What to See
Bharat Bhavan: This is a multi-art complex showcasing verbal, visual and performing arts. This center houses an art gallery, a workshop for fine arts, a repertory theater, indoor and outdoor auditoria, rehearsal room, and libraries of Indian poetry, classical and folk music. Roopankar is credited with being the only museum housing both urban and tribal art. A fine museum, you would find on display art of aboriginals, a ceramic and litho workshop and options for stone craft and metal casting. Rangmandal is the site for several plays and theatre works and houses indoor and outdoor theatres, namely Antrang and Bahirang, along with a library. The centre of Indian Poetry, Vagarth is a must-visit for all poetry lovers, and houses more than 7,000 books of poetry in 14 Indian languages and recordings and video-cassettes of major poets. Anhad is a Library of Classical and Folk Music and is responsible for arranging several musical concerts featuring prime musicians.
Open from: 2.00 pm-8.00 pm, Tuesday-Sunday
Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya: Located on the Shamla Hills overlooking the Upper Lake, this unique museum is possibly the best place to catch glimpses of earlier community lives. The Tribal Habitat, located within the complex is an open air museum that showcases the lifestyle, culture, art and religion of India's Adivasi tribes. The habitat is home to tribal and contemporary art forms and traditional dance, music and drama. A special feature of this museum is the replica of a fishing village, complete with a striking snake boat from Kerala.
Open from: 10.00 am-5.30 pm, Tuesday-Sunday
Laxmi Narayan Temple: Situated to the south of the Lower Lake on the Hills is the Laxmi Narayan Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi. Attached to the temple is the Birla Museum that houses a collection of sculptures from the Mandsaur, Shahdol, Sehore and Raisen districts of Madhya Pradesh. Many of the sculptures found in the museum date back centuries and consist mostly of Shiva, Vishnu, and their consorts and incarnations.
Open from: 9.30 am-5.30 pm, Tuesday-Sunday
Taj-ul Masajid: This is one of the most impressive and elegant mosques in India. Literally meaning The Crown of Mosques, the main structure is situated in the middle of a courtyard with a large tank. Almost entirely done in pink, two huge white-domed minarets pointing upwards and three white domes over the main structure define it. The mosque also has a huge double storeyed gateway, an impressive main hallway with attractive pillars and marble flooring and intricate screen work in the main prayer hall. A three-day annual Ijtima congregation held here draws scores of people from all over the country.
Jama Masjid: Built in 1837 by Quidsia Begum, its prime features include minarets topped with golden spires rising up. The mosque also sports a line of alabaster arches and an inner sanctum made of marble. It also contains a renovated pond in the courtyard.
Moti Masjid: Built by Sikander Begum in 1860, the beautiful Moti Masjid is an important historical landmark in Bhopal. The mosque has two dark red towers with golden spikes. The architecture of the Moti Masjid bears a striking resemblance to the famous Jama Masjid in Delhi.
Shaukat Mahal and Sadar Manzil: These are two architectural wonders of Bhopal, situated at the entrance of the Chowk Area. A beautiful white building that has a series of intricate triangular-shaped arches on its roof, the Shaukat Mahal, has a mix of gothic and post-Renaissance styles. The exterior of the palace is also carved with exquisite floral patterns. Sadar Manzil, the brick-red building earlier served as a Hall of Public Audience during the princely period.
Upper and Lower Lakes: These are the main relaxation spots of Bhopal. Covering an area of about 6 sq kilometers, the Upper Lake is separated from the Lower Lake by an over-bridge. Hire motorboats for exciting trips on the Upper Lake. Adjacent to the Lake is the Van Vihar Zoo that is home to a number of wild species including tigers, leopards, lions, and bears, among other animals. Near the Lower Lake, you can visit the Aquarium that houses a wide variety of fish species.
Bhimbetka Caves: A group of almost 600 caves, these are known for the largest collection of prehistoric cave paintings. Of all caves, about 12 are open to public and these showcase paintings of man's evolution through the years. These paintings started with figures of elephants, bears and tigers, and subsequently began depicting daily chores of people, including hunting and dancing. Almost all paintings have been done in shades of red and black.
Sanchi: This is one of the most revered spots in Buddhism and is home to a group of stupas, temples and monasteries. The most visited spot is the great dome-shaped Sanchi Stupa, whose panels depict the life and times of Buddha. Built to house the relics of Buddha, this is a UNESCO recognized structure. The Ashokan Pillar is another famous structure here known for its amazing balance. The four lions atop the pillar were once the most recognized features here, though these have been removed and are preserved in the Archaeological Museum. Along with the Ashokan Lions, images of Dhyani Buddha, Yakshi and Nagarjuna are extremely popular here.
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Top Landmarks in Bhopal
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