48 hours in Bhopal

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Photo of 48 hours in Bhopal by Gitika Saksena

The winters in India are perhaps the best season to plan travel across the north and central parts of India. Enjoying the nip in the air and basking in the warm sun are just incredible experiences. Why not consider a trip to the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh, this winter? The capital city Bhopal is a classic potpourri of the old and the new – so if you dig history and architecture, do not think twice before booking a ticket to Bhopal.

Here is an interesting piece of trivial on Bhopal. Established in 1707 CE by Dost Mohammad Khan, the princely state was ruled by four women – the Begums of Bhopal – between 1819 and 1926.

What first strikes you after touchdown at Bhopal is how green the city is! Its open spaces, numerous lakes and parks give the city a distinct character. The two main lakes - the Upper Lake and the Lower Lake – are the lifeline of the city.

We bring you the top things to do over 48 hours at Bhopal.

Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum

To know more about the life and culture of the seven major tribes living (Gond, Bheel, Korku, Baiga, Sahariya, Kol and Bhariya) in Madhya Pradesh, head to the stunning Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum – arguably the most innovative museum in India. The museum is designed to awe with its high roof, color schemes, and artefacts and artworks cleverly positioned across the galleries.

Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum.

Photo of Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum, Shyamla Hills Road, Near State Museum, Shymala Hills, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India by Gitika Saksena

Taj-ul-Masajid

Shah Jehan Begum (Bhopal's third female ruler) commissioned this place of worship, among Asia’s largest mosques. The construction was completed in the 18th century. The interiors are exquisite, admire the arched roof, pillars, ornate ceilings, grand hallways…

Remember Bhopal museum

A grim reminder of the tragedy that befell the city of Bhopal in the winter of 1984 when forty tonnes of the highly toxic Methyl isocyanate (MIC) was accidentally released from the Union Carbide plant. The museum has photos, audio clips and several other artefacts on display which give you an insight into the magnitude of the disaster and its after effects.

Shaurya Smarak

If you are inspired by war memorials, Shaurya Smarak is worth a visit with many statues, warship models, aircrafts, submarines on display. The prime attraction is the Siachen Glacier gallery which lets visitors experience the chilling cold of the region and perhaps realise the hardships that the soldiers go through in the inhospitable terrain.

Shaurya Smarak. By Suyash Dwivedi/cc BY 4.0

Photo of Shaurya Smarak, Bhim Nagar Slums, Arera Hills, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India by Gitika Saksena

Qadimi hammam

Why head to Turkey when you can enjoy the pleasures (and pain!) of an invigorating Hammam bath right here in India. That’s right, Bhopal is home to a 300 year old hammam. This basic and functional hammam is owned by a family, with secretly guarded recipes for the aromatic bath scrubs made from oils and spices. Located in the Kamala Park area, the hammam operates in the winter/ spring season from Diwali until the Holi festival.

Shopping in Bhopal: Plan to visit the Chowk, Old city bazaar, New Market and Bittan Market. You can get great discounts on Maheshwari and Chanderi sarees here.

Eating in Bhopal: For meat delicacies, head to Chatori Gali in Ibrahimpura in the evening after 7 p.m.. You can sample Nalli Nihari, Bhuna Korma, Nargisi Kofta, Bater amongst other dishes. For great vegetarian meals, Bapu ki Kutia in TT Nagar is highly recommended.

Photo of Kamla Park, Professors Colony, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India by Gitika Saksena

Travel to Bhopal: Direct flights to Bhopal are available from Delhi and Mumbai. Or one can also fly to Indore and cab it down to Bhopal.

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