimbetka group an archaeological treasure. The scenes usually depict hunting, dancing, music, horse and animal riders, animals fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, masking and household scenes. Animals such as bison, lions, tigers, wild boars, elephants, and popular religious and ritual symbols also occur frequently.


Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary

Located just 70 km from Bhopal and cradled in a portion of Vindhyachal Mountain Ranges, Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most fascinating abodes for a wide variety of wildlife life Tigers, Leopards, Hyaenas, Spotted and Barking Deers, Sloth Bears and many more. 


Many seasonal streams irrigate the site in the monsoon, making Ratapani a must-visit destination and many of these are a sight to behold even in the summer. Two large reservoirs, namely Barna Reservoir and Ratapani Dam are among the major water bodies one can explore. The wildlife sanctuary also has many jungle resorts where one can enjoy a comfortable stay in the lap of nature. 


Udaygiri Caves

Just 16 km from Sanchi and 57 km from Bhopal, these caves are a group of 20 Hindu and Jain caves built in the 4th Century AD during the Gupta period. They are partly rock-cut and partly structural. In the caves are important inscriptions of Chandragupta II and Kumara Gupta. Cave no. 1 is of considerable interest, representing the earliest phase in the development of temple architecture in India, planned as it is with a small shrine and simple porch in front.


Islamnagar

A historic site and a forgotten capital of Bhopal, Islam Nagar is just 15 km from the city of lakes. Famous for its rich legacy, the luxurious palaces here still depict its former prestige. When in Islamnagar, you can explore Chaman Mahal, Rani Mahal and Gond Mahal.


At the Rani Mahal palace, you'll find a well-manicured garden and a large hall with colonnades which were used for public meetings. The design of the palace shows a fusion of Mughal and Malwa styles. Outside are eight massive iron chests that were used to transport treasure. The adjacent Chaman Mahal palace is even more peaceful with a large water garden designed with a beautiful sense of symmetry. Its architecture also has a fusion of design styles.