The capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal is a city of contrasts. There’s the Muslim-dominated Old City on one side, a mesmerizing district of vibrant markets and stunning mosques. The beauty of the Old City is countered by a bleak, sobering landscape on the other side of Bhopal. Here you’ll find the infamous Union Carbide chemical plant, which is the reason for the world’s worst industrial tragedies, the Bhopal Disaster. Read on for our guide to the top ten sights and activities to explore in this multifaceted city.
Best places to visit in Bhopal:
- Upper Lake:
The oldest manmade lake in India Upper Lake or Bhojtal is said to have been built by the Parmara Raja Bhoj which was during his tenure as King of Malwa between 1005–1055. It’s said that the waters of this lake were even used to cure the skin disease of the ailing king. The Upper Lake serves as the major source of safe drinking water today for the residents of Bhopal. This lake also famous for water sports and other lakeside activities in Bhopal, exhilarating motor boat rides, paddle boating, and sailing. The charm of the nearby Kamla Park adds to the beauty of this lake.
- Sair Sapata:
Spread over a vast area of 24.56 acres, Sair Sapata is a new tourism and entertainment complex situated on the banks of the Upper Lake in Bhopal developed by the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation. The Sair Sapata offers a range of delightful attractions, a toy train for joyrides, a suspension bridge, and a musical fountain, which was opened in 2011. For families traveling with children, or for a fun and memorable time, this is a perfect weekend trip.
- Van Vihar National Park:
The gorgeous Van Vihar National Park stretches across a staggering 445 hectares situated in the center of the city. Brought in from other parts of the state or acquired in exchanges with other zoos, this green expanse offers a new home to a wide variety of orphaned animals. One unique quality about this national park is the herbivores roam freely here, but the carnivores cannot as they are enclosed in areas fitted with trenches and walls in order to prevent poaching.
The Taj-ul-Masajid is a gorgeous mosque which was built by Bhopal’s third female ruler, Shah Jahan Begum, who wanted to create the largest mosque in the world known as the ‘The Crown of Mosques’. On top of which stand the two 18-story octogonal minarets, the mosque features a pink façade, with marble domes. The main hallway with beautiful pillars and marble flooring lies below the three huge bulbous domes of the mosque.
- National Museum of Mankind:
The only museum in the world to combine its installations with actual tribal habitats is the National Museum of Mankind or the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, which pairs exhibits of contemporary tribal cultures with actual-size dwellings of the typical tribal villages found in different Indian states. Open-air exhibitions and periodical or temporary exhibitions are the features at this museum that is broadly divided into three categories.
Best hotels and resort in Bhopal:
- Jehan Numa Retreat Club & Spa:
Jehan Numa Retreat Club & Spa is situated in Bhopal, 1.3 km from Van Vihar National Park with boasting garden, views of the garden and a fitness center. For guests a bicycle rental service and indoor swimming pool and are available. The balcony is attached to every room.
The children are offered with playground. Guests enjoy activities in and around Bhopal, like cycling at Jehan Numa Retreat Club & Spa.
- Woods Inn Resort:
Woods Inn Resort offers rooms with air conditioning situated in Bhopal, which is 7 km from People’s Mall. The various facilities include a garden and a terrace. The resort also features a restaurant and Museum of Man is 9 km away
- Clarks Resort:
Set in Bhopal Clarks Resort is located around 34 km from Van Vihar National Park, with free Wi-Fi the resort is also 35 km away from Museum of Man. Featuring a fitness center and a 24-hour front desk, the property offers a year-round outdoor pool. Billiards is also available at Clarks Resort.
- Caravan Resorts:
10 km from Van Vihar National Park, Caravan Resorts is located in Bhopal. This property also welcomes guests with a restaurant and a year-round outdoor pool also boasting a 24-hour front desk. Wi-Fi is provided at the accommodation free of cost.
- Holiday Homes and Resort:
Holiday Homes and Resort is situated in Bhopal boasting an outdoor swimming pool which is 9 km from Van Vihar National Park. The property also has a garden which features a restaurant. The distance of the property is 19 km from Kanha Fun City and 10 km from Museum of Man.
Best restaurants in Bhopal:
- Greek Food & Beyond:
To savor authentic Greek cuisine, Greek Food & Beyond is the best place in Bhopal, though their menu includes the items from the whole globe with a range of Chinese, Italian and Lebanese dishes as well. The space being very cool is charming with relaxing ambiance and a stellar seating area outside. You can watch the kitchen in action from your table as they prepare tasty lunch dishes like their Big Greek Salad.
- La Kuchina:
Dimly lit and decorated with ceramic art and rustic culinary touches, with dried grains and garlic adorning the walls for a homey kitchen feel, La Kuchina is a delightful Italian restaurant in Bhopal. The warm and excellent service also compliments the atmosphere. With Italian classics like penne alfredo, ricotta spinach ravioli, and delicate thin crust pizzas, the food is equally homey.
- Rice ‘n’ Bowl Thai & Chinese:
For Chinese and Thai cuisine, Rice ‘n’ Bowl is the go-to place in Bhopal. With a warm ambiance that won’t rack up a massive bill, this is also a great choice for a sit-down restaurant. Order some tasty dishes like the crispy chicken or the paneer satay for starters, and make a selection from the mee goreng noodles chicken fried rice or crispy lamb for a flavorful main course.
Za-aiqa is one of the finest restaurants in Bhopal, found within the upscale Noor-Us-Sabah Palace heritage hotel which is appropriately located on ‘VIP Road’. Alongside gorgeous views overlooking the lake, here you’ll have a chance to enjoy exquisite Peshwari and Mughlai cuisine. Guests On the other side have an equally entrancing view of the see-through live display kitchen, watching the chefs prepare fresh fish tikkas and sumptuous biryanis before your very eyes.
Kebabsville may actually be the best place for a fine dining experience in Bhopal, though the name has the sweet is more casual family establishment. Guests here can dine al fresco right by the pool tucked inside the Sayaji Hotel, which is not far from the live grill stations and where you can watch your kebabs carefully cooked to perfection.